Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu

Guest Post by Autumn Bear

An Alternative Point of View

by Autumn Bear Comments1
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Already this season there has been a crazy onslaught of patients who have flocked to my office due to the most current version of a cold that is being passed around. It is the same each year, with the change of seasons and it comes as no surprise, especially in the winter, when the epidemic of colds spreads like wildfire.

There are a couple of things we can do to protect ourselves and our children from getting a cold or flu. Colds can come from several different origins. We can catch a cold by being exposed to changes in temperatures and exposure to wind, or we can catch it from those around us.
If we are looking at weather exposure, the first thing we can do is to make sure that we keep our neck covered as soon as the winds pick up. In CM, colds are known as “wind invasion”. Wind can and does get lodged in the upper part of the body, due to exposure of wind heat, wind cold, or wind damp, and then it is the body’s response system that gets triggered to push it out. This is when we begin to feel groggy headed, get fever and chills, have nasal discharge, sneezing, fatigue etc, etc… We can divert the onset of a cold due to weather changes by simply wearing a scarf. You can adjust the color, texture and warmth of your scarf to suit your needs but just keep that neck covered!

We are often immune compromised just be being under too much stress

The second thing we can do is boost our immune system from the inside. We may be mindful of our wind invasion from the outer atmosphere but we need to also keep our immune system healthy so that we can avoid the invasion of a cold once it is being passed around among the people you spend your time with. We are often immune compromised just by being under too much stress, by getting poor sleep or not enough sleep, and by not having enough nutrition to feed our immune protection. There are a few natural ways we can prep our body for cold and flu season.

Pickled Garlic

Ready for cold and flu season!

Besides the obvious (reduce stress, get sleep, eat well), we can add a few components that will enhance our already healthy choices (wink, wink). The first thing we can do is to pickle some garlic  (recipe below) about a month before cold season begins (around august). Once our pickled garlic is ready to be eaten we can then simply eat one clove of pickled garlic once a day. Garlic is an incredible anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-viral herb. Yup, its not just to repel vampires, although if you have that problem then you probably aren’t worrying about the common cold!
Garlic is a food that causes qi to move up and out. In essence, we are stimulating our immune system to move things up and out on a daily basis to help keep the body from letting anything settle in and down. It is a great way to reduce inflammation but also to keep the body’s defense mechanism in working order.

The next thing we can do is to apply Mullein Garlic Ear Drops once a week. Applying the drops into the ear canal allows the mullein garlic to interact with our lymph system. Our lymph system plays an integral role in the movement of toxins and invasive materials and we rely heavily on it to help cleanse our body of useless materials. Allowing the herbs to interact with the lymph system helps to stimulate its movement and to cleanse, clear, and detox the lymph drainage system that we need to work as efficiently as possible. If you see that a cold and or flu is going around your office you can increase the drops to every day and if you feel a cold coming on then you can put them in every hour. I will often take them with me when I travel to make sure that I can stay healthy while under travel stress and the inundation of toxins that bombard us on planes.

These methods are both safe for kids so don’t hesitate to get your kids on board for a little cold and flu prep, as well!

Some people worry that there may be a garlic aftertaste in using these methods but I assure you that a garlic taste is far better than being sick in bed!!!!

Stay happy, healthy, and in good order this cold and flu season!!

Pickled Garlic Recipe by: Clinical Herbalist Katja Swift

Making Garlic Pickles: they have tremendous antimicrobial properties

Peel garlic (enough to fill a mason jar)

Place the garlic in a jar all the way to the top

Fill the jar 1/2 to 1/3 of the way full with honey

Fill the remainder of the jar with apple cider vinegar

Put the lid on and shake it well; shake the jar every day to mix the ingredients

Allow to “ferment” for 2-3 weeks

No refrigeration necessary and the colors WILL change

Make one jar per member of the family

Prepare in August/September about 1 month before cold and flu season begins

Small child: eat 1/2 a pickled clove a day

Average child: eat 1 clove a day

Adults: eat 1-2 cloves per day

Additionally one can drink the “juice” every day for a boost during cold and flu season

Garlic Photo Curtesy of: Flickr Creative Commons: MarionenKevin

Autumn Bear
About Autumn Bear, M.S., L.Ac, Dipl Ac

Autumn Bear has a Master's of Acupuncture Degree focused on Classical Chinese Medicine. She has a successful acupuncture practice in New York City and believes in empowering her patients to lead healthier lives through wholesome food and alternative therapies. She can be contacted through her website.

  • Claribel Monopoli

    Your blog is wonderful. It was a really good read for me and my family. Thanks!