It is that time of year again. Shorter days, and cooler temperatures. The rain is back, and the leaves are changing colour and falling. It also seems to be a time of year that we are prone to catching more ‘colds’ and ‘flus’. As a whole during the Fall and Winter, we tend to hibernate more in our cozy homes….so for that reason, I would like to share a few home-based treatments to get you bouncing back quicker if you do come down with the sniffles and aches.
Warming Socks – this is a great treatment for helping to lessen sinus congestion, and reduce fullness in your head when you have a ‘cold’. You will need a pair of cotton socks that go above your ankle. Put the white socks under cold water, wring them out, and put them on right before you go to bed. Grab a pair of wool socks, and put them on over the cotton socks. Get under the covers, and try to keep the rest of your body warm. The idea is that the blood that is abundant in your head with all of the head congestion, will move to your feet to warm them up. In this way your sinus congestion can be lessened. Do it a few nights in a row, if after one night you still feel congested. This is a form of hydrotherapy – a simple but highly effective method of directing a healing flow of blood to injured or diseased areas of the body. This ancient therapy involves the application of water, generally alternating hot and cold, to stimulate circulation and promote healing. It can be used to support the immune system, reduce pain and promote the excretion of toxins.
Immune-Boosting Tea – this is a great tea to help stimulate the immune system, reduce chills and body aches, and soothe an irritated throat. Simmer lots of fresh garlic (at least 4 cloves) and fresh peeled ginger (a good-sized chunk of the root) in water for about 15-20 minutes. Strain it, and add fresh lemon and honey. Drink as often as you can – 3 x daily on average, while you are feeling unwell. You can save the ginger and garlic for the next round, and add more of each after simmering it for a couple of times so as to increase the potency. Enjoy the benefits as it goes through your body!
Sleep, sleep, and more sleep! – sleep is definitely your best friend when you are feeling run down with a ‘cold’ or the ‘flu’. Getting good quality and quantity of sleep can shorten the duration of your illness, and get you feeling more restored, refreshed and rejuvenated. Much of our healing takes place while we sleep, so make sure to get lots of it, and get to bed as early as you can.
Steam Inhalations – pour boiling water into a large bowl, and add 3-4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Take a large towel and drape it over your head, as well as the entire bowl, so that you are immersed in steam. Take deep breaths, and allow the eucalyptus steam to get into your nasal passages and chest. Try to do this for about 5-10 minutes, a couple of times daily while you are sick. This treatment will help to relieve sinus congestion and help to clear any mucous that may be residing in the chest. You can also use this same essential oil in a humidifier or diffuser in your bedroom while you sleep to continue the benefits of eucalyptus.
Epsom Salt Baths – add 2 cups of Epsom salts to your bath and soak in it for at least 15 minutes. The magnesium in the Epsom salts will soothe any sore muscles that you may experience during a ‘cold’ or ‘flu’. It will also get you relaxed and ready to head to bed, where the healing continues.
Here’s hoping that if you do come down with a nasty bug this Fall/Winter, that it moves through you as fast as you caught it! Cheers to a strong and healthy immune system!