Google tells me it was Ben Franklin who coined the phrase ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. I think it’s time to add ‘a pinch of attention’ to that old saying. Many of us have the notion that once we’re sick with a cold or flu, it’s inevitable for the bug to run its course, and there’s nothing that can be done to stop or minimize the misery.
That may be true in some instances. Sometimes, it’s not.
Unless you’re looking for a reason to get downtime from your busy life with a few feverish, sniffly, sleepy days in bed, you’ll be interested to know there are some tricks for shortening or even stopping the onslaught of seasonal bugs.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, an awareness of your discomfort and a minor adjustment, like making yourself rest or slow down, or having a cup of tea, can help you reverse or at least shorten the course of seasonal bugs.
If something’s bothering me, even if it’s just a tickle in my throat or a rumbling in my gut, I stop, pay attention, and DO something about it before it does something to me. Most of the time, I’m up and off to the clinic in a short time to care for my patients.
Even though we say colds and flu have a “season,” everyone knows these can sneak up on you anytime of year. Year-round, I have a few reliable herbal remedies on hand that I turn to at the first sign of a problem. My “go to” herbs: echinacea tincture, Yin Qiao San (a well-known Chinese herbal formula) and Gypsy Cold Care tea with honey.
Don’t wait for cold and flu season to get your act together. Follow these 4 simple steps for cold and flu attention year-round:
Step 1 – Know thyself. What’s the first sign of illness in your body? For me, it’s a scratchy throat and bone-tired feeling that starts in the eyes. Sometimes, just feeling more tired than usual is an early EARLY warning sign I try not to ignore.
Step 2 – Keep your best remedies on hand at all times – The first hour or two of a cold or flu is the BEST time to reverse the course. You can significantly reduce the severity and length of a cold/flu by knowing you have one and taking ‘preventive’ measures right away.
Note: If high doses of Vitamin C are your go-to supplement, watch for loose stools, which are a signal to reduce your dosage. If your symptoms usually lean toward chills, nausea, loose stools and weakness, try steaming hot ginger tea or Yogi Cold Tea instead.
Step 3 – Take those remedies early and often. Most of the herbalists I know dose themselves hourly until that early warning sign goes away, and then every 2-3 hours for another 1-3 days.
Step 4 – Change your plan. If you’re getting sick more than 3 times a year or never fully recover in-between, maybe it’s time to shape up your immune system. How? A healthier diet, some herbal tonics, and a better attitude and are a good start (yep, studies clearly show that how you think does affect how you feel).
Do what Ben says and practice prevention – but when the seasonal “crud” does try to take hold, keep it from getting a grip by listening to your body and having some reliable herbs on hand.