Oh no! It's FLU season again and all the nasty colds and flus and other bugs are running rampant. One of the positive side effects that many of us with auto-immune conditions have is that often our ramped up immune symptoms protect us from these bugs....but that's not always the case. And, every so often we find ourselves (or a loved one) down with a cold or flu.
So, what's an AIP girl, or guy, to do when you're feeling under the weather?
(This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on a link in the post and purchase something I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to keep providing you with free content.)
Read on for some natural remedies, recipe links and general wellness tips and tricks. Or, scroll to the bottom for the recipe for "Flu Fighting Gummies."
This Saturday, my fiancé found himself down with the cold/ flu/ virus/ bug thing that's been making the circuit and it was my turn to play doctor so I thought I'd share the 'drugs' that I prescribed.
On a totally random tangent, have I ever told you that growing up I thought I'd end up as a doctor? My mom's a nurse and my dad's a pharmacist and much of my childhood was spent helping out in clinics in Tanzania. In fact for my 13th birthday my gift, from the doctor we worked with, was a lesson on giving injections and as a 7th grader I often helped to run the well baby clinic during these clinics - weighing babies, giving polo drops and teaching moms how to make rehydration fluids.
Now, onto the flu fighting 'drugs'.... AIP Style.
(1) REST/ SLEEP
My first prescription was sleep and rest. For much of the day Saturday, this meant the sofa, a movie on TV and a warm blanket. All of us with auto-immune conditions know the HUGE role that sleep plays in our day-to-day health, so it shouldn't be a surprise that rest and sleep help in healing from colds and the flu.
A few things that might help you rest:
- Take a epsom salt soak - this will relax sore muscles and the steam will help ease congestion
- Get out in the sunshine for a few minutes - this could be a very easy walk or just standing in the sun. If you can't get outside, sit by a Light Therapy Lamp.
- Wear some fuzzy socks - I have no medical evidence here, but when I'm sick, even if the rest of my body is warm, my feet are freezing and there is something extra comforting about a pair of fuzzy socks.
Unfortunately, when you're sick it can be hard to get comfortable and sleep due to coughing and a sore throat, so check out some of these remedies below.
(2) CHICKEN SOUP (BONE BROTH)
Your Grandmother knew what she was talking about when she'd put on a big pot of chicken soup to fight a cold or flu. That was my second prescription for helping my fiancé through his cold/ flu. I grabbed my pressure cooker and started cooking a chicken.
Curious why chicken soup helps a cold?
(a) warm liquids soothe a sore throat and hot fluids help mucus to break down which eases congestion
(b) as a liquid it helps keep you hydrated, which in turn helps to flush the bugs out of your system.
(c) chicken soup often contains garlic and onion which both can boost your immune system to help fight the bug.
(d) chicken soup often contains carrots which contain vitamin A and carotenoids which help antibody production.
(e) soup contains broth, which as we all know contains gelatin, which is helpful for all sorts of healing.
(f) chicken soup contains salt and salt (especially something like pink himalayan salt) is soothing to the throat and provides the minerals you need along with water to fight dehydration.
My favorite soothing chicken soup is this "Cream of Chicken and Veggie Soup." To really fight a cold, add garlic, ginger and turmeric to the soup while simmering. That's what I did for my fiancé.
Another great healing soup is this "Spiced Carrot Soup." It's full of broth, vitamin A, ginger and turmeric (all great for healing).
(3) LOTS & LOTS of LIQUIDS
All day, every time I turned around, I was offering something to drink. Need some water, want a cup of tea, how about some orange juice? When you have a cold, the last thing you want to do is get dehydrated, so keeping a bottle of water or a cup of tea by your side is a great idea.
Here are a couple of ideas to help you stay hydrated and both contain great cold fighting ingredients.
Ginger, Lemon and Mint Thirst Quencher
Super Simple Cold Busting Tea
(4) LEMON, GINGER & HONEY
LEMONS - Lemons contain citric acid which helps to break up mucus, are high in vitamin C to boost your immune system, increase salivation which helps to keep your throat lubricated and as a natural antiseptic they helps to kill bacteria in the throat.
GINGER - is known to have anti- inflammatory properties which helps to kill bacteria and it will help to flush toxins out of your body by boosting blood circulation.
HONEY - helps to reduce inflammation by drawing water out of the inflamed tissues and has antibacterial properties. The important thing to remember with honey is to use real honey/ raw honey (not what you usually find on your grocery store shelves).
Make a simple tea as a way to get all 3 of these in your system. All you need to do is slice up a lemon and a knob of fresh ginger and let it steep in a pot of hot water. Pour some into a mug, add a spoonful of raw honey and sip away.
(5) WARM SALT WATER
Gargling or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can also help to kill germs and dry out mucus as well as being soothing to the throat.
Now, on to that recipe I promised you. These gummies are sweet and tangy and full of healing goodness. They're a perfect treat to have with you during the flu season.
You can find this recipe (along with 25 other AIP recipes... all of which are travel friendly) and a bunch of AIP travel tips in my ebook "AIP Safari". If you don't have this book yet, let me encourage you to get it now. The first 100 people to buy using the coupon code FLU17 will get a 30% discount off the normal $6 price. :)
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Flu Fighting Gummies
Ginger is a proven anti-inflammatory, as is turmeric. Plus, lemon, ginger & honey are natural remedies for colds. That makes these the perfect treats to ward off all the bugs.
juice of 4 lemons (about 3/4 cup)
thumb size piece of ginger (grated)
3 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 1/2 Tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups sparkling water
- heat lemon juice, grated ginger, honey & turmeric until simmering and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes
- add 1/2 cup sparkling water and bring back to simmer
- remove from heat and strain the liquid to remove lemon pulp & ginger pieces
- sprinkle gelatin over the hot liquid 1/2 T at a time and whisk vigorously until it has all dissolved
- whisk in remaining 1 cup of sparkling water
- pour into molds, or simply into a 9x13 baking dish and chill in the fridge for at least 90 minutes - until set
- unmold or cut into 1 inch squares
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Other Helpful Posts:
Paleo/ AIP Cold & Flu Survival Guide
Cold & Flu Remedies for the AutoImmune Sufferer
Natural Approaches to Cold and Flu Season
Chicken Soup for Colds and Flu
Lemon for a Sore Throat
*** This recipe was shared on this week's Phoenix Helix AIP Roundtable