As we come into the beautiful, transitional season of Fall, we also come into the season of cold, fever and flu. With the constant fluctuation of weather, along with a chill in the air that we have not felt in many months, it is no surprise that as we say our good-byes to summer, sickness is soon to follow.
The good news is that we are not doomed. In fact, since we can almost expect our immune systems to be compromised, as countless germs float rampantly around us; this gives us a great opportunity to be on the top of our game and fight this illness before it begins!
Like most action plans with Ayurvedic healing; diet, lifestyle and herbs are the keys for the prevention and treatment of cold, fever and flu. Although these tools are quite effective, they are simple and easily attainable at the same time. Hooray!
Ayurvedic Tips For Cold Prevention
Although this may sound obvious and a bit too simple, this is possibly the most important recommendation I can give you. As soon as you begin to feel “a bit off”, run down or a tickle in your throat; this is a clear sign that you need to take it easy. Avoid overworking, high intensity exercise and high-stress situations. Make sure you get to bed early on these nights and get the proper amount of sleep that you need. Remember, that if you do not listen to your body, you may end up in bed for much longer!
2. Eat simple, warm, well-cooked meals.
In any sort of cold, fever, infection or flu, the digestive fire is ALWAYS compromised. Even at the beginning of a cold, the digestion is weak and needs to be treated very gently. Most of your energy is needed to fight the illness or infection. If you fill your body with heavy, hard-to-digest food; this will over tax the system, further weakening your immunity and creating more toxins. Some great options for your diet during this time are kitchari, meat broths, vegetable broths, non-creamy soups and well-cooked rice and veggies.
3. Avoid heavy foods.
In order to give your weakened digestive fire a rest, I would highly suggest avoiding foods such as meat (except broths), dairy, raw food, eggs, wheat and sugar at this time. By avoiding these foods, your body can focus more of its energy on fighting infection and less on digesting heavy foods.
4. Avoid everything cold.
Your body is extra sensitive at this time and needs to be bundled-up and kept warm. Avoid cold food, cold drinks, cold weather and even wetting hair (if possible). Make sure to wear a hat and scarf when going outside, as it is important to keep the extremities covered.
5. Drink warm water.
This is actually a great habit to utilize everyday; however, this recommendation is most important during times of illness. Warm water will not only keep the internal body warm, it also will increase the digestion, stimulate the circulation and help to flush away toxins. If this is a bit boring for you, feel free to add some lemon to give it a little more flavor while adding a splash of vitamin C.
6. Take a warm ginger and baking soda bath.
Taking a warm bath using ginger and baking soda is a great way to reduce tension and stress, warm-up the body, increase the circulation and remove toxins from the system. Sweating is a very effective means to purge toxins from the system and increasing the body heat will also help to burn away viruses and bacteria. This is highly recommended during a cold, flu and even a fever. Just add 1/3 cup of ginger powder and 1/3 cup of baking soda to warm bath water and stir until the powders have dissolved. Stay in the bath for at least 10-15 minutes, allowing yourself to break a sweat before getting out.
7. Drink Tulsi, Ginger, Turmeric Tea.
This mighty concoction is a very powerful and delicious remedy in the treatment and prevention of illness. During times of sickness, I suggest drinking 3-4 cups each day.
8. Take Triphala Churna each night before bed.
Triphala churna is one of the greatest sources of antioxidants and vitamin C you can find. This traditional formula is immune boosting, digestion enhancing, detoxifying and possesses powerful antimicrobial properties. Take ½-1 teaspoon each night before bed, during illness. Triphala can also be taken daily, as great way to prevent illness and maintain a healthy system.
9. Immaculate Immunity Tincture.
This tincture is by far one of the main factors that has helped me steer away from consistent colds and illness over the past few years. By taking this immune boosting, powerfully antimicrobial tincture every 2-3 hours at the first onset of symptoms, I can almost always prevent a cold before its onset. Of course, the previous recommendations should be also utilized, as herbs are only a complimentary treatment to diet and lifestyle changes. None the less, this tincture has been life changing for myself and many others during the brutally cold seasons.
So there you have it, my nine most powerful Ayurvedic secrets on how to prevent and treat a cold. Although they are all useful techniques on their own, they are by far most effective when you can perform them simultaneously. The healing benefits are strongly enhanced when they work together synergistically. If this is too much change to incorporate overnight, narrow your focus and chose several recommendations that seem most fitting for you.