There is something really ungracious about having a cold on a summer’s day… The sun is shining, it’s holiday season, and all I want to do is go back to bed with a box of tissues and a litre of tea…
Still, no rest for the wicked! I had my summer cold last week (although to be fair, it took me a day to realise that it wasn’t just out-of-control hay fever), and had to soldier on at work. So what does this naturopath do, when feeling distinctly under the weather, to get better quickly?
First thing was to accept that I was actually sick! And then forgive myself – like many healers, it seems embarrassing to be unwell, but getting sick every now and again is a normal part of your immune system. It is also a sign that I was probably overtired, which given that we’d just survived end of year and Christmas, is not surprising.
The next step is to assess my symptoms and treat appropriately, for symptomatic relief, as well as supporting my immune system and speeding up the getting-well process. This cold was different as was mostly sneezing and continually running nose, rather than being congested, so I treated differently. Often in winter with a heavy congested sinus blocked up head, I will include herbs in minute amounts, like capsicum, which being spicy, will make the nose run. For this cold, this was not necessary, so left it out.
The herbs this time included fennel, echinacea, and a variety of other immune supportive and soothing yet clearing herbs. I also ate small 1/4 teaspoon quantities of Manuka Honey (16 UMF) to stop my throat hurting, several times during the day and even overnight.
With the herbs, usually we dose 5ml three times per day. In this case, I increased this dosage and took it around five times per day, as really wanted to get what Kerry Bone (Godfather of modern herbs in Australia) would refer to as “heroic doses” into me, so as to provoke a faster response.
To improve overall efficiency, I also took zinc (30mg/day) and powdered vitamin C (1 tsp in water twice / day), and drank lots of tea. The classic YEP tea (Yarrow Elderflower Peppermint) helped me feel better, as well as liquorice and peppermint for soothing and refreshment, and chamomile to help sleep and digestion.
I kept this up for about 3 days, then as the worst of the symptoms subsided, just kept the herbs going, on a normal frequency. Realistically, the worst of the cold was gone within four days, with symptoms remaining, such as a blocked nose out to six days. Considering that most colds last 7-10 days, I am feeling happy that my treatment helped me get better so much quicker!
If anyone needs help with getting over their summer killer cold, please contact me in clinic. If you don’t want to leave home, book a phone crisis consultation, and I can have the products prepared ready for pick. I always find it so frustrating when clients get sick and then stay sick for weeks, and don’t call me, because they didn’t want to come in which they were unwell! Let me help your immune system to start up again, and get you back on your feet more quickly.