S A L T
Just as washing your hands can help keep you healthy, washing your sinuses and your throat can also be another defense from viral and bacterial infections. Using a neti pot or a syringe to flush out your sinuses with a warm salt water mix, as well as gargling salt water for a few moments, is a good idea if you’ve been on an airplane, in a crowd, or are caring for snotty kids or adults!
S W E A T S
You can flush out a cold right at the onset, or get rid of a lingering cold that you can’t seem to shake, by encouraging your body to sweat. Inducing a sweat will help you shed toxins, break a fever and increase your circulation, which will help your immune system really get to work!
Basic recipe and instructions for inducing a sweat:
Diaphoretic (sweat producing) herbs that are great for making a tea to take internally are yarrow, peppermint, and elderflower- these can be taken together as a mix or individually. Other common diaphoretic herbs are mugwort, cayenne and cinnamon. These can also be made into a tea and taken internally, or used externally in a bath or foot soak. When you are starting to get ready for bed, brew a strong cup of tea, allowing the herbs to steep covered for 5-10 minutes, but ensuring that you drink the tea while it is still fairly hot. Drink the tea while you soak in a hot bath. Dry off, get in bed and wrap yourself in heavy blankets. Go to sleep and sweat it out, and wake in the morning feeling better!
W A R M I T U P
It is very important during this time of year to keep your body physically warm, with special attention to the head, neck and kidneys. It is believed in Traditional Chinese Medicine that cold enters the body through the back of your neck where your bladder and small intestine meridian channels run close to the surface of the skin. A simple remedy for this is to bundle up and always wearing a scarf in cold weather, even when you don’t feel that you need one. Body heat is lost by exposed surface area, and the head tends to be exposed more often as folks forget to wear hats or hoods. So don’t go outside or go to sleep with wet hair, and don’t forget your hat! Your kidneys are hard at work cleaning and circulating your blood so help out those little kidneys by keeping them warm and active! Kidneys are located at your lower back so a simple remedy to remember is to tuck in your shirt to avoid allowing cold air to travel up your back, while more active kidney support can be done by rubbing your lower back to warm it up, and to keep your kidneys active by drinking plenty of hot water and tea.