Part Two from Fit Women Over 40: Oh No! I’m Sick. What Do I Do Now?

Part Two of my blog series for Fit Women Over 40 on how to stay healthy during flu season. The first part titled “Holistic Tips for Fighting off the Flu” described techniques for prevention and boosting your immune system – including special herbal formulas now available from Inspire Wellness Center.  In Part Two, I describe methods to help you recover if you have the flu.

There are many things you can do to recover, too many to put them all in this blog, but I will list a few of my favorites for you.

1] Go to Bed!

YOU NEED REST FOR YOUR BODY TO WIN! The sooner you give yourself what you need, the quicker you will heal. It’s really that simple.

2] Food:

Eat light broth, vegetable soups with a bit of meat (like fish or chicken, not red meat). Throw in scallions and lots of garlic; they are great for fighting colds and flus. You can also have room temperature fruit like apples, pears, melons, papayas. Please no fruit juices; it’s just a glass of sugar. Your body needs access to solid nutrition without having to work hard to get it. Do not eat dairy, fried foods, or wheat products – they are mucus factories.

3] Herbal Medicinal Teas:

Besides drinking a lot of room temperature water. Medicinal teas are your super cold and flu ass-kicking arsenal.

Rosehip Plus – This tea is my personal favorite that I will start drinking immediately if I feel anything coming on. You will be amazed at its effectiveness. Drink cup after cup, the more, the better. Here are the incredibly simple ingredients. Please use organic wherever possible, since pesticides do not help you beat a cold or flu. [ How to Dry & Store Rose Hips for Rose Hip Tea ]

    • 4 Tbsp. dried rosehip pieces.
    • 2-4 slices of ¼” fresh ginger.
    • Juice of ½ a fresh lemon.
    • A whopping big tablespoon of raw, organic honey. (Note: Not suitable for infants.)
    • Boil 6 cups water and add ingredients in a steeping teapot, steep for at least 10 minutes, more is even better. Drink one cup right away, then simply reheat the tea for additional cups.
    • I use the same batch of rosehips and ginger slices for two teapots, and I let the second pot steep longer. Just add more lemon and honey to the second batch and off you go again.

grinding-herbs

Custom Medicinal Blend – I will make a custom blend of ingredients to address different symptoms. There are too many herbs to list them all here, but I’ll give my favorites and their functions. You can pick and choose which ones you want and create your own healing blend of tea. It’s actually fun to make your own medicine! You can put together any of the ingredients listed below, and follow the same steps as described previously for Rosehip Plus Tea. Always sweeten your tea with raw, honey which has loads of antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic properties in it and a lot of nutrition besides. These teas are for older children 4+ and adults, do not give to infants, mother’s milk is best for their immune system.

Rosehips:

    • Actions include: antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, expectorant, blood tonic, menstrual regulator, kidney tonic, digestive stimulant, sedative, cleansing, and increases bile production, astringent.
    • Pretty gosh darn amazing herb. I put it in all of my cold and flu herbal teas.
    • I usually use 3-4 tablespoons per batch.

Echinacea:

    • Actions include: antibiotic, immune stimulant, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, lymphatic tonic.
    • Echinacea is fabulous for boosting your body’s ability to fight off colds and flus and infections and inflammation of any type.
    • It’s expensive, but I add it to all of my cold and flu herbal teas along with the rosehips.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Meadowsweet:

    • Actions include: anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, soothing digestive remedy, diuretic, promotes sweating.
    • Meadowsweet is used to reduce inflammations and fevers. Although meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, like aspirin, this herb modifies the action of salicylic acid and actually protects the digestive tract. Long use of aspirin can lead to gastric ulceration and bleeding, but meadowsweet does not show these side effects, and is actually a gently digestive remedy for acidity and some types of diarrhea.
    • If you have a fever add meadowsweet, it will also help to reduce the aches and pains associated with colds and flus.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Yarrow:

    • Actions include: febrifuge, promotes sweating, relaxes peripheral blood vessels, digestive stimulant, and as a menstrual system restorative.
    • Yarrow is another good herb to add for reducing fevers.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Coltsfoot:

    • Actions include: relaxing expectorant, reduces phlegm, antispasmodic, demulcent.
    • Coltsfoot leaves and flowers are great for coughs and reducing phlegm, acute or chronic.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Mullein:

    • Actions include: expectorant, demulcent, mild diuretic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, sedative.
    • Mullein is great to use for coughs and to soothe a sore throat.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Hyssop:

    • Actions include: expectorant, promotes sweating, reduces phlegm, antispasmodic, carminative, and relaxes peripheral blood vessels.
    • Hyssop is another great herb for coughs and phlegm. Great in combination with mullein.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

Chamomile:

    • Actions include: anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, sedative, anti-emetic.
    • I add chamomile to help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with a cold or flu. It helps one relax and sleep, and it soothes the stomach and reduces nausea.
    • Dosage: 1 tablespoon.

These are just some of my favorite herbs that I keep stocked all the time, there are many more. I encourage you to do a bit of research and discover your own favorites to add to your herbal pharmacy. It’s a great feeling not to run to the pharmacy for drugs when you’re not feeling well, but instead to start a pot of a good medicinal herbal tea brewing! You can find these wonderful organic herbs offered in my cold and flu first aid kits on my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com.

4] Medicinal Herbal Formulas

If you do start to come down with a cold or flu, there are some fantastic herbal formulas you can use in addition to your medicinal teas. They are a MUST HAVE for your herbal medicine cabinet.

Gan Mao Ling:

This is one of my two first line of defense formulas. It can be used as a cold or flu preventative when you’ve been around already sick people and don’t want to come down with anything. It may just stop a cold or flu dead in its tracks before anything happens. However, if you do start to feel any of the symptoms associated with a cold or flu such as fever with chills, headache, sore throat, red eyes, stiff neck and back, nasal discharge, cough, swollen lymph glands and general aching. Start taking Gan Mao Ling as directed on the bottle or package.

Gan Mao Ling is especially good to use when a cough or sinus congestion is present at the onset of a cold or flu. Gan Mao Ling is safe for children to use, but don’t use on children under four.

Yin Qiao Wan (or sometimes spelled Yin Chiao):

This formula is my other first line of defense formulas. It’s similar to Gan Mao Ling in that it can also be used as a preventative if you’ve been exposed to others who are already sick or you can even take it before you go on a plane trip as added protection from all those airborne germs.

    • If you come down with a cold or flu and feel any of the symptoms associated with a cold or flu as listed above in the Gan Mao Ling description you can use Yin Qiao Wan. The difference between this and Gan Mao Ling is that Yin Qiao is stronger for helping the sore throat. If you wake up and your throat is killing you, just run for the Yin Qiao Wan.
    • For added punch – Gan Mao Ling and Yin Qiao Wan are great to use together, no problem.

Zhong Gan Lin:

This formula is the big guns of the terrific trio. If you’re symptoms are advancing and now you’ve got a severe head cold or flu with headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, fever and chills add Zhong Gan Ling to the group. You can use it alone or with Yin Qiao and/or Gan Mao Ling depending on whether the congestion or throat is bothering you more. All three are fine to use together, the herbs complement each other.

I keep all three formulas on hand, and they are a must to bring along whenever you travel. Again, for convenience, I do offer Gan Mao Ling, Yin Qiao, and Zhong Gan Ling on my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com.

5] Remove stress from your environment:

To give yourself the best fighting chance to recover. Relax, let go of your worries, it’s not helping. You’re stuck in bed for the moment, so take it like an adult, and relax. Listen to soothing music, watch a movie that leaves you feeling good, or just sleep. Please no brain work outs while you’re sick. That means NO working in bed either. This is a time to surround you with a pleasant, happy, healing environment. The more you do to help yourself recover, the faster it will happen.

Cold and Flu First Aid Kits

If you don’t want the bother of trying to find the herbs and putting all the formulas together for yourself, I’ve designed several ‘cold and flu first aid kits’ that are perfect to take care of your medicinal needs. They include all the formulas and herbs for the medicinal teas that are mentioned above. Plus, the herbs are organic. They are the Cold and Flu Prevention Kit, the Cold and Flu First Aid Kit, the Deluxe Cold and Flu First Aid Kit, and the All-In-One Deluxe Cold and Flu Kit. You can pick and choose the ones you feel best suit your needs. Again, you can find these indispensable natural and holistic first aid kits on my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com.

Wrap-up:

Well, I hope this little cold and flu primer has been helpful for you, and gives you more tools in your wellness toolkit. One note of caution, however, is that if your symptoms persist for longer than two weeks or you feel you’re getting worse, not better, than by all means take your health care to the next level and consult an acupuncturist or western medical professional. As a special note, several of these herbs are not suitable to take if pregnant. Please consult myself, or another acupuncturist or herbalist for herbal remedies suitable for pregnancy.

Check out the blog at Fit Women Over 40 and don’t forget that Inspire Wellness Center now offers herbal remedy kits to help you stay healthy this flu season and beyond!

Reflexology You Can Do at Home

Reflexology is an ancient therapeutic healing modality that is accomplished by applying pressure to points on the hands and feet. It has been practiced in China and Egypt for thousands of years. The entire body is reflected in different areas of the hands and feet, so reflexology can be used  to give a healing treatment to any part of the body.

Reflexology

During and after a reflexology treatment, the recipient will experience a sensation of relaxation, decreased pain in the body, and improved circulation and digestion. There are many more positive physiological changes that also occur with consistent sessions.

Blood flow is increased, the immune system is strengthened, and every organ is given a healing treatment. Reflexology is quite effective for pain management and significantly lessens recovery time from injuries or illness. It also significantly aids digestion, relieves constipation, improves sleep, and much more. And, your poor overworked feet will love you all the more!

foot_reflex2_xs

Don’t worry about the cost of a session. The great news is that reflexology is easy to do on oneself. I recommend daily ten minute reflexology sessions. While one can apply pressure to the points on the foot using your fingers, there is an even easier way without tiring out your hands.

golf_ball_xsIntroducing the Amazing Golf Ball!

I love to use a golf ball. Hang onto a chair, wall, or table to keep your balance while resting your foot on top of the golf ball. Press down hard enough to feel the sore areas on your foot. Move your foot in small circles on top of the golf ball, while keeping pressure on those tender areas. Work your way around the entire bottom of your foot, digging out all the tension and soreness you can find.

When you’ve finished with the bottom of each foot, sit down and use your hand to press the golf ball onto the top of your foot. Move the ball in small circles until you’ve worked on the entire top of your foot. Next, if you pick up the golf ball and sandwich it between the palms of your hands, you can give yourself a hand reflexology treatment.

A reflexology session a day will most certainly help keep the doctor away!

With love,

Holly