Winter still has its hold even here in Southern California and so many of us everywhere have been invaded with either a cold or that nasty mutating flu.
While our respiratory tract works hard to expel these viruses, the last thing we need is an over-the-counter, drying antihistamine. Recent research has failed to demonstrate that over-the-counter cold medications do much good; in fact, they can do harm. While antihistamines are drying, decongestants, though they relieve stuffiness, also cause jitteriness, insomnia and elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Plus, they’ve been linked to heart attacks and strokes. In 2000, the FDA began taking steps to remove the decongestant phenylpropanolamine (PPA) from the market because it increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding into the brain). If you still have any PPA-containing cough and cold remedies in your medicine chest, toss them. (Thanks FDA for putting this on the market in the first place!)
The best way to accelerate the healing process is by thinning the mucus making it easier to expel. We need to add water to our system. So when mom says drink plenty of warm liquids, listen.
Herbal teas and soup broth are fantastic. A favorite of mine is ginger and lemon. At the onset of your cold or flu, boil a huge pot and drink up! If you have access to a steam shower, use it. If not, bring a quart-size pot of water to a boil, remove it from the stove and place your face a comfortable distance from the steam, then cover your head with a towel. Inhale through your nose if you’re stuffy, or through your mouth for chest congestion.
You can augment the power of steam by adding a handful of decongesting, antimicrobial herbs to the boiled water like eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary or peppermint leaves, then covering the pot and allowing them to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Stay hydrated. Stay warm. Rest. Kleenex season is almost over.
I am passionate about...
helping women embrace their complete lives to become