This is a handout I find myself giving to nearly everyone at one point or another. It is a simple set of treatments for a variety of respiratory infections.  Before I list things out, one word of caution…  If you find that you’re not improving after a week, or that you are actually getting worse, you should give your doc a visit; likewise if you are seriously ill with anything, please see your doctor.

Also, as with everything I write about on this blog, these recommendations are generally very safe, but anyone can react to anything, so if you have a bad reaction to something mentioned – stop taking it.  If you are pregnant, nursing or taking any medications, you should speak with your physician before beginning any of these treatments.

That being said…  here are my treatments for Coughs/Colds/Bronchitis & the Flu. Start treatment at the first sign of illness and continue for one full day after symptom resolution then you can either stop immediately, or taper down over the next two days.

The Basics:

  • Avoid sugar (this depresses your immune system – especially the cells that fight bacteria)
  • Avoid mucous producing foods and foods to which you are sensitive (ex. dairy & citrus)
  • Get plenty of rest – for the flu especially: park your bum on the sofa and STAY THERE (3 day minimum)
  • Increase your water intake by 2-3 glasses per day – Echinacea tea and chicken broth with lots of garlic are both great ways to boost fluid intake and your immune system.

Supplements to Boost The Immune System:

  • SambuGuard – 1 tablespoon 4x/day or Sambucol – 2 teaspoons 4x/day
  • Agaricus Bio capsules – 2-3 caps, 2x/day (order online from www.AtlasWorldUSA.com)
  • Vitamin C – 500mg every 2-3 hours (or to bowel tolerance; back down if you get loose stools)
  • Goldenseal (GAIA and Oregon’s Wild Harvest are my favorite herb brands) – 30 drops, 3-4x/day (please only use Organic as this is an endangered plant)
  • Oscillococcinum – homeopathic take as directed, from the first sign of flu symptoms *for flu only*

Hydrotherapy:

Warming Sock Treatment – nightly from onset until symptoms resolve & yes it’s a bit barbaric but it’s amazing for head congestion or children’s ear infections (which should also be addressed with their doctor):

  • take a warm bath or shower, or just soak feet in warm water before bed
  • wrung-out, cold wet cotton socks – put on feet at bedtime and cover with
  • dry wool socks
  • sleep in both pairs of socks, they will be dry by morning

Sinus Wash – 1-2x/day until symptoms resolve

  • NeilMed Sinus wash – use with warm distilled water (available at most drugstores, you can also use a Neti Pot, but I find the NeilMed wash to be much easier)
  • Do this when you can be upright for at least 2 hours
  • Do not do this if there is too much blockage to prevent the flow out the other side

Vapor Inhalation – 1-2x/day until symptoms resolve

  • Boil a pot of water, once boiling remove from heat and remove lid (DO NOT DO THIS WITH YOUR FACE OVER THE STEAM)
  • Add 2-3 drops each of essential oils of eucalyptus (opens the airways) and thyme (antimicrobial)
  • Cover head with a bath towel and put face over the open pot when it is cool enough to do so.  Use the towel to create a tent over your head, to keep the steam inside.
  • Inhale the vapors with slow deep breaths for five to ten minutes, with breaks to blow your nose as necessary.

These are some basic treatments that should help you recover more quickly and prevent the need for most antibiotics.  The most important (and often the most difficult) component of this plan is rest.  This is when your body has time to repair and heal, so giving your body as much rest as possible will speed your recovery dramatically.  This does not mean working from home; your brain burns a tremendous amount of fuel that could otherwise be devoted to your immune response.  You can often “power through” a cold (just PLEASE be sure to wash your hands every time you blow your nose so as not to share your germs with your co-workers) but if you have the flu (fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, etc…) go home, go directly home (do not pass go, do not collect $200) – get your pj’s on and park on the sofa for three days to read or watch movies.  Take your supplements diligently throughout the day and if you need an over the counter cold medicine to help you sleep at night then so be it (rest is critical).  With these remedies and being strict about resting, it is generally possible to kick the flu in three to five days.

One final note…  Beware the fake well day! 

Generally when people get the flu, they are laid out for a few days.  Then will come a morning when they wake up and think “I’m better, woo hoo!” and go about their day running errands and doing the housework that has been accumulating while they were sick. Inevitably what then happens is about half way through the day, they begin to feel crummy again and will then be sick for two to three more weeks.  If you can restrain yourself at the first day of feeling good (difficult because most people are bored out of their heads by that time), stay on the sofa and continue to take your remedies, the next day you should be fine to go about your business without risking a relapse.

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