With the dread cold & flu season upon us, I am happy to see Diane Sanfilippo at Balanced Bites posting 10 ways to naturally prevent or treat a cold. Even before I transitioned to Paleo, I always looked to natural remedies for cold and flu issues. I have all but cleaned out my medicine cabinet as most over-the-counter cold & flu products only mask the symptoms rather than treating the root problem. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to just suppress that cough or dry up that runny nose for a few hours; I want to get rid of it completely! You can view the full top 10 on the Balanced Bites blog but I wanted to add my personal shortcuts & recommendations:
Homemade Bone Broth – Ideally, this is something everyone should have in their freezer at the ready but sometimes life gets in the way of things and you are left empty-handed when you need it most. During those times, I make a “cheat” broth using a pre-made organic free-range chicken stock (I like Pacific Foods Simply Stock) and I add a tablespoon of grass-fed unflavored gelatin. Why the gelatin? It adds in those vital healing nutrients and minerals that are normally found in homemade bone broth.
Water – Hydration is essential for all of our organs to function properly so it is doubly important to drink adequate amounts of water when sick. You can boost the trace mineral content by adding a 1/4 teaspoon of genuine sea salt to your first glass of water for the day (I use HimalaSalt); do not use regular iodized table salt.
Herbal Teas – If I have the time and ingredients available, I like to make Golden Elixir which is a variation of golden tea used by those who practice kundalini yoga. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory spice that can help a wide variety of health conditions and not just cold & flu. If you have access to fresh turmeric, I recommend it as I find it tastes nicer than the dried powdered root; I am also extra generous with the cayenne and lemon but I love spicy and sour flavors (sick or not). When I am on the go and need a convenient pre-made tea, I use Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Tea. It is caffeine free so those with caffeine sensitivity can use it any time of the day without fear; however, it looks like CS may now only offer it in combination with their Sleepytime Tea formula so use with caution during waking hours.
Oil of Oregano – From a purely anecdotal standpoint, I have had great success with Oil of Oregano as an antibiotic (both internal and external use). As always, your mileage may vary but this supplement has a permanent place in my medicine cabinet. It is the only antibiotic that does not disrupt my digestive health and I have used it in place of prescribed antibiotics for this very reason. I like the Gaia Herbs brand as the oil comes in an easy-to-swallow capsule form; it is also packaged in a dark glass bottle to prevent rancidity. If I need it for topical (external) use, I simply puncture a capsule and apply where needed.
Diane goes on to provide many other great recommendations so please check out the whole top 10 list. If you have any Paleo-friendly cold & flu remedies, I hope you will share your comments.