Saturday, February 11, 2012

Natural Cold Remedies

Well folks, I am sorry to confess that while writing diligently about a healthy lifestyle, I've managed to get sick. I woke up 2 days ago with a cough, fever, and aches. I'm pretty certain I know why, so hopefully others can learn from my mistakes. Here's what I did to send myself down the tubes and what I'm now doing to heal myself:

1. I haven't been getting enough sleep.
2. I've been spending a lot of energy worrying and stressing myself out.
3. I haven't been taking any time off from work.
4. I haven't been eating much, and when I have, it hasn't been nearly enough fruits and veggies. PB+Js make for a great, high-protein breakfast or lunch, but when they wind up being the only thing you eat for 5 days straight because you've been too busy stressing out and overworking yourself to buy groceries... You get the picture.

After a day of trying to tough it out with home remedies, I panicked and went to the doctor. (I haven't been sick in years so it's hard for me to decipher between a cold and the plague.) Ironically, the doc told me I had a virus, which he couldn't prescribe anything for, and to go ahead and continue with the home remedies! While I would have liked a quick fix, I was relieved that he didn't just routinely give me antibiotics or other medications-- it seems more and more common for doctors to prescribe drugs for things which should be solved by rest, water, and nutrients.

Here's what I'm now taking to try to get a speedy recovery:
Apple cider vinegar
Extracts of sage and schizandra, both of which promote circulation and tone in the throat
Eyebright nettle extract, which tastes horrible but helps with sinus issues
Neti Pot nasal wash and gargling with baking soda in warm water
Emergen-C drink for a vitamin blast
Echinacea tea
Tea made from raw garlic, ginger, lemon juice, and hot water (surprisingly tasty!)
Willow bark extract for pain. Willow bark extract contains natural salicylic acid, which is the active ingredient in aspirin
Aspirin to reduce my fever, which I consider to be the safest of pharmaceuticals, being that it basically has one simple active ingredient
** In a panic to get back to work, I caved and took a few Sudafed. It did stop my coughing for a few hours but the sweating, nausea, dizziness, disorientation, and dry mouth which went with it were not worth it. I plan to return to toughing it out.

Finally, I stayed put in bed for two whole days, which anyone who knows me can tell you is a real rarity. I even called in sick to work for the first time in my entire life! I know my body has been begging me to slow down, and instead, I've been pushing it harder. Unfortunately, even the best diet does not make you a superhuman. Hopefully I will soon be back on track.

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