'Tis the season for colds and flu and everyone in the home and office is passing it around - the "gift" that keeps on giving! Speaking of colds, I am smack dab in the middle of fighting one off, but I know exactly what to do realign my body and stave off cold and flu symptoms. The first step is to begin preparing my body in an effort to open energy channels for cleansing and expelling mucus. While there are several ways to get rid of colds and flu symptoms, I’d like to share a few which have worked for me.
Cleaning the Colon
You’ve heard me say this in other blog posts - most DIS-eases start in the colon. It is important that you cleanse the colon and move as much waste matter out of the body. Breaking a fever and expelling mucus can be done quickly with an enema. There are two enema treatments I recommend - Water & Herbal Enemas and Coffee Enemas.
Water & Herbal Enema
Fill an enema bag (like this one) with tepid or moderately warm (never hot!) water. Add 5-6 drops of Basil Essential Oil, which is known to aid intestinal problems and relieve congestion and respiratory ailments, or 5-6 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, which can assist the body in adapting to stress or imbalances, and is an excellent oil to use in the colon. You can also combine the two by adding 6 drops of Basil Essential and 4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.
Water & Herbal Enema Procedure
Pour the enema preparation liquid into the enema bag. Secure hose attachment making sure the release clip is in the "closed" position. This will prevent the solution from escaping the bag until you are ready for insertion.
Lay on the bathroom floor or inside the bathtub with a clean towel underneath you.
Insert nozzle into rectum. Open the release clip. (The liquid will begin to flow into the colon).
Once the bag has emptied its contents into the colon, go to the toilet to release the liquid.
A coffee enema is a great way to "take out the trash", as it relates to your colon. When introduced to your colon, coffee is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the liver, which promotes an increase of antioxidant enzyme. However, coffee enemas, as with other enemas are only effective if the toxins have somewhere to go. The coffee stimulates the biliary ducts, causing them to open and release toxins for excretion and elimination.
Preparing Coffee Enema Solution
In a pot, measure two round tablespoons of ground coffee
Add to 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and allow to completely cool.
Using a wire mesh strainer, strain the liquid from the coffee granules.
(Save coffee granules to use for a coffee exfoliator!)
Coffee Enema Procedure
Once the bag has emptied its contents its content into the colon, hold the coffee liquid in for 10-15 minutes, or as long as possible.
After 15 minutes, release the liquid into the toilet.
Once seated, you want to give yourself plenty of time to release all waste matter in the colon. This part should not be rushed.
Cleaning Enema Bag: Remove/disconnect all parts. Clean bag and parts with with hot and soapy water. Hang until dry and store.
However, if you're a bit hesitant about using enemas, try digestive enzymes.
Try taking digestive enzymes along with your herbal activator. For example, take 2 Proactazyme or 1-2 Food Enzymes every hour with plenty of water. This will break down material in the intestines and usually clear the colon within 2-6 hours. Drinking freshly made green juice or apple juice will assist in moving things out.
Sweat It Out
If your local gym or fitness center has a steam room, try sitting in it to expel cold and mucus from your body - I recommend no more than 10 minutes per visit. Drink plenty of water before, during and after steaming, to prevent dehydration, as your body releases toxins, but also loses water through the skin as you steam. Optionally, you can draw a bath as hot as is comfortable to you, adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil or Lavender, Eucalyptus & Peppermint detox bath salts. Sit in the bath and drink warm tea for at least 15-20 minutes. Immediately afterward, dry off, slip on comfortable sleepwear and get under a thick blanket. You will most likely continue sweating, which is expected. Be sure to drink plenty of liquid to keep your body hydrated.
While physical activities for exercise is great when you're feeling your best, I don't recommend exercising to "sweat it out" when you're attempting to heal your body from colds or flu. Strenuous physical activities can overwork and stress the adrenal glands, taxing the body and leaving you feeling physically drained, depleted and could cause relapse.
Wash It Out
“Rest and drink plenty of fluids,” is not just good advice, it is absolutely necessary, as water is essential for all eliminative channels. It lubricates the colon, helps the sweat glands, waters down mucus in the respiratory passages and facilitates kidney function.
Expel the Congestion
When you’re coughing or sneezing, your body is trying to expel irritating substances from the sinuses and lungs. IMPORTANT: Don't swallow! Your lungs are working to eliminate mucus from your lungs . You don't want to move the disease forming mucus from the lungs to the stomach...spit it out! Also, be mindful of OTCs which dry up and suppress the sinuses. You want a remedy that will break up mucus and help the body expel it. These remedies are called decongestants and expectorants. My remedy is a hot herbal lemonade, which works very well for me and my family. The ingredients for the hot herbal lemonade are freshly squeezed lemon juice, manuka honey or raw honey, eucalyptus essential oil and hot water.
Lemon juice not only helps to cure problems related to indigestion and constipation, it also can treat colds, flu and fever. It helps to break fevers by increasing perspiration.
Manuka honey optimizes digestion, strengthens the immune system, speeds healing and boosts the respiratory system.
Raw honey relieves sore throats, coughing, helps expel mucus from the lungs, boosts the immune system, aids sleep disorders, eliminate bacterial infections, and protects the respiratory system.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is effective for treating colds, cough, running nose, sore throat, asthma, nasal congestion, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Eucalyptus oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and decongestant in nature, which makes it a good ingredient in many medicines that treat respiratory problems.
Hot Herbal Lemonade Preparation
Bring 10-12 ounces of water to a boil.
While the water is boiling. Cut 1 medium lemon in half and squeeze to remove juice. Cut the lemon rind into thin slices. You will use the juice and rind.
Add lemon juice and rinds cup.
Stir in 1 tablespoon honey
Use a spoon or fork to crush or muddle the lemon juice and rinds with the honey
Add 3 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil to lemon juice & honey mixture
Add hot water to mixture.
Drink while hot (use caution so as not to burn your lips or skin)
Eat Light, Eat Right
There are certain food you will want to avoid while helping the body get rid of the DIS-ease. Why? Well, the body will need more time to focus on fighting off the illness and less time digesting food. Eating solid food, especially meat or animal proteins, dairy, grains or products containing refined sugar, will exacerbate the issue, prolong the healing time and contribute to an unhealthy environment inside your body. I recommend eating small amounts of steamed vegetables, especially leafy greens in a vegetable broth for the first few days. If you absolutely have to have bread or crackers, avoid whole grain or white flour crackers and lean more toward buckwheat or amaranth flour crackers, like this Flax Seed and Buckwheat Flatbread recipe.
Once the symptoms have subsided and your energy has returned, feel free to starting eating again. Introduce solid and heavier foods slowly, beginning with soups, fruit, vegetables, then heavier foods, over a 48-72 hour period to prevent relapse.
What To Eat
During this time, you want to focus of foods which will heal to body. The first step is reducing mucus-forming foods, which can cause labored breathing during colds, especially for asthmatics.
Foods to Eliminate:
Meat & Meat Products
Cereals & Grains (Flour)
Animal Flesh & Eggs
Beans (All Kinds)
Nuts (All Kinds)
Sugar, Baked Goods & Confectionary Products
Fruit (except Citrus Fruits and Green Apples)
Processed Foods (Bags, Boxed or Cans)
Alcoholic Beverages (All Kinds)
I realize this may seem like A LOT, but healing is what we're seeking - it's not about food deprivation.
Foods to include:
Broths (No Cream Soups which includes dairy ingredients)
Alkaline-based Healing Foods, such as this Alkalinizing Vegetable Soup recipe.
Dark Leafy Greens and Vegetables (Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Collards, Asparagus)
Sea or Celtic Salt
You can also try this recipe:
Simple Kale & Spinach Soup
16 oz. Vegetable Broth
1 c. Kale, stemmed, finely shredded
1 c. Spinach
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 rounded Tsp. crushed garlic
1 Green Onion, diced
Directions: In a pot, bring vegetable broth to a boil. Turn off heat. Add remaining ingredients. Use a fork or spoon to submerge the vegetables into broth. Cover with lid. Allow vegetables to steep in liquid for 10 mins. Do not cook.
Note: steeping will allow the liquid to soften the vegetables and extract its flavors without removing vital nutrients.
As mentioned above, if you must have crackers with your broth, consume only those made from buckwheat, amaranth or quinoa flour, like this Flax Seed & Buckwheat Flatbread.
Citrus & Ginger Elixir
1 Green Apple
1" Fresh Ginger Root, unpeeled
Juice all ingredients and pour into tall glass. Add oil of oregano and stir. Drink immediately. Drink 1-2 times per day for 3 days. Note: Due to the citrus/acidic contents of this juice, it is recommended a straw be used when consuming.
Garlic, Honey, and Lemon Tea
Super simple 1 cup version: Pour 1 cup of hot water over 3 crushed and peeled garlic cloves. Steep for five minutes. Stir in a teaspoon or so of honey, and add half the juice from one lemon.
Returning to your Normal Diet
Once your body has eliminated mucus and your are feeling better, you can begin SLOWLY introducing foods back into your diet in the following order - soups, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans.
Last, but not least, sleep plays a huge role in your body's immune system. Your body has the ability to heal itself and sleep is part of this process. It is critically important to support your body's healing process with rest and lots of sleep, as your body best heals when it sleeps. Sleep is important even when you are not sick, as certain bodily functions occur only during the sleep cycle. Based on studies, when sleep is deprived, the natural cells which helps us ward off sickness and disease is decreased.
Here are few tips which will help you maximize the sleep needed for healing.
I hope this information has been helpful. You are now empowered. Now, go heal yourself.
Please let me know how I can support your healing journey.
Regina Thomas Dillard is the author of "FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love", and founder of Inner + Sanctum Wellness, a business dedicated to assist others as they embark on their holistic journey. All products are handmade and sourced from reputable organic and natural ingredients purveyors.