Be Healthy. Be Happy. Naturally.
If you put a group of people in a room and expose all of them to a cold or flu virus, not everyone will be infected. Wonder why? Getting a cold or flu is not just from exposure, but result when the body’s natural balance is off kilter. Chances are if you have a cold or flu, you just finished working long hours, ate on the go, and had little sleep. You were probably burning the candle at both ends.
In truth, resting deeply, eating healthful foods, following a regular schedule, moving at a gentle pace, exercising, and limiting stimulation are the basics of good health. There’s nothing exotic about these practices. What is unusual is that we live in a society where we have to make an extra effort to practice them and resist the pressures that lead us to neglect self-care.
Do yourself a favor and begin with the basics. Be sure you have enough sleep to feel rested. Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol and too much fat. These all suppress various immune functions. Consuming sugar can lower the strength of the immune system for as much as eleven hours. Exercise can boost the immune system for several hours afterwards. Just a simple walk and some gentle stretches will do.
Try to receive a regular massage or some other type of bodywork as these help stimulate the immune function. Or get into the habit of giving yourself a light oil massage every morning before your shower. (You can find directions for this self-massage, called Abyanga, in my earlier post).
Practice some activity that you enjoy, such as playing music or creating art. Put some peacefulness and quiet back into your life. Leave time to just be.
If you do come down with a cold take very good care of yourself. Slow down as much as possible. Eat sparingly, and only eat light, soupy foods such as vegetable or chicken soup. Add ginger, turmeric and black pepper to your soups. If you are stuffy, drink ginger tea with honey using ½ tsp ginger powder and 1 tsp honey plus a sprinkle of black pepper (add the honey after the tea cools down – heated honey is toxic). Another tea made with 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice and honey will help loosen mucous and soothe a sore throat. If you have a sore throat, gargle several times a day with warm water with a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric in it. Use a neti pot up to five times a day if you are congested.
Let Ayurveda remind you of what you once knew.
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