Saturday, February 4, 2012
Defeating the Flu
Our bodies are designed to be self-healing. To that end, we have five systems for eliminating toxins. These systems are the colon, the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the lymph nodes.
The body's first recourse when it is invaded is actually the colon. By eating a high-fiber diet of raw fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains, we not only keep indigestible food from stagnating, but we sweep out harmful micro-organisms, as well. But in case you do feel some chills and fever coming on, here are some things you can do to "activate" your colon:
1. Fast - Abstaining from food or drink allows the colon to clear itself. A water fast helps the body to cleanse itself further the way rinsing the laundry helps to wash away built-up dirt, scum and debris.
2. Use laxative herbs such as senna or cascara sagrada to further purge the colon.
3. Eliminate refined sugar but eat bitter foods like cruciferous vegetables, and bitter herbs such as fenugreek, burdock and goldenseal. Sweet foods turn off digestion but bitter foods stimulate digestion and help move material through the colon.
1. Cardiovascular exercise - Sweat carries "nasties" out of the body. Some native Americans had a practice of going into a sweat lodge (like a sauna) to rid themselves of a fever. They knew that the body would carry the harmful organisms away through perspiration.
2. Reduce salt intake - Excess salt exacerbates skin conditions by decreasing perspiration.
3. Try skin brushing - Rubbing the skin with a dry brush carries away. dead skin cells, toxic wastes and dirt.
4. Open the pores with "diaphoretics" (perspiration-inducing herbal teas) such as ginger or yarrow. Or you can take a bath with 1 tablespoon ground ginger and 2 cups epsom salt added to the bath water.
It should be easy to understand that if the colon and skin are flooded with toxins, then an illness can settle in the lungs. How many times does a simple cold turn into bronchitis, or worse yet, pneumonia? But following the steps above can keep the lungs from being over-taxed. Additionally, we can open the lungs by:
1. Deep breathing - especially through a 30-60 minute session of cardiovascular exercise.
2. Drinking adequate water. Proper hydration helps break up phlegm.
3. Using "anti-catarrhal" or phlegm-reducing herbs, such as plantain or red clover.
4. Avoiding mucus-producing dairy and soy products.
1. Proper hydration
2. Reduction of salt
3. Limiting sugar
We can also eat anti-oxidant rich fruit for energy and regeneration.
1. Foods full of enzymes and acids, such as raw fruits.
2. Cranberries to help emulsify fat deposits in the lymph system.
3. Green vegetables because the chlorophyll boosts lymph health
4. Proper fats, like seeds, avocados, and nuts to ensure proper lymph functioning.
5. Immune-boosting herbs like echinacea, which is a lymph tonic.
Removing obstacles to good health helps the body become its own best physician.
To a flu-free and happy Spring,
Posted by Hailey at 7:24 PM