There's something nasty going around and I've got it. Perhaps the combined stress of returning to life in Toronto, getting in the bike accident last week and the ominous knocking of my financial institution on my door has left me depleted. It amazes me that drinking wine, eating chocolate and riding a bike crazy distances every day for a month allowed me to remain perfectly healthy .. and two weeks back in Toronto has knocked me on my ass with illness.
Alas, I'm not going to bore you with the details of the virus only to say: severe congestion, what has felt like knives in my throat and a headache that mimicks a parade of elephants, one at at time, stepping down, crushing my brain only to allow it to pop up again before the next comes along to repeat the process.
When I contracted the virus on Thursday afternoon, I looked in the cupboard to check out my options for cure. This is how you cure your cold from your cupboard:
1) Garlic becomes your best friend! Use it raw; chew and swallow it for a sore throat. You will stink - perhaps for days! If you have a sensitive stomach, beware! It may cause some burning and discomfort if you take it on an empty stomach. Alternatively, chow down some garlic sandwiches with avocado, salt, lemon and raw garlic on bread or toast. Or sautee your garlic and put it over what you're eating. Garlic has an antimicrobial agent called allicin which helps kill viruses.
2) Lemon and honey tea .. drink a lot of freshly sqweezed lemon tea. Lemon is high in vitamin C. Honey is antimicrobial which also helps kill viruses. Manuka honey is best studied for its antimicrobial properties but, if you don't have this in your cupboard, any honey is better than none. Add some ginger as a decongestant and to warm up the body.
3) Steam with eucalyptus oil. Heat some water, put it in a bowl with a few drops of eucalyptus oil and put your face over with a towel over your head: inhale deeply. The eucalyptus oil will help clear congestion.
4) Salt: this is one of the few times that excess salt is actually good for you! Gargle with it as often as you can to sooth a sore throat. Do neti (nasal salt water rinse) to clear excess mucous and soothe the nasal passages. If you're going to be up every few hours at night, why not be gargling and rinsing?!
5) Wrap up: wrap yourself up like a mummy and increase your core temperature. The reason that our bodies produce a fever is because viruses cannot live in high temperature environments. Support your immune system by creating a little heat of your own and sweat it out!
6) Water: drink a ton of it. When viruses are killed, they emit endotoxins. Drinking a lot of water helps flush these toxins out of the body eliminating the burden on your detoxification system. It will also keep you hydrated!
In addition to the above suggestion, fuel your body with warming foods: stews, soups, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Get a lot of rest and a little light exercise: a few sun salutations or a 15 minute walk will actually stimulate your immune system.
You will be a garlicy, sweaty, mucousy excuse for a human being for a day or two. If you have a partner, for the sake of your relationship, do not let them witness this experience. Have them sleep on the couch or vacate the house for a few days!
It is now less than 48 hours after contracting the virus: my elephants have gone back to Africa and taken the headache with them, the knives from my throat are now back in my cutlery drawer; I am only left with a bit of excess, nasal mucous. Recovery in two days is NORMAL: viruses should not last 3 weeks! If they are lingering on, this may indicate that your immune response is not as effective as it could be. In this case, get your butt to a naturopathic doctor and get some support for your immune system!