3 Ways to use Water to Fight off Colds and Flus for the Whole Family

In a previous blog post we discussed tips to put into practice in your everyday to help prevent the cold or flu. Now perhaps you didn’t get all your ducks in a line or maybe despite your best efforts you may still come down with a bug. Well don’t fret, there are ways you can now help your body’s defenses POWER UP to make you feel better and have a speedy recovery. One of my favourite ways to combat colds at home is with hydrotherapy. Yes, we’re talking about using WATER to stimulate your body’s healing powers. These principles have been used since the 1600’s and were therapies utilized by some of the first Naturopathic Doctors. Some of these suggestions may seem a little ‘hoaky’ or even torturous, but trust me, they work! Here are 3 ways you can use WATER to fight off colds for the whole family:

  1. Eucalyptus Steam Inhalation
  • Best used for: nose and sinus congestion
  • The ‘how to’s’:
    • Boil water (enough for a larger sized bowl). Pour boiling water into a bowl.
    • Add 3 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil.
    • Starting at arms length from the bowl, place towel over your head and begin to breathe deeply through the nose for approximately 5 minutes.
    • Take caution: steam and oils may be quite strong. Not an ideal treatment for people with asthma or other reactive airway diseases. Eucalyptus oil is not for internal use.
  • How it works: Steam inhalation allows warm, moist air to enter your nasal passages, helping to loosen thick mucous secretions and allowing them to be more easily eliminated from the body (cough or blowing the nose). Adding the oil from the Eucalyptus tree gives extra anti-microbial properties to the treatment.
  1. “MAGIC SOCKS” – what kid wouldn’t want to put MAGIC socks on?! Adults are not too old for this trick either.
  • Best used for: when starting or already sick with cold or flu, fighting fever, decreased immunity, or a more restful sleep.
  • The ‘how to’s’
    • Make sure you or your child’s feet are warm and dry prior to treatment.
    • Take a pair or regular ol’ thin white tube socks and run them under very cold water. Wring out so that they are not dripping with water.
    • Put these socks on your or your child’s feet (wild, I know!) and then cover with a pair of fitting thick wool socks.
    • Go to bed, ensuring that your socks are well covered under the blankets.
    • When you wake up, the socks should be dry
  • How it works: By having the cold socks on your feet, your body works to direct circulation (blood and lymph) downward to your feet, helping to remove congestion from the upper half of your body. Once feet begin warming, circulation is then directed back to the top of your body. This continuous cycle invigorates the immune system and removes toxins from your tissues, helping you to fend off illness.
  1. Drink ENOUGH water
    • Best used for: general health promotion
    • The ‘how to’s’: So what is enough water? There really is no RIGHT answer to this question. Water needs vary depending on a number of factors including your health and how active you are. We’ll use the benchmark of half of your body weight in pounds, in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll need to drink 75 ounces. With 8ozs to a cup, that works out to 9.4 cups. Keep in mind, for every cup of diuretic (aka caffeinated beverage) you drink, you need to add an extra cup of water.
    • How it works: Water is essential for every system in your body. It helps to flush toxins out of organs, carries nutrients to cells, and provides a moist environment to your mucous membranes (preventing invaders that cause you to get the cold and flu).

You may need additional support to fend off your cold. Don’t forget, Naturopathic Doctors have access to wonderful immune boosting herbs, supplements, and homeopathics that are safe and effective for the whole family. Phone the office to get your individualized immune support!