I am officially sick. For the last few days I could feel it creeping up on me, sneakily waiting for just the right moment to strike me with a runny nose, sore throat and sinus ache – but today was the day it made its move to pounce, and pounce it did.
Now, I like everyone else hate being ill. But with Canada’s bitter winters, its hard to avoid a cold or flu as the saying “its going around” is almost like a seasonal credo. And its not just the fact you feel awful and are frustratingly unproductive – but its really difficult to maintain poise and exude your usual glamour when you are coughing up excess mucous. A good friend of mine once said “Being sick really cramps your style.” And right now my style has been rumpled and crumpled more than my bed linens I am wallowing in right now.
So, in true Pitta form, I believe in strategizing a combat plan – and below is an outline to how I intend to get well with natural, Ayurvedic remedies… How Kristen’s gonna get her groove back.
Ginger, Ginger, Ginger: The first thing my mother insists on when she hears I have a cold or flu is a pot of ginger tea. Ginger is excellent as it is both warming and antibacterial. It helps disinfects the throat as you drink it and boosts your immunity. And getting as much of this down as possible is important. This coincides well as I am still on the 30 day water drinking challenge, so I have no excuses and a quota to answer to. But besides drinking ginger tea, I am also going to take a ginger bath. Using organic ginger powder in the bath is an excellent way to support weak immune systems and Dr Lad of the Ayurvedic Institutes recommends this to those who are prone to illness. When doing this, be generous – tonite I will probably be putting in a good 2-3 cups in my bath.
Healing Herbs: If you are quick on the draw (unlike me), you can bypass getting sick at all by taking high amounts of echinacea and golden seal when you feel a cold coming on. But alas, I was not religious about this and fell prey to my own lack of discipline. Now, I will be taking an unorthodox amount of Immune Support from Banyan Botanicals. These caps are simply a blend of different peppers with echinacea. Hot pepper, like ginger is heating and therefore germ-fighting. I have also taken oregano oil in the past – and to those of you who also have taken this, you know that the burning sensation you feel upon taking it indicates that it too is heating. The ever-popular, Don Cherry endorsed Cold FX (How Canadian can you get eh?) is simply ginseng another hot herb.
Another important thing to think about it taking herbs and supplements which move the bowels. Keeping the bowels clean and free of toxins helps the body not accumulates congestion in general. It is also easy to become constipated when sick because you often also become very dehydrated. This is why I also like Immune Support, because its main function is to increase the body’s immune function, but its secondary purpose is as a mild laxative.
Sweat it out: Lastly, I think its important to keep the body active and sweat it out. The ginger bath will help this, but more effectively, a hot yoga class will finish the job. Hot yoga is excellent as intensive cardio can be taxing when you are under the weather, but the sheer heat will purge kapha mucous and congestion brought on by colds and flus. After the class, it is imperative that you bundle up despite feeling warm all over as losing your qi and heat after exercise will make you even more ill. Of course, I am very conscious to put my mat in my own secluded corner to stay away from other participants, and if the class it too full to do this, I would forgo participating out of respect for others.