Winter months are prime time for colds and flus, most likely due to increased sugar from Halloween to New Years, a decrease in sunlight and vitamin D, and increased time indoors exposed to other people who may also be experiencing a transient winter-month decrease in immunity.
The conventional approach is to suppress the immune system to control uncomfortable symptoms. From a root cause perspective, the cold is the cure. The fastest path to feeling better is to boost immunity so the body can get rid of the virus or bacteria quickly and efficiently.
Here’s exactly what to do to prevent and accelerate healing from common colds and flus.
Lifestyle & Herd Immunity Strategies
- Stay home from work and rest as much as possible. At least on the first day you get sick. You will recover faster and prevent others from getting sick.
- Drink plenty of water. At least half your weight in ounces.
- Avoid sugar, grains, and dairy. Sugar and grains increase inflammation and feed viruses and bacteria.
- Drink bone broth or make soups with it. Bone broth soothes the digestive tract and contains amino acids which both increase immune function.
- Simple Soup Upgrade: Add green onions.
- Full Recipe: Add green onion, dark leafy greens, carrots, celery, and zucchini noodles (AKA zoodles).
- Get outside and into the sun if possible. Sunlight is anti-viral. Bundle up and wear a scarf and hat when you go outside.
- Go to bed at 10pm or earlier and sleep 8.5+ hours a night.
- Do warming socks hydrotherapy every night until your symptoms are gone.
Warming Socks Hydrotherapy
Warming Socks is a traditional hydrotherapy method that works with circulation and the lymph system to calm inflammation in the head, neck, throat, and nasal passages. It’s commonly used for colds and flu to decrease symptoms of congestion, sore throat, cough, and headaches.
It works best if you do it for 2-3 nights in a row or for the duration of your symptoms, to get the cumulative effects. It’s easy to add to your bedtime routine and works while you’re sleeping. Even kiddos seem to love it and let their parents know it’s time to do warming socks, when they feel a cold coming on.
You Will Need:
- 2 Pairs of socks
- 1 pair lightweight cotton socks
- 1 pair thick wool or cotton socks
- Make sure your feet are warm. Take a hot shower or soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
- Soak the cotton socks with cold water and wring them out thoroughly, removing excess water.
- Get in bed. Take a deep breath and quickly put the cold, wet cotton socks on your nice warm feet.
- Put the wool socks on directly over the cotton socks. Go to sleep and you’ll wake in the morning with nice toasty feet, less congestion, and less sore in your throat, head, and sinuses.
For Prevention – What to do when traveling or exposed to cold & flu carriers.
- Myco Shield Spray by Host Defense
- Zinc picolinate: 10mg capsule short term (14-30 days).
- Probiotics: Eat or drink fermented foods (kombucha, sauerkraut, or kimchee)
For Colds – What to do while you’re sick + 1 day.
- Cold Care Seasonal Sampler by Traditional Medicinals Tea: Drink 3 cups of tea per day.
- Black Elderberry Syrup by Gaia Herbs: 3 teaspoons a day.
- MyCommunity Spray by Host Defense
For The Flu Add:
- Oscillococcinum: Best used at the first signs of flu.
- Epsom salt bath + 5 drops of Oregano or Lavender Essential Oil: For aches and pains.
Dr. DeFrancesco partners with patients seeking a smarter & sustainable approach to health by doing the detective work to uncover root cause(s) and design a personalized and comprehensive plan that includes nutrition, lifestyle, functional medicine, and root cause therapies.
This approach benefits people who are seeking help with chronic inflammatory conditions, autoimmunity, thyroid conditions, digestive problems, brain health, and health optimization.