I’ve been so out of it for the past two weeks due to a really bad cold, then immediately after that, I caught the flu. If nothing else, this allows me to appreciate good health when I have it. I often think “Witch, heal thyself”, but with anything in life, pagans are not god-like creatures who can wave a wand and make pestilence go away. We’re human. Our bodies fend off viruses like everyone else.
I don’t take potions or turn to alternative forms for healing, not for the flu. I can only weather the storm, using what I can to elliviate the symptoms. This includes teas and other fluids to keep myself hydrated, saline nose drops, and lots of rest providing the stuffy nose allows for that. I also firmly believe in the power of chicken soup and a warm blanket with my dog and son to sit and watch hours of television with me. The occasional pat on my hand from my nine year old boy assures me I’ll get better.
I do recommend basic tips for preventing the flu in the first place;
- Wash hands regularly. I also take with me where ever I go a small bottle of sanitizing lotion and hand wipes. I wipe down shopping carts, or sanitize my hands when dealing with people.
- Make sure you have a balanced diet. An unhealthy diet leads to all manner of health issues, one of which is a lower immune system.
- Plenty of rest. Too often people push themselves, and that little bit of lowering your resistances can lead to colds and flu.
- Stay warm. Being cold won’t give you a cold. A cold comes from a virus, but being chilled can either be a mark of the first signs of a cold or lower your defenses against the virus.
A note on herbs:
Using herbs for healing can be tricky due to the variables in dosages and quality of substances if bought from a health foods store. Remember that herbs, like many medicines can have adverse reactions to other medications or even allergic reactions in some individuals.
Echinacea is often suggested to help treat a cold. It does not cure the cold or flu. Nothing does, however Echinacea does have some healing and immune boosting properties.
Zinc is a mineral the body needs anyway, but when taking 50 micrograms of Zinc on the first signs of a cold, your symptoms will remain less if not disappear. (This is from my own experience as well). However, I would also note that Zinc is a mineral, which means you can have toxic levels if you go crazy with it. The lozenges have a terrible aftertaste, and I found the zinc supplements just as effective.
Vitamin C is another vitamin the body uses, though like the other two items mentioned here, the studies are conflicting as to preventing the common cold. Remember that its a virus, which means no cure. That being said, taking Vitamin C just before or during a cold certainly can’t hurt.