Rule #1- Keep the orange juice handy. I'm lucky in the fact that my family produces a fair share of these fruits this time of year. Nothing beats a fresh orange from the tree, but if its not available to you, get you some OJ in a bottle stat! Get a gallon or more if you think it will be a particularly bad sickness. The body isn't capable of producing vitamin C on its own, so getting it through oranges is a great way to go. They are also good sources for calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Rule #2-Drink tea. Make it hot to sooth an irritated throat from sinus drainage. Green tea will boost your immune system provided by the plants abundance of flavonoids and catechins, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Like in orange juice, green tea is a good source of vitamin C, as well as vitamin E. Studies show time and time again that individuals who drink more tea than others are less prone to diseases, whether they are small colds or, in more serious situations, certain types of cancers.
Be sure to add honey if you can. Local honey is particularly good because small traces of pollen that you are exposed to in your area gets displaced in honey when bees are producing it. This creates an effect similar to when you receive a vaccine. Essentially, when you get a small amount of something in your body, antibodies are created to combat them and a defense is made against all other similar invaders. And so, the theory goes, small traces of pollen introduced into the body, will create a better defense for higher levels in the future. I highly recommend the article which I will post below. It enlightened me to the fact that bees actually make honey through a process that involves regurgitating nectar from their stomach into their honeycombs. As a fan of honey my whole life, all I can say to that is...delicious...
Rule #3 - Have a balance of indoor rest and outdoor recreation. This one various depending on the severity of your sickness and the type. Some will argue the best thing you can do when experiencing a cold is kick back on the couch and "veg" out. Not a terrible idea for someone who is feeling...terrible, but I'd recommend a little fresh area during your recovery time.
After a few days of the worst part of my cold, I really felt like an early morning walk (this was right after I wrote my last post on the Supreme Veggie Shepherds Pie) so I decided to do just that. My cold was half due to my allergies and all the pollen in the air but I felt like taking a risk. It wasn't the best move. I took a hike through some woods and a nice neighborhood close by and when the sun started warming up I felt the heat, know what I'm saying?
I retreated back indoors and became more cautious of such actions. Instead, as lame as it sounds, I pace the house to get some movement while listening to podcasts, as well as dedicated time for stretching which helps in circulating blood through the body. Getting sunlight is important for recovery, so I make sure to stand or sit in rooms full of windows if going outside for long periods is difficult. Avoid gyms for the time being, where you can bet everything is covered in germs.
Rule #4- Do things that make you laugh. Watch comedies, play some video games with friends online, flip through some old family photos, talk with someone who makes you smile over the phone, tickle yourself if your capable (and send me a video of it, because I won't believe you otherwise...You know, that could be a great YouTube compilation...a bunch of videos of people tickling themselves and laughing about it...could you imagine all the condescending comments that would be posted? All drop this stupid side thought now...).
A good laugh will relieve stress, decrease pain, drop heart rate and blood pressure, all made possible through the release of endorphins, the bodies natural pain killers. Studies also show that laughter lowers serum cortisol levels. All this adds up to suggest that laughter can actually raise your immune system. So go on! Why so serious?
Rule #5 - Stay hydrated with plenty of water which keeps your nasal passage moist and allows your body to rid itself of particles from bacteria. Continuously flushing your system with steady H2O intake is always important, especially when you have a cold.
Rule #6 - Eat garlic...raw. I did this by making some white bean and chick pea hummus two days ago, which I plan on writing a recipe guide for soon. I made sure to throw three cloves in the mix. What's so great about garlic? Suzanne Hall says it best in her post for thechalkboardmag.com:
"Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. For colds and flues, it also provides decongestant and expectorant effects. While none of garlic’s components have been isolated by science as the sole explanation for garlic’s flu-busting effects, vitamin C, a slew of enzymes, and minerals such as sulphur and selenium, definitely play a role."
Rule #7 - Get your sleep. Your body's best time for recovery is when its deep in REM sleep. Don't neglect it.
These are only a few suggests of mine. Of course, you should always consider talking to your doctor before combating any infection or disease, and follow any recommendations he or she provides. Depending on your situation, antibiotics or other medications may be suggested to you. I hope this article is useful to some. As I'm finishing up outside with the last rays of the sun going down, I feel a little better myself. I hope you do too.
Bee's & Pollen article: http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/allergy-treatments/local-honey-for-allergies1.htm