Friday, December 19, 2014

SALT vs the common cold (or how to kick a cold in three easy steps!)

Salt. Maybe you think you know salt. Great on steak and popcorn and cookies batter has no flavor without it. Come winter, salt is great for melting ice. Other than that? Yup, it’s easier to float in salt water. I hear a lot of negative talk about salt in terms of health, but most of that is hype. In fact, no less than Scientific American debunked the myth in this excellent article from 2011. So let’s all stop hating on salt. We need it and this week it’s my hero.

Why? Well, friends let me tell you a tale…

Three days before my BOOK SIGNING AND CELEBRATION, I came down with my first cold in years. Great, right? Here I am peddling a book about how you can be healthier and I would be a sniffling mess come Saturday. This was bad.
My head was a cement block. I was overcome by rapid-fire sneezing that lasted for minutes at a time. The world seemed like a foggy place, my head ached, and I was drained of all energy, so I curled up by the woodstove to commence feeling sorry for myself. 

Being still is not one of my greater talents, so my mind began spinning. I got up and retrieved the lap top. I could not be sick. That was the bottom line. I spent a few minutes (possibly much more) on the internet looking for answers and decided that no, it wasn’t nasal polyps (whose description fit my symptoms to a tee!), it was really just a cold. 

One wise-sounding doctor-type said that the most important thing to do when you develop a cold is open up your nose. If it stays blocked, the infection can travel to your sinuses, ears, throat and God knows where else. This made sense.

Energized by a plan of action to open up my nose which seemed as solid as badly overcooked grits. It was time to break out the nasal lavage. I posted about this little gem a few years back. Powerful is what it is. I mixed a generous half teaspoon of celtic salt in a cup of hot water and squirted it up my nose every few hours. Yes, it’s kind of gross and yes, it is kind of uncomfortable at first, but gosh daily, it works. 

Over the course of the next 36 hours, I used the lavage followed by a hot shower probably five times. The combination of the cleared nasal passages and the steam was heavenly.

To combat what seemed like a potential sore throat caused by drippy sinuses, I gargled with salt water (little higher ratio – probably a tablespoon per cup of hot water). I remember being forced to do this as a kid and protesting because it made me feel as if I was drowning.  But grandmothers tend to be right and besides, I was desperate. This was another case of re-discovering something from my youth that I never appreciated at the time, like my mother’s cooking or my little brother’s jokes. The gargling worked beautifully. The sore throat that was to be never was.

My other major weapon in this battle to kill my cold was food. Since I couldn’t taste anything the first day – I downed spinach at every meal, followed by grapefruit. Plenty of iron and vitamin C. I drank several pots of “cold chaser” tea which I keep on hand (find this at Cherie AnneDesigns in York!). It has plenty of thyme in it which is a primo healing herb when it comes to combating colds. I added a drop of Vitamin D (2000IU) to the first cup of the day. I reached for other superfoods like walnuts, oranges, and tomato soup – all loaded with vitamins to help my body combat and kick out my cold.

I went from miserable and barely functioning on Wednesday to feeling just fine on Friday. 48 hours of salt, steam, powerful foods, and no drugs.

By Saturday you would never have known I’d been sick. It was a wonderful day all around. Let me take this moment to send another shout out of thanks to everyone who made it over to celebrate with me.  This intentional battle with a cold would have been great information for the book. Ever since its publication, I’ve been stumbling upon more chapters I could have added. But it had to end somewhere. Living intentionally is a way of life that changes on a daily basis.

p.s. If You’d like your own copy of my new book – Live Intentionally: 65 Challenges for a Healthier Happier Life, you can purchase it on Amazon, or through the mail from me (signed copies and no shipping!) or, if you live around here purchase directly from me or one of my soon to be local retailers (Main Street Beauty Works and Cherie Anne Designs, where you can also pick up some Cold Chaser tea!).

Like this post? Want to read more like it? Check out my book!

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