Natural ways to prevent illness and heal when sick
Updated: Mar 27, 2021
Last month, many of us fell sick with different kinds of flu symptoms.
Last month, many of us fell sick with different kinds of flu symptoms. While it is never a good time to fall sick, it is a particularly difficult time to be unwell currently.
To help prevent illness, or as soon as I feel illness coming on, I take some steps to encourage healing as much as I can, and to help catch any bugs before they get wild...
In this article I share those steps. These are things I take extra care to do if I feel sickness coming on or if I get typical cold/flu like symptoms. I respect bio-individuality, and acknowledge every body is different, so these may not work for you. I am simply sharing the things that work for me.
As you will see, many of them are natural foods and a part of a general wellbeing routine that helps keep things feeling good on a daily basis, very much in the philosophy of ‘prevention is better than cure’.
Brace for discomfort & ask for grace from your loved ones
With the kind of flu-like symptoms that are going around, they are really nasty - and you may not feel 100% good for quite a while. In fact, it will almost certainly be outright painful and uncomfortable. Since you are mostly going to need to recover naturally, this inevitably takes time. Understanding this and bracing yourself for it is important. I acknowledge this when I feel sickness coming and prepare myself to sit in the discomfort. Nobody wants to be grumpy but it is important your family appreciate that you may not be feeling 100% cheerful.
Get as much good quality sleep as you can
As soon as even a tingle of sickness comes along, one of the quickest and most underrated things I try to do to heal is to sleep deeply. Whether it is a nap in the day, or just sleeping that bit earlier, good sleep boosts healing and recovery. Sleeping in a cool, dark place, with loose cotton clothes and a super comfortable bed are just a couple of tweaks to improve your sleep and help you heal.
Skip a meal (but not fluids)
Occasional fasting has long since been known to heal the body and aid its overall functionality. If I feel sick, I skip meals because I feel my body needs less things to process when it is fighting an infection. Keeping it light and allowing space for the digestive system to rest allows the rest of my body to focus solely on healing. When sick, you probably may not have an appetite or feel very hungry anyway. Interestingly, I always feel like that’s your body saying it cannot cope with food right now and needs to focus on the crisis at hand. Allow it to do that: increase your fluids and take it easy on the heavy meals.
White sugar is a good friend of infection. Though I love to eat my cherry bakewells usually, when feeling unwell or sick, it’s one of the worst things I can eat. Sugar just loves encouraging infection to thrive. Avoiding it is a simple to implement tip, avoid white or processed foods with high sugar content if you’ve got an illness coming on.
Drink lots of fluids & high doses of Vitamin C
Doctors generally recommend like 1000mg a day. In reality, this is one vitamin you can confidently take much higher doses of with very little fear of negative side effects. The research of vitamin’s C’s restorative powers and benefits for healing a number of illnesses and ailments far outweigh the side effects.
It is very difficult to truly take an overdose of vitamin c. You’ll know if you’ve overdosed if you have a runny tummy. I have never yet overdosed on Vitamin C, but I have taken a bit too much too soon and it made me feel a bit nauseous.
If feeling sick, I take a bottle of water and mix one scoop of vitamin c every 1-2 hours, sipping it slowly. The body doesn’t have the capacity to absorb a lot of vitamin C each time we give it a dose, so it’s necessary to sip it slowly and consistently throughout the day while you’re ill, to get maximum benefit.
Dr's Best ascorbic acid is good, and so is Life Extensions buffered Vitamin C powder. I have only ever been able to get these brands via iHerb and they ship from America.
Take an Intravenous Vitamin C
If you are really feeling sick and want to quickly boost healing and/or experience some relief more quickly, naturally, going to a doctor to get an intravenous bag of vitamin c (and/or other essential vitamins) fluids injected into you is a good idea… our bodies can absorb this type of vitamin c much more quickly and readily than they can absorb the ascorbic acid in fluids. This means you would feel the healing benefits of Vitamin C more rapidly.
Add turmeric supplements to your diet
I take this food as a supplement daily. It is a general health booster, and if I’m sick or getting sick I add a dose in during the day as well as morning and evening, especially if I skip a meal. It has wonderful all-round healing properties for the body. I use the Dr’s Best one because I prefer to take veggie capsules. If you don’t mind about gelatine on the capsules then this one is also very good - it has another ingredient in it that could be useful.
Take a dose of activated charcoal capsules
This ingredient has lots of uses, but I am mentioning it for its ability to help detox and remove toxic substances from the body. Very often if I feel tummy upsets or general sickness coming on, I’ll take a dose of this.
Keep your mouth and throat clean - swish with coconut oil
The mouth is one of the key areas that attracts infection. Coconut oil is a natural ingredient that has antibacterial properties. So holding coconut oil in your mouth and gently moving it around for 5-10 mins is a great way to boost your body’s ability to fight off bad bacteria while it is sick. If I’m getting ill I often do swishing in the morning, afternoon and evening before sleeping. To boost general health I do this almost on a daily basis in the morning at least and sometimes before sleeping.
Do a facial steam with eucalyptus and echinacea essential oils
These two essential oils will be helpful to diffuse while you’re under the weather. Also steaming your face over them will help. I’ve use Neal’s Yard versions (pricey but good quality), and diffuse them as well as rubbing them on my wrists and temples and throat when I’m sick.
Eat a really nutritious soup - like bone broth
I try to take bone broth when really unwell, but it is a general health boosting food that is great to take daily too.
Stress is a major trigger for sickness. You may have gotten sick because something stressful pushed you over and meant your body’s defences went down… so doing whatever you can to mentally de-stress and enjoy yourself is a great idea. Watching a good movie, having a long hug, talking through an issue with a good friend, and generally taking care and being gentle with yourself will help! ❤️
I hope this article was helpful, and that you can try out some of the tips to boost your general wellbeing and take care of yourself when feeling sick.