a slightly different thought on natural cold and flu remedies

Sick Dog

So, it’s the first week of winter for the year and it would be very appropriate for me to do a blog post about natural cold and flu remedies.

…but I just can’t build up the enthusiasm for it…. (I do, however, still have plenty of enthusiasm for my cold/flu tea recipe- how could I ever be bored of that?! You will find it a few paragraphs below.)

Instead, I would like to share with everyone my ‘convalescence’ handout, which I give to my clients who I think may benefit from some step-by-step instructions on how to actually “be” sick and let themselves do nothing.

What? Be sick?! Do nothing?????!!!!!! I hear you cry. Yes, a revolutionary idea! And one that can mean you not only return from an illness feeling rested, but that you may even be in a better place physically and emotionally than you were before getting sick. Getting sick can actually be good for your health! So, here goes, my convalescence handout:

How to have ‘Convalescence’

Convalescence is an old fashioned word and something we tend not to practice any more. The idea is that you take time out when you are sick to get well again.  Thanks to that ever present cold and flu tablet and all our financial, work and family pressures, these days we tend to soldier on, no matter how sick we are.

The beauty of convalescence is not only does it give our bodies a chance to get well again, we may also get the chance to feel even better than we did before we got sick, because we actually took some time out to take CARE of ourselves.  Also, interesting things can happen to us when we remove ourselves from the rush of everyday life, and become quiet for a while. We can gain new perspectives on our lives, have new ideas, see new solutions to worries and best of all, we can return to a place of feeling peaceful.

How long has it been since you have ‘convalesced’?

What to do:

1) Anything that was booked into the diary- cross it out. No partying, no late nights, no drinking sessions.  Yes, it is time to be boring, and unsocial. This is to be a time of quiet and rest. Ideally this happens on a normal day off, but if you truly are suffering from ill health or have an active infection, take the time off from work to be unwell, and to get better.  On return to work you will be much more productive and energised

2) Turn off your tv, the computer, the radio and loud music, don’t check your emails, your mobile, facebook, twitter etc… this is a time to sloooooooow down. If you do need some kind of mental stimulation, choose a light hearted book or movie but the idea is to not do too much at all, and to definitely NOT spend the day in front of day-time tv (which is bad for anyone’s health!)

3) Only consume foods that are easy to digest and choose foods that you know will help to return you to good health. Chicken and veggie broths, steamed veggies and fish, porridge, fresh veggie juices , herbal teas etc.. are nutrient dense foods and are cooked just enough to be easy to digest as well.

4) Drink plenty of water

5) Enjoy sitting outside, just being quiet. If you need to, gentle walking is allowed, no strenuous exercise is recommended though- this a time for rest.

6) Early evening, after a light meal, have an Epsom salt bath and then go straight to bed. This will help to eliminate infections by increasing the body’s temperature, and the magnesium from the Epsom salts supports the nervous system, relaxes muscles and provides a gentle cleanse.

7) Take care of yourself the way a parent does for their sick child – you deserve it. Take the time to listen to your illness and take very good care of yourself.

8) No convalescence for colds/flu is complete without a warm cup of lemon, ginger, garlic and manuka honey tea. Take a slice of lemon, a slice of ginger, a clove of garlic and a tsp of Manuka honey, all mixed in your favourite mug with some boiling water. Add cold water to make your preferred temperature.


…are you feeling any better yet? I hope you are and I hope this is a lovely reminder to be gentle to your hard working body and to be kind to yourself while you heal.

Yours in herby goodness, from under my snug doona with a mug of my delish convalescence tea,