Lives for Art. From sculpture, to photography, to dance, to music.
Until Coronafest, she was studying Art Foundation at Manchester School of Art, working on interactive exhibitions and developing an interest in photography. Xa thinks dancing is the most beautiful and basic form of natural medicine, it’s keeping her spirit alive, even whilst in quarantine (or ‘Quarentek’ as she calls it).
Last year, Xa left the UK with a view to move abroad permanently, but circumstance brought her back. Whilst away, she lived with an International Community, which rekindled her interest in natural medicine and holistic living.
She became a strict vegan at this time, and had never felt better. Living pure, she was able to treat herself completely naturally and didn’t take any pharmaceutical medicines for the entire 8 months she was travelling.
Prevent and Treat a Common Cold Naturally
“The most important thing in fighting a cold is to have a strong immune system, however many pharmaceutical medicines can actually weaken the immune system in the long run.”
“Antibiotics are particularly bad for this, as they strip the gut of all it’s good bacteria, not just the infection. Because of this, it’s important to build this good bacteria back up, so that we have some resistance against the next pesky sniffle that comes along.”
“There are many natural herbs and medicines that, if used when we start to see symptoms, can allow us to avoid having to get so sick that we need antibiotics.“
“We can deal with a minor bacterial infection quickly with a healthy diet, lots of water, rest and herbal remedies.”
The body heals best when its asleep.
My absolute lifesaver and staple to my medicine cabinet (comes in tablet form). During the winter, or when a particular illness is going around, I will take these tablets as a preventative. If I start to get sick, I might increase the dose. Always follow dosage guidelines for these, as they have a powerful effect on your immune system.
Turmeric tablets are a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, so I take these as well, or use the fresh root in a tea. Another bonus of turmeric is that it’s an energy booster as well!
Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree (think Olbas and Vicks), can help to break down mucus as well. These are best added to a bowl of hot water and then inhaled together, as the steam also loosens mucus and eases pressure.
The second is an Ayurveda medicine called “Amalaki”, or Indian gooseberry, which relieves a cough, sore throat and phlegm, detoxifying the body. In Ayervedic medicine it’s used improve the health of the blood, bones, liver and skin.
I will then swallow a clove or two of raw, diced garlic. Garlic is a very potent antibacterial and has natural antibiotic properties. In the case of a sore throat, garlic should make a difference pretty quickly by easing the inflammation. Added bonus; be safe from vampires for 24 hours.
A boost from something like Berocca will never go amiss, I find it freshens me up.
Fruits containing Vitamin C are high in antioxidants which help fight a cold.
If I’ve got lots of mucus build up (snotty nose, phlegmy cough etc.), I’ll take pulsatilla, which is a homeopathic medicine derived from the Pulsatila plant. It clears and breaks down mucus.
King of Bitter
The third is an herb called “King of Bitter”, also used in Ayervedic practice and Chinese medicine. It too is a detoxifying remedy, which promotes healthy digestion and supports the immune function.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling salt water is old school. It does the job by removing bacteria from the back of the throat and gums.
Honey, Lemon and Ginger
Great for a sore throat. Honey is a natural antibiotic and antiviral. It will also coat and soothe the throat, making it more comfortable to swallow. If you’re able to get Manuka honey, I’d recommend that. Lemon has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, helps the immune system, helps with digestions, even helps with asthma, amongst other things.
An immune system potentiator, strengthening the lungs and reducing inflammation. A listed cancer treatment by the Japanese Government. They are antiviral, anti-oxidant and anti-tumour. You can buy capsules, or use the mushrooms in smoothies.
“These are the strategies I use to cope with and fend off a common cold. However, it’s almost pointless to use these measures if you aren’t looking after your gut and giving your body the nutrients it needs to recover.”
Diet Crash Course for Colds
“From my experience, food has been the most powerful medicine in the long-term. Even though it can seem slow to have an effect, it’s really, really important to stick to healthy eating.”
Sorry. Removing processed sugars from the diet and reducing natural sugars is probably my number one piece of advice, as sugar directly feeds nasty bacteria.
Additionally, sugar only provides a short boost of energy followed by a crash, (it’s effects are similar to that of cocaine), which tires out the body, not to mention icky skin and bad teeth! There’s nothing wrong with a treat though (I’m talking about sugar here), as one of the most important parts of nursing yourself back to health is to be kind to yourself!
Whilst avoiding processed sugars, you can add things like coconut blossom nectar to your tea, honey, and of course the natural sugars found in fruit, when eaten in moderation, are great.
Dairy causes inflammation and is known to increase mucus production, so reducing this can help your body fight a snotty nose quickly.
Look for milk replacements, such as soy milk, oat milk or almond milk.
Consider your gluten intake. I personally am intolerant to these things, and so have to avoid them all the time, but humans weren’t designed to eat this! When you’re sick, or trying to keep a strong immune system, it’s more than kind to your body to reduce or remove gluten, as it takes extra work to digest this.
Opt for brown rice instead of pasta, gluten free pancakes instead of bread. Try making things at home before buying things like gluten free bread as many of these products are bulked out with a ton of sugar and evil E numbers!
Veg is Your Friend
My go-to’s are spinach and broccoli – add it to everything!
The frozen bags are great, they’re super cheap and contain about as much fresh veg as would fit into a bath tub! Leafy greens contain practically all the nutrients, proteins and minerals that we need, especially iron.
Citrus fruits contain large amounts of vitamin C, which helps the body to fight infection and heal wounds, as well as being generally antioxidant.
Look for foods that contain zinc. Zinc aids the body in healing and is important in keeping strength in your immune system. It can be found in pumpkin seeds, lentils, wholegrains, almonds and of course leafy green veg amongst other things.
A great way to incorporate healthy foods into your life is to make a morning power smoothie. This can be green and fresh, but could also be made into a sweet chocolate peanut butter combination, even with a little spinach inside – healthy should taste good!