How We Fight Colds And Viruses



It is that time of year again. A few years ago I would have run to the medicine cabinet stocked full of over the counter medications (OTC) and various bath additives for when anyone in my home was sick.  Next thing we knew, we were at the doctor’s office getting put on an antibiotic and picking up a next set germs. The cycle repeating itself over and over again throughout the fall, winter and spring. Frustrated, I knew there had to be a better way. Our immune systems and bodies needed a break. As a mother, I needed a break! I started thinking about the medication we were putting into our bodies. All the chemicals I could not pronounce. Were they really helping us? I knew how I felt on them, often worse then just dealing with the virus itself.

I knew that what we ate was important to our health. Maybe it was time to change how I treated my family when we were under the weather too. The first thing I did was to think about what we craved before we got sick. I realized we often craved foods and drink that were high in omega 3’s, zinc, immune building antioxidants, vitamin A, C,  D and E, natural probiotics, potassium, fiber, and protein. Everything our body needed to fight off the viruses. Then I looked at how our bodies reacted right before the onset of the viruses. We are tired, rundown, our body temperatures are slightly higher then normal, dark circles under our eyes, we are thirstier then usual, and our breath gets an almost sweet sour smell to it. Occasionally we still get sick. Thankfully not very often anymore. So what do we do when this happens? I treat it as naturally as I can.

Cold Season

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, most colds occur during the fall and winter in the United States. This may relate to the beginning of the school year and the start of cold weather. Most people stay inside as a result of  the cold weather increasing the chance of viruses spreading from person to person. Seasonal changes in relative humidity may also be a factor. The most common cold – causing viruses survive better when humidity is low during the cooler months of the year. It may also cause the inside lining of your nose to become drier and more vulnerable to viral infections.

What is a cold or virus?

According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, the common cold (medically known as infectious nasopharyngitis) is the most common upper respiratory tract infection. More than 200 different viruses can cause colds. The most common cause is the rhinovirus, which is responsible for about half of all colds. The adenovirus family also causes upper respiratory infections (it is one of the many viruses that cause the common cold). Symptoms often develop 1 to 3 days after being exposed to the cold virus.

How to tell the difference between colds and the flu

Differentiating between a cold and flu may be difficult. Cold symptoms are nearly always less severe than those of the flu.

Comparing Colds and Flus

Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever None or low grade Common and high (102 – 104 °F); lasts 3 to 4 days
Headache None or mild Almost always present
General aches and pains Mild, if they occur at all Often severe
Fatigue, exhaustion, and weakness Mild, if they occur at all Extreme exhaustion is early and severe; can last 2 to 3 weeks
Stuffy nose Nearly always Sometimes
Sneezing Very common Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort and cough Mild-to-moderate, hacking cough Common, can be severe
Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

What to expect with a cold:

  • It nearly always starts rapidly with throat irritation and stuffiness in the nose.
  • Within hours, full-blown cold symptoms usually develop, which can include sneezing, mild sore throat, fever, minor headaches, muscle aches, and coughing.
  • Fever is low-grade or absent. In small children, however, fever may be as high as 103 °F for 1 or 2 days. The fever should go down after that time, and be back to normal by the 5th day.
  • Nasal discharge is usually clear and runny the first 1 to 3 days. It then thickens and becomes yellow to greenish.
  • The sore throat is usually mild and lasts only about a day. A runny nose usually lasts 2 to 7 days, although coughing and nasal discharge can persist for more than 2 weeks.

The body’s line of defense

The skin is the largest organ of your body. It acts as a barrier between invaders (pathogens) and your body. Skin forms a waterproof mechanical barrier. Microorganisms that live all over your skin can’t get through your skin unless it’s broken.

Tears, mucus and saliva
Your nose, mouth and eyes are obvious entry points for pathogens. However, tears, mucus and saliva contain an enzyme that breaks down the cell wall of many bacteria. Those that are not killed immediately are trapped in mucus and swallowed. Special cells line and protect the nose, throat and other passages within your body. The inner lining of your gut and lungs also produces mucus to trap invading pathogens.

Stomach acid
Stomach acid kills bacteria and parasites that have been swallowed.

Urine flow
Your urine flow flushes out pathogens from the bladder area.

‘Friendly’ (beneficial) bacteria
You have beneficial bacteria growing on your skin, in your bowel and other places in the body (such as the mouth and the gut) that stop other harmful bacteria from taking over.

White Blood Cells
These are white blood cells that can find, kill and ingest pathogens seeking an entrance into the body.

Tissues and Organs

The tissues and organs involved in the immune system are the lymphatic system, lymph nodes and lymph fluid.

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Here is how we treat a cold or virus.


  • The sick person gets quarantined to their room. I do this for a couple of reasons. With a toddler/preschooler in the house, there is no rest for the sick. All she wants to do is play, play, play.  All of us just want to be left alone to sleep or to rest when we are not feeling up to par. Movies, laptops and books are our best friends. We catch up on TV shows or movies we have wanted to see but haven’t had the time too. Same thing with books.
  • It also allows me to disinfect the house while keeping the germ exposure to a minimum.

Pushing Fluids

We drink TONS of water, hot tea, juice, or broth to flush out our systems.

Detox Bath

Under 60 lbs: Add 1/2 cup each of Epson salt and baking soda to a standard size bath

60 lbs to 100 lbs: Add 1 cup each of Epson salt and baking soda to a standard size bath.

Anyone over 100 lbs: Add 2 cups or more each of Epson salt and baking soda to a standard size bath.

1 tsp to 1/3 cup Ginger (optional)

20 drops of Essential oils (optional)

Large drink such as water

Hottest water you can comfortably handle.

Epsom salts helps to flush toxins and replenish the body’s magnesium level. Baking soda is known for its cleansing ability and anti-fungal properties. Ginger can increase your heat levels, helping to sweat out more toxins. I do not add ginger to our detox baths. I do however, add essential oils.

Add the detox mixture to the running water. Make sure that the mixture is completely dissolved before you get into the tub. You should stay in the water for a minimum of 20 minutes. Ideally 40 minutes. You will begin to sweat within the first couple of minutes in the bath. Drink your water and enjoy the heat!

If you are using essential oils, I recommend mixing them in a bowl with the Epson salt mix before adding it to the water. This helps the oils to dissolve in the water easier. Oils can float on the water sometimes causing issues with sensitive skin. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while in the bath to help flush out the toxins. Finally, be careful to avoid slipping in the tub.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Everyone here always craves homemade chicken noodle soup. It is a must have in my home. Most basic chicken noodle soup contains the following ingredients. Broth, chicken, noodles, carrots, garlic, salt, and pepper. Lets break it down shall we?  Steaming broth helps to thin out the mucus in your nasal passages allowing you to breathe easier. It also causes you to urinate out the infection in your system. Chicken is protein. Giving your body the energy it needs to help fight the infection. Noodles add carbs to help keep your energy levels up. They are also high in starch and help to absorb excess stomach acid. Aiding in stomach discomfort. The carrots contain natural high doses of vitamins that help build your immune system back up. Garlic helps to boost immune system to help fight off the infection.  Salt, in the broth, helps to replenish the minerals you have lost while sick and also helps to dry out your sinus passages, soothing your sore throat.  Pepper believe it or not, helps you to urinate and sweat more. Helping to rid your body of the infection in it.


To soothe sore throats and help with coughs we use Buckwheat Honey because it is rich in antioxidants and microbe-fighting effects. However, children less than 12 months old should not be fed honey since it can cause botulism in infants and babies. Always check with your doctor first before using with a small child.

Essential oils

We use EO to help boost our immune system. We use several different oils and I use them in MANY different ways. Please feel free to contact me via email if you want information about essential oils.


I finally disinfect our house. I use a solution of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water, and 15 drops of essential oils. We wipe down all surfaces including door knobs, light switches, cell phones, controllers, etc. We love to share around here. I do my best though to limit the sharing of the germs.

What we do to fight the germs

Remember I have PTSD and a daughter with an autoimmune disease, so for us staying healthy is a HUGE priority.

Here is what we do to fight the germs.


My house is rarely spotless. It is a struggle for me to be honest. I like a very clean, organized home. I have had to fight very hard to not bleach everything in site all the time. I do get that we need the germs too. I use a simple cleaner made of vinegar, water, and essential oils to clean my kitchen, windows, bathroom counter tops, toilets, you get the gist. I clean the door knobs, controllers, light switches, laptops, cell phones, etc about once every 2 weeks or so. Unless I notice that someone is not feeling all that great. When people are sick, we place disinfecting wipes in the bath for them to use to wipe down any surfaces that they may have touched.

Going out in public

When we are out and about. I use hand sanitizer when we leave a store, pump gas, use an ATM or Debit machine. We wash our hands as soon as we get home with soap and water and take our shoes off immediately. No bags go on my counter tops or table. All book bags, diaper bags, and purses stay in the entryway only. We wait at the doctors office in my car until we are ready to be seen. We clean down the surfaces in the exam rooms before we sit down. The staff at the doctors office told me that they do not disinfect most of the surfaces in the rooms and they only straighten up the waiting area. They wipe down and change the paper on the beds only in the exam rooms. That pretty much did it for me. I touch as little as possible there!


All we ask is that our guests wash their hands or use hand sanitizer  and take off their shoes when they come over. Do not visit us if you are coming down with something or just starting to get over it. Please! Nothing else.

Hope you stay healthy as the weather changes to winter.

Want to know more info about colds/flu check out these sites….

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