sTreTch ! Yawn, uh-oh a tickle in the throat and an itchiness in the back of the nose -> my awakening earlier this month.
I knew then and there that I had no choice other than to fully welcome the ‘house guest’ that had come to inhabit my body for three days of full board, until it had no option other than to completely leave !
I am of course referring to the Common Cold - a troublesome viral vagabond - and the following post is how I supported the innate intelligence of my happy, healthy body in restoring itself to symptom free full health.
Natural relief for the Common Cold
The common cold is particularly common to Early Winter and Spring and can bring a varied arrays of symptoms with it including, running nose and congestion, cough, headache, body aches and maybe even fever.
According to Ayurveda, this is a condition of Kapha Dosha when the qualities of cold and moist have accumulated, resulting in mucous and an overall feeling of malaise.
In the case of decreased appetite, chills and weakened digestion, Vata may also be at play and so the following recommendations are here to help bring some warmth to the core and support the body in bidding adieu to any viral ‘guests’ moving through.
Top 10 tips to support your entire self in surviving a Cold.
1. Sip hot water through out the day;
This is a powerful year round Ayurvedic tip that promotes the removal of toxins and thus supports the recovery process to overcome a cold quicker. Freshly sliced ginger and a disc of lemon added to the mix, are new best friends that provide a simple inner warmth enhancing kick.
2. Try the following warming tea recipe;
For one cup of tea, steep the following in freshly boiled water, strain and sip for welcome relief
- a knob of fresh sliced ginger
- one cinnamon stick
- a pinch of Cardamon
Once strained, stir in a little honey to taste. Honey is heating in quality and also very soothing to a sore throat.
Essential Tip ! The last time I made this recipe, I was all out of Cardamon pods and so here is what I did; instead of using the pinch of cardamom in the blend, I dipped a clean toothpick into my doTERRA Cardamon essential oil and swizzled that into a teaspoon of honey (on the spoon) to emulsify. I then stirred it into my tea and found the experience of each sip SO powerfully warming, healing in taste and incredibly yummy overall.
3. Skip the dairy and cold anything;
When Kapha Dosha is predominant, it can be exacerbated by the heavy, cold qualities of dairy - give dairy a miss for the moment, really.
I firmly subscribe to the belief that rest and reduction (in general) are best in most situations of healing. Why ? We are live in a world that is not short on providing us with stimulation and the condition of being over stimulated sets up situation for necessary balance, wether we choose it or it choses us - for example getting a cold is one sure way to enforce us to down regulate ! Therefore use this time to unplug, relax a little, enjoy a good book, put your feet up and make simple health supporting remedies like the healing tea blend mentioned above. You will get well again so give yourself this time to do less and enjoy a reset. May the (life) force be with you.
5. Gentle Yoga Asana;
The body needs to move, daily. It is still possible to practice Yoga asana during a cold, however go slow and don’t over do it.
Restorative postures that open the chest are sublime and Chandra Namaskar is a good choice to clear the energy lines.
The forward folds involved help to expel mucous out through the nose and prevent nasal drip.
6. Neti pot;
Speaking of nasal discomfort, rinsing the nose and sinus pathways with a warm salt water solution is a wonderful practice to clear out the mucous generated to carry away the infection and thus also ease the possibility of discomfort from inflammation. A Neti pot looks a little like a magical Aladin-lamp and we use it in the following way;
- Fill your Neti pot with cooled pre-boiled water (just above body temperature)
- Add a pinch of (real) salt eg Celtic sea salt, Himalayan salt or any naturally derived non iodised salt.
- To use, lean over the bathroom sink with your head tipped to the side. Breath through your open mouth and place the spout of the Neti pot to one nostril. Don’t inhale as in doing so, you would endure a very unpleasant experience, rather simply allow the water to pour into the nostril and it will slowly come out of the other nostril. Note that if this is your first time, it may feel a little uncomfortable however with consecutive daily practice the sensation becomes benign.
- Gently blow out of each nostril into a tissue to complete the technique.
BREATHE (also known as ‘Air’) Essential Love
is a powerful respiratory blend combining Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Cardamom, Ravintsara, and Ravensara; Pure Certified Tested Grade Essential Oils.
7. Inhaler stick;
During my seasonal initiation of Cold this Autumn, I made an inhaler stick and used it at every opportunity to support my airways. So easy to make and very effective, once I had shared my cold with my husband ;) I showed him how to make one too and he promptly exclaimed, “I can see why you love using your oils so much, this is exciting !”.
Here are the directions
Take an inhaler stick (could also try this technique by adding a cotton bud to a small sealed container)
- insert the organic cotton wick
- place 10 to 15 drops directly onto the wick (I used 8 drops of Breathe, 5 drops of Eucalyptus and 3 drops of Melaleuca, for their added respiratory support and viral busting properties)
- clip the plug into the base
- screw on the lid
- label and enjoy clear deep inhalations and clear breathing.
8. For the experienced Yoga practitioner - use pranayama techniques to clear the respiratory tract.
The Ayurvedic ‘approach’ to Kapalbhati can be preformed with intent to clear the nasal passages swiftly. To practice, take a passive inhalation and exhale forcefully through the nose. Repeat several times in succession and finish with a few rounds of Nadi Shodhana pranayama.
Essential Tip ! The use of the doTERRA Breathe blend (Air or Easy Air - depending on your country) in the practice of Nadi Shodhana can be a valuable addition to open up the airways and promote easier respiration. To do this place one drop into the palm of your hands, rub your hands together and place them over your nose to make a tent - breathe deeply and then practice your Nadi Shodhana technique.
9. doTERRA Breathe blend can also be used for steam inhalation.
Fill a bowl with hot water, add two drops of Breathe, cover your head with a towel to create a little steam tent and inhale in the steam to relieve congestion. Keep your eyes closed throughout and enjoy the double benefit of a gentle steaming to the face to unclog pores and hydrate the skin. Eucalyptus oil is the classical ‘go to’ for this technique and is a part of the Breathe blend.
10. Last but certainly not least
Calming for sore throat, opening for the airways and fueled with natural Essential goodness,
I LOVE these respiratory drops and adore to add them to the list of soothing self-love practices to enjoy, during a Cold.
I hope you resonate with some helpful hints in what is written here and that even when feeling completely cruddy, you may find the sweetness that resides in the quiet moments given.
It is not uncommon that when we feel unwell in any regard, a mental projection that we will ‘feel this way forever’ maintains - this is called Maya from the Yogic view and means the grand play of illusion.
In these moments we forget ourselves and buy into the delusion that we are separate from source; we identify with the suffering and forget that all sensation is impermanent.
Here in lays the power of practice. Practice always and in every way to nurture your tender humanness and remember the vast nature of the heart via direct participation with what is, not what we would otherwise like the situation to be !
In the context of hosting the Common Cold, show up for yourself in a way that honours the ill feeling, whilst garnering tools to reestablish your full potential for health. There are so many wonderful health supporting practices to be explored upon the beloved journey we call LIFE and if I can be of service in anyway, please reach out.
Upon the Yoga mat, we practice to bring strength and flexibility to not only the body, also to witness the nature of the mind. It's enjoyable and it's beautiful. Similarly within the Embody Happy coaching program and the propagation of plant medicine for all.
Recommended reading - ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ - Dr Vasant Lad
doTERRA Essential Oils with Amber
Would you like to build your very own home Apothecary of Pure Tested Grade Essential Oils, complete with my full support ongoing ? Click the button below to choose your starter kit and once you’re all set up, I’ll reach out to you with additional starting inspiration :)