I hate getting sick. And yesterday I had to cancel half of my lessons because, while I may be feeling decent enough to go to work, my voice is suffering from congestion and whatever else this winter season is putting me through.
Many of you are likely battling illness, as well. But what is the best way to deal with it? How do you keep up your productivity without drugging yourself into the next dimension? Generally speaking, over-the-counter drugs do not help you get well; they only mask the symptoms of being sick. Many of them can have an adverse affects and may even prevent your body from effectively and efficiently fighting off the illness.
I have found that an onslaught of natural remedies is the way to go. I start them early and take them often, and I never have to worry about harming my voice, my kidneys, or any other part of me. The following is my mostly all-natural regimen for overcoming illness and restoring one’s vocal health:
Step 1: Fluids. Namely: lemon water, herbal and kombucha teas, and coconut water. I know, I know. This is what they all say. But your body functions most optimally when it is hydrated. And the best way to get well is to give your body what it needs to fight infection. Lemon is a highly alkaline food. Adding it to your water will help make your body inhospitable to disease and infection. Herbal and kombucha teas are loaded with antioxidants and aid in the detoxifying of the body. Coconut water contains more electrolytes than Gatorade (with less than half the sugar) and more potassium than a banana.
Step 2: Sleep. If your body tells you it’s tired, listen to it. That doesn’t mean you need to be lazy, but you all know that voice- the one that says, ”I think I might be getting sick.” Don’t feel bad about listening to it.
Step 3: Super-foods. You should be consuming foods that are dense in nutrients and easy to digest. Raw Garlic (sounds gross, but it’s not as bad as it sounds) is LOADED with vitamins and antioxidants- nutrients that help you overcome whatever is ailing you. Chop up some whole cloves into smaller pieces and swallow them like pills. Take up to 4 cloves per day. Kale, spinach, and other nutrient-dense “super foods” should also be in your diet.
Step 4: Natural antibiotics. I begin taking liquid pau d’arco the moment I begin to feel illness coming on. If the illness progresses, I begin taking grapefruit seed extract, which is much more powerful. So powerful that it kills both good and bad bacteria- much like a prescribed antibiotic would, so use it with discretion. If I have a sore throat, I like to take oregano oil mixed with olive oil. 1/2 milliliter held under the tongue and then swallowed, 3-4 times over the course of an hour and the sore throat should be gone. It burns, but works marvelously.
Step 5: Anti-Inflammatory. Illness typically leads to (or is the result of) inflammation, in the vocal cords, sinus, and elsewhere. Instead of taking Advil to bring that inflammation down, use liquid turmeric. Mix 20-30 drops with a couple ounces of water as often as needed. It tastes like stale Indian food, but works like a charm and is all-natural.
Step 6: Aromatherapy. Drop some concentrated peppermint oil into some boiling water and breathe in the steam. The fumes will help clear up any blockages you may be experiencing in your sinus.
Step 7: Ear Drops. It’s theorized that cold-causing bacteria actually enters the body through the ear canal. If you think you might be getting sick, start dropping hydrogen peroxide into your ear canals 2-3 times per day.
As a last resort, I might take a cough suppressant or nasal decongestant. Sometimes, they’re just necessary. If I have done the above steps, though, I typically find that I can take half the suggested dosage and that I will only need to take them for a day or two.
*You can find items listed in steps 4-6 in most health food stores.
To book a lesson with Jeff Mathena, contact [email protected] or 615-866-1099.