By Chef Centehua
I recently got over a flu naturally. It took about four days of taking it as easy as possible. It’s been years since I had to battle a virus or infection. I simply woke up one morning and my body felt achy, my head heavy and my sinuses totally clogged. I just felt so down; my immune system was literally depressed. My ego felt a bit deflated, too. I am usually proud of having high energy, and I never get sick, so not only did my body feel weak but my pride was crushed. Now I had to ask for help and lay low.
I realized that my body needed to strengthen its immune system through these viruses that simply run their course and then move on. I learned a lot about letting go, about being humble and about taking time to take care of myself. With that understanding, I was no longer upset about being sick in bed: I was now happy to lie around in my PJs with my favorite book.
Here’s what I did to get better: I helped myself the same way I help my kids when they’re sick. They have never tasted a doctor-prescribed antibiotic or over the counter syrups. No, when they are sick, I let them sweat out the fever, which lasts a day or two, and I give them nature’s antibiotics — garlic and onion. If you or your kids don’t like garlic or onion, it may be more of a task. Gratefully, honey helps the medicine go down. I like to start with a flu shot as well, and — no — my flu shot does not require needles; just a heaping handful of ginger, garlic, green apple and lemon will do. Simply juice, pour into shot glass and chug it down like you mean it. Whatever is attacking your system doesn’t stand a chance! I also prepare a coconut-eucalyptus rub that really helps the congestion. Time spent outside soaking up sun is really good, as well — even just 30 minutes a day helps.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” While you are healing and boosting your immune system, it is important to eat plenty of alkalizing, antioxidant and nutrient rich whole foods and drinks. Avoid all processed foods, animal products, refined sugars and flours. Eating clean helps speed up the healing process. Everything I put into my body must have a medicinal quality, a purpose during this crucial time of recovery. I add herbs like shilajit ( powerful detoxifier), camu camu ( high source of vitamin C), etc., to my juicing. There is a lot available at your local health food store.
I also recommend picking up a Neti pot. This product, used in ancient yogic practice and an essential aspect of the modern-day daily detox, cleanses the sinuses like nothing else. I add a little Himalayan salt to my pot and cleanse everyday when I shower. Getting used to the feeling of water running up one nostril and out the other one takes a little practice, but once you get it, you’ll be hooked. Proper breathing changes everything, so keeping your sinuses clear and your lungs healthy will help you feel better soon.
We are whole beings, not just a body or a brain, which is why I choose a whole-istic approach to healing. Breathing and meditation are just as important as eating well. I don’t treat only my body, either, because my mind-body-emotions are just as important. Spending time outside in nature when convenient (even a short sun bath in your back yard) is truly helpful as well. When my little ones are sick, before they go to sleep, I massage their feet with herbal oils while guiding them in deeper breathing, leading them into a meditation or story that makes them happy. I encourage everyone to take the time to make your body still, to breathe and to visualize.
Once I started feeling better, I slowly transitioned to foods that build, like raw dairy products, eggs, sprouted grains etc. Make sure you drink plenty of spring water always. Getting sick can be a blessing in disguise: it is a good way to interrupt negative eating habits or addictions, and to clean up in preparation for a re-boot in energy and overall well-being. At least, that’s how I felt after resisting at first, then I quickly transitioned to self-compassion and love. My body benefited from a quick detox and my system is now stronger than before. Flu, you say? Bring it on!
6 garlic cloves (lightly crushed)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 T. chamomile flowers or 1-2 tea bags
1 T. lavender (optional)
3 T. raw, unfiltered honey
1/2 nut milk (homemade is best)
Bring water to boil. Add all ingredients except honey and milk. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 – 10 min. on low. Strain into a large tea pot, and add honey and nut milk. Sip all day.
Straight Up, Hard Core Hippy Antibiotic:
3 lemons (juiced)
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Real salt
Slice onion and pack into a mason jar. Squeeze lemons, add vinegar, salt, and secure lid. Shake and leave in refrigerator all night. I drink the juice during the next day and then I add the onion to soups or salads. The onion’s powerful antibiotic properties are released into the juice, making this a great alkalizing and healing tonic.
1 large ginger piece ( I use at least a 10-inch. piece.)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 green apple
Juice, pour and enjoy…. funny faces are welcomed. I like sprinkling a little cinnamon on top for added heat.
1 green apple
1 3-inch piece ginger
1 bunch cilantro ( about a cup)
2 celery ribs
1 tsp. chlorella powder
Juice, mix in chlorella and enjoy.
1/2 C. raw, unrefined coconut oil
4 drops eucalyptus oil
Blend well with a spoon. Rub on chest and back before going to bed or as you feel necessary. I also recommend adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your shower or bath.