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Let’s face it, nobody likes to come down with ills and chills. While almost everyone wants to avoid them, or tries to fight them off, a few ills and chills are not actually a bad thing. Here’s why: coming down with a few Ills and chills, lasting 3-4 days, a couple of times a year, can be beneficial. This is one of the ways the body deals with immune challenges, and it’s actually a good sign - your body’s defence systems are at work!

When your immunity is challenged, your intelligent body dispenses your very own natural healing mechanisms. There’s a few ways that your body does this:

1. You produce extra mucus to help purge unwanted waste. When we get sick, the body starts to produce more mucus to help prevent irritants burrowing deeper into our respiratory tract. It’s also our body’s natural way of helping clear foreign matter or other irritants out of the airways.

2. You cough and sneeze to clear your airways. The body tries to bring up mucus to help clear the airways. Some mucus is swallowed down into the stomach, where it is dealt with bythe stomach acid. The rest is expelled through coughing and sneezing.

3. Your body may even use heat to assist this process. The body tends to warm up in response to ills and chills. This natural process happens to help your natural defences deal with immune threats.

4. You suddenly feel lethargic. Your body is begging you to please take rest! Good rest and sleep can help to support the immune system to better fight off those ills and chills.

While these are processes that your body facilitates naturally, there are lots of ways that you can further support yourself when you’re feeling a little under the weather.

Sarada’s top tips to bring comfort and support a healthy and fast recovery:

Rest is key. 

Rest allows the body to direct all efforts towards healing. If we’re not getting enough rest or a good quality sleep, this can weaken our immune defences. If possible, aim to take a couple of days off work, and get an early night’s sleep.

Drink plenty of fluids. 

Fluid helps to support productive mucous clearing, as well as hydration and a healthy pH balance. Mix it up with warm water, a hot water infusion of Tulsi (reach for Organic India Tulsi GingerTulsi Turmeric Ginger, or Tulsi Lemon Ginger), lemon juice in warm water, or 1 dessert spoon apple cider vinegar and half a spoon of raw honey in warm water. This is warming to the body and the natural immune supporting properties of ginger and honey can help to soothe tickly throats and support overall recovery.

Avoid heavy exercise. 

Now is not the time to go to the gym for a really intense workout! Your body has other important tasks at hand. If you feel you need some movement, focus on gentle exercises like yoga, tai chi or a short walk around the block.

A deep, warm bath will ease the discomfort. 

Throw in some Epsom salts if you have some on hand. This helps the body and mind to relax and will help to support a restful sleep.

Avoid foods that stress the body. 

Sugar, caffeine, alcohol and any allergy-triggering foods can all impact on the immune system. Focus on wholefoods like fruits and vegetables, and get in some warming soups or stews that are easy on the digestive system.

Consider supplementing. 

Good quality organic whole herbs such as those from the Organic India range. AmalakiCinnamonImmunityTulsi Holy Basil and Turmeric Formula, are our picks to support strong immune function during the winter months. 

Eat lightly. 

Fresh fruits, lightly steamed vegetables, vegetable brothsmiso soup & tom yum soup provide nourishment without demanding a lot of energy to digest.

So, next time you find yourself feeling poorly with the sniffles, remember that your body is busily cleansing and clearing (it is the season, after all!). Try to nurture yourself through the discomfort and the inconvenience, reassured that you are likely to feel a whole lot better, very, very soon.

About the author:

Sarada is a naturopath, herbalist, yoga teacher, mum, nature-lover and free spirit from Byron Bay. As Team Leader for Organic India Australia & NZ, Sarada is passionate about healthy and conscious living.