From the January 2002 Idaho Observer:

A wholistic approach to cold and flu season

As we settle into the winter months after the holidays, it is important to know how to treat common ailments to which most of us are exposed this time of year. I regularly encounter people who are trying to treat themselves wholistically rather than pharmaceutically, but they still do not have a clear understanding of why their body is sick in the first place. The following article is an attempt to shed light on the basics of wholistic health and working with your body in its attempts to heal itself.

by Ingri Cassel

As soon as I feel the first signs of a cold or flu, the first thing I do is to stop eating and begin drinking copious amounts of raspberry leaf or yarrow tea. If it is a head cold or sore throat, I usually stick with yarrow tea. If it is a flu in which I feel nauseous and cannot hold anything on my stomach, I stick with raspberry leaf tea. It is wise to harvest these two herbs from your yard or surrounding unsprayed fields and woods late spring and early summer for use during the winter months.

Why is abstaining from all food, particularly starches and proteins, so vital in aiding our bodies through the healing process? Because our vital energies need to focus on rebalancing and detoxification; not be wasted on digesting starches and proteins. We need to understand that germs and viruses are the garbage men of the body and serve an important function. Their “diet” is the filth that accumulates in the body due to stress, poor digestion, improper food combining, and a lack of oxygenation and proper hydration of our cells.

Dr. John Christopher sums this up best in his book, Herbal Home Health Care:

“A germ cannot consume, or live on, good live cell structure..After cleaning out the body of our sickness, which is accumulated waste, the germ finishes its job and leaves us with a healing climax. If we take shots, inoculation and/or oral medication to kill the germs, we have defeated the purpose of nature..When we kill our garbage men (germs) in the human body, we still have the original filth they were trying to consume, plus continual additions, plus the corpses of all the germs we have killed.”

So if we are running a temperature higher than 98.6 degrees, we need to encourage our body's response by raising the temperature rather than defeating our body's attempts at healing itself by lowering the body's temperature with aspirin or Tylenol. “But a fever is extremely dangerous!” you say. Yes, a dry fever IS extremely dangerous. This is where hydrotherapy comes into play.

Make sure you are drinking a gallon or more of both water and unsweetened herbal tea as soon as you experience the first signs of a cold or flu. The next step is to consider taking an enema, or several herbal laxatives. An enema is preferred because of the speed in eliminating accumulated toxins as well as getting more water in your system quickly. Remember that the idea here is to aid our body's attempt to regain balance by assisting in the elimination of accumulated toxins.

When you have finished the errands of the day (or have considered putting your life on hold for the next 24 hours) and you have space to go to bed, prepare a bath with 1 tablespoon each of cayenne pepper, powdered ginger root and powdered yellow mustard seed. If you have 35 percent food grade hydrogen peroxide on hand, add a cup of this to your bath. The temperature of the bath water should be as hot as you can stand it. It is recommended that you get in the bathtub first and have all your additions to the bath on hand as the water in the tub fills up with you in it. This way you can adjust the temperature of the water and make the water temperature as hot as you can reasonably stand it.

The idea of this step is to “build a fever,” multiplying the germs (garbage men) rapidly so they can do their job, and sweating profusely. The heat opens the pores in your skin, allowing many toxins to be eliminated, and if your body needs the hydration, you will be absorbing much needed fluids through these same pores. Drinking a cup of yarrow tea is extremely beneficial while you are taking this bath since it is a diaphoretic herb (one that induces sweating).

When you begin to feel light headed after being in this bath at least 15-20 minutes, get out and dry off as quickly as you can before jumping into bed with plenty of natural fiber blankets covering your cotton sheets. At this point you should still be sweating profusely. You should also plan on sleeping for the rest of the night, having water and/or tea by your bed so that feeling dehydrated is never an issue.

The above is also good to remember if you have a flu in which you cannot hold anything on your stomach. This calls for nothing but drinking straight raspberry leaf tea and rehydrating by taking a bath. You may throw up the first cup of raspberry leaf tea but will likely be able to hold down successive cups of tea after that. Raspberry leaf tea is a fabulous aid in cleansing the digestive tract of accumulated toxins as well as reversing an over acid condition. It is one of the richest sources of iron and also contains high amounts of calcium, making this a valuable tea for resolving menstrual complaints.

I have helped hundreds of people overcome serious bouts with cold and flu, and avoid the pneumonia stage, simply by following the above principles. These principles I learned from Dr. John Christopher's “Cold Sheet Treatment” and have simplified and modified them here for the layman to easily understand and utilize. For a catalog of Dr. John Christopher's inexpensive and invaluable booklets, call Christopher Publications at 800-372-8255. I highly recommend his booklet, The Coldsheet Treatment and Anti-Plague Recipe. It is only $1.75 + shipping and handling.

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