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Paleo Cold & Flu Remedies

by Suz on June 8, 2012 · 26 comments

in Health

Since I’ve been following a Paleo diet, I thought catching Cold & Flu were a thing of the past. But, sadly no; I’ve just got over my first cold in over two years. I recovered far quicker and felt nothing like as bad as I had in my pre-paleo days, but it was frustrating to feel ill all the same.

The winter before I went Paleo, I seemed to catch every virus going around. I permanently had a cold or the flu – and felt terrible. So perhaps I shouldn’t complain about feeling a bit run down for a few days, once every two or three years.

Paleo Cold and Flu Remedy

Image By flukirikiri

Doesn’t Paleo prevent you from getting Cold & Flu?

I think Paleo plays a crucial role in building up a good immune system; but sometimes this isn’t enough. After a few hectic weeks at work, insufficient sleep, the arrival of Winter (seriously reducing my daily sunshine/ Vitamin D exposure), I suspect my immune system didn’t put up the usual fight when confronted with a cold virus. A trip to an extremely cold Canberra was the final battle that my immune system lost.

Paleo Cold Remedies?

I’m really against over the counter medicines, so at the first hint of a sore throat, I immediately researched natural cold cures and remedies.

The most important things are the simplest; lots of sleep and good hydration. I also made a big pot of chicken soup which is not only very nutritious, but it is also warming and soothing for a sore throat.

Vitamin D levels are crucial; I’m usually very sporadic in taking it, so I’ve been making sure I take Vitamin D3 capsules every day. I don’t usually supplement with Vitamin C, but almost everything I researched on remedies mentioned it, so I started taking it too.

I don’t usually have sweeteners, but I found hot lemon water with raw honey very soothing. I read a lot of people add in cayenne pepper and ginger, but that was a step to far for me. As was raw garlic or gargling with Apple Cider Vinegar.

They say prevention is better than cure…

I’ve definitely learnt my lesson. I’m going to be far more careful to keep my Vitamin D levels up, especially in Winter (I must book another test to check what my levels are). I’m not going to compromise on sleep – and Canberra, sorry – but I don’t think I’ll be visiting again until Spring.

Have you noticed a decrease (or hopefully absence) in Cold & Flu since you changed your diet? If you’ve got any Cold & Flu remedies or cures, please pass them on in the comments below, you might just help someone somewhere feel a lot better!

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Irena June 9, 2012 at 10:51 am

I have seen an improvement in my overall wellbeing including colds & flu. The thing about flu is that a lot of the time it’s viral and anyone can catch it, Paleo or not (especially if you’re stil smooching your sick boyfriend). I find that I am most susceptible if I haven’t been getting enough sleep or following a stressful week. I think we definitely fight the infection quicker because of healthier nutrition and stronger immune system.

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Suz June 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm

You’re right Irena, completely agree about the sleep too!

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Nigel Kinbrum June 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Hi,
The only thing that prevents colds & flu is living in total isolation from everybody else. Eating proper food and getting enough Vitamin D makes your immune system work at maximum efficiency, but cold & flu viruses will still get in and cause some symptoms.
I still catch cold & flu viruses, but whereas my Facebook friends moan about how dreadful they feel due to flu, I just take some Aspirin and carry on as usual, with a few muscle aches & producing a gallon of snot over the course of a few days!
Cheers, Nige

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Suz June 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I notice the same with my non-Paleo friends Nigel!

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Shaleah June 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

As a paleoista myself, and having just caught cold as well, I can highly recommend garlic and snorting (I know it’s graphic) colloidal silver drops. Cleared right up!

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Suz June 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Hope you’re feeling better Shaleah – will have to look up those silver drops

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Elissa June 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Hi Suz,
the flu has been going around my work like the plague, its wiped nearly everyone this weekbut I have been healthy and not feeling ill. Around the time people started taking days off to recover, I had a slight headache behind my eyes, I drank alot of water and went to sleep early, the next day I was fine and had no other symptoms. Chicken soup is amazing, a true wonder broth! I used to cut up ginger and pour hot water over it and drink it with lemon juice. a spoon of honey would work too. I really truly believe that eating organic and grassfed organic meats have helped build my immune system to resist any kinds of infections. touch wood! Before primal/paleo eating I would get sick all the time. Not anymore!

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Suz June 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Good escape Elissa, a good diet is definitely a good defence

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Elissa June 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm

STILL NOT SICK!!!!!!! :D

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Genni Jay June 11, 2012 at 7:27 am

I agree with you that your diet and lifestyle have such a strong influence on your health.
About 10 years ago I worked with children and seemed to get every bug or cold going.
Since I’ve changed my diet and become fitter it has made an amazing difference (touch wood)
I wonder as well whether I’ve built up a better immune system after getting so many ‘sickies’. I hope so!

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Suz June 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I’m sure it definitely helped Genni!

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Miranda June 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Olive leaf extract when the symptoms first start stops the progression of the cold. This is from experience. I am an RN.

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Suz June 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Thanks for the tip Miranda, I’ll have to get some of that, just in case.

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Anna June 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Agree with hot chicken soup and the vit d and c (I personally megadosed with vit c and that cleared my cough up very quickly). I found probiotics helped too and I put fresh crushed garlic in everything, just add plenty of parsley to help offset the garlic breath :)

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Suz June 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Great idea about the parsley – the garlic breath is definitely to be avoided

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Eileen June 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I love all these ideas. One of the things I do if I feel a cold starting is ( I guess the same as most people) take vitamin C and zinc. This might sound strange but the other thing I do is listen to a relaxation tape as well. I usually fall asleep listening, just about everytime I’ve woken up feeling better.

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Suz July 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

That’s a good idea Eileen; and it can’t do any harm.

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zack June 12, 2012 at 6:26 am

Oregano oil…. high quality… get it from whole foods or a good health store. I get pills, but you can get drops too (it’s strong even in pill form). I take one every hour until it’s gone which can be less than a day to a little over a day. You will taste it and smell like pizza, but it WORKS magic.

Sometimes I take it with emergen-c. I imagine a high quality d-3 supplement would help too. Seriously… Oregano Oil.

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zack June 12, 2012 at 6:27 am

Sorry… specifically Origanum Vulgare

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Suz July 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

I’ve never heard of that before, but will definitely give it a try next time – thanks Zack!

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Rob June 13, 2012 at 7:02 am

Yes! I used to be one of the many people that would catch the flu by just standing a meter away from someone who had it already.

Now that I’m Paleo I find I don’t get sick as easily and I feel that while everyone around me is succumbing to the flu I remain healthy and go about my day!
Your right though, I hope this lousy syd weather leaves soon and we get more sun!!

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Suz July 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

That’s great Rob! There’s a lot to be said for being healthy!

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Kirk June 16, 2012 at 10:31 am

I’m the same. I’ve always been pretty good at keeping colds at bay even when my family are infected. This has been no different since starting the paleo way of life. I’ve just caught my first cold in 18 months in similar circumstances. My family was ill, I wasn’t and I maintained my normal routine of sufficient sleep, low carbs, fish oil, vitamin D3 etc. One trip away to help my friends move house resulted in me missing my D3/omega 3 and having to “sleep” on a freezing floor, which was enough to take me over the edge.

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Suz July 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

Makes you realise the importance of those things doesn’t it Kirk, the problem is there are always occasions where it’s hard to maintain a normal routine…

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Wren August 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I appreciate these ideas but I haven’t seen any suggestions for those ‘choking’ coughs. The kind that you can’t control, can’t stiffle, aren’t productive, and make you miserable. Any suggestions? After struggling through a few days I finally gave in and started using cough drops or candies – and I hate that I did. The cough had gotten so bad (choking, non-stop) that I didn’t think I had an option. I still have it but want to get rid of this sugar (at least it reminded me if why I gave up sugar!).
Any suggestions? I’ve even wondered about sucking on marble or cherry pits – wondering if the constant swallowing would help (though constantly drinking water those first few days didn’t).
Help!

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james December 10, 2013 at 4:28 am

I, too, have noticed that i haven’t gotten colds as often, and they are always shorter in duration and less severe than before i went paleo. I never mention it to people because i wasn’t sure if it was because of the diet or just good luck. I’m glad to see other people have noticed the same effect. It must be the diet. I used to catch a cold at least twice a year, and i would be miserable for a week. Now i seem to catch them once a year. They last a day or two, and the symptoms are very mild; nobody would guess i have a cold.

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