Our Philosophy on Acute Care
We hope that these resources help you navigate through those basic colds, flus and basic injuries. If you are experiencing severe symptoms or pain, be sure to check in with your provider.
These resources are not meant to take the place of actual medical advice, but rather compliment the care that you are already receiving.
Symptom Specific Support
General Cold & Flu Care
Your very first step is to work to make sure you don’t spread this to anyone else.
- Be sure to wash your hands regularly, especially after coughing or blowing your nose.
- Regularly clean off the door handles in your home as this is a common pathway for infections to spread to family members.
- If you are actively coughing and have a fever, you should avoid contact with others as this is when you are most likely to spread the illness. 24 hours after any fever, the level of infectivity drops but you still need to cover your cough and wash your hands.
- If a doctor’s note is needed for an absence from work or school, please let your provider know and one can be provided with relative ease.
Natural Immune Support for Adults
When you are fevering, your appetite may be down. It is ok to limit your food intake during this time, but remember to keep drinking plenty of fluids. If you are hungry, it is best to stick to easy to digest foods, such as broths, soups, cooked lean meat and cooked vegetables.
It is suggested that you limit your intake of sugary foods.
Dehydration is the biggest concern with a fever. If not pregnant or diabetic, drink water, diluted fruit juice, herbal teas, etc. This may be required for several days. Breastfeeding children should continue to breastfeed and refrain from solid foods. Breast milk is full of healthy antibodies produced by mom to help fight the infection.
Stay home and rest! This will allow the body to focus on fighting the infection, it will also help prevent spreading the illness to others. Do things that feel relaxing and restorative and leave stressful tasks for when you are feeling better.
Symptom Focused Support
For a Sore Throat
- Gargle warm salt water for 30 seconds. You can do this 4-6 times throughout the day.
- Throat Coat Teas: Drink throughout the day to soothe your cough. My favorite brands are Yogi & Traditional Medicinal Teas.
- Carrot Throat Poultice treatment: this is very helpful if you have a sore throat because of swollen glands or lymph nodes.
For Sinus & Chest Congestion
- For severe congestion, you can use 600-900 mg of NAC up to four times per day. This is an amino acid that helps to thin mucous so it can more easily be expelled from the body.
- Warming sock therapy helps to decrease congestion and get the immune system circulating.
- For Sinuses: Use a sinus irrigation system twice daily to help clear out any excess mucus.
For a Cough
- Try to avoid the use of cough suppressants as these prevent the body from clearing out mucous from the lungs. However, there are times when the cough becomes severe enough or is impacting sleep that this may be warranted.
- A cup of Thyme Tea can help to soothe a spastic cough and has great antiviral support. You simply steep 1 tablespoon of dried thyme (like you’d find in your kitchen’s spice cabinet) in 1 cup hot water for 10 minutes then drink. Add honey for flavor and drink as needed.
Don’t be afraid of a fever- this is how our body fights infections. Bacteria and viruses cannot replicate when temperature is elevated and cells of the immune system are activated by higher temperatures. Mild fever is associated with better prognosis in viral and bacterial infections.
NOTE: Remember these are general guidelines. If the fever is severe, persists despite treatment or is in an infant <2 years of age, call your doctor.
Fever Reducing Medicines- NSAID Therapy
Although many patients may want to take a medication used to reduce fever, this is not always the necessary. In fact, medications such as Tylenol/acetaminophen or Advil/ibuprofen and other NSAIDs have been proven to prolong viral illness and enhance its ability to be spread to others. These drugs also show no benefit in reducing the length of viral illness.
It is appropriate to use these over-the-counter medications at night to allow adequate sleep. It is also appropriate if discomfort is severe enough that it is causing a sense of exhaustion. While you should use them sparingly, they can be very helpful when needed. You can always contact your doctor to see if that is necessary for your particular situation.
Homeopathic medicines are very safe and helpful during fever, especially in children and even infants. Unless instructed by your doctor otherwise, you may take one of the below as directed, along with other medicines prescribed by your doctor. All may be purchased at 6C or 30C potency, taking 5 pellets every hour during high fever:
- Belladonna: This is often called “homeopathic Tylenol”.
- Aconite: For fever accompanied by chills.
- Gelsemium: For fever with heavy eyelids and headache described as a band around the head.
Wet Sock Treatment
Wring a pair of cotton socks out in cold tap water. They should be wet, but not dripping.
Put on the wet socks. Put on a pair of thick wool socks over the cotton socks. Relax for 20 minutes or until the wet socks are warmed to body temperature, then remove. You may fall asleep with the socks on, this is okay. Repeat every few hours or nightly.
Recipes for Acute Illness
Bone broth is a soup that is rich in minerals, proteins and nutrients needed to heal body tissues. It is particularly nourishing for people who are healing from surgery and or have inflammatory and digestive concerns. We recommend using organic bones and vegetables. Bones broth can be drunk as a warm beverage or used in soups and as a braising liquid.
- 4 – 6 quarts water
- 2-4 lbs. meat or poultry bones with meat on bone
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 large onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 2-3 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
Place all ingredients into your pot of the slow cooker. Make sure all of the bones and vegetables are covered by the water. The longer it cooks the more nutrients are infused into the broth, but bitterness can also develop from some herbs and vegetables. Taste throughout the process to find what works for you.
- Slow Cooker: cook on low for 12-24 hours.
- Stovetop: Bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Leave partially covered with some air escape for 2-4 hours. A low temperature cook over a longer time period works best.
Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer and store in the refrigerator. You may need to strain excess fat off, depending on how your body tolerates it.
- Drink warm ½ -1 cup at a time or use in your favorite recipes in place of stock.
- For acute illness you can drink hourly. Drinking 1 cup as often as daily can help support your immune function and keep your nutrient levels up.
Onion and Honey Cough Syrup
Trim and peel a medium-sized white onion. Slice half the onion, and place the slices together in a small bowl.
Cover the onion slices with honey, and then cover the bowl with saran wrap. Leave on the counter unattended for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
Strain the mixture, saving the accumulated ‘syrup’ that has formed and discarding the onion slices.
Use the accumulated ‘syrup’ as you would any store-bought over-the-counter cough syrup: Take 1 tablespoon of the gathered syrup up to once every hour, or as required, to ease a sore throat and calm a cough.
Slippery Elm Porridge
Put 1 tablespoon of Slippery Elm Inner Bark Powder in a small bowl. We recommend Heritage brand, but it can also be found at a local herb shop or purchased from the clinic pharmacy.
Slowly stir in ½ – ¾ cup of boiling water, making a paste.
Add enough water to make the paste into a thick gruel (like Cream of Wheat).
Sweeten with honey or maple syrup as desired.
Basic Medical Tea
1 tbs dried herb per 8 oz of hot water
Add freshly boiled water to herb and allow to sit covered for 10-15 minutes. Uncover and drink once cool. Plan on drinking this 3-6 times per day.