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Fight Colds & Flus With Wet Socks

Yes, You Read That Right

Any tips to help defend oneself against cold and flu season? -Morgan 28, Toronto

Winter is coming! Time to prepare for that dreaded cold and flu season. Don’t let this winter get the best of you, be prepared with natural remedies like Echinacea, Vitamin C and wet socks…yes, I said wet socks!

Echinacea is one of most sold medicinal herbs worldwide. Traditionally it has been used to prevent and treat bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, for upper and lower respiratory conditions, to treat the common cold or flu, to support weakened immune systems etc.

Its popularity comes from its well-studied immune-supportive and antioxidant activities. Echinacea boosts the number and activity of white blood cells which are responsible for fighting all kinds of infections.  Echinacea makes them more efficient at attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells. It stimulates new tissue growth for wound healing and reduces inflammation, and has been proven to increase “phagocytosis”, the process of white blood cells consuming disease-causing organisms. Also, its unique activity as an immune system modulator, rather then a stimulator, allows for its use for extended periods of time…like during cold and flu season!    

Vitamin C has various health benefits that support the whole system. The body cannot produce vitamin C and it is readily excreted through urine, therefore supplementing with a good quality vitamin C is vital to our health. To name a few benefits, Vitamin C is important for collagen production and wound healing, has phenomenal antioxidant properties, protects cells from DNA damage, provides anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory activity, can reduce the duration of the common cold, and assists a weakened immune system due to stress.

Wet sock treatment.  Simply put, you go to sleep with cold wet socks on to improve your immune vitality in an effort to zap a cold or flu! Sounds a little strange, right? But there is method to the madness!

The body naturally wants to return to a state of homeostasis, in this case, warm up the cold feet.  The body’s natural reaction is to increase systemic blood flow, which then stimulates the immune system and increases lymphatic circulation. This treatment in turn decreases congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head and throat.  Some people report that they sleep more soundly during these nights.  A formula for improved health.

Supplies: 1 pair thin natural fiber (cotton/wool) socks, 1 pair thick natural fiber (cotton/wool) socks, ice water

How to: Make sure the feet are warm before starting. Soak feet in a hot bath for 10-15 minutes and dry them off. Soak thin socks in ice water. Wring out excess water before putting them on the warmed up feet. Put dry thick socks on top. Immediately bundle up in bed to stay warm. Do not get up to walk around or uncover. Socks should be dry by morning.  This is best attempted at the onset of a cold or flu and it’s safe for all ages!