When I wrote Preparing to be SuperJuiced Part 2 at the beginning of January this year, I mused about whether I would be able to avoid succumbing to any of the winter viruses while living on juice only for a fortnight (which actually turned into nearly 3 weeks).
Before I began juicing almost 3 (now 4) years ago, I would suffer untold pain and discomfort from a heavy cold, sinusitis and chest infection in January or February every year. This would last up to 8 weeks, make my asthma worse and occasionally crack a rib and strain a stomach muscle from the effort of coughing. It was exhausting, I was unable to sleep or breathe properly and nothing gave any relief. I would go through a jar of Vicks, use honey and lemon and copious amounts of cough sweets to try to ease the symptoms. I probably used a forest of tissues!
After my first year of juicing, I almost got away with it. Everyone else in the family had fallen like flies but I was still standing, until my husband became ill and probably for the first time since I’ve known him had to take to his bed for a few days. It really knocked him for six. This placed me under a lot of stress and almost inevitably I got it too. BUT: it didn’t turn into a chest infection and I didn’t have to use an inhaler, nor did it last nearly as long and I wasn’t as ill as my husband.
So this January, having turned vegan and been on a mainly raw diet for a year, I was interested to see how my body would react this time around. I was also doing the 14 day juice cleanse and having a series of intense dental treatments. And if that wasn’t enough of a stress test, I don’t know what is!
I have felt a dry throat once and a few sneezes once, but each time I thought a cold was coming on I drank a lot of fresh ginger, turmeric and lemon tea as well as regularly sipping ginger and turmeric juices – see Juicy Winter Warmers in Juice Recipes – I also gargled with a couple of drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil in warm water for the dry throat. Tastes horrible but is very effective! I eat a lot of garlic too, a natural antiviral, antibiotic, decongestant. Within hours, all symptoms were gone.
My Medicine Chest
This despite being hugged and kissed by younger family members in the full throws of colds and chest infections with weepy eyes and ears and undergoing the aforementioned intensive and painful dental work. I am allergic to adrenaline and when I had a local anaesthetic my whole body convulsed for 20 minutes. On two occasions, a twenty minute appointment turned into an hour and a half.
Oh, and in February I tried to make a hole in the ceiling over the stairs – with my head! As you do. Don’t ask. You know those cartoons where the character hits something hard and sits there cross-eyed with a circle of stars around his head? That was me. It literally and metaphorically knocked me sideways. I was feeling the vibration of it throughout my body for days afterwards and it placed untold stress on my spine for months afterwards.
After all that, I was sure I would now fall prey to the next virus passing.
Then my husband had surgery. And my mum was ill.
But here I am, October, and as I write still cold-free. My body has been through untold pain, stress and worry over the last 9 months, a sure sign to any lingering germs that my immune system is being seriously stretched and giving the green light for an immediate full-on attack. But so far, so juicy gingery good!
Update: Haha – the blogging gods are laughing at me now! I post-dated the publication of this post, it is now November 2016 and I am still vegan, still juicing, but after 3 visits in 5 days recently from family members with their horrible coughs and colds and waving goodbye in a horrible chilly wind, I succumbed to a dry throat and tickly cough.
I didn’t fall ill though, I bombarded it with ginger, turmeric, lemon and black pepper as tea and in juices, in between drinking my Spicy Watermelon & Grapefruit Juice – another nutrient-filled anti-inflammatory juice – and avoided the stuffed up head cold and the usually inevitable chest infection.
I’ve also added Golden Milk to my natural treatment armoury and it works a treat at aiding sleep when you’re under the weather. It is so warming: just add a few slices of ginger and turmeric with a twist of black pepper and if necessary, a teaspoon of maple syrup, to a cupful of warm almond milk, (making sure you stir well while warming in the pan to stop it catching at the bottom, it will thicken slightly). Let it steep for 5 minutes, then strain and drink.
Toothache Tip: My daughter-in-law visited recently and was suffering terribly with an inflamed wisdom tooth. Nothing was helping: she tried clove oil, gargling with salt water, Nurofen (which helped a little for a short while), then we hit on the idea of ginger tea and between sips she held one of the slices of ginger from the tea against her gum and – done regularly – it seemed to provide some longer relief.
Copyright: Chris McGowan