Christie Jordan was featured on WCIU's The Jam in March 2020. To this date her recommendations are still very relevant. Your body is powerful and strong - help keep it that way!
My 10 yr old son came home from school around noon the other day because he was feeling sick. He had a sore throat and fatigue. By the time I got home from work, he was already on the couch with a blanket on him, cartoons on the TV. My husband was in his office working from home. I knew that many of his friends were home sick earlier during the week, so I assumed something was going around, as it typically does in a petri dish called school.
I looked over at the coffee table next to my son, and I could see that he had already started taking the zinc spray, Chinese herbs, and homeopathy, and herbal tea. This is our routine of aiding the immune system when it’s fighting something so we can get over it faster.
Even though he had chills with body aches, I felt his head and took his temp, and the thermometer pinged 101.4. Awesome, I thought- His body is kicking into gear to fight this off. I said to my son, “Your body is amazing, and he’s working hard to fight this so keep taking the herbs, supplements and go to sleep early so you can fever this out – this is how you can help your body so that by tomorrow morning, you’ve fevered this out and you’re back to normal.”
I woke up the next morning with my son pulling on my sleeve. He said to me, "Mom, I’m better.” His fever was gone, sore throat gone, energy back to his normal self. Even though he was better, I had him take his herbs, supplements and take it easy all day at home with fluids. This is our home routine at the very first sign of a cold or flu. In most cases, we can shorten the duration by assisting our immune system with the tools we set up for ourselves.
I love the idea of living in a germ-free bubble, but I know I can’t, so I just assume that I’m exposed when I’m out and about because that’s the truth. What keeps me from having a panic attack about it is that I know that I can aid my body’s immune system and I am not helpless. I also believe in my immune system.
Even though I wash my hands frequently, I don’t know when I’m walking through a cloud of someone’s cough as I walk through the city or take the train. The key is catching it at its beginning stages and assisting the body when it’s surface level and having an immune system that knocks it out before it gets deeper and harder to expel. When it gets deeper, it takes longer to heal, and by the time you’ve fought it off, the body has to recover from fatigue that can last weeks.
Mind Your Gut
Your immune system starts in your gut. “A huge proportion of your immune system is actually in your GI tract,” says Dan Peterson, assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Probiotics and good gut bacteria and microbiome set the tone for good immune system. If you are eating lots of fermented foods, kefir, kimchi and sauer kraut, you are probably better than most. For those of who are not, taking good probiotics daily is important. Eating as much fresh, non-processed foods also is important. If you have lots of digestive imbalance like chronic diarrhea or constipation, the gut bacteria needs to be balanced over time. If you eat lots of sweet and processed food, you also have to do more work on balancing our gut microbiome. But it can be done. When you are fighting something and have no appetite, listen to it. Divert your body’s qi to fighting the infection rather than having to digest anything heavy. Stick to probiotics that also have pre-biotics in it, which is a natural fiber that the probiotics can stick to. I like Dr. Ohhira’s but I shake things up from time to time.
Oriental Medicine and Fevers
Oriental Medicine has known for thousands of years that when one has a fever, in its initial stages wrap up in a blanket, drink hot tea, sleep and sweat it out and let it run its course. When we do, we allow the body’s natural defense to fight off the pathogens. A recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, states the same. Janice Sullivan, a professor of pediatric clinical care and pharmacology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine co-authored a report said, “Fever is the body’s normal response to infection — it’s a natural defense mechanism.” She says that a high temperature triggers the body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells and inhibits the growth of viruses and bacteria. “If you lower the fever, you may be affecting the body’s ability to respond to that infection.” When a fever doesn’t run its course in a short time, use your instinct to know when to talk to your doctor.