Hack Colds and Flu with a Bathtub and Epsom Salt
Naturopathic medicine has been around for decades, but today’s naturopathic doctors undergo rigorous training and education rivaling traditional medical schools. Naturopathic research into time-honored folk healing methods has identified the science behind why so many of these practices persisted in times when a doctor may have been hours or days away or even inaccessible. Even 70 years ago, colds and influenza often turned lethal, and pneumonia was a dreaded killer. In those situations, folk medicine could be lifesaving.
Each present-day cold and flu season bring new flu strains and rhinoviruses, or colds. Once that scratchy throat or headache begins, we typically resign ourselves to several days or a week of being laid low. But naturopathic docs, including Dr. Matt Carlson N.D., a graduate of the respected Bastyr University, (a.k.a. the “Harvard of naturopathic medicine”) recommend methods that some would consider old school.
Dr. Carlson explains that when early signs and symptoms of a cold or flu present themselves, the first thing to do is to mimic a fever as soon as possible. Fever is one of the body’s ways of fighting pathogenic invaders and is a healthy response. By inducing a fever during the early stages of infection, the immune system has a chance to get the drop on the bugs. A simple hot bath with a few modifications accomplishes this — here are the steps.
- Take a hot bath, staying in the hot water for ten minutes.
- Get out and wrap up in warm clothes and socks.
- Jump under the covers and allow yourself to sweat for 15 minutes, giving the induced fever time to reboot the immune system.
- Drink hot fluids like bone broth or drinks with electrolytes to prevent dehydration from sweating.
Dr. Carlson adds that while it’s rare, there are those who should not jump in a hot bath without first checking with their doctor. “Contraindications include advanced cardiovascular disease or recent heart attacks (must avoid stressing the heart), local malignancies, people with impaired sensation, those who have open wounds, and those ordered to keep their heart rate down (active tachycardia, etc.). Check with your physician before using this method,” he said.
Adding Essential Magnesium
One hundred years ago the average diet was high in magnesium, but soil depletion has brought average daily consumption from roughly 500 mg. to 200 mg. Lowered magnesium levels are associated with eczema, psoriasis, acne, and a plethora of other conditions.
Epsom salt a.k.a. magnesium sulfate, is used for constipation (think Milk of Magnesia™) for generations, but has other valuable uses. According to a paper published by the NIH (National Institute of Health), “[Magnesium] is one of the most important micronutrients; therefore its role in biological systems has been extensively investigated. Particularly, Mg [magnesium] has a strong relation with the immune system, in both nonspecific and specific immune response.”
In simpler terms, magnesium is good for the immune system. It also improves bone density, activates Vitamin D, lowers the risk of osteoporosis after menopause, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension, and reduces fatty buildup on the heart’s artery walls. Magnesium deficiency may contribute to anxiety. Some studies suggest that magnesium may reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Hot Water + Epsom Salt
Adding epsom salt to hot bath water creates the ideal conditions for maximum absorption — magnesium’s best delivery system for immune system support is through the skin directly into the bloodstream. Dr. Carlson cautions about using too much magnesium or using it too frequently if a someone is already taking other magnesium supplements or over-the-counter medicines with magnesium. If taken by mouth, magnesium in high doses can cause diarrhea, but an epsom salt soak entirely bypasses this.
Four cups of epsom salt added to hot bath water delivers a full dose of magnesium. Those using a foot bath should only use two cups of epsom salt. Adding the salts to a fever-inducing hot bath can increase the benefits when hacking cold and flu bugs, and provide a full dose of essential magnesium.
As seasonal influenza and rhinovirus strains become increasingly drug and vaccine resistant, it’s a good time to revisit every ‘hack,’ a.k.a. folk medicine technique, from the past for present day challenges.
Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
Holistic Dentistry Can Help Reverse Cavities
Going to the dentist is a chore that almost no one looks forward to; it’s painful, expensive, and no matter what, you’ll probably be told you’re not flossing enough. Some dentists might tell you that your issues are a matter of genetics, but that’s probably not true. This led one dentist to the realization that the intrinsic problem is not a matter of legacy, but instead a matter of diet, realizing a way to reverse cavities simply by adjusting what one eats.
How to Get Rid of Cavities
We all know processed sugar and sweets are prime contributors to cavities, but there are also vitamins and nutrients that, when deficient in our diet, can lead to tooth decay. Calcium and Vitamin D are two of these nutrients we know are responsible for strong bones and healthy teeth. But what most don’t realize is that these vitamins can be neutralized by phytic acid in the digestive process. Phytic acid and phytates act as a storage mechanism of phosphorous in plants, but when consumed by humans they aren’t broken down, instead binding with other nutrients that neutralize them in the process.
So where do phytates come from? Grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and in lesser quantities, vegetables. But aren’t these types of food essential sources of certain nutrients themselves? Well, yes, and the answer is complicated; phytates are also known to have antioxidant properties, and their binding effect can be good for people who consume an overabundance of minerals like iron.
The big takeaway is that an overabundance of phytates in your diet can lead to weaker teeth and more cavities if not balanced with an abundance of specific nutrients. And our diets are packed with foods that contain these phytates. With the average western diet containing copious amounts of processed sugars, grains, and vegetable oil, it’s no wonder the dental industry is booming.
From a young age, we’ve been exposed to this type of diet, with the food pyramid’s foundation consisting of bread, cereals, and wheat. Although sugar is the smallest segment of the pyramid, it has found its way into almost all of the food we eat. At the same time, meat and dairy are also small segments on the pyramid, but according to research based on a diet optimized for healthy teeth, these food groups should be your foundation.