An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

Flu season typically peaks during January and February according to the U.S. government’s Department of Health and Human Services. Now’s the time to
boost your immune system to optimum levels to fight colds and flu, speed up
recovery and easing symptoms.

These are the main reasons many people get winter colds and flu:

1) We’re indoors with other people while windows and doors are tightly closed.
2) The viruses causing most respiratory infections are continually mutating. Our immune systems have difficulty responding to these ever-changing germs.
3) Viruses typically survive on non-porous surfaces for hours. For example, If you turn a door handle recently touched by a sick person, then inadvertently lift your hand to your nose, you’ve infected yourself.
4) Respiratory viruses, especially Influenza, become airborne when someone coughs. You only need to inhale a very small amount of the airborn virus to become sick. Common symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and cough, though they are usually mild and gone within a week.          

However, Flu (Influenza) is not as common as colds. The two main types of Influenza viruses “A ” and “B” cause most cases of the flu. The Influenza viruses spread in
the air and direct contact. Flu symptoms are usually debilitating, characterized by sudden onset of chills, fever and muscle aches.

Keep Drinking Warm Liquids Including Herbal Teas and Soup Broths

When you come down with a cold or the flu, your respiratory system works hard to expel the invading viruses via mucus. Rather than drying those mucus secretions with OTC antihistamines, it’s better to accelerate the healing process by thinning them and making it easier to expel them. The best way to thin mucus secretions is to add water to your system by drinking warm liquids, especially herbal teas and clear soup broth.
Take a hot, steam shower, inhale through your nose if you’re stuffy, or through your mouth for chest congestion. Include aromatherapy by use de-congesting, anti- microbial herbs including eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary or peppermint leaves. A warm bath can relax aching muscles and ease chills. add five to eight drops of plant essential oils For muscle aches, try juniper and ginger.

Supplementing Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs

Some people who use Vitamin C users report a reduced duration and severity of cold symptoms, indicating that it plays a role in respiratory defense mechanisms. Typical daily doses are 500 to 1000 milligrams a day. Eating Vitamin C-rich foods, such as peppers, blueberries, citrus fruits, strawberries and leafy green vegetables provide good benefits.

Vitamin C helps promote a healthy immune system, as well as vitamin A, beta carotene, potassium, zinc and selenium. Natural Nutritional Remedies for Colds and Flu Certain herbs are beneficial to help decrease the severity of colds and flu while aiding your body’s healing process.

Echinacea is the most-researched herb for enhancing immune defenses and to help prevent respiratory tract infections. Several studies support the use of Echinacea for the treatment of viral upper respiratory infections.  The American Botanical Council noted recent studies concluding that Echinacea helped reduce the duration and incidence of the common cold.

Most experts say that when an Echinacea is taken in adequate and frequent doses at the onset of symptoms, it can shorten the duration and severity of a cold. Based on new research, it may also be helpful to start echinacea if you’ve been exposed to someone with a cold and should be taken every two hours while symptoms persist.

Sambucus is better than Elderberry, a traditional European tea brewed with elder flowers and peppermint leaves. However, scientific research has focused specifically on the berry from the black elderberry tree (Sambucus nigra). The extract of Sambucus black elderberries produces beneficial immune actions and helps fight influenza and other respiratory viruses. Several studies have demonstrated rapid recovery from influenza with Sambucus extract.
 
Ginseng including either Eleuthero Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), American

ginseng (P. quinquefolius) and eleuthero (Siberian ginseng or Eleutherococcus senticosus) all have been reported useful in fighting respiratory viruses. Such immune enhancing herbs especially helpful for elderly people. Ginseng is one of the most recommended cold and flu remedies by herbal experts.

 
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) also has many properties that can relieve

cold and flu symptoms. It acts as a mild anti-inflammatory, demulcent (soothing to sore throats), antispasmodic (to relax coughs) and expectorant to expel respiratory mucus. Herbalists recommend not to take licorice for more than four to six weeks.  It causes kidneys to retain water and sodium while losing potassium. Don’t take it at all if you’re pregnant, have high blood pressure or low blood potassium.

 
Healthy lifestyle factors influence your immune function… To avoid getting sick, eat healthy foods. Be sure to emphasize whole grains, fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Try to sleep at least eight hours a night. Wash your hands often, and sneeze into your arm, not your hands. Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, which delays respiratory defenses, and only drink alcohol to a minimum because excessive amounts affect immunity. Exercise regularly, but moderately. If you come down with a cold, light exercise is beneficial and can help clear respiratory mucus. If you have a fever, be sure to rest.
 
 
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.
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