As promised in my last blog on Flu Vaccinations (entitled Flu Season and Flu Vaccines), here are natural methods of preventing the flu and managing the symptoms if you do get it.
Some I’m sure you’ve heard a million times before, that doesn’t mean they’re still not valuable.
First- eat a healthy diet of organic (whenever possible) fruits, veggies (in every colour of the rainbow), and lean proteins to build a strong immunity system!
Cover noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing, wash hands frequently (avoid hand sanitizers- research is showing they do more harm than good) with soap and water.
Don’t share glasses and cutlery etc with others especially if they or you are sick or feeling like you may be.
Wipe down phones, keyboards, and any equipment or machinery that others touch with anti-septic wipes (good natural brands include: Clean Well, Healthy Hand Wipes, and EO Products Hand Sanitizer with Organic Lavender).
Drink lots of fluids, especially clean filtered water.
Some good supplements to take (and look for plant based non-synthetic brands) are: (Strongly recommended)- A blend of vitamins A, C, and E (often called ACEs) with zinc and selenium. Also vitamin A (15,000iu daily unless pregnant, then take no more that 10,000iu daily) plus beta-carotene (15,000iu daily), vitamin C with bioflavonoids (5,000-20,000mg daily in divided doses), and zinc lozenges- at the first signs of symptoms, (take 1 15mg lozenge every 2 hours for 2 days, then reduce the dosage to a total of 80mg or less daily). Garlic capsules (Kyolic is an excellent brand), 2 of them 3 times daily is a great antiviral and antibacterial.
There are also many herbs known for their healing, antiviral, antibacterial, and immune system boosting abilities. This includes- Astragalus, black cherry, echinacea, ginger, goldenseal (there are some cautions with this herb, so see an Herbalist or Naturopath before taking), slippery elm and yarrow tea. Combining peppermint tea with any of those herbal teas is effective for opening up the nasal passages.
When you do get the flu:
The first 5 points above still prove effective when you have the flu, to help you lessen your chances of spreading it to others or having the flu last longer then it has to.
Also the following will be help in shortening the length of time you have the flu and the severity of symptoms. Especially if you take the above supplements at the first sign of illness, along with these ideas:
Avoid dairy products as they cause mucus, eat plenty of chicken and turkey soup as that Old Wives tale still works today. Adding a bit of cayenne pepper helps prevent and break up congestion.
Sleep and rest as much as possible, do NOT suppress a fever unless it is over 103*F. Fever is the body’s way of fighting infection. Flu viruses do not survive well in a warmer environment.
Buy a new toothbrush. They can harbour viruses and prolong the the illness. *I myself recently had a cold and replaced my toothbrush at the end of my worst symptoms.
Don’t ask your Doctor for antibiotics- they are useless against viruses!
Herbs include- Boneset which works as an expectorant and eliminates mucus from the lungs. Cat’s Claw has been shown to shorten the duration of the flu. Cayenne helps keep mucus flowing, aiding in preventing headaches and congestion.
At the first sign of a cough place one dropperful of alcohol free echinacea and goldenseal extract (remember to check about this one) in your mouth for 5 to 10 mins. Repeat this every hour for 3 or 4 hours, this stops the virus from multiplying.
Elderberry has antiviral properties and reduces flu symptoms.
Eucalyptus oil is beneficial for relieving congestion. Put 5 drops in a hot bath, or 6 drops in a cup of boiling water, put a towel over your head and inhale the vapours.
Fenugreek breaks up mucus and phlegm and slippery elm helps remove them from the body.
Olive leaf extract enhances immune function and fights all types of infection, including the flu.
For cough and sore throat mix 1 tablespoon of slippery elm bark powder with once cup of boiling water and 1/2 cup of honey. Take one teaspoon of this mixture every 3 to 4 hours. It can be taken either hot or cold, as you prefer.
Here’s to getting through the flu season without getting the flu. I haven’t had one in years! I don’t even remember how many years ago it was. 🙂