PREVENTION is always the most important way to reduce the chance of getting sick in the first place. Some important strategies for cold and flu prevention would be:
● Wash your hands frequently, especially before you eat, after taking public transportation; especially during symptoms of cold/flu such as coughing /sneezing
● Retire at a reasonable hour and sleep
● If you feel you are coming down with something REST. Rest strengthens your immune system
● Avoid caffeine and foods that disturb sleep
● Take care to dress well. Cover your head and neck if it’s windy/cold
● Eat nourishing warm cooked meals several times a day to keep up your strength
● Include 6 helpings of dark leafy greens, yellow, orange, red colored vegetables and fruits. These foods provide lots of vitamins useful for enhancing your immune system. We often recommend selecting organic sources if possible.
● A daily neti wash reduces nasal and sinus inflammation which can help to prevent upper respiratory infections.
● Certain essential oils are known to have antiviral and antibacterial properties. These include: lavender, peppermint, thyme, lemon, clove, ginger and eucalyptus radiata. Peppermint, clove and Eucalyptus globulus should not be used after the ovulation if you are trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy and nursing or for small children. Add one or two drops to either almond or vegetable oil when using these oils for a massage. One to two drops can be applied directly to the soles of the feet, spine, throat or neck, or place in a diffuser or spray bottle, in your hand lotion, or in the bath. It is always recommended to buy organic and therapeutic grade oils.
● Practice stress reduction/relaxation techniques daily. Here is an example of one you can access from the Internet (http: //www.healingchronicpain.org/content/relax/default.asp).
● Avoid direct contact with people who are ill
● If you are sick, stay home. You will recuperate faster and it will prevent others from catching your illness.
SOME STRATEGIES FOR REDUCING SYMPTOMS FOR INFLUENZA (FLU) virus:
● Oscillococcinum (homeopathic) one vial of pellets under the tongue, three times a day. (Works only in the first two to three days of symptoms…often very effective.)
● Elderberry juice or syrup taken orally may help to reduce the symptoms and duration of Influeza infection.
FOR UPPER RESPIRATORY (COLDS) OR INFLUENZA (FLU) viruses: to be taken anytime during the illness, the soon the better, until symptoms abate.
General Immune support (In general order of preference. More than one may be used):
● Echinacea: three times a day in capsule or tincture form.
● Zicam (homeopathic) nasal spray: three times a day
● Zinc lozenges, especially if having a sore throat. Use up to three times a day for the first three to four days only.
● Vitamin C, 1000 mg/day total…in divided doses
● Medicinal mushrooms: Shitaake, Kombucha, Maitake
● Sinus blockage: Try a herbal decongestant first.
● Chest and Sinus Congestion: Use an expectorant and/or tea tree oil (add 12 drops to a bowl of steaming hot water. Place a towel over your head, close your eyes and lean over the bowl and inhale the steam vapors for 510 minutes. For a dry non productive cough use eucalyptus oil and follow the above inhalation therapy treatment
● For a Sore Throat: Gargle with Hydrogen Peroxide or tea tree oil (dilute with 23 parts water, gargle and spit out) or consider using commercial mouthwash
● For Headaches, Pain and Fever and Muscle/Joint Aches consider over the counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen