Fighting the Flu At Home With Natural Alternatives
There are numerous different strains of cold and flu viruses, which change and alter themselves each year as a response to changes in their environment.
The flu will typically affect between 10 and 35% of the population each year, depending upon the virulence of seasonal flu variety and how well protected individuals keep themselves.
Because of the tremendous adaptability of the flu virus, a cure from traditional Western medicine is a pipe dream at best. This is in part due to the way in which modern antibiotics and medications are researched and developed. For this reason many of these same home remedies which were used by our ancestors continue to be used today as remedies for the flu.
Why The Flu Spreads So Rapidly
In close quarters, conditions are always right for the spread of the virus which explains why the highest incidence of the flu is in school-age children. However, the most serious complications occur in older adults and those whose immune system is compromised from underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma or AIDS.
In the past several decades the overuse of antibiotics has become a serious problem which led to resistance in many disease causing bacteria as well as the mutation of the influenza virus when exposed to these drugs. Each year or pharmaceutical industries come out with another flu shot to help with the seasonal flu variety, and over-the-counter cough and cold medications sales are several billion dollars each year.
The Public Turns To At Home Flu Remedies
However, these measures are unable to prevent flu-related illness as well as we might hope. This is because the flu virus mutates from year to year and the vaccine is produced based on the previous years virus.
In an effort to decrease the amount of symptoms and illness which is experienced many people are turning to alternative forms of treatment that are believed to be less invasive and less toxic to the body. Of course, one of the best cures for the flu is prevention. It is much easier to prevent the body from contracting the flu virus than it is to cure it once it is already happened.
How To Prevent Yourself From Catching The Flu
Building a healthy immune system is the number one defense mechanism an individual can use to help themselves prevent the flu.
Steps To A Healthy Immune System:
Rest - Getting plenty of rest, at least eight hours each night, during which the body regenerates and heals.
Stop Eating Sugar - Eliminating as much sugar from the diet as possible. A teaspoon of sugar will negatively impact the immune system for up to six hours. It is better to satisfy your taste buds with sweet organic fruit then ice cream or chocolate.
Increase Your Fluid Intake - Drinking as much water as possible each day to help flush out toxins and waste products. This actually helps to decrease the workload on the kidneys and it improves your immune system.
Exercise regularly - Exercise is an important factor in maintaining the health and well-being of your immune system. It helps to move the lymph system through the body, sheds unwanted pounds, removes toxins, improves vitamin D production when done outside and improve blood circulation throughout the extremities. New research has shown that vitamin D plays an important role in both the prevention and cure of the common cold, flu, and other illnesses that are caused by invasion of bacteria and viruses.
Take Your Vitamins - Take a quality natural multivitamin with vitamin C each day. Vitamins C works in conjunction with vitamin D in order to boost the immune system and may help the body overcome or prevent the flu.
Wash Your Hands - Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. The flu virus can be easily transmitted from your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth and effectively inoculate yourself with the virus. Wash your hands frequently, after coming in contact with solid objects, shaking hands with people, each trip to the bathroom and before bed. Do not use antibacterial soaps because they are likely to spread antibiotic resistant bacteria. Instead practice good hand washing techniques under her warm water with friction and for at least a minute and a half.
Decrease Your Stress - Decrease the amount of stress in your life, as much as possible. Stress will negatively impact your immune system and increase the likelihood that you will contract a cold or the flu. Learn to manage your stress with deep breathing, walking, music or exercise.
Learn to manage your stress by also eliminating the individuals are situations which cause an increase in the stress level that you feel each day. You may leave that it is impossible to remove these situations from your life but it is much more difficult to accommodate your lifestyle to the stress related illnesses which can result.
What To Do If You Feel The Flu Coming On
If you do feel that you’re starting to get the flu you can help to decrease the symptoms and shorten the illness by taking a few simple measures:
- Salt Water Gargles - Begin to gargle with salt water three to four times a day to kill the viruses which are breeding in the back of your throat.
- Saline Nasal Sprays and Flushes - Use a normal saline spray in each nostril and gently blow the excess fluid out three to four times a day. This accomplishes the same thing as the gargle wash except it addresses the viruses in your nasal cavity and sinuses. Use the Netti pot to flush the viruses out of your sinus cavities.
- Vitamin C - Take vitamin C in divided doses several times each day. Be sure that the vitamin C you are taking is ascorbic acid and take the recommended dosage on the bottle.
- Drink Water and Fluids - Drink plenty of fluids and fresh vegetable juices to help flush out the toxins and give the body added enzymes required to decrease inflammation, pain and flush the viruses from the body.
- Zinc - Using zinc lozenges has been shown to shorten the length of colds and flu. It is important to recognize that you must suck on the lozenge and not chew them. If you find that you’re nauseous you should stop using the think lozenges immediately because it is a sign of zinc toxicity. However, many people find that think lozenges themselves make them slightly nauseous so evaluate your nausea based on how you feel when you are not sucking on the lozenge.
- Vitamin D - Go out in the sunlight for at least 20 minutes each day, twice a day, in order to absorb and manufacture vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to improve the body’s immune system and help to decrease the length of any illness caused by viruses and bacteria.
- Take Garlic - Garlic is another alternative treatment for the flu. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help the immune system to fight infection. Coupled with Echinacea it makes a strong fighting force against many infections.
- Ginger Teas and Capsules - Ginger is another herbal roots that is a natural antiviral. It is also pain relieving and often recommended for individuals who suffer from arthritis. It is valuable both in the prevention and treatment of illnesses caused by viruses as well is inflammation of mucous membranes in the treatment of sore throats. It has a mild sedative effect which helps an individual to rest while ill. It can be added to tea, soaked in hot water or taken as a tincture.
Traditional Western medicine has not yet found a cure for the treatment of in the influenza virus. Although the immune system of most healthy individuals is able to fight off the flu virus after one to three days, those who have underlying medical conditions can experience more severe complications from the influenza virus that can even lead to deaths.
For this reason, it is very important to help bolster the immune system using healthy nutrition to decrease the likelihood of any serious complications. However, if you believe your flu is getting more serious, do not hesitate to see your physician.