An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more
As cold weather arrives, cold and flu virus infections appear to be on the increase.
Have you thought about how you are going to best support your body during this time in order to stay well, or maybe how best to support you body in overcoming these viruses?
Will you get a flu shot? Will you support your body's immune system holistically with herbs, spices, and healthy foods?
Cold and flu viruses are infections spread by mucus droplets in the air; they find their way on doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, and other surfaces.
Who is at risk?
People most at risk of catching colds and flu are people are those over the age of 65, children and babies, people who already have poor health, people with chronic health conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema and other lung conditions. People with weight problems, lower immune function due to pregnancy, stress or a diet that consists mainly of processed and packaged foods rather than fresh vegetables and fruit.
8 steps to prevent and treat cold & flu
There are many ways you can work to prevent catching cold and flu viruses during the winter season. This can involve introducing herbs, good hygiene, nutritious diet with fresh fruit such as lemons, oranges, vegetables and condiments such as onions, garlic, good quality sleep, learning techniques to cope with stress so as not to get so anxious or upset. Make positive changes with lifestyle habits.
- Washing your hands regularly: The majority of cold and flu viruses are spread through direct contact either from person to person or through objects. When someone who has the flu sneezes onto his or her hand and then touches the telephone, the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands often. If you can't get to a sink, rub an alcohol-based hand sanitizer onto your hands.
- Avoid covering your sneezes and coughs with your hand: It is important to use a tissue to cover your face when sneezing or coughing, because germs and viruses will cling to your bare hands, where this can result in passing your germs onto others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
- Avoid touching your face: Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Therefore by touching your face, especially with children this is the major way catch colds and flu are passed on to one another.
- Rest, hydrate and relax: When you are getting adequate rest and relaxation this will give utmost support to your immune system. Drinking adequate fluids such as water, a fresh lemon drink first thing in the morning and herbal teas such as green tea, ginger and mint. These will help with detoxifying your system improving immune function.
- Daily aerobic exercise: Due to the fact that aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, therefore allowing the heart to pump larger quantities of blood, this will in turn help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood, allowing you to sweat once again acting as a great detoxifier. These exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.
- Healthy diet: Eating Foods with Phytochemicals: "Phyto" means plants. The natural chemicals in plants such as dark green vegetables, red capsicum, pumpkin, squash, spinach, kale and fruits are what supercharge the vitamins in these foods. So no need for vitamins; these are far more efficient for keeping you well and healthy. Eliminate sugar. Sugar can suppress your immune system for hours after ingestion. Supplements such as probiotics and vitamin D & C help to support a healthy immune system, as does eating organic yogurt daily.
- Either don't smoke or give up smoking: Smoking increases your risks of cold and flu, not to mention the most definite long term effects of decreased lung capacity leading to emphysema and lung cancer. When you are around people who smoke this profoundly debilitates your immune system. Smoke dries out your nasal passages and paralyses cilia. These are the delicate hairs that line the mucous membranes in your nose and lungs, and with their wavy movements, sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal passages. Experts contend that one cigarette can paralyse cilia for as long as 30 to 40 minutes. Do you want to make positive changes and give up smoking for life? Here is a book that has helped thousands of people. Why Can't I Give Up Smoking - You can download your copy today.
- Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum: By drinking excess quantities of alcohol, this will suppress the immune system in a variety of ways. Heavy drinking will make you more prone to initial infections as well as secondary complications. Alcohol also dehydrates the body -- it actually causes more fluid loss from your body system therefore can lead to serious dehydration. Dehydration leads to inadequate transport of nutrients within the bloodstream, which will also lead to serious toxic effects within the body.
A favourite recipe for overcoming the flu
Squeeze one lemon, one teaspoon of grated ginger, one teaspoon of cinnamon, one teaspoon of grated turmeric and a teaspoon of organic or manuka honey. Add hot water, allow to steep for 15 - 20 minutes and sip slowly.
Lemon is high in vitamin C, and honey has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties. Many studies have shown that it is effective at fighting external and internal infections.
Cinnamon and turmeric benefits include anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties.
Honey and cinnamon are powerful immune boosters! This remedy is also beneficial in reducing the severity of your cold and also preventing future colds including other viruses.