This year’s flu season has started with a real punch. Symptoms include head cold, runny nose, sore throat, aching muscles and fever. There can be quite serious complications such as bronchitis and even pneumonia.
There are lots of people who have gone down with it, which means that your chances of being exposed to the virus are quite high.
Staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong, is the best way to avoid catching the flu in the first place. For those with compromised immune systems such as; the elderly, the very young, those suffering from other diseases, or those who suffer from potential complications such as asthma, really should be working to improve their immunity to avoid catching this nasty little virus! Ways to improve you immune system to minimise catching the flu;
- Immune stimulating herbs such as; Echinacea, Andrographis, Astragalus, Olive Leaf, Cat’s Claw (for chronic, long term immune issues), Turmeric, Holy Basil and Elderflower
- Eating real, nutrient dense foods with lots of garlic (which contains allicin, a powerful anti bacterial and antiviral compound) and ginger, bone broths that have been made with organic bones and cooked for hours with apple cider vinegar to draw out the benefits from the bones, and raw leafy greens, plenty of vegetables and avoiding foods that depress the immune system such as sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol.
- Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc. If your finger nails have white spots and your sense of taste and smell isn’t all that great, you may be deficient in zinc. Make sure you’re getting a good quality powdered form of vitamin C (the chewable tablets just don’t cut it!) and using zinc citrate is the most optimal source of zinc available.
- Drink plenty of fluids including real herbal teas (not flavoured herbal tea from the supermarket), filtered or bottled water, fermented drinks such as Kombucha or Kefir and freshly squeezed green juices.
- Getting plenty of probiotic rich foods and taking a good quality, multi-strain probiotic help the immune boosting lymph nodes in your gut.
- Exercise regularly to keep strong, but also to heat your body up internally. Building up a sweat will actually help fight viral and bacterial infections. You can enhance this by visiting a sauna regularly as well.
- Avoid stress which depletes the immune system
- Get enough sleep, as sleep deprivation will deplete the immune system and make you more susceptible to a virus taking hold. Try to nap whenever possible, especially if you’ve had a bad night. Of course if sleep problems are chronic call me for help.
- Get a regular massage, a lymphatic drainage massage is particularly effective at stimulating the lymphatic system.
- Try dry skin brushing, a technique that uses a natural bristle brush to stimulate the lymphatic system by using strokes of the brush on dry skin, always brushing the towards the heart and concentrating on the lymph nodes in the groin, under the arms at the base of the neck and under the shin. It’s easiest to do it before a shower.
Ways to avoid coming into contact with the flu virus include;
- Wearing a mask, obviously a bit extreme, but if you’re sitting in a doctors surgery, the chances of breathing in the flu virus are very high. Ideally those who are there because they have the flu, really should be the ones wearing the mask, but did you know you can be contagious before you actually show any symptoms of being sick?
- Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser while you’re out and about, especially if you are going to eat or drink anything.
- Use the antibacterial wipes on the handles of the trolley at the supermarket and avoid touching surfaces such as the hand rail on the escalator.
- Take your own pen with you so you don’t need to use the ones used by everyone else. You can even use it to key in the numbers on the ATM!
- Avoid touching your face if you haven’t got hand sanitiser
- Using a neti pot to flush out the sinus cavities, where viruses and bacteria can breed, on a daily basis
If you’ve already caught the flu, don’t despair, call me for a personalised herbal mixture and other quality, practitioner only supplements, that will help your body fight those nasty little viruses.