27 Jun 2013

Cold and Flu Remedies

With winter so very clearly here in South Africa, the sniffles are starting, I thought it appropriate to do a bit on prevention and getting rid of the cold and flu nasty's.  

The quicker you whack a cold the better your chances.  The minute you feel it coming on take:  
1.  Olive leaf extract
My personal favourite.  My daughter's homeopath swears by it, says it is way better than any other natural cold or flu remedy.  I've been using it for about a year now - so far so good!
2. Probiotic
Take a good probiotic with as many different strains in it as you can find.  Viruses often start in the stomach and spread from there, so if your intestinal flora is correct, you have a better chance of fighting it at that stage.  
3. Vitamin C
Increase your vitamin C intake

If that didn't work and you got a cold anyway.... try these other remedies:
4: Echinacea
This species stimulates white blood cells which help the body combat infection.  It increase the production of antiviral substances, and enhances the immune system.  Research shows that if taken early it can shorten the duration and severity of a cold
5. Ginseng and Liquorice root
Both of these help help enhance the immune system
6. Elder (Sambucus Nigra)
This has compounds that can inhibit the enzyme that flu viruses use to access our cells.  Elderberry is used in a lot of children immune boosting remedies

7.  Lemon Balm
This herb is very beneficial in fighting a whole host of viruses,  Make a tea by steeping 3 tsp dried leaves in 250 ml hot water for 10 minutes.
8. Zinc
Take Zinc, studies have shown that you'll get beeter quicker by increasing your zinc intake
9. Tissue Salts
No 4 – Ferrum phosphoricum – Anti-Inflammatory
The deficiency: bluish-black discoloration on the skin against your nose at eh corner of your eye.
Regarded as the Oxygen Carrier, Ferrum phosphoricum is beneficial for any inflammatory or feverish condition. It is the chief remedy in headaches of children. Whenever there are ailments arising from disturbed circulation – heat, pains, redness, throbbing, or quickened pulse. It is beneficial during the first stage of acute diseases, common cold, bronchitis, measles, respiratory infection, acute rheumatism, etc. This mineral assists in maintaining normal body resistance to disease.
No 5 – Kalium muriaticum – Detoxifying Agent
Kalium muriaticum is helpful for conditions affecting the respiratory system – coughs, colds, bronchitis, tonsillitis, as well as ulcerated sore throat, catarrhal infection of the middle ear. It also aids the reduction of mucus congestion curing colds and sinusitis. Kalium muriaticum is beneficial for the lymphatic glands and in problems associated with thick white or greyish discharges, or where there are glandular or chronic rheumatic swellings. Works well with Calcium sulfuricum to cleanse and purify the blood. Very useful in infantile eczema, and with Ferrum phosphoricum for a variety of children's ailments. Other key symptoms include white-coated tongue and light coloured stool. Kalium muriaticum is important in digestive disturbances, especially from eating fatty or rich food.

If that didn't work and you got a cold anyway.... try this:....

1: Blow Your Nose Often -- and the Right Way
It's important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can cause an earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other. Wash your hands after blowing your nose.

2: Stay Rested
Resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a blanket. Getting plenty of rest and healing sleep is important to boost immune function and give the body time to heal. It is during the deeper stages of sleep that you experience metabolic and tissue restoration.

3: Gargle
Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief.
Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily.
To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle -- such as tea that contains tannin -- to tighten the membranes.
Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey.  Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in 2 cups of hot water; mix with 1 teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling. Honey should never be given to children less than 1 year old.
Rinse your mouth with oil (sesame or sunflower); it removes all bacteria and viruses from the mouth.  The oil will turn white when it has done its job.  Do not swallow.  Do once a day

4: Drink Plenty of Water
Liquids relieve nasal congestion, help prevent dehydration, and can soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat.  Avoid tea or coffee and milky products.  Warm water or herbal teas are best.  Stay well-hydrated by drinking at least 8 cups (2L) of water each day. Water keeps your respiratory system hydrated, which helps to liquefy thick mucus that builds up with a respiratory infection. Some findings show that hot liquids may be superior to cold liquids in upper respiratory infections. Other liquids can be added, but don't depend on coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages as these liquids may cause dehydration. With a fever, you can easily become dehydrated unless you are increasing fluids.
Be sure to increase liquids including water, clear soups or broth, and an electrolyte replacement drink until the fever resolves.
Put 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water three times per day.  It clears up sinuses and a post nasal drip. The potassium in the ACV withdraws moisture from bacterial and viral invaders killing them.  

5: Take a Steamy Shower
Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you're dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath. Getting in a warm shower with the bathroom door closed works as your own personal sauna. The steamy bathroom helps to open your airways and moisten and thin the mucus in your sinuses.

6: Use a Salve under Your Nose and on your neck
A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can open breathing passages and help soothe the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.

7: Apply Hot or Cold Packs around Your Congested Sinuses
Either temperature may help you feel more comfortable. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 55 seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it's right for you.) Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.  apply to your cheek area around your nose
If your head is throbbing and it's difficult to breathe through your nose, you may find relief by applying warm moist compresses to the cheeks and sinuses. If you use moist heat, make sure it's not too hot to avoid skin injury

8: Sleep With an Extra Pillow under Your Head
This will help with the drainage of nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.

9: Don't Fly Unless Necessary
There's no point adding stress to your already stressed-out upper respiratory system, and that's what the change in air pressure will do. Flying with cold or flu congestion can hurt your eardrums as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must fly, use a decongestant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can also help relieve pressure.
Remember, serious conditions can masquerade as the common cold and a mild infection can evolve into something more serious. If you have severe symptoms or are feeling sicker with each passing day, see a doctor.
Also, keep in mind that if you have flu symptoms, it's a good idea to call your doctor. If taken within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, flu medications may be able to shorten the duration of flu symptoms. Not sure if you have flu symptoms? Widespread body aches and a fever over 37 degrees are good indicators.

10: Breathe Aromatic Steam: 
Fill the bathroom or kitchen sink with steaming water, and add two teaspoons chopped fresh ginger (Zingiber officinalis). Drape a towel over your head and lean over the steam to get maximum benefit. Or add one teaspoon of the over-the-counter ointment Vicks VapoRub to the steaming water, then breathe in the steam for several minutes until you get relief. Another flu remedy is to add a few drops of oil of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) or menthol to the water. Eucalyptus is known to open up bronchial tubes, ease congestion, and make breathing easier..

11: Nasal Saline Irrigation: 
A host of scientific studies support saline nasal irrigation as an effective flu remedy to thin mucus, decrease postnasal drip, and add moisture to dried mucous membranes. In addition, the saline nasal rinse helps to remove virus particles and bacteria from your nose. Here's a popular recipe that you can try at home:
1.      Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt in 1cup of warm water. Mix fresh each day
2.      Put in a small spray bottle, dropper bottle or use a bulb syringe to squirt water into the nose.
3.      Learning over the bathroom sink, hold one nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain and gently blow your nose.
4.      Repeat 2-3 times and then treat the other nostril.

12: Hot Chicken Soup: 
If the flu has taken its toll on your throat, and it's hard to swallow without grimacing, sip some hot chicken soup. Hot chicken soup is a potent mucus stimulant, especially when it's loaded with pepper, garlic, hot curry powder, or other pungent spice that helps to thin mucus in the mouth, throat, and lungs. Studies have shown that hot chicken soup improves the function of cilia, the tiny hair like projections in the nasal passages that protect the body from foreign bacteria and viruses. Steaming chicken soup may also improve the motion of disease-fighting white blood cells.
Add some Shiitake Mushrooms which have substances called polysaccharides that stimulate teh immune system

15: Spice It Up: 
Garlic (the stinking rose) appears to have antimicrobial and immune-stimulating properties and may give relief of upper respiratory congestion with cold or flu.
Ginger also stimulates nerves that lead to mucus production. Ginger appears to have an antioxidant effect, as well as an anti-inflammatory effect, and stimulates the production of interferon that helps fight viral infections.
Chili peppers are a great source of capsaicin, an antioxidant that also acts as a natural decongestant and expectorant. If you have a strong stomach, add a few chili peppers to season your foods or use a few drops of hot sauce in a food or beverage. The added "spice" will help to open your nasal passages and temporarily improve breathing.
Dab some horseradish on your sandwich if you need a decongestant effect. Horseradish -- a root -- contains a chemical similar to one found in decongestants. 

16: Try a Humidifier: 
If the air in your room is too dry, use a warm mist humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air and help ease nasal and chest congestion. Always clean the humidifier with a bleach solution every few days to prevent the growth of bacteria and molds.

Don't leave it too long before seeing a doctor, especially if you feel it go to the lungs.

Here are a few ideas of other possible reasons you got the cold in the first place,  In a nut shell it basically boils down to the psychological explanation causing the immune system to go under strain and wham a bug weasles it's way into the body.
Happy people are generally healthier.
Watch comedy,
surround yourself with happy people,
read a happy book

Psychological explanations as explained by Louisa Hay
Colds – Too much going on at once. Mental confusion, disorder. Small hurts.
Bronchitis – Inflamed family environment. Arguments and yelling. Sometimes silent.
Respiratory ailments – Fear of taking in life fully.
Laryngitis – So mad you can’t speak. Fear of speaking up. Resentment of authority.
Influenza – Response to mass negativity and beliefs. Fear. Belief in statistics.
Throat – Avenue of expression. Channel of creativity.
Throat problems – The inability to speak up for one’s self. Swallowed anger. Stifled creativity. Refusal to change
Ear(s) – represents capacity to hear
Earache (Otitis) – Anger. Not wanting to hear. Too much turmoil. Parents arguing.
Left side of body – Represents receptivity, taking in, feminine energy, women, the mother.
Right side of body – Giving out, letting go, masculine energy, men, the father.

And as explained by: Lise Bourbeau 
Ear disorders – A judgmental attitude about what you are hearing. Internal anger & a desire to shut out whatever you don’t want to hear. A result of being spoken to harshly or emotionally about how to behave or not behave. You have it up to your ears with everything.

Laryngitis – It is a message from the body that you fear communicating vocally. You want to say something, but you’re afraid you won’t be heard or will displease someone. Instead, you choke back your words and they remain stuck in your throat. These words are struggling to get out. Perhaps you are afraid you won’t live up to someone’s expectations if you allow these words to come out; or you may fear being judged as inept by others who are more well-versed on the subject at hand. It may be that you've already said something you regret, or have spoken out-of-turn and are determined to shut up in case something else inappropriate slips out. If you persist in believing it is better that you don’t express yourself, what you repress will build up and surface elsewhere in your body. The throat is the energy center relating to creativity and it must be kept open for creativity to flow through every area of your life. When you have a request to make to someone, understand that the worst that can happen is that they will say no.

Flu – It will manifest frequently if it is difficult for you to express your desires or do what it takes to realize them. You feel easily smothered and overwhelmed. The body is saying I've had it!” The flu provides an obvious reason to get away from a situation. The flu is always linked to your relationship with someone specific. The severity of your flu is determined by the strength of your belief that’s preventing you from fulfilling who you are and what you need to do. Rather than believing the flu is the only ticket out of an uncomfortable situation, examine your mindset and change it!

References, Additional Reading and Shopping:
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  1. Wow! You are a wealth of health information. Thanks! I've bookmarked this page for future reference. :-)
    His blessings,
    Kim @ Curtain Queen

  2. Thanks for linking up to Sunday Social at Call Me PMc

  3. These are all such great tips. I think we often forget about the simple things before we run to the doctor, and we all forget there is no cure for the common cold.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

  4. I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/.

    I would be honored if you join us and follow to stay connected Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  5. Keep healthy life by consuming healthy food and doing exercise regularly is the best healthy formula.
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