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 Cold/Flu  Holistic-online.com

Preventing Flu

1. Get a flu shot. Every year, scientists develop a vaccine against the most recently circulating strain of the virus. Get vaccinated in the fall or very early winter.  This is especially important if you are defined as one of the "high risk category."

2. Avoid crowds and closed spaces. The virus spreads easily. So stay away from movies, theaters, shopping centers, and other crowded places during an epidemic. Keep your distance from people who are sneezing or coughing.

3. Give up Smoking and Alcohol. Smoking and alcohol can impair your resistance. Smoking, in particular, injures the respiratory tract and makes you more susceptible to the flu.

4. Avoid Prolonged Exposure to the Cold. Prolonged exposure to wet and cold weather lowers your resistance and increases your risk of infection.

5. Minimize Kissing.  Kissing is an efficient means to spread the flu. If your spouse is sick, do not sleep with him/her. Move into another room. And do not share any clothes (such as towel) or dishes with a sick person.

6. Wash, Wash. Wash your hands frequently. Ordinary soap kills the flu virus. But in order to reduce your chance of infection, you've to wash your hands throughout the day, not just before meals or after going to the bathroom. When a family member is sick, you can use a disinfectant spray on the sink and countertops. Use hot, soapy water to wash towels, telephones and dishes.

7. Don't get Run Down. Keep up your strength. Don't get tired or run-down. You get susceptible when you are down.

8. Reduce Stress. People under stress may fall ill more easily. Both physical and emotional stress can create imbalances that make the body more vulnerable to illness. Learn to deal with unavoidable stress in a constructive manner. Relaxation techniques may protect you from influenza and other infections, according to the results of a study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine that involved the use of self-hypnosis for relaxation. But you don't have to do self-hypnosis to get the benefits of relaxation therapy. Other ways to relax include deep breathing, stretching, meditation, and yoga. For a detailed description of managing stress, visit holisticonline.com stress infocenter.

9. Avoid expo sure to dust and chemicals, too much sugar and/ or fat in the diet, and even sudden and extreme temperature changes.

10. Eat a low-sweet diet and no fried foods. During the flu season, prepare lots of vegetable and astragalus soup to help boost your immune system.

11. Take 300 milligrams each of vitamin C and bioflavonoids daily during the cold season. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, taken daily, help to pre vent colds and flu.

12. Take 250 to 500 milligrams of astragalus in the morning three times a week during the flu season. Astragalus helps to build the immune system, and thus make you less vulnerable to the flu. 
Note: Do not take this herb if you have a fever.

13. Take 200 milligrams of American ginseng one-half hour before breakfast once or twice a week during the winter months. It helps to boost the immune system and strengthen the body.  
Note: Do not use ginseng if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or hypoglycemia. If you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine and other stimulants, consult with a qualified professional before using ginseng.

14.Take one dose of an echinacea and goldenseal combination formula supplying 500 milligrams of echinacea and 350 milligrams of goldenseal twice weekly during the flu season.  They stimulate the immune system and help keep the body clear of infections.

15. Take one dose of homeopathic Anas barbariae each week or every other week during the flu season.

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