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 Cold/Flu  Holistic-online.com

Common Sense Recommendations for Combating Flu

1. Begin treating the flu as soon as symptoms appear. Most people suffering through the flu naturally want to sleep and rest. Bed rest is essential because it lets your body conserve its energy and direct it at combating the flu infection. A comfortable bed and an open window bringing in fresh air (if weather permits) will help. Avoid becoming chilled, however. When you are ill, being active will weaken your defenses. This can make you susceptible to possible future complications.

Avoid exposure to extreme changes of temperature when feverish, as this puts extra strain on the body. 

2. Drink plenty of fluids. Drink at least one quart of liquid a day. When you have a fever, dehydration can occur. You lose body fluids through sweating and vomiting. Liquids are important to prevent dehydration. The fluids also provide needed nutrients when you're too sick to eat. Sip water regularly even when you don't feel thirsty. Also drink vitamin-rich beverages such as apple juice and vegetable juice, as well as soups. Thin soups are good like grandma said. Experts recommend beet juice and carrot juice, both of which are rich in vitamins and minerals. Apple and dark grape juices are also good. It is also a good idea to dilute fruit juice half and half with water. Too much sugar can cause diarrhea when you're ill. If you are drinking soda or ginger ale, allow them to go flat before drinking. Otherwise, the gas in the stomach and make you more nauseated.

Don't drink alcoholic beverages. They leave you dehydrated and can lower your body's ability to fight illness and secondary infection.

Take ginger tea. Ginger tea is antiviral and helps break up the mucus and congestion. Ginger tea is excellent if the stomach is affected. To make the tea, boil 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes. Take a cup as needed.

If you have a history of sinus or chest problems following a previous bout of flu, take a garlic supplement at the first opportunity. Take two tablets three times a day until mucus production has slowed down dramatically, or until the color of mucus becomes clear rather than yellow or green.

3. Take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.

Take a vitamin C supplement as soon as the first symptoms of flu develops. This will greatly help the body in its fight against infection. Take 1000mg each day while illness lasts, ideally divided into four 250 mg doses. Reduce the dosage if digestive problems occur, or if there is a history of kidney stone formation. 

4. Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds to 1 glass of boiling water. Simmer for a few minutes, strain, and let it cool. Drink it 12 times a day. If sore throat is also present, add a few small pieces of dry ginger to the boiling water.

5. At the first sign of the flu, switch to a bland diet. Eat soft-cooked rice (rice that has a very soft, moist texture created by a longer cooking time with more water) with a pinch of cumin, ginger powder and turmeric for seasoning.

Once your stomach can handle it, stick with easy-to-digest, high-nutrient foods such as dry toast and bananas and rice.

Avoid dairy products (cheese, milk, eggs, butter, ice cream, etc.) They tend to increase the duration of the flu by causing the body to produce more mucus.

6. At the first hint of symptoms, take echinacea, an herb with powerful antiviral and immunity-boosting effects. Take it for a week following dosage recommendations given on the label.

7. Take OTC pain relievers if necessary. Aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can reduce the fever, headache, and body aches that often accompany the flu. Take two tablets every 4 hours.

Caution: Do not give aspirin or medications that contain aspirin to anyone under 21 who has the flu. Studies have shown that aspirin increases a flu-stricken child's risk of developing Reye's syndrome, a life-threatening neurological illness. Give children acetaminophen as directed by your doctor.

8. At the onset of a flu, drink lindenflower tea with 2 drops of lemon balm oil, thyme tea with honey, rose hip tea or acerola juice. When you start to sweat, quickly go to bed and continue sweating for one hour. Change clothes, rub body dry and try to steep. This therapy often stops the flu before it becomes full blown.

9. Gargle regularly with sage tea to disinfect mouth, and use sage inhalations to reduce inflammation.

10. Gargle with salt water. A sore or scratchy throat often accompany the flu. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 pint of warm water. This concentration approximates the pH level of body tissues and is very soothing. Use as often as needed, but avoid swallowing the liquid because it's very high in sodium. This gives some relief from sore throat. It also wash out any secretions that are collecting in your throat.

11. Lubricate your nose. If you've been blowing your nose a lot, it's probably pretty sore. So lubricate your nostrils frequently to decrease irritation. Use a product such as K-Y Jelly. Avoid petroleum jelly; it dries out too quickly.

12. Soaking your feet in hot water may help if you have a headache or nasal congestion. If you have tired, achy muscles as in the case of most flu-sufferers, use a heat pad to warm them and ease their pain.

13. Get a back rub. A back rub may help activate the immune system to fight the flu. it is also very comforting.

14. Replace your toothbrush often. The virus continues to linger on wet toothbrush bristles, and you can reinfect yourself day after day. To prevent this, throw away your toothbrush three days after the onset of the flu and use a new one. Also use fresh clothes and linen as far as practical.

15. Go to bed early. If you must go to work, go to bed earlier than usual. This will lessen the stress on your body and help it fight the infection. 

If a chesty cough or tight chest is a problem at night, avoid sleeping completely flat. Sleeping propped up on two or three pillows may do a great deal to help make breathing easier.

See Also:

Commonsense Remedies for Cough

Commonsense Recommendations for Cold

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