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 Cold/Flu  Holistic-online.com

Prevention of Cold

Although a cold can strike at any time, colds are most common during early fall, midwinter, and early spring, so these are the times it makes the most sense to work actively to boost immunity.

A cold virus spreads one of two ways: through air or by direct contact. The key to cold prevention, is to put some distance between you and cold viruses and then to boost your defenses (immunity) when the virus has managed to reach you in spite of all these defenses set up.

A strong immune system is the best defense against all infections. Boost your body's natural resistance by eating well, not smoking, and drinking plenty of fluids every day.

Take 10,000 international units of beta-carotene and 25 milligrams of zinc daily during the cold and flu season.

Vitamin C and bioflavonoids make an effective preventive combination. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Supplement your diet with 500 milligrams of each twice daily during the cold season.

Astragalus strengthens the immune system and upper respiratory tract, and improves energy. Take 500 milligrams of astragalus daily for two weeks out of every month during the cold and flu season. Do not take it if you have a fever or other sign of acute infection.

American ginseng helps to build the immune system and strengthens the body. Take 200 milligrams twice weekly during the winter months. Do not take American ginseng if you have a fever or any other signs of acute infection, or if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or hypoglycemia. If you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine and other stimulants, you may want to consult with a qualified herbalist before using ginseng.

Echinacea and goldenseal stimulate the immune system and help keep the body clear of infections. Take one dose of an echinacea and goldenseal combination formula supplying 500 milligrams of echinacea and 200 milligrams of goldenseal twice weekly during the cold and flu season.

Siberian ginseng helps to strengthen immune function. Choose a standardized extract containing 0.5 percent eleutheroside E and take 100 milligrams in the morning and again in the afternoon.

Take one dose of homeopathic Anas barbariae once a week during the cold and flu season. 

Wash your hands again and again. It is one of your best defenses against colds. The washing with soap re moves the virus from your hands.

As far as possible, avoid contact between your hand and vulnerable entry points for the virus such as your mouth, nose etc. If you have to rub your nose or eyes, use a knuckle. It is less likely to be contaminated with a cold virus than your fingertips.

Do not use cloth handkerchiefs. Instead use disposable paper facial tissues. A cold virus can survive for several hours on cloth handkerchiefs. Switch to disposable facial tissues. Use them once and discard them.

Allow air to circulate. Ventilation disperses cold viruses. On the contrary, stagnant air is a breeding ground for cold viruses. One of the big risk of catching cold is when you travel in a plane where the closed air system recirculates the contaminated air exposing you to the virus repeatedly. If possible, avoid plane travel and crowded places such as movies, theater, etc. during the cold season.

Improve your home environment. Cold viruses thrive under the conditions such as lack of humidity. Overheated homes and offices are the perfect setup for a cold. When our nose and tonsils are dry, they cannot trap germs efficiently. It becomes difficult to sneeze and cough, so it's difficult to expel germs from the body. Turning down the thermostat and turning on a room humidifier keeps virus-laden mucus flowing out of your body.

Sit in a sauna. Researchers found that if you indulge in a sauna twice a week or more, you're less likely to catch a cold. Possibly, the high temperature may block the cold viruses from reproducing.

If you are experiencing emotional distress or other stress, you will fall ill more easily. In a study involving more than 400 people, researchers found that people who reported high levels of psychological stress were twice as likely to develop a cold as those reporting low stress levels. It appears that a change in stress hormones wears down the immune system. 
Try to be aware of the sources for your stress and do things that relieve stress. You can get good advice about this in the Stress Management Infocenter of Holisticonline.com.

Minimize contact with people who have colds, or at least don't share towels, silverware, or beverages with them.

Exposure to dust and chemicals, too much sugar and fat in the diet, exposure to sudden and extreme temperature change, all can potentially make you more susceptible to illness.


See Also:

Preventing Flu

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