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(This is NOT advice or counsel from a certified and medical expert or naturopathic. All information was found online or is from my personal experience and a doctor/naturopathic should be consulted for all medical questions and concerns.)
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The Flu Season - Some Helpful Suggestions


The flu season starts in November and lasts until April.


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Since I do an abundance of online research, a friend of mine who had the flu asked me last week, if I had read or heard anything about a flu outbreak. At the time, I knew a couple of people who were sick but hadn't given it any thought. Than I asked around and found out that indeed a good portion of my friends were sick. This weekend, I started developing sickie symptoms. So I figured it was time I do a little more research and write an update for potential sickies and those who are reading this from home.

Depending on where you live, the combination of wind, rain, cold and warmth can play havoc with your body's internal thermostat. The last couple of weeks, let alone the last couple of months have been opposites for southern California. If your area has been anything like ours, you may be more susceptible to a cold (or flu) than in other seasons past.

County Health Departments are actively promoting flu shot vaccinations. If you have had success with flu shots and wish to receive one, check with your local Health department. Online: Type in the name of your city and the words Health Departments in a Google / Yahoo / MSN search engine. The results will bring up your local health department.

My personal experience with the flu shot.
A few years ago, I received a flu shot while being 100% healthy. Within 24 hours, I developed a fever of 103 and was sick for two weeks. Since than, I haven't gotten a flue shot and treat most of my colds and the flu naturally. On average, the natural preventions and remedies have proved to be just as effective as pills and shots. If the natural remedies do not help, I than go to the doctor for antibiotics type medication. NOTE: I do not endorse not getting the flu shot; I endorse information in making a decision that is best for each person.

More Information About Flu Vaccinations

What You Can Do Now To Prevent Getting Sick or Getting The Flu

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Be physically active
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Eat nutritious food
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Manage your stress
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs

  • Wash your hands! - I can not and do not want to say how many times I've left the women's restroom grossed out by the lack of women who did not wash they're hands. But they had plenty of time to put on anther layer of lip stick. It's gross, wash your hands fems and gents. Also, don't talk to someone on your cell phone while going the bathroom, it's anther gross in my opinion and Cell Phone Etiquette may be an upcoming article I write.

    If You Are Already Sick


    Symptoms of The Flu

    Fever, shivering, chills, dry cough, loss of appetite, and body aches. A runny nose or stuffy nose does not always occur with flu whereas it usually does for a common cold. These symptoms are similar to the body's general method of reacting to a serious infection and are called flu-like simply because the flu is the most common of such infections.

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    I have The Flu!?


    Regrettably, once you have the flu, you'll just have to take the age-old advice: Drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest and stay away from healthy people who do not have the flu. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick and being really peeved off at you.

    Aches & Pains
    Flu: Common and can be severe. A hot bath may help with ease the aches & pains.
    Cold: Discomfort is likely, but the sluggish feeling will be more tenderness, than actual aching.

    Chest Discomfort
    Flu: Can be mild to moderate, as you become congested. Avoid eating or drinking things that could make it worse.
    Cold: Can reach severe proportions, depending on how badly your cold is.

    Cough
    Flu: A common symptom that can become more serious as the disease works its way through your system. Just gotta deal with it and take care of your self with rest and fluids.
    Cold: Usually the hacking kind. That's your body's way of trying to get the junk out.

    Exhaustion
    Flu: Comes early and stays for the duration of the disease. It can linger even after most of the symptoms disappear. i.e. Get plenty of rest and don't return to bad eating / living habits immediately after the symptoms disappear. Actually, don't return to them at all.
    Cold: Almost never.

    Fatigue/Weakness
    Flu: Prominent, can last 2-3 weeks, and continue for a time even after you're feeling better.So don't stop taking care of yourself simply because your fever is gone.
    Cold: Rarely. You may feel that a bad cold saps your strength.

    Fever
    Flu: Common, can last as long as 3-4 days.
    Cold: Rare.

    Headache
    Flu: Common, and usually intense. It's often the kind where aspirin won't even make a difference.
    Cold: Rare.

    Sneezing
    Flu: Rarely
    Cold: A prominent feature of the illness. Keep plenty of tissue handy and drink lots of liquids.

    Sore Throat
    Flu: Occurs sometimes during the course of the ailment.
    Cold: Very common. Hot liquids, aspirin, and rest will help ease it.

    Stuffy nose
    Flu: Sometimes accompanies the disease, but isn't always present.
    Cold: Part of the ailment and can be bad depending on how serious the cold is.

    Warm liquids, such as chicken soup, can be very soothing to the throat. Many people who have combined western medicine with the benefits of all natural medicine have experienced positive results.

    Here are some very common things to do (naturally) that may or may not be known.

    Chicken Noodle Soup
    It's true, turns out moms are right. Chicken soup appears to prevent the movement of cells in your body that trigger an inflammatory response. In addition, it helps relieve congestion by speeding up the movement of mucous through your nasal passages, letting you breathe easier.

    Cloves & Cinnamon
    These aromatic spices also possess antiviral properties. Make a tea by simmering fresh cinnamon sticks and a handful of clove buds in a pot of boiling water. Let steep for about an hour, then strain and drink, with some raw honey to taste.

    Herbal Teas
    For us who are not herbal tea blending experts, there are several wonderful commercial brand teas that prominently name exactly what they are to be used for. I use these often for my asthma and colds.

    Hydration
    Drown the infection - Liquids won't cure it, of course, but staying well hydrated can help you get rid of it faster.

    Humidity
    When it's cold, the air is often dry and that is the most cherished environment for infection bugs. Keeping your home properly humidified can go a long way towards keeping you healthy. However, make sure to clean the humidifier or you may wind up with mold and other bacteria getting a chance to grow and just repeatedly going into cold / flu circles.

    Raw Honey
    Honey has an abundance of qualities that I could promote and this is just anther great natural ingredient that can be added to water and teas. High heat will destroy the enzymes so add it only to warm beverages, or take it by itself at room temperature. May be effective in upper respiratory ailments, with enzymes that give it virus-killing powers.

    Saline Nose Drops
    Try to get the all natural ingredient kind, they can open up clogged nasal passages. Whether you get the all natural or common version, it's important they're the saline kind though. Don't over use them otherwise you may experience the infamous rebound effect, where the symptoms come back worse than ever.

    Vitamin C
    Overall, vitamin C seems to do more good for our health when it's in fruit such as apples, Avocados, Grapefruit, Guava (tropical), Kiwifruit (green), Mangos, Raspberries and good old fashioned Oranges. Although for the common cold, large amounts (1,000 mg) may shorten a cold, but evidence for prevention is shaky at best. If nothing else, the fruits above are mighty tasty and much better for you than say a super sized soda and a Mickey D meal. More fruit that has vitamin C. »»

    All Natural With A Side of Raised Eye Brow

    These are the more natural remedies that you may raise an eyebrow at. However, natural remedy supporters say the follow methods work.

    Cayenne Pepper
    I read several articles, stories and feedback that says Cayenne tea is the absolutely best method for not only treating the flu but in preventing getting sick at all. Several studies have shown that cayenne will improve such problems as psoriasis, pain-relieving treatment, dyspepsia and colds / flues. Here is one recipe I found online

    • 1 cup boiling water
    • Squeeze in the juice of 2 lemons
    • Honey to taste
    • 2 dashes of cayenne pepper

    Drink several times a day until your cold is gone or you have averted it.

    Garlic
    Take a large clove, peel and keep it in your mouth. Bite down every so-often to release the natural juices. Replace with a new clove every four or five hours. Your cold symptoms are reported to be to gone in twenty four, to forty eight hours.When brewed in a hot chicken or vegetable broth, pungent and delicious garlic boosts immune systems by increasing the antiviral powers of white blood cells.

    Kombucha

    This is one I can promote (personally) that it indeed works. I also have one of my friends hooked on it when he's sick. For several years I was able to pencil in my development of pneumonia every December. It was like the first official day of Winter, I knew it was going to happen even though I would do everything in my power to prevent; including positive thinking. An acquaintance gave me a couple of bottles of Kombucha one year and since than, I have never had pneumonia.

    Drink 1 bottle of Kombucha in the morning and one at night to reduce the flu's duration Learn what Kombucha is and how it is used»»


    Onion Cough Syrup
    Cook four to five large onions in a stock pot with 3/4 cup of honey. Simmer for approximately 11/2 to two hours, strain and take as often as needed for relief. Onions are rich in flavonoids, which can protect against the growth of harmful germs.

    Oregano
    It has been said that Oregano may be the most powerful natural germ fighter. Research studies have shown that full-strength oils of oregano can destroy the human cold virus within minutes of exposure. So if someone admits they have a cold or the flu and went to work you could rip out your bottle of oregano oil ad put a few drops under your tongue. If your already sick, anther suggestion was to add generous quantities of the fresh, dried or frozen herb to a hot broth.

    Parsley
    For congestion relief, make a tea of fresh parsley, steep the parsley in hot water for a few minutes then sip tea slowly. Drink daily.

    Peppermint
    Peppermint is said to be a valuable expectorant (promoting the expulsion of phlegm from the respiratory passages.) Research on peppermint says that it's used to treat bronchitis, colds and flues by reducing fevers by inducing sweating and cooling the body. It's also said that peppermint can be used as a painkiller for headaches and some types of migraines and is a soothing decongestant for clearing blocked sinuses. A recipe I found online

    • 1 ounce dried Elder Flowers
    • 1 ounce dried Peppermint Leaves
    • 1/2 pint distilled water

    Mix the herbs. Place in a quart saucepan. Pour 1/2 pints of distilled boiling water over it. Cover and allow to steep in a hot place for 10 to 15 minutes (do not boil). When ready, strain into another saucepan. Sweeten with honey if desired.

    Sage

    For an inflamed throat and hoarseness. Sage is anther remedy with a long standing reputation for soothing sore throats with it's antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. Combine hot sage water mixed with apple cider vinegar and honey mix and gargle. In feverish conditions, sources recommend sage to be taken as a tea.

    Some Facts That Should Be Known


    Antibiotics
    Doctors won't prescribe antibiotics for a cold because they won't help and they could just make infection bugs stronger.

    Antihistamines
    They're great for your allergies, but seem to make cold symptoms worse by drying out your mucous membranes. Avoid them.

    Cough Medicines
    Some doctors don't recommend them because they hide the underlying cause of your illness without actually helping you in the long run. Use with care. In addition, they could be dangerous for your kids. Consult your health practitioner.

    Starving the Cold
    Don't do it, despite the old cliche, your body needs substance and you need your strength to get better. If you don't feel like eating, try eating slatine crackers or at the very least make sure to continue drinking fluids.

    Other Helpful Information


    Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibrupofen (Advil) work well for fever and muscle aches. Children and teenagers should not take aspirin with a fever, as it could lead to Ryes syndrome, a dangerous and often fatal illness. Over the counter decongestants, expectorants and cough suppressants can often ease symptoms and make the flu easier to live with while you wait for it to pass through your system.

    NOTE:

    This is NOT advice or counsel from a certified and medical expert or naturopathic. All information was found online or is from my personal experience and a doctor/naturopathic should be consulted for all medical questions and concerns.


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