Staying well and thriving during cold and flu season requires some thought and planning. Here are the top tips for staying well and getting well.
Hand hygiene is the single most important practice. Wash them frequently. Carry a pocket container of Purell or similar hand sanitizer. Carry your own pen with you and use it to sign at the store!
Get the vaccines for "regular" seasonal flu and H1N1 ("swine flu). Click HERE
for a superb discussion of H1N1 vaccine. Visit the CDC website
for more information.
Keep up your immunity.
Eat a whole foods diet
--fresh fruits, vegetables
and whole grains
Stay well hydrated
Get enough sleep. Power nap
for 20 minutes once daily.
Or meditate 20 minutes daily
to boost immune function.
Herbal medicines. Some herbal medicines are known as 'adaptogens' and keep up the body's defenses. These include andrographis, eleuthero (Siberian ginseng), ashwaganda and medicinal mushrooms.
Probiotics. These are products that contain the "healthy" bacteria that ought to be present in high numbers in the intestines. New data show that taking probiotics can reduce risk of developing colds and flu symptoms, evidently by boosting the immune response.
Homeopathic medicines. Weleda is a European company that produces a medicine called Infludoron
. Take 7-10 drops daily as a preventive (mixed 1-2 oz of water if you prefer). Oscillococcinum is another homeopathic medicine that may be helpful at the first symptom of flu. Carry a small tube in your handbag or briefcase to have it readily available.
FOR GENERAL FLU SYMPTOMS:
If you develop symptoms of influenza (fever, fatigue, aches, cough), call your physician. Special antibiotics such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) can be prescribed, but must be started within 48 hours of first symptoms. If you have flu symptoms (high fever, fatigue, body aches, cough), it is extremely important that you stay at home and do not return to work for 7 days from symptom onset or until the resolution of symptoms, whichever is longer.
made be Weleda -- 7-10 drops in a small amount of water taken every 2 hours while awake for first 3 days, then 3x / day until well.Sambucol
liquid and lozenges, made from elderberry, may be helpful in treating flu symptoms. It is widely available.
FOR SINUS OR CHEST CONGESTION AND COUGH:Andrographis
is an herb that can be helpful for the cough and congestion from colds and flu-like illnesses. It is available as a product called Kold Kare. It is also an ingredient in the product, Quick Defense, make by Gaia Herbs.Sambucus Compound
is a product made by Weleda that is also helpful in alleviating symptoms of sinus and chest congestion.Steam inhalation
with eucalyptus oil and chamomile flowers can ease congestion, cough, and mucous membrane irritation from colds or flu. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into a mixing bowl. Add 4 drops or more (to effect) of eucalyptus essential oil. Add 3 chamomile tea bags. Create a steam 'tent' with a towel and inhale vapors for 10-15 minutes.