How can we prevent a cold or the flu?
We can OPTIMIZE the resilience of the body.
Colds and flus are opportunistic pathogens. When a person’s immune system is run down it presents an “opportunity” for the pathogen to infect the body.
The immune system becomes run down from:
|onset:||gradual, 1 to 3 days||rapid, 3 to 6 hours|
|duration:||4 to 10 days||1 week to several|
|fever:||little or none||high, often with chills|
|coughing:||hacking, productive cough||dry, unproductive cough|
|chest discomfort:||mild to moderate||often severe|
This is a good time to incorporate preventative measures to help strengthen the body’s immune defenses.
Some beneficial choices include:
WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL CARE
In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
If you or a loved one happens to contract a cold or flu there are many natural options that can shorten the duration of an illness and lessen the symptoms.
I have included a number of suggestions here. You may choose what works best for you. The herbal medicine that we use comes from Viriditas Herbal Products, which use the highest quality organic herbs and are handcrafted in a precise artisanal manner.
If you buying herbs on your own, look for those that are organically grown and be sure that they are fresh.
HERBAL TEAS & TINCTURES
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) is safe, gentle, and capable of both preventing and fighting viral infections. Echinacea of course is the king of the cold/flu herbs, and deservedly so. Echinacea can be used in small preventative doses throughout cold and flu season or in larger doses for fighting sickness. Use of echinacea has been shown to shorten the duration of colds. The tincture is the single most effective way to give children this medicine. For maximum effectiveness during an acute infection it’s important to give echinacea tincture in therapeutic doses.
1 drop of extract per 2 pounds of
the child/adults’s body weight
(i.e., a 50-pound child would get 25 drops, every 2 to 4 hours, depending upon the severity of the infection).
It can be given diluted in 1/4 cup of water, tea, or diluted natural fruit juice.
In children over one year honey may be added.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) syrup is a wonderfully sweet tasting way to boost the immune system and treat influenza. Research has found that patients taking elderberry syrup had higher levels of antibodies against the flu virus and has actually been proven effective against eight different influenza viruses.
This knowledge may help solve the perennial problem of the mutation flu.
BASIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FLU
In most cases it is best to not eat during a flu, drink plenty of fluids and rest.
Especially avoid dairy products and sugars.
Allow the body to sweat. Beneficial teas for easing the flu and promoting sweating include:
These may be sweetened with a bit of honey.
To make a tea, use 1-2 heaping tablespoons of dry herb per liter of boiling water.
Let steep for 15-30 minutes, strain and drink throughout the day.
If the symptoms are going into the chest, use elderberry syrup
If there is a high fever, any other associated symptoms or no response to treatment please call or make an appointment with your health care provider or go to the hospital.
Try a warming (wet) sock treatment for upper respiratory congestion and sinus pressure.
After a warm bath or shower put a pair of cotton socks wet with cold water on to the feet. Cover with a pair of thick wool socks and go to sleep. When you wake up the socks will be dry and you may feel a lot better.
The remedies listed here are intended for children over the age of two. For treating younger children with herbs, consult your health care practitioner.