This is the time of the year when you will start being bombarded with advertising and specials for that flu injection. Do not succumb to the possible side effects, and even long term damage, of a flu shot. Rather build up your immune system with a healthy lifestyle.
For most people, flu is an inconvenience and not life threatening
Following these steps will help you to recover quickly:
- flu means you need plenty of rest and sleep for at least a couple of days so take that time off and do what you body tells you so that it can direct all its energy towards the immune battle. As well as helping you to recuperate, good quality sleep will boost your immune system to help ward off future colds and flu.
- whether your body is fighting an infection or a virus in the case of flu, plenty of fluids are the order of the day as they help to detox your whole system and flush out germs and toxins. Water is at the top of the list with at least 6 to 8 glasses per day plus tea, comforting and nourishing soups (homemade if possible) and the occasional glass of natural fruit juice such as lemon, grapefruit, water melon or orange along with its helping of vitamin C. Keep away from sugar as much a possible which can just compromise the immune system that you are trying to boost. Hot liquids help to relieve nasal congestion while soothing any inflamed membranes lining your nose and throat.
- you may not have much of an appetite but small light meals will help you to keep up your strength and give you the necessary nutrients you need. As well as soups mentioned above, a lightly poached free range egg or some grilled fish with some fresh organic steamed vegetables makes the ideal invalid meal. You may need some added supplements at this time and particularly important is vitamin D3 and vitamin C.
- if you have a sore throat or cough with your bout of flu, gargle with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water several times a day. A tickle in the throat may respond to an astringent gargle with tea (that contains tannin). A drink of hot water mixed with some lemon juice and honey will help to soothe a scratchy throat or you can make a thick gargle with a tablespoon of lemon juice, steeped in a cup of water, and mixed with a teaspoon of honey. Cool to room temperature before using.
- if you are feeling congested, one way to help clear your air passages to breathe more easily, is to take a hot and steamy shower. Take one before bedtime or a daytime nap to help you sleep better. For congestion, always blow your nose gently with one finger over one nostril while you blow to clear the second nostril. Wash your hands regularly to avoid spreading germs. Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor have mild numbing ingredients and a small dab can be used under the nose to help relieve any pain or rawness.
- another tip to help with congestion, particularly when you are trying to sleep, is to use extra pillows to raise your head and allow any fluid in your air passages to drain away. If this makes the angle difficult for you to sleep, place extra pillows under the mattress itself for a more gradual elevation. Sometimes, applying a hot or cold pack around the sinuses (either side of the nose just below the eyes) will also help congestion.
With some TLC from those around you and your own common sense, the flu will soon be a distant memory. Keep up the healthy habits and lifestyle to build up your immune system to avoid any further illness.
Of course, if you have severe symptoms or just feel worse every day, then you should seek medical advice.