Cold and flu season is fast approaching and experts are saying that this may be one of the worst flu seasons we have had in decades. Considering the number of deaths, particularly in children and the elderly, the length of flu season, and how widespread the flu was last year and that is a scary thought. There are some things that you can do to try and protect the health of you and your loved ones this cold and flu season.
There are quite a few herbs that have traditionally been used to boost the immune system and ward off infectious viruses like the cold and flu.
Garlic is a well-known immune system booster and it can be taken daily with no harsh side effects. You can take garlic in supplement form or just add it to foods that you are already eating. If you are already feeling the effects of the cold or flu virus you can mince fresh garlic, let it sit for a few minutes, and then swallow it with liquid like a pill. You may not have the freshest smelling breath, but if you repeat this routine every couple of hours you may not get any sicker at all.
Echinacea should not be taken long term but it can be taken when you feel a cold coming on, or after a family member has already fallen ill with a cold or flu virus. Echinacea works by stimulating the body to produce more white blood cells which help to fight off infections.
Elderberry is another well-known herb that has been found to be very effective in cold and flu prevention. You can take Elderberry daily as a preventative measure during cold and flu season, and you can also take it once cold and flu symptoms have begun.
In addition to the herbs listed above, there are a few more things that you can do to prevent you and your family from falling victim to a cold or flu this season.
Wash your hands.
Washing your hands in warm water with soap for at least 15 seconds is the number one way to stop the spread of the cold and flu virus. If you have kids teach them to sing one verse of “Happy Birthday” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while they wash their hands.
It is important to stay hydrated year round, but it is especially important during cold and flu season. Being well hydrated keeps the mucosal lining in your nose moist so it can block germs from entering your body. Hydration is also key to keeping your blood moving through your body properly which allows white blood cells to do their job fighting off infection.
Take a probiotic daily
Taking a probiotic daily may help to keep you from getting the cold or flu. While probiotics focus on gut health they allow viruses to be neutralized while they are still in the intestinal tract before they spread through the rest of the body.
Eat well, sleep well, exercise
When there are germs lurking around every corner it is important to treat your body well. You can do this by making sure that you eat healthy foods, get adequate sleep at night, and continue being active and getting some exercise. All of these things keep your body in it’s prime so that it can fight off any germ invaders.
In addition to these tips to prevent the cold and flu viruses, you may also want to make sure that you keep some antibacterial cleaning products around in case you or a loved one gets ill. If you are not keen on using chemical cleaning products distilled white vinegar is effective at killing germs too.
Use the prevention methods we have listed here, and hopefully, you and your loved ones will be able to avoid getting the cold or flu this winter season.