Posted on February 17 2018
There is no need to panic when flu season arrives and there’s no need to rush off to get the flu vaccine. There are many ways you can boost your immune system and protect yourself from the flu. You should focus on those things that support your natural immune response so that you can recover quickly and without complication.
The common cold and flu (influenza) are both contagious viral infections. Both affect the respiratory tract and have similar symptoms. The difference in both viral infections is the severity of the symptoms involved. The flu virus comes on suddenly and is much more intense than a cold. The flu causes a very high fever that can last for a few days, weakness, fatigue, and body aches. Cold viruses don’t usually cause a fever and symptoms are not as severe as those involved with the flu.
The first step toward a healthy immune system is a nutritious and well-balanced diet. Avoid sugar, processed foods, and junk food. Focus instead on high-quality organic produce, lean proteins and good healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and coconut butter or oil. Adding fermented foods and probiotics further strengthen the immune system.
While your food choices are imperative to a healthy immune system, it’s important to supplement when you can’t get the needed vitamins and nutrients or when viral infections are rampant and you need that extra boost.
Seven Natural Flu Remedies
Elderberries, also called Sambucus, come from a fast-growing shrub. They produce edible flowers and delicious fruit berries which contain vitamins A and B and more vitamin C than oranges. They are also high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. Historically, elderberries have been used to treat respiratory infections. It has been proven to be effective against numerous strains of influenza and deactivates the viruses so that they are unable to infect cells. Sense of Balance Elderberry Syrup is a powerhouse against the flu and works to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.
Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that is present in very few foods. While we call it a vitamin it is actually a steroid hormone that is obtained either from supplementation or from the sun. It’s very difficult to get the needed amount during the fall and winter months and so supplementation is the best way to get your daily dose. Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D3 and it’s incredibly important for immune health as well as emotional health. It fights infections including colds and the flu and it helps your immune system attack and destroy viral and bacterial infections. Also available in liquid dropper for dosing children.
Echinacea is a flowering plant and member of the daisy family. It’s also called Purple coneflower and you might even have this beautiful plant growing in your garden not knowing that it’s a powerful immune building herb. Echinacea can help encourage the immune system which may lead to faster recovery from viral illnesses. It is commonly used to fight infections especially the common cold and other upper respiratory infections. Echinacea may be contraindicated for those with autoimmune disease and so caution or avoidance might be necessary for you.
Goldenseal, or Hydrastis Canadensis, is an herb derived from a plant in the buttercup family. Goldenseal has gained a reputation as an herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer.* Goldenseal is often used as an anti-inflammatory for respiratory infections. It has astringent properties that help to soothe irritated mucous membranes. It helps to relieve congestion and excess mucous so that makes this herb the perfect cold and flu remedy.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and can be obtained in abundance by eating vegetables and fruits. It’s a water-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C has many health benefits and is necessary for tissue and bone health. Supplementing with Vitamin C during an infection with the cold or flu may help to lessen the duration of symptoms. In a 1999 Study by NIH, it was found that megadoses of Vitamin C, in fact, to prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms. Also available in chewables, liquid, and powder forms for ease of use and for children.
Zinc has been proven to reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms, especially when it’s given with the first 24 hours. It has the ability to stimulate white blood cells and can protect against infectious disorders and fungal infections. Zinc is a beneficial and necessary mineral which supports the immune and digestive systems. It helps to improve metabolism and reduce stress. Zinc is needed in small amounts each day. Also available in lozenges and liquid forms.
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive Leaf Extract is derived from the leaves of an Olive tree, botanically named Olea europaea. Olive leaf extract is a true antiviral in the way that it interrupts critical amino acid production for viruses. This makes Olive Leaf Extract the perfect supplement to take before and during the flu. Olive leaf also has powerful antibacterial and antifungal qualities. It works well to destroy pathogens by interfering with their ability to replicate and it also stimulates the immune system to produce more disease-fighting cells and wages all-out war on influenza.
These natural remedies are effective ways to prevent and treat the flu. If you have a compromised immune system or are experiencing difficulty recovering, please seek the advice of a doctor.
Olive Leaf Extract