The United States is getting hit quite hard right now with the flu and flu-like viruses. It seems like a hopeless battle. What can you do to protect yourself? Are natural remedies bunk or beneficial? Here are 15 top natural tips, herbs, vitamins, and antiviral remedies you can take, to help build up your immune system and increase your ability to fight off the flu naturally.
Flu season is upon us. Prevention is the key. Quick action with natural vitamins, supplements, and herbs can help you fight off the flu. How many of these herbs, vitamins, and antivirals are on hand if you need them?
- Cover Up and Wash Thoroughly
The flu virus is spread primarily by direct contact through air or touch from person to person, through the droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Experts say that the number one preventive measure is to stay away from people who have the flu, stay home, or wear a mask, and to thoroughly wash the hands when coming in contact with any items that may have been touched by others, especially in public places,(for example: using a shopping cart, picking up items in a store, sitting on a park bench, eating at a restaurant, using door handles or stair railings, etc.). Refrain from touching your mouth or nose when out and about. Wash thoroughly with soap and water. Scrub for several minutes to create a nice lather, and rinse.
Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin C are all vital nutrients for the immune system, and are all known to help prevent help fight viruses. In particular, vitamin C is well known for it’s virus-fighting properties, but if you take high doses of vitamin C to fight a virus, you should not stop taking it abruptly–taper off.
Echinacea not only supports the immune system, it also has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of viral infections. Echinacea is a genus, or group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. The Echinacea genus has nine species, which are commonly called coneflowers. It is commonly used either in response to or daily for prevention of the common cold.
Garlic is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial. You can take garlic in a tonic or, if you can handle it, chew raw garlic. It not only will help fight the virus, it will help kill any secondary infections trying to take root.
Probiotics are always helpful in maintaining gut health, especially when the body is under a viral attack that involves the digestive system. Probiotic foods and drinks without added sugar can help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria. Speaking of probiotics, a healthy intestinal tract is absolutely imperative for a strong immune system.
Sambucus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae. The various species are commonly called elder or elderberry. A double blind trial showed elderberry extract’s ability to reduce symptoms of influenza and speed recovery. It also showed elderberry’s ability to enhance immune response with higher levels of antibodies in the blood. It is believed to inhibit a virus’s ability to penetrate healthy cells and protect cells with powerful antioxidants. Elderberry has also been shown to inhibit replication in four strains of herpes viruses and HIV strains.
- Zinc and Selenium
Zinc has been proven to be effective against the common cold and to be effective as a topical treatment for herpes sores. It is believed to be effective due to preventing replication of the virus. The immune system needs selenium to work properly and to build up the white blood cell count. Get some raw Brazil nuts and have 2-3 daily.
CoQ10 supplementation has been shown to significantly enhance the immune system. Coenzyme Q₁₀, is also known as ubiquinone, ubidecarenone, coenzyme Q. It is a coenzyme that is ubiquitous in animals and most bacteria. Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance.
- Green Tea
The flavanoids in green tea are believed to fight viral infections by preventing the virus from entering host cells and by inhibiting replication. Green tea is high in antioxidants that can improve the function of your body and brain. It is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong teas and black teas.
- Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is believed to interfere with the enzymes that allow viruses (bacteria and fungi as well) to utilize oxygen. Colloidal silver is metallic silver suspended in water. Silver has antimicrobial properties, along with some other metals such as copper. Historically, coins or other items made of silver were used to help keep water from becoming contaminate and to keep milk fresh for longer periods when refrigeration was not available.
- Licorice Root
Studies have shown that glycyrrhizin, a compound found in licorice root was more effective in fighting samples of corona virus from SARS patients than four antiviral drugs. Glycyrrhizin, is a triterpenoid compound. It is the reason for the sweet taste of licorice root and is a mixture of potassium–calcium–magnesium salts of glycyrrhizic acid. It reduces viral replication, cell absorption, and the virus’s ability to penetrate cells. Glycyrrhizin is also being used to treat HIV.
- St John’s Wort
Hypericum perforatum, known as perforate St John’s-wort, common Saint John’s wort and St John’s wort, is a flowering plant. It is in the family Hypericaceae. St. John’s Wort has been proven effective against influenza, herpes simplex, and HIV.
- Healthy Diet
Remember that the best defense is a good offense. A healthy diet based on nutrient-dense foods will help to strengthen the body’s immune system.
Exercise to move your lymph and aid your immune system. Exercise is an excellent preventive medicine to help fight colds and flu. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout the body. The immune system is also better circulated, so that it has a better chance of discovering the illness before it takes over the body. However, if you have flu symptoms, you should not begin a new rigorous, exercise routine. This is the time to rest.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Good quality sleep will build a strong, healthy immune system. A strong immune system will fight off viruses without you even knowing the battle ever took place. Lack of sleep is stressful and will make the body susceptable to viral infection. Sleep is important in the functioning of the body’s immune system to avoid or minimize the flu and its symptoms.
Joanne Mee Short is a Health Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. Contact Joanne at 831 682-4165 (cell phone). She is dedicated to changing people’s lives through offering natural ingredient health and wellness products to support the body so it can heal itself. Visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ShortforHealth or https://plexusworldwide.com/joanneshort/home. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance, visit our How You Benefit page on this blog or check out our website for events, health videos, health directory, and more at www.montereybayholistic.com. Images used on this page are copyright free and can be found at http://www.pixabay.com
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