With each wintry day forming a symphony of whistling winds and crackling coughs, many of us are falling victim to the season’s “plague” of old and new strains of flu and cold viruses.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to flu and cold viruses, they’re lurking in offices, schools, malls and gyms. If they don’t catch you there, no doubt someone will bring them to a social event you’re at, or one of your family will bring a bug home to share with everyone else.
So if you get sick, here are 9 ways you and your family can kick that cold or flu to the curb quicker:
1. At the first sign of symptoms – quarantine yourself
Once you feel the first symptoms you’re getting sick, like a sore throat, watery eyes and runny nose, it’s best to quarantine yourself as you are particularly contagious in the early days of a cold or flu. This way you can avoid spreading the flu or cold to others and can contain it. Staying home in bed as soon as you get sick isn’t simply for altruistic reasons though, there’s a good health reason for it too – see point 8.
2. Stay Hydrated
A runny nose, watering eyes, productive cough all take more water from your body. And when you have a temperature, even a slight one, metabolic processes and breathing require more water. This is why you need more fluids when you’re sick, to stay hydrated. Drink freshly squeezed fruit juices or sip broths, soups and water. Increasing your fluids is also said to help increase lubrication in your respiratory system – allowing for chest phlegm to thin and loosen with ease.
3. Ease your aches and fevers
A fever is your body’s natural reaction to viral infection. By raising its temperature, the body essentially ‘cooks’ the virus which cannot survive above our normal body temperature. It’s believed that with fever in adults if you let it run for a day or two, you’ll recover from your flu and cold faster. Therefore, it’s best to ease your fever symptoms than immediately trying to suppress it. To ease your symptoms, take a natural symptomatic treatment such as A. Vogel’s Echinaforce, and place a cool damp cloth over your forehead and neck area when you burn up.
4. Natural and home remedies
Juice shots, like a cayenne pepper and orange mix help to soothing a scratchy throat and will help enable a ‘productive cough’ - which is wet and not dry, as you want to evict the infection from your lungs. Another natural remedy that has been passed down the generations in many families is the healing properties of ginger, lemon and honey in hot water. This concoction consists of three ingredients that boast soothing and antibacterial properties. Be sure to use ginger in its raw form when cutting or grating a bit from the root – as it holds a lot more of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. If your throat is inflamed or sore, gargling with salt water could help remove irritants from your throat or try A.Vogel’s Sore Throat Spray which is soothing, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. A natural herbal remedy, like A. Vogel’s Echinaforce, is clinically proven to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms and reduce the length of time you’re sick. Even better, its antibacterial properties help prevent the complications of colds and flu, like bronchitis, ear infections and sinusitis, which often leave us sicker for much longer than the usual 7 – 10 days and need antibiotic treatment.
5. Clear it up
If your sinuses are feeling congested, boiling some water, adding menthol or eucalyptus to it in a bowl and inhaling the steam can help open up your nasal passages. Just be sure to not get too close to the boiling water to avoid the risk of burning your nostrils. Alternatively, taking a, water-conscious, steamy shower could also be helpful. Other ways to help clear a stuffy nose is by irrigating it. This can either be done with an over the counter nasal spray or irrigation solution, following a consultation with your doctor, or with a neti pot to filter through sterilised water through your nasal passages.
6. Keep your core and feet warm
Much like the purpose of fevers, bundling up and staying warm, particularly over your chest area where mucus is commonly located, will help you fight the virus quicker. Keeping your feet warm also plays a role in regulating the heat throughout the rest of your body.
7. Up your vitamin intake and specifically vitamin C
Increasing your vitamin intake, particularly vitamin C and D can help combat your flu quicker. Fruits that are rich in vitamin C would be your citrus fruits like kiwi, lemon, guava and grapefruit. Vitamin D can be naturally absorbed from sunlight, but if you feel you’re not getting enough vitamins consult your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare practitioner to discuss suitable vitamin supplements.
8. Rest up
This is the point we alluded to earlier. With the grind and rush of daily life, we often overlook the importance of taking time to rest as it is. When you’re battling a cold or flu, the most valuable thing you can do is head to bed. Heroically pushing on through is when you tax your immune system further and often land up with the secondary infections like bronchitis or sinusitis. Your body is a self-healing organism and when it comes to colds and flu, it knows what to do to get better. Your role is to give it the right nutrients and support, and plenty of rest. Increasing your sleep can help your body focus on fighting off the virus.
9. Ask the experts
On average, adults get two or three colds a year. Young children can get between six and ten infections. Generally, with a bit of common sense, good food, the right over the counter support and rest, we’ll be better within 7 – 10 days. But if you’re not sure, or if an infection is getting worse, or a fever is too high for too long, consult your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare practitioner.
*Talk with your healthcare professional about the best treatment for you or your loved one’s illness.
*Do not use A. Vogel Echinaforce®Echinacea Drops or Tablets if you are:
- Allergic to products contained in Echinacea
- Pregnant - consult your healthcare practitioner first
- Breastfeeding - consult your healthcare practitioner first
- Individuals who suffer from any form of autoimmune disease must please consult their healthcare practitioner before using this product
This post is sponsored by Echinaforce produced by Brandstudio24 for Health24.