There are hundreds of different cold and flu viruses, most of them routinely alter themselves on an annual basis in response to their own environment. This means that any traditional medical cure is not possible. This is because of the way in which current antibiotics and medications are developed. For this reason many of the same treatments which were used by our ancestors continue to be used today in order to shorten the length of time the flu virus affects your body. The flu will typically affect between 10 and 35% of the population each year, depending upon the virulence of seasonal flu variety and how well protected individuals keep themselves.
There is no real cure needed for the flu virus because the body will recover spontaneously. However, using protocols to prevent the onset of the illness and treatments that can shorten the length of it once you contract the flu, you will not have to spend as much time suffering.
In close quarters, conditions are always ripe for the spread of the virus which explains why the highest incidence of the flu is in children between the ages of five to 18 who spend most of their time in school. However, the most serious complications occur in older adults and those whose immune system is compromised from underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, cancer or AIDS.
In the past several decades the overuse of antibiotics has become a serious problem. It has led to the resistance in several disease causing bacteria and the mutation of the influenza virus when exposed to these drugs. (1) Over-the-counter cough and cold medications sales are several billion dollars each year. Every year the pharmaceutical industry comes out with another flu shot to help with the seasonal flu variety, but it is unable to prevent illness as well as anticipated because the flu virus mutates from year to year and the vaccine is produced based on the previous years virus.
In an effort to decrease the amount of symptoms and illness which is experienced, many people are turning to alternative forms of treatment that are believed to be less invasive and less toxic to the body. One of the best cures for the flu is prevention. It is much easier to prevent the body from contracting the flu virus than it is to cure it once it is already happened.
Building a healthy immune system is the number one defense mechanism an individual can use to help themselves prevent the flu. This is accomplished by getting plenty of rest, at least eight hours each night, during which the body regenerates and heals. You should also eliminate as much sugar from the diet as possible. A teaspoon of sugar will negatively impact the immune system for up to six hours. It is better to satisfy your taste buds with sweet organic fruit then ice cream or chocolate. (2)
We really are what we eat, which means that our diets and the foods that we consume each day, will have a significant impact on your immune system. Drink as much water as possible each day to help flush out toxins and waste products. This actually helps to decrease the workload on the kidneys and improves your immune system.
Exercise is an important factor in maintaining the health and well-being of your immune system. It helps to move the lymph system through the body, sheds unwanted pounds, removes toxins, improves vitamin D production when done outside and improves blood circulation throughout the extremities. Vitamin D plays a vital role in both the prevention and cure of the common cold, flu, and other illnesses that are caused by invasion of bacteria and viruses. (3)
Intake of a good multivitamin with vitamin C is also another important factor in the prevention and cure of the flu. Vitamins C works in conjunction with vitamin D in order to boost the immune system and shorten the length or prevent the flu.
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. The flu virus can be easily transmitted from your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth and effectively inoculate yourself with the virus. Wash your hands frequently, after coming in contact with solid objects, shaking hands with people, each trip to the bathroom and before bed. Do not use antibacterial soaps because they are likely to spread antibiotic resistant bacteria. Instead practice good hand washing techniques under warm water with friction and for at least a minute and a half.
Decrease the amount of stress in your life, as much as possible. Stress will negatively impact your immune system and increase the likelihood that you will contract a cold or the flu. Learn to manage your stress with deep breathing, walking, music or exercise. Learn to manage your stress by also eliminating the individuals or situations which cause an increase in the stress level that you feel each day. You may believe it is impossible to remove these situations from your life but it is much more difficult to accommodate your lifestyle to the stress related illnesses which can result.
If you do feel that you’re starting to get the flu you can help to decrease the symptoms and shorten the illness by taking a few quick steps. Begin to gargle with salt water three to four times a day to kill the viruses which are breeding in the back of your throat. Use a normal saline spray in each nostril and gently blow the excess fluid out three to four times a day. This accomplishes the same thing as the gargle wash except it addresses the viruses in your nasal cavity and sinuses. Use the Netti pot to flush the viruses out of your sinus cavities. Take vitamin C in divided doses several times each day. Be sure that the vitamin C you are taking is ascorbic acid and take the recommended dosage on the bottle.
Drink plenty of fluids and fresh vegetable juices to help flush out the toxins and give the body added enzymes required to decrease inflammation, pain and flush the viruses from the body. Using zinc lozenges has been shown to shorten the length of colds and flu. (4) It is important to recognize that you must suck on the lozenge and not chew them. If you find that you’re nauseous you should stop immediately because it is one sign of zinc toxicity. However, many people find that zinc lozenges themselves make them slightly nauseous; so evaluate your nausea based on how you feel when you are not sucking on the lozenge.
Go out in the sunlight for at least 20 minutes each day, twice a day, in order to absorb and manufacture vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to improve the body’s immune system and help to decrease the length of any illness caused by viruses and bacteria. Garlic is another alternative treatment for the flu. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help the immune system to fight infection. Coupled with Echinacea it makes a strong fighting force against many infections. (5)
Ginger is an herbal root that is a natural antiviral. It is also pain relieving and often recommended for individuals who suffer from arthritis. It is valuable both in the prevention and treatment of illnesses caused by viruses as well is inflammation of mucous membranes in the treatment of sore throats. It has a mild sedative effect which helps an individual to rest while ill. It can be added to tea, soaked in hot water or taken as a tincture.
Traditional Western medicine has not yet found a cure for the influenza virus. Although the immune system of most healthy individuals is able to fight off the flu virus after one to three days, those who have underlying medical conditions can experience more severe complications from the influenza virus that can even lead to death. For this reason, it is very important to help bolster the immune system using healthy nutrition to decrease the likelihood of any serious complications.
(1) KidsHealth.org: The Danger of Antibiotic Overuse
(2) Natural News: The Harmful Effect of Sugar and Choosing Healthy Alternatives
(3) Dr. Mercola: The Vitamin Which Can Cut Your Flu Risk Nearly in Half
(4) University of Maryland Medical Center: Influenza
(5) Microbes and Infection: Antimicrobial Properties of Allicin from Garlic