..The Intuitive Times
Naturopathic View


Natural Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment

by Matt Targett

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Colds and flues are both usually caused by viruses. Both can cause cough, sore throat, headache and a flu is usually accompanied by a fever which can last several days. If you ever experience a fever of 102 degrees or higher for more than 3 days or have any lung or chest complaints you should see a doctor right away.

Here are some simple steps we can all take to help lower our risk:

- wash your hands frequently and do not touch your nose
- drink at least 8 glasses of water per day
- take vitamin C daily in the winter (a vitamin A, E and zinc combo is also good)
- eat lots of fruits and vegetables, garlic and ginger
- make sure you are getting enough protein
- decrease sugar and saturated fats in your diet as they slow the immune response
- try to keep active

If you have more than two colds per year you may want to boost your immune system. It can be depressed by stress, chemotherapy, poor sleep, chemical exposure, poor nutrition and long-term illness. We can help boost immunity with vitamins, improving our diets and using gentle immune boosting herbs such as astragalus, ginger, oregon grape and p'au darco.

If you are unfortunate enough to catch a cold or flu, the best first steps are echinacea, zinc lozenges and the homeopathic remedy oscillococcinum (which is the most popular flu medication in France!!) for three days. If your symptoms persist beyond three days, the herbs goldenseal and osha root are effective natural antibiotics. If you are experiencing cough or sore throat, slippery elm or mullien can often provide relief. In addition, try to drink lots of liquids (soups, juice, water, teas) and physical activity will help your immune system if you are not experiencing a fever.

Antibiotics can be effective for non-viral infections but generally will not help with the flu. If you are using an antibiotic, supplement your diet with acidophilis which helps replenish the beneficial bacteria that live in a healthy digestive system, as these will be depleted by antibiotics.

If you would like to learn more about natural treatments for colds and flues or how to boost your own natural immune function, contact your local licensed naturopathic doctor.

Cold And Flu Tea (will help fight infection and relieve symptoms)

1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp fresh ground ginger
1 clove
1 tsp honey
1 cup boiling water

Combine all ingredients, let tea steep several minutes and drink. Can be used throughout the day.

Matt Targett practices Naturopathic Medicin in Kentville, NS and Summerside, PE

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