Flu Epidemic Prevention and Remedies

Flu Epidemic Prevention and Remedies

The seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness that spreads from person to person by coughing and sneezing and by touching an object or surface with the flu virus on it.

On average, 5 to 20 percent of us will get the flu each year.  But, have no fear! If you’re like me and all NOT for someone injecting you with the mercury-laced flu shot, you can take proper measures to combat and/or prevent it because there in absolutely no clinical trial to back up the “30% effective” claim, as per national health officials.

Simply wash you hands frequently, keep them out of the T Zone (your eyes, nose and mouth), and consume immune-boosting foods and supplements. In truth, the three best things you can do to prevent the flu are Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Zinc

Now, for the remedies:

1. Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D is produced in the body by sunlight and regulates the expression of over 2,000 genes, including those of the immune system. Recent research shows that low vitamin D levels are linked to higher rates of cold, flu and respiratory infections.
  • To treat cold or flu, take 2,000 units per kilogram of body weight once a day for three days.
  • You can also order home testing kits to test your vitamin D levels.

2. Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C helps with immune system function and boosts white blood cells.
  • Take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily to ward off a cold or the flu and up to 4,000 milligrams daily when you are experiencing symptoms.
  • Eat whole fruits and vegetables.

3. Zinc

  • Zinc supports immune function and has an antiviral effect. It works best when taken at the first sign of illness.
  • Zinc may lessen the symptoms of the cold virus but excessive amounts aren’t good for you. Zinc pills and sprays do not seem to be effective.
  • Take 50–100 milligrams of zinc daily to ward off or treat cold and flu symptoms.

4. Echinacea

  • This herb can help your body fight off infections, but it is best to take it at the first sign of illness.
  • Echinacea acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce bronchial symptoms of cold and flu.
  • Echinacea directly attacks yeast and other kinds of fungus.
  • Different preparations have different concentrations of echinacea. Some common preparations and dosages include:
    • Tablets containing 6.78 milligrams of echinacea extract, two tablets three times a day.
    • 900 milligrams of echinacea root tincture daily.
    • Five to six cups of echinacea tea on the first day of symptoms, and then 1 cup a day thereafter.

5. Tea

  • Research reveals that theanine, an ingredient found naturally in tea, supports the immune system.  In a clinical trial, drinking five cups of black tea per day for two to four weeks boosted the body’s immune system by four times. And green tea contains an antioxidant compound called EGCG, which works with your immune system to ease inflammation. To get an extra immune boost, add a lemon wedge to your tea.

6. Essential Oils

  • Rubbing peppermint and frankincense essential oil into the neck and bottoms of the feet can naturally support the immune system.  Also, clove oil can protect the body against infection and can speed recovery from the flu.

7. Get Fresh Air

  • Indoor winter environments can be a source of concentrated toxins and germs. The dry air we inhale as we heat our homes during the winter makes airways more reactive and sensitive to viruses.
  • An added bonus to time spent outdoors in the winter is the extra bit of sunlight you receive.

8. Top Foods for Flu Recovery

  • Light, easy to digest foods: Include soups with bone broth, cooked vegetables or herbal teas to help with digestion. Don’t force yourself to eat.
  • Water: Adequate hydration is the key to flushing out the virus from your system. Fluid helps your body to flush bacteria and viruses from your system. Drink approximately half your body weight in ounces daily of either spring water or reverse osmosis filtered water. Green and black teas are potent immune system-boosters and antioxidants. Try to drink at least 8 ounces every two hours.
  • Hot water with lemon, honey, and cinnamon:  Honey and cinnamon helps prevent mucus buildup and keeps you hydrated.
  • Ginger: Make a ginger tea and add raw honey.
  • Garlic and onions: Both of these vegetables help boost immune function.

Let us know (in the comments, below) which of these remedies work for you.

Sources: Dr. Axe; Natural News
7 Tips for Healthier Winter Skin and Hair

7 Tips for Healthier Winter Skin and Hair

It’s wintertime and “Baby, it’s cold outside!” Whipping winds, dry air, and chilly temperatures can really do a number on soft skin and hair. Cold air outside and central heat indoors can strip moisture from strands and pores, making hair rough and skin itchy and dry. But endure cracked hands no more: items hiding in the back of your kitchen cupboard could just be the answer.

Here are seven specific cures and preventative measures to combat winter woes from itchy scalp to frozen fingers and more. 

Smooth Sailing: Your Action Plan

1. Dry Skin

To cure dry skin all over the body, mix a few drops of olive or grape seed oil in bathwater and hop in, or apply a thin layer of oil to the body after showering (and maybe wear some old PJs to bed). And, an oatmeal bath can make red, irritated skin feel better. Immediately after an oil/oatmeal bath, apply plenty of thick cream (shea butter works great for damaged skin) and crank up the humidifier before hitting the hay. Slathering on lotion within three minutes of stepping out of the bath or shower is most effective for trapping in moisture.

2. Rough and Cracked Feet

Nothing screams “dead of winter” like gnarly, callused feet with cracked heels. Save some cash and skip the pedicure by exfoliating and moisturizing at home. Scrub calluses with a pumice stone in the shower once per week to slough off rough, dead skin. Moisturize feet, especially the heels, every day with thick cream — lotions containing lactic acid are especially effective (I use shea butter on my heels, in the winter) — and wear cotton socks to bed. It may look nerdy, but sporting socks while snoozing can help creams absorb.

3. Itchy Dry Scalp

A dry, flaky scalp is uncomfortable and just a wee bit embarrassing, too. Step one in preventing dandruff is to take cooler, quicker showers to reduce the scalp’s exposure to drying hot water. Think about switching to a dandruff or dry scalp specific shampoo. Before hopping in the shower, massage the scalp with Vitamin E, olive, or coconut oil. These oils replenish natural scalp oils and can moisturize dry hair, too. Tea tree oil is also a popular treatment for fungal and bacterial infections like dandruff or athlete’s foot. Wash the hair and scalp with tea tree oil daily to cure a dry, itchy head naturally. Sometimes, the issue can be caused by product build-up — not winter weather. If you think this may be the case, rinse the hair with apple cider vinegar to clear out the gunk and then wash normally with shampoo.

4. Chapped Lips

Keeping a tube of lip balm in an easily accessible pocket is a good first step, but winter winds can take chapped lips to a whole new level. If lips are flaky, take a clean toothbrush and very gently exfoliate the skin to remove excess skin. Slather on beeswax or a lip balm with lanolin (a natural oily wax extracted from sheep’s wool!) and keep reapplying throughout the day. Lanolin is a natural moisturizer that softens skin and reduces evaporation, keeping the skin hydrated. For seriously dry lips, apply honey to the lips for 15 minutes and then remove with a cotton swab dipped in hot water.

5. Rough Hair

Hair needs a little extra TLC during wintertime. Shampooing strips moisture from the scalp and hair, so wash strands every other day. Everyone’s hair is different — if washing once or twice a week is normal for you, consider adding some time between shampoos to take dry winter conditions into account.  And don’t skip the conditioner — skipping the ‘poo and opting for a quick rinse and conditioning treatment works just fine to keep hair clean and moisturized. To prevent breakage or other damage, avoid blow-drying and brushing hair when wet because those locks are most delicate when waterlogged. If strands are really parched, comb hair with a few drops of olive oil and a wide-tooth comb after showering.

6. Dry hands

It’s bad enough to have freezing digits, but cracked and painful skin on the hands is the icing on the cake. To prevent hands from drying out, apply moisturizer after handwashing and at least several times throughout the day. Keep a bottle of lotion by each sink in your home and in your desk at work. If hands are very dry, use cream instead of lotion because the former has a higher oil-to-water ratio. Wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes can prevent hands from getting dried out due to excess contact with hot water, too. To really rehab the skin on hands, use very thick hand cream right before bed and then slip on white cotton gloves — the enclosed space will help the moisturizer absorb into the skin.

7. Dry Face

It’s unfortunate (but unavoidable) that the body’s most sensitive skin is always exposed to the elements. Definitely take some time this winter to give your mug a little extra lovin’. First thing’s first: During winter, avoid any face products with alcohol, and switch to a milder face wash and a thicker moisturizer. Need to mix up the routine a bit? Wash your face once a week with Greek yogurt. It sounds weird, but the lactic acid works as a gentle, non-abrasive exfoliator. For a moisturizing face mask, take a look in the kitchen before heading down the beauty aisle: Bananas, avocado, egg yolk, and milk can all make great moisturizing face treatments. Another good option? Whole grains and aromatic veggies contain selenium, a compound that gives skin the elasticity to make silly faces.

What’s your go-to solution for treating winter skin and hair woes? Tell us in the comments below.