Fighting Common Colds and Flu Naturally
Prevention is key
-Andrea Donsky, cofounder of Naturally Savvy.com
As the weather cools and the leaves change colors, fall is a beautiful time of the year. However, with the drop in temperature comes an increased opportunity for catching a cold or flu. As such, prevention is the key to staying healthy. A few simple tips can help strengthen our immune system and prepare us for the cold and flu season ahead.
1. Vitamins and minerals are crucial to maintaining our health and well-being. Vitamins B and C, zinc and selenium are important for helping our bodies deal with stress, fight free radicals and maintain a healthy immune system. Taking a daily multivitamin can help ensure we are receiving adequate levels of these important vitamins and minerals, especially those of us who are super-busy and unable to get our daily recommended intake from the food we’re eating. Another important preventive measure is fish oil. The omega-3 oils in fish help our bodies reduce inflammation, flush toxins and maintain immune balance – all which have a positive impact on our health. One of my favorite brands of fish oil is Nordic Naturals. Not only does it taste great (really!), but they also test their oil for purity to ensure there are no heavy metals or toxins in any of their products.
2. No one likes being stuck in bed with a cold or flu. But if you do find yourself suffering from one, it is important to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of fluids like water and herbal tea makes the thin mucous secretions easier to get rid of. According to recent research, tea has the ability to boost and strengthen the immune system as well as prevent cell damage, both of which improve the body’s ability to fight disease and infection.Traditional Medicinals makes many herbal teas, including Organic Ginger tea, which helps cleanse the body and minimize the severity of a cold. Ginger helps increase perspiration, which will in turn help reduce fevers. Children in particular may be partial to drinking water when they’re sick, so giving them herbal tea may be a good solution. Herbal teas generally do not contain caffeine, so the water from this drink is beneficial to the body.
3. Health professionals recommend preventing the common cold through regular hand washing. When a family member is sick, hand washing should be more frequent. For times when soap and water is out of reach, a bottle of hand sanitizer can do the trick. Conventional hand sanitizers may use harsh chemicals and alcohol to kill germs. However, we found a brand that is nontoxic, alcohol-free and leaves your hands feeling soft. It’s called Clean Well. Clean Well’s hand sanitizer kills 99.99 percent of germs and is made from essential plant oils, including oregano and thyme. Just throw a bottle into your purse or backpack and feel free share it with your whole family.
4. Oregano oil is one of my favorite home-remedy cold and flu tools. Not only is it an antiviral, which will help kill viruses like those that cause the common cold and flu, but it is also antibacterial and antifungal. An extract from one of the most powerful species of the oregano plant, this is not your everyday store-bought spice. This variety differs from the herb in your kitchen cupboard, as it possesses potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Oregano oil is a potent immune-system supporter and can even help shorten the duration of those nasty bugs. There are more than 50 known active ingredients in the oregano plant that work together to provide its benefits, and it has been proven to be effective in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. A brand I really like is North American Herb and Spice. They offer a whole line of oregano products, from sinus relievers to inflammation reducers.
Preventive measures and healing products can go a long way to help us keep ourselves in tip-top shape for the fall season. For information on staying healthy during this cold and flu season, visit NaturallySavvy.com.