Research Shows Natural Solutions Offer Critical Support Against the Flu
Winter is officially here, and before you find yourself clutching a box of Kleenex, missing work, and watching too much bad TV, keep in mind: you can beat the flu.
Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and avoid the worst during cold and flu season.
What is flu, and how does it spread?
It sounds scarier when you call it “influenza,” but that’s the full name of the virus. Flu is an infection or illness that is easily spread from one person to another because it’s air-borne and stays on surfaces for hours. For example, you can catch the flu if you touch an “infected” phone or doorknob and then touch your mouth or nose. Hence, millions of people come down with it, especially during winter.
While most people who get the flu feel better in about two weeks, it’s more dangerous for the elderly with health problems like heart disease or diabetes. Why? Because when their body is fighting the flu, they may pick up secondary infections like pneumonia, which is risky.
Rule of thumb? Wash your hands thoroughly before you eat, touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. And, while this may put a dampener on your social life, stay away from sick people if you can.
Natural flu prevention and treatment
During cold and flu season, and all year long, it’s critical to remember that “our own immune system is our best medicine.”
The remarkable fact is that a well-functioning immune system can create over 10 billion types of remedies, known as antibodies, to effectively kill almost any unwanted virus, germ, or rogue cell in the body.
To support a robust immune system and fight off infections, there are many natural, botanical-based cough syrups, herbal extracts, and targeted nutrients that can help.
Here are some top solutions that are shown to offer critical support against the flu, naturally:
- Hibiscus: Hibiscus tea and juice are commonly available in most natural grocers. Used throughout the world as a health tonic, new research shows it offers powerful benefits in killing dangerous flu viruses. One recent preclinical study tested different herbal and caffeinated tea preparations, and found that hibiscus tea extract was the most effective at rapidly killing a deadly strain of flu called H5N1.
- Elderberry: Multiple clinical studies indicate that elderberry extract reduces the duration of flu symptoms significantly, and can help prevent flu from occurring after exposure. Elderberry syrup and extract are commonly available today as an immune supplement.
- Coconut oil: This healthy fat is rich in a substance called lauric acid which offers numerous health benefits, including natural antiviral properties. Lauric acid is shown to directly interfere with the ability of viruses to replicate and spread, thus halting infection.
- Medicinal mushrooms: Many species of medicinal mushrooms offer potent natural anti-viral activity. They work not only by supporting the natural anti-infection activities of the immune system, but also by directly inhibiting the ability of viruses to survive and reproduce within the body.
- Vitamin C: An essential nutrient for overall immune support, Vitamin C also offers powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial benefits. It interferes with the ability of certain viruses to reproduce, while helping the immune system to eradicate the infection.
- Manuka honey: Honey in general is a powerful immune-boosting tonic. Manuka honey, in particular, has been the subject of numerous studies on immunity. Recent research shows Manuka honey is a powerful choice to inhibit flu virus replication. Manuka honey is available at many health food stores and online.
Stock your cabinet with these natural remedies to help keep you energized and healthy—not just during cold and flu season, but all year long. And if you do happen to get sick, these research-based solutions can work with your immune system to ease the discomfort, and help you recover sooner.