It’s that time of year again…cold and flu season. The kids are back in school, extra-curricular activities have started up again, we’re all a bit tired and germs are everywhere. No one likes a cold or flu but there are steps you can take to avoid them or get through them quicker and with less suffering.
Infection and Spread
Colds and flus are caused by a virus entering the body through the mucous membranes of the eyes or nose and symptoms typically appear 1-2 days after exposure. Common symptoms of a cold include a sore throat, a runny nose, sneezing and coughing. The flu also brings with it a fever, body aches and chills.
The cold usually runs its course over 3-7 days unless another bacterial infection takes hold while the immune system is in a weakened state. The flu however can last for up to two weeks.
How can we avoid a cold or flu?
Wash your hands.
The most common way these viruses are spread is through skin to skin contact. For instance, shaking hands with someone, touching a shopping cart handle or the rails on public transit. Washing your hands frequently will vastly reduce the risk of catching a cold or flu.
Don’t rub your eyes or nose.
By avoiding rubbing your eyes or nose, (especially if you’ve not been able to wash your hands), you are greatly reducing your risk of allowing the virus to spread.
Vitamin D helps the immune system respond to viruses and bacteria. Getting 30 minutes of sunshine a day will provide you with adequate vitamin D. If you can’t get it naturally, you can look in to taking a supplement.
Making Healthy lifestyle choices
Getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and eating healthy and fresh foods will all help you to resist the cold.
What to do if you get a cold or flu:
Eventually you may fall ill. Here are some tips to help you manage your illness and get through it quicker.
Drink plenty of fluids
This will thin the mucous and make it easier for your body to expel.
Reduce or eliminate dairy while you’re sick
Dairy stimulates the production of mucous which supports the growth of bacteria and viruses.
It’s one of the most important things you can do. Your body needs to work extra hard to get rid of your illness so you should give it the rest it needs to recover. Listen to your body when you’re tired and get the rest you need.
Stimulate your immune system
Zinc assists the T-cells of the immune system to recognize foreign bodies.
Probiotics increase the body white blood cell which protect against infection and harmful bacteria.
Oregano is an excellent anti-inflammatory and it increases resistance and boosts immunity.
Chicken Soup and hotter spices help to break up mucous.
Honey and lemon, ginger, herbal teas, peppermint and vinegar can help to soothe your symptoms.
Homeopathic remedies for cold and flus:
Below are some, but nowhere near all, of the commonly used remedies for colds and flus with some of their symptoms. Please remember that self-prescribing is difficult and the advice of a registered Homeopath is always recommended as it will provide the most effective outcome.
Aconite: Best used as the first signs of illness when it comes on suddenly, especially after a chill. Patient is thirsty and possibly anxious.
Arsenicum Album: Profuse watery nasal discharge that burns the skin but the nose feels stuffed up. Frequent and violent sneezing, dull throbbing frontal headache, burning in chest with cough.
Belladonna: Sudden onset of illness with a high fever. Face is hot and red, throbbing headache, sensitive to light and noise.
Bryonia: When cold is in the chest, dry painful cough. Pain is worse with any movement, patient is irritable and wants to be left alone.
Chamomilla: Great for children, used for earache, (teething too!). Patient is irritable and sensitive, one cheek is red and hot, the other one is cool and pale.
Nux Vomica: Headache, pains all over, irritable, nauseous (also really good for a hangover), nose congested with little discharge, chilly - can not get warm even in bed.
Gelsemium: Established symptoms, headache, shivers, fatigue, aches and pains, alternating hot and cold, sore nose, very sleepy.
Ferrum Phosphoricum: Slow onset, mild fever, worse at night, better with cold (applications, drinks and food), nosebleeds.
Pulsatilla: Cold in nose with thick discharge, ears feel blocked, worse at night, better in fresh air and with attention from loved ones.
Hepar Sulphur: thick yellow nasal discharge, wants to be wrapped up. Cough worse from cold, sensation of a splinter in the throat, earache begins with poking pain from throat tear on swallowing.
With many other remedies available for colds and flus, it’s best to have an Acute Consultation appointment so that you’re assured of using the correct remedy and recover quickly. You can book an appointment by calling the clinic at (705)790-0132 or going online at https://www.barriehomeopathy.ca/book-online .
We also have Homeopathic Cold and Flu Home Kits available for purchase to make your life easier. These kits come with the most commonly used remedies for cold and flu, a detailed description of each remedy AND a discounted rate for Acute Consultations.
Please call (705) 790-0132 or email email@example.com for more information.