For weeks now, Alabama and Tennessee have been rated as some of the most virulent areas of flu in the country. This season hit early and hard.
If you haven’t had the flu already, consider yourself lucky. If you want to help your body keep you from getting it, or fight it off faster if you find yourself feeling ill, read on for simple but potent recommendations.
When you have plenty of liquid in your system it’s easier for your mucus membranes in your nose, throat and mouth to flush out microbes.
The flu virus survives longer in dry air, making it easier to spread. Cold outside air is dryer than in warmer temps, and running a heater inside dries the air, too. A recent MIT study found running a humidifier lowered rates of even COVID-19. The study recommends maintaining an indoor relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent.
Studies show that people with low levels of vitamin D in their system are more prone to upper respiratory infections. During winter, when we’re out in the sun less, vitamin D levels fall in most people. You can supplement with just vitamin D3 alone, or get it in your multivitamin. UAB recommends getting 1,000-2,000 IU daily, but the safest recommendation is to have your doctor check your levels. Most doctors recommend having a level of 40-70 ng/mL.
Juice from the berries of the Sambucus nigra plant have been tested in several clinical trials showing that it relieves and reduces symptoms, duration, and severity of flu, and also can be helpful with other upper respiratory infections. It can be taken as a preventative, and also during infection to help speed healing.
Both vitamin C and zinc are necessary for a healthy immune system. Some studies show both can help prevent and shorten duration of colds, but there is less evidence in use for flu. Nonetheless, many people get good results by increasing their daily dose of these two supplements during winter months.
Inadequate sleep decreases immune function. Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night for the best defenses.
Whether it’s chicken or turkey soup, just make sure it contains plenty of garlic. The hot steam helps keep mucus membranes healthy (or breaks up mucus if it’s present), and the garlic is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and even helps improve cholesterol!
Many of our customers swear by using colloidal silver, both as a preventative and when they’re sick. Colloidal silver is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. Other customers keep their medicine cabinet stocked with Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic flu remedy, during the winter months.