Archive for the ‘flu’ Category

Elderberry for Flu and Cold Symptoms

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Elderberry has been used for centuries for multiple purposes, such as to treat wounds or respiratory illnesses like colds. Elder is a shrub or tree and the medicinal parts that are used are the flowers and berries. Studies indicate that the chemicals in elder flower and berries may decrease the swelling in mucous membranes, which in turn, alleviates nasal congestion. There is evidence that suggests that taking elderberry extract, which is called Sambucol, could shorten the amount of time you have the a major cold or flu by 3 days. Sambucol contains herbs and vitamin C in addition to the elderberry, so research does not show if Elderberry by itself could do the same. There is also evidence that suggests a lozenge with Sambucol helped lessen symptoms of a major cold or flu if taken within 24 hours after the symptoms began. There are many forms of elderberry available, like syrup, capsule, and tincture. With the change of seasons going on you might want to consider elderberry for yourself and even your children. As with all supplements, they are considered drugs and you should consult with with your physician and pharmacist for drug interactions.


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Why You Should Try to Avoid Antibiotics

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Winter is here which means you might get the flu, a cold or a sinus infection and you will most likely just go to your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics. It is important to know that antibiotics are very powerful medication and shouldn’t be taken unless you have a bacterial infection that does not clear up on its own. The truth is that antibiotics actually don’t work against viral infections such as the cold or flu. Taking antibiotics when you don’t really need them can cause them not to work in the future when you do really need them. Not to mention the fact that antibiotics have many possible deadly allergic reactions and side effects. It is important to try to avoid antibiotics if possible, here are a few ways of doing so:

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  • If you have a cold or the flu ask your doctor for over-the-counter pain relievers, throat soothers, and/or decongestants to ease your symptoms
  • Just because you have an infection caused by bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean you need antibiotics. If your symptoms are mild, ask your physician if you can delay the treatment for a few days because in many cases you may be able to fight off the infection without antibiotics
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics because they kill off all bacteria in your body including the protective kind.
  • You can ask your physician to only prescribe you antibiotics for the shortest amount of time possible. A lot of the time treatments don’t have to be as long.
  • If antibiotics are unavoidable, watch out for any possible side effects.  Be sure to read the informative pamphlet that accompanies your prescription.

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What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

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Flu season is upon us which means that almost everyone is sniffling, coughing and sneezing so you have to take many precautions if you don’t want to get the flu as well. The University of Arizona found that when even one person is sick in an office, it only takes about four hours for surfaces like copy machines, door handles, etc. to show trace of the flu virus. The 2014-2015 flu season was one of the worst the U.S. has had, it was even considered an epidemic. It is important that you take all the precautions possible to prevent getting the flu this season.

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Everyone knows you should wash your hands often, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes, cover your mouth when you sneeze and so forth. It is also imperative that you are getting enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep can actually weaken your immune system, thus making you more susceptible to get a virus if exposed to one. Excessive amounts of stress can also weaken your immune system and prevent you from getting enough sleep, so it is important you maintain your stress levels as low as possible. Furthermore, your diet can also affect whether or not you get the flu, or any other virus for that matter. You should try to get enough protein in your diet like fish, beans and lean beef. Diets that are low in protein may deplete the immune system as well. You may also want to consider drinking a lot of tea… and sniffing it. It has been found that the steam of the tea stimulates the cilia to move out germs. Adding lemon thins the mucus and honey is an antibacterial. Lastly, one of the most effective precautions you can take is getting the flu vaccine.

  •  avoid touching your face
  • wash hands often
  • minimize stress
  • eat well and hydrate often
  • sleep

So, as you can see there are so many ways to prevent the flu and stay healthy this time of year. Remember, getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean you are immune so you should still take other precautions to stay healthy. The holiday season is here and you are not going to want to miss it because you have the flu, stay healthy!


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