We’re in cold and flu season, so today, we share some information from Dr Tony Vendryes to help you and your family stay healthy or bounce back from a bout of the sniffles.
- Get some rest. The value of sleep and rest during an infection cannot be over emphasised. At the first sign of a cold or flu, decrease your activities and rest as much as possible. Avoid stress. During deep sleep, the body releases powerful immune-enhancing substances which increases your healing capacity. Relaxation and deep breathing exercises are very useful.
- Drink more fluids. When the membranes of the respiratory tract are dehydrated, cold and flu viruses have an ideal environment to grow. Moist, well-hydrated mucus membranes decrease your risk of these viral infections. Your choice of liquid is also important. Research has shown that the sugar in sweet drinks reduces the ability of the white blood cells to kill germs. Water, vegetable juices, herbal teas, coconut water and vegetable broths are ideal, and fruit juices should be greatly diluted.
- Increase your intake of antioxidants. Vitamin C in a dosage of six grams daily, has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of a cold by 20 per cent. A flu infection will need even higher dosages. The Chinese herb, schizandra and rosemary contain useful antioxidants that boost the immune system to fight off the virus. They are also available as tablets and should be taken at the first sign of a cold or flu, as well as for prevention.
- Have you heard about echinacea? This herb is famous as an antibiotic and antiviral agent. Research indicates that 900 milligrams of echinacea root daily reduces significantly the symptoms of the common cold. In Europe, doctors write millions of prescriptions for echinacea for the common cold and flu infections. It is available as tablets, tinctures and teas.
- Zinc up. Many studies have demonstrated that zinc lozenges greatly reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms. They should be sucked like sweets every two to four hours. Adding the amino acid glycine to zinc lozenges increases their effectiveness. A combination of echinacea, zinc and vitamin C is also available as effervescent tablets.
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