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Avoiding the cold and flu

When it comes to keeping yourself healthy this cold and flu season, simplicity really is key.

The following story hammers this home. The story is true – names have been left out to protect the, well, foolish:

A woman of intelligence never got into the habit of washing her hands after using the restroom. It wasn’t something insisted upon by her parents as she was growing up and the now-grown woman felt it was a waste of time. She believed she  wasn’t getting any sicker than anyone else she knew and, besides, she hated how the constant use of water and soap dried out her hands.

But her husband eventually started insisting, so she gave it a shot. Lo and behold, the four-six colds she caught each year – colds she just assumed happened as a matter of course – stopped. She’s had perhaps one cold per year since.

She’s a true believer now. A convert. Practically a proselytizer about the wisdom of washing one’s hands. It’s all she can do when in a public restroom not to grab someone she sees skipping the hand washing and shouting to the woman how much improved her life would be were she to soap up.

Thankfully, the newly enlightened handwasher doesn’t. But it is hard to keep quiet, she says. So very hard.

And that’s how staying healthy should and can be this upcoming cold and flu season – easy as washing one’s hands.

Another easy thing to do is to boost your immune system with the help of supplements.

An article at About.com mentions two herbs that can help boost your body’s immune system: elderberry and echinacea.

The berry extract from elderberry (Sambucus nigra) contains more than one compound that's active against flu viruses. One of the many ways it works is by preventing the virus from attacking cells. A study found a 50% reduction in the severity and duration of symptoms in adults and children after taking an elderberry extract.

The article continues with information on echinacea:

Echinacea is a popular herb used to reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold. Last year, Americans spent an estimated $155 million on echinacea, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. Although some recent studies have cast doubt on echincea's effectiveness, herbalists say that those studies were flawed and didn't use the right doses or types of echinacea.

Herbalists often recommend a total daily dose of 3 or more grams of echinacea per day at the first sign of cold symptoms. It's usually taken in divided doses, with a dose every 2-3 hours. After one to two days, the dose is usually reduced and continued for the following week.

Quantum Cold & Flu Caps contain both herbs, as well as Goldenseal Root and that old workhorse - Vitamin C.

Many health care professionals believe enzymes are key to our overall health. Ellen Cutler, D.C, co-author of MicroMiracles: Discover the Healing Power of Enzymes wrote in the June 2008 Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients:

Those of us in medicine and health care recognize the importance of maintaining a strong immune system to keep the body disease-free and help all its systems and metabolic processes perform at top efficiency. In my practice, I refer to immune function dozens of times every day. Most people, however, do not realize the central importance that enzymes play in maintaining healthy immune function. Nor the vital role that enzyme therapy can play in reducing or alleviating the painful and debilitating symptoms of chronic immune disorders.

Enzymatic Therapy Curazyme can help your immune system stay strong when the weather turns chilly and when you put your body through some good physical exertion. It contains essential nutrients that must be present for body functions that deal with physical exertion. Vitamin C affects the strength and integrity of collagen, the basic supporting structure in the tendons, cartilage, and connective tissues that help muscles and joints work. Pantothenic acid, magnesium, and cysteine are included for synergistic support.
This formula also provides standardized, high-quality extracts of curcuma (turmeric), which supports healthy joint functions, and butcher's broom, which offers additional benefits related to the effects of exertion on the body.

Of course, supplementing immune system’s supplement regime with other simple preventative measures can go a long way toward keeping you and your loved ones healthy all year. In addition to supplements, follow these tips from WebMD.com – they can help you stave off the cold and/or flu:

10 Top Tips:

  1. Wash your hands often
  2. Don’t cover your coughs and sneezes with your hands; use a tissue or, if none is handy, turn away and cough/sneeze into the air
  3. Don’t touch your face
  4. Do what your mother always said you should and drink plenty
  5. Take a sauna
  6. Get fresh air regularly even in cold weather
  7. Do regular aerobic exercise
  8. Again, do what your mother told you and eat your green, red and yellow vegetables – lots of phytochemicals within
  9. Eat yogurt
  10. Don’t smoke – smokers get more colds than non-smokers
  11. Cut back on the alcohol
  12. Relax – “train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming.”

Here’s hoping you and your loved ones remain in fine fettle this winter.

 

The content of article is provided for general information only and is not intended in any way to substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

 

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