Winter is still going and coming to an end and our immune system is weakened. This means that we become more vulnerable to any respiratory infections, in particular, flu.
But regardless the cold weather, we still want to take a walk outside, meet with friends and just do everything we planned. That is why now it is especially important to take care of your health doing everything possible to prevent infections and then not to spend boring times in bed with high fever. Today, flu is spreading very fast affecting a lot of people of all ages in all states.
Flu as well as other respiratory infections are quite dangerous diseases. So, preventive measures are very important and it would be good to know them.
1. Drink water
Drink as much as possible. As you have noticed or just thought that you got a flu, drink water or any other drink such as herbal tea, juices from concentrates, or just mineral water. They prevent drought in throat and mouth, clean small membrane glands leaving them open. Besides, water is necessary in fever. Body temperature can go down only through sweating which is possible if there is enough water in the body.
Besides, hydration is very helpful for elimination of toxic substances and bacterial toxins. This helps the body systems to fight infection more effectively.
It should be noted that natural juices are useless as a source of water because it trapped in complex organic molecules and cannot be released into the body. Also, caffeine containing drinks must be avoided as they exert substantial diuretic effect and just increase dehydration. Alcoholic drinks are also harmful due to the same reason and they provoke weariness and fatigue as well. And this is not useful in the struggle against viruses.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C was proposed for the cold prevention 46 years ago and since then the number of evidences of the vitamin C efficacy is growing.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and used by human to maintain health and strength of bones, blood vessels and muscles. Many vegetables and fruits, especially, citruses contain this vitamin. Numerous research studies have proved beneficial influence of vitamin C on immune system.
It was found out that vitamin C plays much more important role as an agent preventing flu than healing it. So, if you eat regularly lemons and oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, currant berries, kiwi or any other veggies containing vitamin C it would help your body systems a lot. Such prevention is delicious, pleasant and powerful.
3. Garlic and onion
Garlic and onion are thought to be very popular way for prevention of cold and flu in many countries. Garlic is well known to have anti-inflammation and anti-microbe properties. Containing large amounts of compounds termed phytoncides it is very effective for the cold prevention.
Since antient times garlic lobules were stringed onto a thread making so called garlic necklaces. Their smell worked as a virus killer stopping any respiratory infection to occur. Such method is still popular in northern countries.
Garlic is a very powerful antibiotic. Just a couple of lobules taken into the mouth immediately kills all harmful bacteria preventing them spreading down the airways. Garlic does not have very nice taste, so there are many complex remedies known in folk medicine such as garlic with honey or even garlic inhalation, which can be bought or made at home.
Daily meal must contain large amount of garlic and/or onions. Of course, breakfast with these veggies is not a good decision due to the ethical reasons. But evening tea with garlic (onion) honey is a very good choice before going to bed. By the way, onion contains allicin and sulfur-containing compounds causing death of bacteria and viruses. Even if we inhale the smell of onion we would clean airways of harmful microbes.
4. Ginger drinks
Ginger root can be found in any food store. It can be used for preparation of a hot drink possessing a lot of benefits. It can reduce fever and inflammation, speed up blood circulation and increase oxygen level in tissues. Three glasses of a ginger drink can be very useful for the cold prevention. This is absolutely safe and improves brain activity, normalizes thyroid function and stimulate motor activity of stomach and gut.
Ginger root is to be peeled and ground and then poured with very hot, even boiling water. Besides, a teaspoonful of honey and peppermint leaf can make it taste much better and enhance its beneficial influence. Sometimes, cinnamon, lemon and even black pepper may be added into the drink for such purposes.
Adaptogens are a group of unique herbs that can help human body to adapt to any harmful influence including cold, heat, physical and mental overload, viruses and bacteria. Generally, there are several adaptogen herbs known such as ginseng, eleutherococcus, schisandra, aralia from Siberian forests, rhodiola rosea from Altai mountain, ashwagandha from Indian forests and some others.
The most powerful for the cold prevention among them is schisandra. Benefits of this herb are known for millennia. Ancient Chinese medical books contain claims that the red schisandra berries reduce fatigue, restore strength and work capacity as toning and stimulating agent. For many centuries schisandra was used for prevention of respiratory illnesses in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and then Russian folk medicine.
Ancient Chinese medical gurus wrote about schisandra the following: “Schisandra strengthens muscles and warms up guts. Two hours after schisandra intake the hearing and vision become sharper, fatigue disappears, and metabolism becomes better”.
The main effect of schisandra is known to be toning activity. But this is not so simple. The main benefits of schisandra are improvement of the blood circulation and metabolic processes, activation of brain functions and nervous system activity. Long-term intake of the schisandra-based remedies helps to cope physical and mental overload, increases muscle strength and lung capacity, enhances working capacity and attention. And what is most important, schisandra activates protein metabolism and this results in stimulation of immune system components. All these effects make the body more resistance to any bacteria and viruses because they cannot reach their targeting cells and perish due to the attacks of the body defense systems.
Schisandra has several effects that are useful in the fight with flu viruses:
- Making body to adapt easily to harmful ambient factors and reduce cold susceptibility;
- Immunity support;
- Fast glycogen release in liver;
- Activation of blood circulation and lung activity;
- Expansion of peripheral blood vessels;
- Anti-inflammatory activity;
- Brain hormone regulation;
- Direct anti-microbe activity.
Intake of schisandra makes the whole body healthier because it results in normalization of all types of metabolism, healthy hormone level, activated immune system and clear mind.
Other adaptogen herbs like eleuthero or rhodiola rosea are effective against flu too but their activity is more focused whereas schisandra possesses a wide complex of effects making it the most effective preventing agent against cold and flu.