Flu Season in the Okanagan – What can be done naturally?

It is nearing the end of February and the ‘Flu’ has officially made its presence known in the Okanagan. During the flu season people are home sick grappling with fever, chills, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue. As the flu is the result of a viral infection, antibiotics will not help as they are only effective against bacterial infection. Therefore, the usual medical advice is to stay home, get rest and drink plenty of fluids. This is good advice, but there is more that can be done to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms of an active infection. Here are a couple of effective suggestions:

“Feed a fever, starve a cold.” What this means is one should not (usually) suppress a fever. This seems contrary to the usual recommendation but it is important to understand that the increase in body temperature actually allows the body’s metabolism to increase. This amplifies the immune system’s ability to grow faster and fight the infection. As well, invading organisms replicate and grow best when our body temperature is normal, which is between 36.5 and 37.5 C. When the body temperature increases, the resulting fever stunts the ability of the virus to replicate. A typical fever is considered to be between 37.5 to 38.9 C. Temperatures above 40 C can be life threatening, so monitor closely, as further action may be required.

If you are already sick or feel like you are becoming sick but have not yet had a fever, here is what to do: Boil some water in your tea kettle. Mince a clove of garlic (antimicrobial) and shred some ginger (heats up the body) into a pot. Add the boiling water and when steeped, drink 2 cups. Even better, drink your tea while relaxing in a hot bath. Immediately after, put on full pyjamas or a sweat suit and crawl into bed. Doing this will feed the fever, starve the cold.

In addition to these home recommendations there are several effective immune boosting supplements which can be taken to prevent or speed up recovery from the flu. Furthermore, the Natural Flu Shot, which is a combination of vitamins and complex homeopathics, is another option that can help support the body’s natural defence systems and either prevent the flu or limit its duration and severity. For more information on the use of supplements and/or in learning more about the Natural Flu Shot visit www.naturopathichealthcare.ca

Read the full article at www.naturopathichealthcare.ca.

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