Natural herbal & homeopathic preventive & curing remedies for Influenza (Flu)

Influenza (Flu)
HEALTH HERBS & NUTRITION - REMEDIES - INFECTIONS - INFLUENZA (FLU)

· General Description

· Symptoms

· Causes

· Herbal & Homeopathic Remedies

· Helpful Dietary Habits

· Dos and Don'ts

Natural herbal & homeopathic products for Influenza (Flu)

General description and overview of Influenza (Flu)

Influenza, also called flu, is a contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (the nose and airways). Although the symptoms may resemble those of cold, they are actually quite different in many ways. Most importantly, unlike cold, flu hits the whole body including the stomach and the muscles, and not just the respiratory system.

For healthy children and adults, influenza is typically a moderately severe illness as most patients are back to work within a week. However, older people (above 55) and those with compromised immune system due to an underlying chronic disease or some treatment are more susceptible to complications.

Pneumonia and congestive heart failure are two most important and deadly diseases which can result due to complications of influenza. They may actually prove to be fatal in a few cases, particularly in people above 65 and the ones with extremely compromised immunity due to chronic illness. Chances of miscarriage increase in pregnant women who get flu. Similarly, there is a slightly higher rate of birth defects in babies born of mothers with flu.

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in Influenza (Flu)

FluGo

Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves symptoms of the flu or cold including cough; runny nose; fever; sore throat and fatigue.

Product Details

BaniFlu

Homeopathic remedy temporarily protects against flu virus and germs and is safe for all ages.

Product Details

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Symptoms of Influenza (Flu)

The general symptoms of influenza and the basic differences between them and those of cold are:

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High temperature (fever up to 40°C, i.e. 101-104°F) accompanied by shivering/chills – this is an intrinsic characteristic of flu and comes on suddenly; with a cold, fever is rare

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Headache – this is quite usual with any flu attack but rare with a cold

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Muscular aches – your whole body aches badly in flu whereas the intensity is much lower in cold

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Pain in the joints – it is not at all prominent in colds

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Fatigue, tiredness and general debility – although you experience fatigue in cold also, it is much more severe in flu and lasts for more than 2-3 weeks

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Sore throat – a common symptom of cold, sore throat need not necessarily accompany a flu

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Cough – a dry barking cough, often severe, generally accompanies a flu whereas in cold, a moderate hacking cough is experienced by the sufferer

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Runny nose – a common feature of cold, it is not so common in a flu

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Sore eyes – in a cold, eyes are generally watery only

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Loss of appetite

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Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting in small children

Usually, the symptoms of flu are self explanatory, still if things are not crystal clear, a chest X ray can be conducted, especially if there is concern about complications such as pneumonia.

Herbal supplements for Influenza (Flu). If your symptoms include chest pains, breathing troubles and coughing up of yellow, green or blood stained mucous, it is time to see a doctor immediately as these are signs of secondary infections.

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Causes of Influenza (Flu)

Influenza is caused by a virus, influenza A, B or C. A virus is the most dangerous and has caused a great many pandemics (epidemics that are geographically widespread; occurring throughout a region or even throughout the world). The potency of this virus becomes apparent every 10 years or so, when major epidemics occur, triggered by a new strain of virus, one for which there is no vaccine. Such epidemics usually affect 20-30% of the population. Virus C is the most benign of the three. Although, these three are the main flu viruses, they have unlimited ability to mutate into different forms. Hence, although a bout with one strain gives you immunity to that particular virus, its mutant offspring can still catch you in near or distant future.

These viruses are spread through the air by sneezes and coughs. Although influenza usually occurs more often in winters as the cold lowers the body’s resistance to the virus, there are certain people who are most at the risk of contracting these viruses, majorly due to very low immunity level. The main reasons are:

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Stress

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Fatigue, tiredness

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Age, usually people above 50

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A serious underlying disease like diabetes or other chronic metabolic disorder, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, chronic lung disease (such as asthma or cystic fibrosis), or kidney disease

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A weakened immune system due to AIDS, HIV, chemotherapy, corticosteroid treatment, or organ transplant recipients who are normally given immunosuppresants

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Medical personnel including residents of nursing homes

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Crowded places like movie theatres, shopping centers etc.

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Herbal & homeopathic remedies useful in Influenza (Flu)

Conventional Medicine

* An influenza vaccination (available from a pharmacy or a doctor) is generally recommended for young children, those aged 65 years or older, and people of any age with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, or kidneys; diabetes, immunosuppression, or severe forms of anemia.
* Over-the-counter medication such anti-inflammatory drugs, cough syrups, decongestants, and lozenges may help to relieve influenza symptoms. While these may temporarily ease symptoms, they may cause unwanted side effects or even worsen the infection (for example, when mucus membranes are dried out by decongestants or when cough suppressant medication is used).
* Prescription medicine such as anti-viral agents may be prescribed in more severe cases of influenza to treat symptoms. It is important to remember that antibiotics cannot treat a viral infection such as influenza. Should you be taking them for a secondary bacterial infection, you can counteract the effect of antibiotics by eating yogurt with live cultures of ‘good’ bacteria after completing your course of antibiotics.

Natural Treatment & Prevention

Natural herbal and homeopathic remedies have also been proven to be extremely beneficial in treating influenza without drying out the mucus membranes (which happens with conventional decongestants) and without robbing the body of good bacteria (which happens with conventional antibiotics). Using a natural cold and flu remedy will not only help you to address the underlying cause of influenza, but ensure that you maintain optimal health and well-being.

Herbs such as Hypoxis rooperi and Astralagus membranaceus help to boost the immune system and act as strengthening tonics. Other effective healing herbs that provide a natural cold and flu remedy include Yarrow, Elderflower, and Peppermint. When these herbs are combined together, they can help to reduce fever and act as an inhalant to relieve chest congestion effectively. Echinacea is another powerful herb that has been shown to greatly support the immune system, and thus help the body to ward off the flu virus. Remember to source herbal remedies from a reputable company, as therapeutic dosage and ingredient quality is important when using herbal medicines.

Many people are unaware that there are effective homeopathic alternatives to the conventional flu vaccine. Orally administered, homeopathic flu vaccines may be used by all ages and can help to prevent influenza infection, without the side effects and complications sometimes experienced by the conventional flu vaccine.

For flu symptomatic relief

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Gelsemium 6C and Belladonna 30C are homeopathic remedies well-known for their ability to reduce the symptoms of sore throat and influenza, for fast relief of acute fever, pain, headaches, sore throat, swollen tonsils, dry cough and inflammation and are especially effective for illnesses which have a sudden onset.

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Gallium aperine (also known as Cleavers) - This is an excellent cleansing tonic and has a particularly beneficial effect on all the lymph glands, including the tonsils. Gallium aperine is effective in relieving swollen tonsils and other lymph glands and is also recommended for glandular fever.

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Hyssopus Officinalis (Hyssop) is one of the oldest medicinal herbs and has its healing powers extolled in the bible – “Purge me with Hyssop and I shall be clean”. (Psalm 51:7) It is used to assist the body to maintain respiratory health, as well as to boost immune functioning.

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Sambucus Nigra (Elder) is a well-known tonic for the throat and respiratory tract. This long deciduous tree is found in Europe and North America. Its flat creamy flowers give a pungent smell and eventually lead to the bearing of the elder fruit which are small black berries full of dark purple juice which are often used in syrups, jams and wines. Elderflower, which is the one mostly used in herbal preparations, contains tannins, mucilage, flavonoids, phenols and potassium. Berries are rich in anthocynins, vitamins A and C as well as folic acid. Together, these two have excellent expectorant quality and also promote sweating. This therefore helps in getting rid of toxins, reducing temperature and treating allergies like cold and flu.

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Marrubium Vulgare (Horehound) has also been used throughout most of history and was well used in Egyptian and ancient Roman times. It is an effective remedy for throat and chest health and also helps to promote strong immune systems.

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Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Root) is a highly respected remedy with a variety of uses. Apart from strengthening the action of other herbs, licorice has long been known for its ability to soothe and calm irritable respiratory tracts. In addition Licorice root has powerful immune-boosting properties, helping the body to fight against infection.

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Pulsatilla (30C) and Bryonia (30C) are homeopathic remedies, particularly useful for maintaining the health of the throat and chest, promoting relaxation and good sleep, and keeping throats and chests healthy and free of excess mucous.

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Kali. Mur. (6C) and Ferrum Phos. (6C)  are biochemic tissue salts that are very useful in keeping chests and throats clear of mucous, keeping the body clear of infection and maintain respiratory health, keeping the walls of the blood vessels strong and healthy. These tissue salts improve the body's ability to distribute oxygen-rich blood and iron to all cells, thereby facilitating healing.

For immune boosting in adults

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Hypoxis Rooperi (extract of African Potato) - Hypoxis contains phytosterols and sterolins, which help to modulate the effect of the immune system. Research has shown the beneficial effect of plant sterols and sterolins on the immune system. Research done on a group of volunteers demonstrated a significant increase in the number of T-cells, which are involved in enhancing immunity.

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Agothosma betulina (Buchu) - This is a urinary antiseptic and possesses diuretic properties. Buchu has been used by the natives of the Western Cape of South Africa for many centuries and assists the body to rid itself of toxins by stimulating the secretion of retained water.

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Crataegus oxycanthoides - This herb is highly respected as a tonic to support healthy circulation. Studies have demonstrated the ability of Crataegus to positively assist with cardiological indications utilizing active flavonoids in the herb producing simultaneous cardiotropic and vasodilatory action, thus dilating blood vessels for improved circulation.

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Olea europea (extract of olive leaf) - This herb contains a compound called oleuropein acid that is effective in helping the body to routinely combat numerous pathogens (germs). The positive effects of Olive leaf have recently been demonstrated in a variety of clinical studies.

For immune boosting in children

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Echinacea purpurea (American coneflower) is a Native American herb that has become famous for its tonic effect on the immune system. The three species commonly used for medicinal purposes are Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea purpurea. Many Echinacea preparations contain one, two, or all three of these species. Different products use different parts of the Echinacea plant. This is why experts believe that the effectiveness of Echinacea differs from one product to another. Echinacea’s root is the most important part, which contains a volatile oil, polysaccharides, resins and glucosides. Together, these constituents render this herb a whole lot of properties, such as antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and antiviral. Echinacea therefore is a tremendous help in stimulating and strengthening the immune system and building resistance to infections. Research has proved that it triggers a process by which our body’s immune cells engulf the foreign bodies attacking us. Its constituents work together to increase the production and activity of white blood cells (lymphocytes and macrophages), including alkylamides / polyacetylenes, caffeic acid derivatives, and polysaccharides and therefore help in strengthening the immune system. This immune system strengthening quality is used in many herbal preparations to increase resistance to infection, particularly to influenza, colds, upper respiratory infections and genitourinary infections.

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Astragalus membranaceous (also known by its Chinese name, 'Huang qi') is a potent yet child-safe Chinese remedy that has a variety of benefits as an immune-supportive and rejuvenating tonic. Studies have shown Astragalus to maintain immune responses effectively.

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Inula helenium (Wild Sunflower) is associated with Helen of Troy by legend, and has been used since the days of the Roman poet Horace. It is very effective as an encouraging respiratory tonic and is widely respected for its support of good health.

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Withania somnifera (Winter cherry) has been an important herb in the Ayurvedic and indigenous medical systems for over 3000 years, and is also called 'Indian ginseng'. It is one of the most important Ayurvedic tonic herbs, recommended for supporting growth, energy, and stamina. Regular use can also help to support blood nourishment, and it has been shown to have a tonic effect on the immune system.

   

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in Influenza (Flu)

FluGo for Influenza (Flu)

FluGo

Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves symptoms of the flu or cold including cough; runny nose; fever; sore throat and fatigue.

Product Details

BaniFlu for Influenza (Flu)

BaniFlu

Homeopathic remedy temporarily protects against flu virus and germs and is safe for all ages.

Product Details

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Dietary recommendations & restrictions in Influenza (Flu)

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As loss of appetite is a major side effect cum symptom of flu, extra care has to taken in this regard. Anti-fever medicines make you perspire, loss of fluids also occurs. Therefore, you primary goal should be to prevent dehydration and take small, timely placed, nutritious meals. Your diet should comprise primarily of carbohydrates for energy, vitamins (especially vitamin C) and minerals (particularly zinc).

Homeopathic medicines for Influenza (Flu). A little plain simple drinking water also does wonders for you when you are sick, hence never shy away from it by mixing something or the other every time in it. Water is and will also remain the best fluid on earth. Do take generous quantity of it in between the juices and soups.

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Vitamin C and zinc are both wonderful anti-oxidants and help boost the immune system. Both of them are thought to be helpful in alleviating symptoms of upper respiratory infections including flu. They are particularly helpful when taken on the onset of the influenza attack. Vitamin C rich foods include citrus fruits, blackcurrant, vegetables (broccoli, potatoes), red capsicums and chillies, strawberry, kiwifruit, rockmelon whereas zinc is richly found in dairy products, seafood (oysters), chicken, beef, eggs.

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As fever is an intrinsic property of flu, loss of body fluids due to perspiration is natural. Therefore, taking as much liquids as possible is very important. Also, fluids can provide badly needed nutrients when the patient is too sick to eat, as normally the case is. You may go for thin soups and fruit and vegetable juices as they are quite rich in minerals and vitamins.

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Dilution of juices is essential in the early stages (usually 1:1 is the recommended ratio) as too much sugar present in these juices (especially readymade ones as sugar is generally added in them to provide extra energy) may cause diarrhea. Beet root and carrot juice are most recommended as they are not just very healthy, but to the patients taste also.

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When you are finally ready to slowly incorporate solid food into your diet, start with carbohydrate rich (for energy) starchy, bland food such as dry toast, cottage cheese, boiled rice, bananas, cooked cereal, rice pudding, baked potatoes and yoghurt. Yoghurts and certain other milk products contain lactobacillus which is a probiotic, which are organisms that actually help fight, rather than cause, infection. Lactobacillus supplements help reduce the likelihood of getting a respiratory infection like flu, even in children.

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Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae found in most lakes and ponds and flourishes in warm climate and alkaline water. It is considered a complete protein because well over half of it consists of amino acids - the building blocks of protein and is also a rich source of other nutrients including B complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, carotenoids, manganese, zinc, copper, iron (in extremely good content), selenium, and gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid). It has extremely good ability to stimulate the immune system and has excellent antiviral effects. Studies suggest that Spirulina has activity against influenza virus too. It is available in dried and freeze-dried form. Pills are also available in the market.

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Orange - It is believed in some parts of the world that during the spread or epidemic of influenza, eaing oranges protects you from the disease. Even while you are suffering from flu, oranges shall be beneficial.

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Needless to say, you should avoid foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanuts, cola, peas, grain cereals, cashews, gelatin, alcohol and caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea and colas, acidic, salty and processed foods.

Dos and don'ts & precautionary measures in Influenza (Flu)

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Flu shots are recommended to people working in high risk areas (crowded and epidemic prone areas including nursing homes and hospitals) and to those with a high risk of developing complications (people with chronic conditions like heart or lung disease and those above 65). You cannot catch the flu from this vaccine as the virus used in the vaccine is dead. Your body, however, may react mildly: a slight fever within 24 hours or a swollen area where the shot was administered for a day or two. Every year, scientists develop this vaccine against the most recently circulating strain of the virus. As influenza usually occurs more often in winter as the cold lowers the body’s resistance to the virus, the best thing to protect against flu is to be vaccinated in the fall or very early winter. Even if these vaccines are not able to prevent you from contracting these viruses, the severity of the impending disease will definitely come down. Also remember, the vaccine takes around two weeks to take full control over the situation, so take it before time.

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Avoid crowded places when the flu bug is in your own. Avoid kissing, hugging and even sharing the same room with an infected person, even if s/he is your spouse. Remember, you are needed to take care of the sick and infected family member of yours, so if you yourself fall sick, you will be making things miserable for everyone. Therefore, don’t be an emotional fool and try to make least physical contact with the sick person in your household.

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Smoking, drinking and cold weather play havoc with your immune system. Don’t remain outside in wet and cold weather for no reason and give up smoking as it brings down your immunity level drastically and makes you prone to infections, especially the upper respiratory ones (one more reason to give up this habit completely!).

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You or your children should refrain from their daily work till at least one day after the fever due to you flu is gone. Remember, influenza is a very contagious disease and it is your moral duty to safeguard people working around you.

Natural & alternative medicines & cures for Influenza (Flu). Bed rest comes next only to increased intake of fluid as a remedy for influenza. Your body should be given a decent chance to work up its defenses for fighting against flu and this is only possible when its concentration is not diverted by keeping up awake and doing things which occupy its resources.

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The discomfort of a cough, sore throat and dry nasal passages can be successfully alleviated by using a vaporizer. Humidifiers are equally good but difficult to maintain as chances of bacteria creeping inside the machine itself are very high.

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Gargling with salt water should provide immense relief as the concentration of the gargling solution, prepared by dissolving a teaspoon of common salt in a pint of warm water, approximates the pH level of body tissues and is very soothing.

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Muscle pain, joint pains and body ache are intrinsic characteristics of flu but there are a few things that can be done to ease them. Using a heating pad for muscles and joint pains, soaking feet in warm water for overall relief including relief in headache and nasal congestion, and a back rub (vicks vaporub) for congestion relief (back rub activates the immune system as well!).

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Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in Influenza (Flu)

FluGo

Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves symptoms of the flu or cold including cough; runny nose; fever; sore throat and fatigue.

Product Details

BaniFlu

Homeopathic remedy temporarily protects against flu virus and germs and is safe for all ages.

Product Details

 

Introducing

"HOMEOPATHIC/HERBAL COLDS, COUGH, FLU....CONTAGIOUS INFECTIONS...PREVENTION AND CURES - A Step-By-Step Guide To Using Homeopathic and Natural cures for all Colds and Flus"

by Dr. Deborah Baker D.C., MSc, (Nutrition/Biochem), D.I. Hom, D.N.M.

Discover the Secrets a Doctor of Over 30 Years Experience Knows About Treating Colds, Cough, Flu...Contagious Infections With Natural, Homeopathic/Herbal Remedies...

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