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Tag: flu remedies

10 Common Sense Ways to Avoid Getting the Flu

As much as we might try to avoid it, anyone can come down with the flu after exposure to the virus, even if you got the flu vaccine (now thought to be around 60% effective for this year). Sometimes it’s good to get a reminder of how hygienic you can keep your your immediate environment and, with just a little bit of effort, keep the flu virus away from your household.

1. Make your house a shoe-free zone. Shoes go everywhere we go, but by the dirtiest route.  Germs can enter our homes carried on the soles of our shoes after we walk through someone else’s sneeze, spit, or cough. I read once that germs can live on inanimate surfaces for hours or maybe even longer. Eeewww. In our house we leave our shoes at the door.

2. Do not share towels. Designate personal towels in household bathrooms and enforce respect for the concept. I like to give each person their own color towels to make it easier to remember which are yours. Wash your towels often.

3. Don’t touch public door knobs or handles. After washing hands in a restroom, don’t re-soil yourself by grabbing onto a door knob that many hands have touched. Use the same paper towel as you used to dry your hands to provide a defensive layer between your clean hand and the dirty knob or handle; or pull a sleeve over your hand to prevent skin-to-knob contact.

4. Avoid touching stair rails, elevator buttons, ATM buttons, light switches, money, or other places where untold numbers of people have placed their germy fingers. Wear gloves or employ the sleeve-trick to minimize skin-to-germ contact, and wash hands well after contact.

5. Make it  habit to wash your hands anytime you enter your house, no matter where you have been or what you have been doing. Enforce this rule for all household members and guests to your house.

6. Perform a Sinus Rinse or Neti Pot rinse after contact with crowds or sick people. If you can flush away the germs before they take up residence in the warm, inviting mucous tissues in your nose, then you have a better chance of keeping a full-blown infection at bay. Dirty sinus cavities are breeding grounds for infections.

7. Blow your nose often or whenever needed to remove excess mucous. Do not simply snort your snot back up into your head; the human body encapsulates foreign molecules inside mucous for the specific purpose of facilitating removal from the body. Your body wants you to blow your nose and remove the irritation! When my 7th grade Home Ec teacher, Evvie, heard a sniffle, she was known for shoving a tissue box at the offender with the admonition to “Stop recycling!” As I’ve aged I’ve grown to appreciate more of Evvie’s wisdom than I did when I was twelve.

8. Isolate sick family members until they are healthier. Do not invite sick people to the dinner table or allow them in common areas. Make them comfortable and keep them hydrated as much as possible. Here are some remedies for flu that you can offer, along with chicken broth/soup and weak tea.

9. Bring your own equipment to the gym. Lots of virus and bacteria molecules can be shed through sweat so invest in your own hand-weights and yoga mats, and be sure to wipe down shared machines with anti-bacterial wipes or sprays.

10. Take probiotics. Keep your body in a shape to repel unwanted invaders with regular doses of probiotics like those found in Good Belly Probiotic drink. In my personal experience, my kids and I stay healthier during the school year when we drink Good Belly regularly.

If you still end up getting the flu after all of your preventative efforts, try this homeopathic flu remedy – an essential to keep in the house during flu season!

Money Can Carry the Flu Virus

The December, 2009, issue of Consumer Reports offers a couple tips for prevention of flu and swine flu. In their poll a few months ago, CR learned that only 34% of respondents intended to get the swine flu vaccine, so it behooves us all to practice good hygiene during this flu season.

N95 surgical mask to prevent swine flu

While they recommended frequent hand washing and a N95 surgical mask for caregivers of flu patients, the most interesting thing I learned was that “some evidence suggests a virus can survive for three days on paper money.”

Wow: a virus can live for 3 days on a piece of paper! I always knew money was dirty, though I think I had assumed it was more coins than bills.

I remember a biologist friend shuddering as she recounted her willful preschooler licking a penny just to spite her informed mother. “I’ve seen what’s on coins underneath the microscope,” my friend cried. “They are swarming with germs.”

Luckily, her little girl didn’t pick anything nasty up that day, but the Consumer Reports article is a good reminder to always wash our hands after handling money. It’s probably a good habit to get into, even when we’re not facing a flu outbreak!

CR also recommends using disinfectant wipes on phones and computer keyboards, another good practice to remember since they can hang onto germs we bring in on our hands from the outside. Their final piece of advice is that if you have a cough and fever, STAY HOME! To this I’ll add, “and take Oscillococcum immediately!”

Avoid the flu… and flu shots!

I was pleased today to see Dr. Mercola’s advice for avoiding the flu… and the flu vaccination. I’ve been agonizing over whether to get a flu shot this year.

He suggests that the flu may be caused by a vitamin D deficiency since “flu season” comes during the winter months when sunlight is scarce. He recommends taking vitamin D supplements of levels up to

Here are the other “secrets” Dr. Mercola uses to keep the flu (and other illnesses) at bay:

Another useful supplement you could try, should you come down with a case of the flu, is olive leaf extract, which you can find in most any health food store.

Olive leaf extract has been found to be a potent broad-spectrum antiviral agent, active against all viruses tested, including numerous strains of influenza and para-influenza viruses.

Personally, I have found homeopathic Oscillococcinum to be quite effective against flu symptoms, and always keep some in my supplement drawer.