Cold and flu season are upon us, that time of year when body aches, fever, chills, and nasal congestion combine and can stop you in your tracks, leaving you bedridden for days.
Statistics show that the flu annually sickens millions of Americans, kills tens of thousands, and results in billions of dollars in medical expenses and sick days.
"Complications arising from the flu can become serious", says Dr. Suhyun An (www.drsuhyunan.com), an expert on regenerative medicine. "If you still have symptoms after seven to 10 days, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor. If any of your symptoms include difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, or feeling faint, or if you experience other severe symptoms like a high fever, seek immediate medical assistance."
Dr. An says there are ways to prevent the symptoms from reaching that serious point. To feel better and get back on your feet, she recommends numerous natural cold and flu remedies to alleviate your symptoms:
Some studies indicate that Vitamin C can shorten the lifespan of a cold and boost your immune system. "The best way to get it is through your diet; the fresher the food, the better", Dr. An says. "Oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, leafy greens, and bell peppers are all good sources of Vitamin C."
Honey has natural antiviral and antimicrobial properties. "Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain", Dr. An says. "Honey often contains Clostridium bacteria, so never give honey to a child younger than one because infants' immune systems aren't able to fight them off."
This popular cold and flu remedy helps because hot liquids reduce mucus buildup and keep you hydrated. "Chicken soup, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce a cold's unpleasant side effects", Dr. An says.
"When you have congestion from the flu, applying camphor or menthol salve around your nose can help break up mucus", Dr. An says. "Aromatherapy oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus, can have a similar effect. Also, vapor rub can reduce cold symptoms, especially in children older than 2 years."
These are friendly bacteria and yeast found in the body, some foods, and supplements. "They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy, and they may reduce your chance of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection", Dr. An says.