A brief explanation of Flu
There was a time when the flu (influenza) was a seasonal virus which occurred between late autumn and spring. These days the virus has become a perennial one, and the battle against flu seems never ending.
Flu is a respiratory infection caused by a varying group of viruses, and can become deadly when added to other medical conditions.
New strains have become prevalent in recent years, including avian or ‘bird flu’, and swine flu. These two strains have proven deadly to humans and many believe that they are mutations of their progenitor viruses, caused by genetic modification in food products like corn, or hormonal boosters, ingested by the host body in farms and then passed to humans through the food chain.
Do I have the flu or just a cold?
Although the symptoms of a cold are similar to that of influenza and swine flu, the major difference is that the common cold will rarely lead to a fever (or temperature) of over 101 degrees Fahrenheit. The following are typical flu symptoms:
- Fever (100º F or greater)
- Muscle aches
- Extreme tiredness
- Runny nose (more prevalent in children than adults)
How do I treat influenza?
Whether dealing with H1N1 swine flu or influenza, it’s important to distinguish the symptoms correctly in order to seek the correct treatment, especially if you already suffer with other medical conditions.
Your doctors may prescribe a form of antiviral medication, but with many drugs having unpleasant side effects, a safer and healthier way to deal with the flu is with herbal or natural remedies. The following list can help reduce the risk of flu becoming worse, can cure the illness and are also safe for children:
- ANISE – Tea stimulates mucus secretion in lungs & throat.
- BONESET – Expectorant.
- CATNIP – Tea relieves fever & digestive upset, relaxing effect.
- CAYENNE – Added to fresh orange juice or soup to relieve congestion and increase mucus flow.
- ECHINACEA – Immune stimulant that relieves major flu symptoms.
- ELDERBERRY – Prevents infections and shortens duration of flu.
- EPHEDRA – Opens bronchial passages.
- GARLIC – Is an antibacterial that helps prevent infection. Eaten raw or taken in capsules.
- GINGER – A tea made by steeping the fresh, chopped root in boiling water for 20 minutes is used to soothe throat and ease congestion. Add some freshly squeezed lemon and a little honey for extra vitamin C and sweetness.
- MULLEIN – Used as expectorant and to soothe sore throat.
- TILDEN FLOWER – Tea used for sore throat & headache.
You can also use some essential oils to make a chest rub or decongestant. Aloe Vera placed under the nose (where it protects the sensitive tissue) with a drop of essential oil of peppermint on the top lip can break up severe nasal congestion and alleviate nausea.
Some ginger infused oil mixed with a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil will make a great chest rub that gives a soothing effect.
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Read more about flu season, fighting off the flu with yoga, influenza, swine flu, the risks on H1N1 in pregnant women, and a report on deaths caused by swine flu.
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