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Get on top of the flu season

Whole Naturopathy / Herbal Medicine  / Get on top of the flu season

Get on top of the flu season

As we head into winter, we find ourselves once again in the cold/flu season, although from what I have seen, it has begun earlier this year.

Whilst words like “virus”, “immune”, and “COVID” or “COVID-19” still invoke a stress response in most of us, the truth is that we will likely be more aware of viruses than we used to be for many years to come.

Like all viruses, the covid-19 virus mutates over time which prevents the body from recognising the virus and fighting it more effectively. For this reason, some people find themselves being infected a second or third time, and it’s no less severe than the first time.

There are also other seasonal viruses that do not test positive to a Covid test. Whether it’s due to a lack of exposure to viruses with 2 years of winter lockdowns, or whether the viruses are particularly aggressive this year, many people find themselves sick for longer than they normally would.

There are many natural remedies you can make to help prevent viral infection, reduce the severity, and reduce the likelihood of long term infections. Herbal teas are a great place to start. In terms of herbal medicine, they are a low dose, so you will need to drink them throughout the day and for at least a few days. If you like to sweeten your tea add a little manuka honey, it also has an antiviral effect.

The following herbs can be a great winter beverage to prevent colds and flu, some of them will be easy to find as teas, others you may need to buy as dried herbs and use a tea infuser. This list can help you to understand the difference between different immune herbs, by looking at their individual properties:

  • Echinacea – antiviral, antibacterial, tonic, immune modulating, anti-inflammatory
  • Elder – anticatarrhal (eliminates mucous), anti-inflammatory
  • Rosemary – antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
  • Thyme – antiviral, antibacterial, expectorant

If you find yourself coming down with a fever, along with the herbs above you can also help your body fight the virus. In the early stages of a fever, the body increases the basal temperature in order to kill the virus, so long as you are comfortable and the fever is under 39C, assisting the increase in body temperature can help to reduce the length of the fever (seek medical advice if you are pregnant, treating an infant, uncomfortable, or have a medical condition where a fever could be dangerous). Wrap yourself in a warm blanket and have warm drinks such as lemon, ginger and honey tea. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and stimulates circulation, lemon is high in vitamin C, and honey is antimicrobial.

For a sore throat, licorice root tea is soothing and if you have lost your voice, can help to get it back sooner. It’s important to listen to your body, if you feel like staying in bed and resting, it might just be what you need!

If you do find that you have recurrent viral infections a naturopath has lots of treatments to strengthen your immune system. Book an appointment today to get on top of it before your next infection.



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