Holidays are here (and so is the flu)!

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We are just a week away from Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a time for family reunions, visit to shopping malls. That’s the fun part but the downside is this also happens to be the flu season.

Influenza or the seasonal flu is most rampant around the colder part of the year (Oct to May) and usually tends to peak between Dec and Feb. The influenza viruses A,B and C which are responsible for causing the flu tend to spread more rapidly in cooler temperatures. They enter the body usually through the nasal route.

The typical symptoms of flu develop suddenly within a day or two of exposure. They include chills, shivering, fever greater than 38C or 101F, headaches, dry cough, nasal discharge, muscle pains and fatigue.

‘Tis the season to be jolly for us. The flu viruses are also having a jolly time as it’s so easy for them to spread now in the cold weather. Here are a few steps to limit the spread of the flu virus and have a healthy holiday season.

Now is the time we are subjected to overcrowding indoors as families gather at homes, go shopping, travel across the country. This puts us at high risk of exposure to germs from many people. The indoor environment also tends to be more dry with all the heating systems around which dries up our nasal passages and lowers the body’s defenses.

Solution: Get some fresh air. Open the windows at times during the day to let in some fresh air indoors. If the heating system is being used, place a clean open bowl of water near the heating sources around the home to help humidify the air. If you resort to humidifiers, make sure they are cleaned on a daily basis or they can get moldy and spread mold in the air.

Thanks giving and Christmas also happen to be stressful periods for everyone. Stress is known to lower the body’s immunity which increases the chances of us acquiring various infections including the flu.

Solution: Keep stress in control by getting about 8 hours of sleep every night, drinking enough water, exercising on a regular basis. Focus on having fun with friends and family rather than perfection in tasks. If the sun is out in the place where you live get outdoors and get some sun. The vitamin D produced in the skin from the UV rays of the sun is known to improve the functioning of the immune system.

Avoid close contact with people who seem to be down with the illness. Avoid hand shaking and hugging a person who is sneezing and coughing.

Solution: Frequently disinfect surfaces like door knobs, tables, faucets. Wash your hands thoroughly on a regular basis, the most effective strategy to get rid of germs and prevent infections. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth often as the germs from your hands can enter your body more easily this way. Sneeze or cough into the bend of your elbow, this prevents the germs spreading in the air and others acquiring it.

Homeopathic treatment for the flu

Influenza can become life threatening and develop into pneumonia especially in elderly patients. The severity of the illness increases with age and with certain medical conditions that compromise the immune system, like AIDS, poorly managed diabetes etc. Homeopathy offers wonderful solutions for the prevention and the treatment of influenza. Homeopathic remedies are tailored to individual needs based on the symptoms of the patients. They work by strengthening the immune system and stimulating the body’s natural healing capacity. Homeopathic remedies can work both for an acute attack of flu or for patients who are prone to frequent infections and flu by helping to reduce the frequency of the illnesses. Some commonly used remedies for influenza in homeopathy are:

Arsenicum album– Patients needing this remedy tend to feel very chilly, yet want open air. They are thirsty for small sips of water often. There is marked prostration along with anxiety about their health and restlessness. This anxiety about their health makes them want company all the time.

Eupatorium perfoliatum– This plant was used in traditional medicine by Native Americans and in the form of a herbal infusion called the ‘bone set tea’. In Homeopathy we use it in potencies as an effective remedy for influenza when there is marked aching in the bones as if they would break.  Terrible headaches, wanting to be covered warmly, worse from movement. Dry, teasing cough, feeling very sore from coughing.

Oscillococcinum– Is a popular OTC Homeopathic remedy manufactured by Boiron to treat influenza, used widely in France. It is available in many of the leading pharmacies and stores in the United States.

Many other remedies are useful for treating influenza like Gelsemium, Influenzium, Bryonia, Streptococcinum etc. The choice of the remedy varies from case to case, success in Homeopathic treatment depends on the ability to find the most suitable remedy for each individual case. We offer you safe, alternative solutions for the flu season. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy, Germ-free, Thanksgiving!