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Posts Tagged ‘Flu’

And what about chicken soup, you ask? 

The suspected benefits of chicken soup have been reported for centuries.  The Egyptian physician Maimonides recommended it for respiratory symptoms in his 12th century writings that were, in turn, based on earlier Greek writings.  And, of course, mothers all over the world have said it time and time again.

University of Nebraska researcher, Dr. Stephen Rennard, became interested in the subject, and in 1993, he conducted a well-controlled research study on chicken soup that he prepared in the laboratory following his family’s recipe.  He was not able to identify the exact ingredients or ingredients in the soup that he prepared in the laboratory following his family’s recipe.  He was not able to identify the exact ingredient or ingredients in the soup that made it effective but concluded that it was the combination of all the vegetables and the chicken soup that made it so beneficial. 

The study also presented evidence that chicken soup can stop or reduce inflammation.  Since inflammation, particularly of the respiratory tract, contributes to cold/flu symptoms, the soup clearly has its benefits.  For comparison purposes, commercially available chicken soups were tested for anti-inflammatory effects, and most of the soups were just as effective as the homemade chicken soup.

There are also many herbs, which are recommended for both conditions.  Some boost the immune system, some suppress cough, and yet other reduce fever.  Since all herbs contain active substances that may interact with other herbs, supplements or medications, or trigger side effects, it is advisable to consult a knowledgeable practitioner in this field.  Here some of the herbs used to treat cold/flu that are also found in Alveo: Licorice, Peppermint, and Yarrow.

Similarly, dietary supplements (such as vitamins, minerals and others) may interact with medications or have various side effects; therefore, a consultation with a knowledgeable health provider is advised.  Despite a popular belief that vitamin C can cure a cold/flu, the scientific evidence in support of this, is limited.  Some experts suggest that vitamin C may only be beneficial for individuals with already low levels of this supplement.  Others suggest that the effect of vitamin C may be very individual – some people may improve, while others may not. 

Several studies, but not all, have revealed that zinc lozenges and nasal zinc gels may reduce some symptoms of cold and flu, cough in particular.  However, nasal zinc spray does not appear to have the same benefits.

Prevention

Even though everybody gets cold/flu from time to time, there are preventive measures one can take.  The best defense is frequent hand washing.  Scrubbing your hands for at least 15 seconds with the ordinary soap and water is the most efficient way to prevent viruses from entering the body.  Remember: telephones, doorknobs, shopping cart handles and computer keyboards, are well known carriers of germs!  And of course, a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate rest and reduction of stress are all essential I building a strong immune system.

Alveo Can Help!

One of the reasons our body needs food supplements is the quality of food in our stores and markets.  Most of our food, if not all, is mass-produced, meaning it is produced with the use of pesticides, colorants and additives.  It often has decreased nutritional value.  Since food is essential in keeping our organs and body systems working properly, we need to add supplements to our diets to meet nutritional requirements and to keep our bodies strong and resilient.

In order to get all nutrients to our organs, our digestive system must absorb them well.  Alveo is an excellent digestive tonic and as such, helps in the gastrointestinal absorption by stimulating digestive enzyme production.  The herbs found in Alveo also have anti-inflammatory properties in the gastrointestinal tract.  When our organs are well-nourished and function properly, we are much more prepared to face the fall and winter seasons.

Until next time…Stay healthy

Katarzyna

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Fall and winter are upon us once again, and with them the most common illnesses of the season: the cold and the flu.  People often use the terms cold and flu interchangeably; however, these are two separate conditions.

The common cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus.  It is usually not accompanied by a fever but it does affect the nose, sinuses, throat, larynx, and often also the trachea and bronchi.

Influenza, or flu (grippe, grip), is also a viral infection affecting the respiratory tract but in addition is accompanied by fever, general malaise, headache, muscle pain, stomach pain and such.  In severe cases, it may even result in death.

 

Causes

There are over 200 different types of viruses which can cause a cold.  Most commonly, you can get a cold by touching your nose, eyes or mouth after handling a contaminated object.  However, cold-causing viruses can also be transmitted through the air.  Exposure to chilly outdoor air will not make you more susceptible to get a cold as is often believed, on the other hand, emotional distress and excessive fatigue actually may.  On average, an adult may experience between 3-6 colds in a year, while a child may have as many as 8-10.

Many different types of influenza viruses belonging to either Influenza A or B groups may cause the flu.  The flu is very contagious and spreads easily from person-to-person (e.g. through handshakes or the sharing of utensils) or via air droplets (containing a virus) that contaminate objects.  Flu epidemics often occur about every x number of years and usually affect the entire country; occasionally (about once per decade), the flu spreads across all continents.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Cold:

  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Possible fever ( 39C or lower)
  • Headache

Flu:

  • Sudden fever (up to 40C)
  • Fatigue, chills, headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Sneezing, runny and stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nonproductive cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

 

Treatments

Conventional medicines, herbs, supplements and other forms of treatment can only help in alleviating the symptoms of both, the cold and the flu, but cannot treat or cure either condition.

The following is recommended for both the flu and cold:

  • Drink a lot of water and other fluids – water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey will help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration
  • Salt water – a salt-water gargle (1/2 teaspoon salt in 250 ml of warm water) can relieve a sore throat
  • Saline nasal sprays – will help you combat stuffiness and congestion.  Unlike decongestants, saline sprays don’t lead to a rebound effect – a worsening of symptoms when the medication is discontinued.  They are safe and nonirritating, even for children.  

 

To be continued…

Until next time…Stay healthy

 

Katarzyna

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