Between 1918 and 1919 over 20 million people died from the Spanish influenza, a type of flu virus. Ways to boost the immune system and method of transmission of the virus was not well publicized and as a result it spread quickly and killed many.
The flu virus infects the respiratory system, which includes your nose, throat, bronchial tubes, and lungs. The flu can come on without any indications, were a cold takes its time to appear.
Symptoms include chills, fever (usually above 101°F [38.3°C]), headache, soreness, backache and fatigue.
Individuals who are at higher risk for developing more severe symptoms of the illness often have an underlying medical condition that affects their immune system.
These medical conditions can include: cancer, asthma, AIDS and diabetes. Also an individual who is older than 65 years of age or younger than five are at a higher risk of dying from the flu.
For the largest majority of people, the flu causes uncomfortable and irritating symptoms that usually resolve on their own. And for most people the duration is from 1 to 2 weeks.
The question is, what is the body's line of defense against any infection including the flu virus? It's your body's immune system.
The Journal Virology says that at the early phase of a viral infection, the immune system plays an important role in limiting the viruses ability to replicate.
Therefore, keeping your immune system in a healthy condition can help to prevent the spread of the flu virus.
Following are natural ways you can keep your immune system healthy. And if you are infected by the flu virus they can help to shorten the duration.
Curing The Flu Virus With Vitamin-C and Zinc
Vitamin-C helps to enhance the immune system of the body and facilitates in the absorption of iron in the body which in turn strengthens the body's ability to fight off infections.
These white blood cells are produced in the body in order to help fight illnesses, such as the influenza virus.
Eating plenty of produce like mangoes, strawberries, oranges, and Brussels sprouts is an excellent way to get your daily dose of the antioxidant.
Another supplement that has been shown to improve the immune system is Zinc.
Taking zinc right at the onset of the viral infection helps to decrease the severity and longevity of the illness.
There are case studies which have shown that taking zinc lozenges prophylactically during the flu season, or when exposed to individuals who may be sick, can help to prevent the onset of the illness.
The journal BMC Family Practice published saying that Harri Hemila, Ph.D., of the University of Helsinki, Finland, reviewed data from 199 patients who took either zinc lozenges or placebos. And he found that Zinc lozenges led to significant decreases in all cold symptoms, including nasal discharge, congestion and hoarseness.
Both vitamin-C and Zinc should be taken together as vitamin-C is dependent on Zinc for absorption.
Flu Busting Foods - Garlic - Ginger - Onions
Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-coagulant, antiviral, antibiotic, and also boosts blood circulation. Garlic does all this without creating bacterial or organism resistance.
The journal Microbes and Infection has published saying that garlic has shown to decrease the growth of viruses within the body.
Scientists from the University of Florida reported in the journal Clinical Nutrition in 2012 that taking aged garlic extract reduced the severity of flu symptoms and that the symptoms went away faster in those who took the garlic extract than among those who did not.
Unlike garlic, which can help to prevent one from catching the flu, or at the least lessen the symptoms, ginger is best used to reduce flu symptoms.
Ginger has shown to strengthen the immune system by activating T-cells. T-cells are an important part of the immune system.
They are a group of white blood cells capable of destroying cells infected by viruses and bacteria.
Ginger contains vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, zinc, calcium, and beta-carotene.
All necessary nutrients to boost the immune system to ward off viral infections.
Everything that's been said about Garlic can be said about the onion. Onions and garlic share many of the same powerful sulfur bearing compounds that work so effectively as anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, onion’s have several health properties, including:
- Reduces inflammation
- Preventing or Resolving Diarrhea
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Purifies the Blood
- Liquefies Mucu
Herbal Remedies and The flu
The National Center For Complementary and Integrative Health has published that Cats claw has been found to shorten the duration of the flu and improve the way in which an individual feels.
Cats claw can also be combined with Echinacea in order to boost the body's immune system and prevent the further growth of the virus within the body.
Research studies with elderberries have shown that it has antiviral properties, helping to prevent the growth of a virus within the body.
The European Cytokine Network an electronic journal that publishes original articles and abstracts every quarter to provide an essential bridge between researchers and clinicians reported on a product that has been produced called Sambucol. The herbal formula uses black elderberries.
Elderberry extract contains a high percentage of three flavonoids or naturally occurring plant substances that have been shown to possess antiviral properties.
Scientists found that Sambucol interfered with the growth of multiple strains of both influenza A and B viruses in cell cultures.
Tests were done with 35 healthy subjects who were given four tablespoons of Sambucol daily for three days, with no recorded side effects.
Another 27 subjects were given either Sambucol or a placebo for three days during a flu outbreak at an Israeli kibbutz. Children took two tablespoons daily and adults took four. None of the study participants had received a flu shot.
90 percent of those taking Sambucol were completely cured within three days, while most of those who took the placebo needed six days or more to recover.
Also available Sambucol Original Formula Black Elderberry Chewable Tablets - 30 CT
Scientific research has shown that Echinacea can keep the immune system healthy and strong, protecting it from common pathogens like the influenza virus.
Research shows that echinacea extract works against an enzyme called hyaluronidase that destroys the body's defenses against diseases.
Tea For Easing Flu Symptoms
There are several herbal teas that can help with the symptoms of a flu infection.
The extracts from the herbs help support your immune system, calm an upset stomach and break up congestion in your nose and chest.
Try this herbal recipe:
1 teaspoon bayberry bark extract
1 teaspoon fresh grated Ginger root
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
Add ingredients to a 6 to 8 ounce ceramic cup. Next add some fresh boiled water and stir. Let stand a few minutes and enjoy.