INFLUENZA causes, symptoms and treatments

Description
* Influenza is an acute viral infection of the upper respiratory system. Influenza is caused by one of about 200 viruses, and once your body is infected with a virus, it becomes immune to it. As with all viruses, antibiotics have no effect on the influenza virus.
* If left untreated, influenza may develop into pneumonia or even death, especially in the elderly or very young.

Causes
* Influenza is a highly infectious virus that is usually spread via contact with the virus from another person, infected surface, or through airborne particles such as when someone sneezes or coughs.
* You cannot catch influenza by getting wet or cold, however this may weaken your immune system leaving the body unable to fight off an influenza virus.

Symptoms
* Symptoms of the influenza include sneezing, nausea, coughing, fatigue, headache, fever, sore throat, congestion, watery eyes and body aches.

Lifestyle symptoms
* Get plenty of rest if you have the flu. The body does much of its healing when at rest.
* Drink plenty of fluids including filtered water, vegetable broth, herbal teas and diluted vegetable juices, as these will rehydrate the body and help to thin the mucous.
* Avoid food with sugar in it and sweet fruit, as sugar competes with vitamin C uptake into the body.
* Dispose of tissues as soon as they have been used as they can infect other people or you may even reinfect yourself with the virus.
* Wash your hands and any surface you come into contact with as often as possible to avoid spreading the infection.

Treatments for influenza:

* There is no cure for the flu. Conventional remedies are based on suppressing the symptoms of the flu, however it is now thought that many of the symptoms of the are the result of the body’s immune system at work, and as such it may be better to support the immune system rather than suppress the symptoms. This type of therapy may appear to increase the discomfort, but often reduces the overall time span of the illness. * Home or traditional remedies such as bed rest, dietary, herbal and aromatherapy treatments may be of greater benefit.
* Some people may benefit from influenza vaccinations, especially the elderly or the very young, however, as influenza viruses are constantly mutating, vaccinations will not protect against all strains of the virus and may cause side effects.

SEE:

influenzaVITAMIN A – an antioxidant that protects against influenza, has antiviral effects, and helps to repair mucous tissue. Natural sources of vitamin A include alfalfa, sage, yellow fruits and vegetables, garlic, silverbeet, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cayenne, fennel seed, hops, parsley, peppermint, watercress, spirulina and red peppers. Short term high doses while infected, such as 15,000 iu daily in divided doses may help. Doses over 10,000 iu per day may cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women. Women of childbearing age are advised not to become pregnant during such a course or within one month after ceasing a course.

VITAMIN C – with bioflavonoids. An antioxidant that has antiviral effects, may reduce the severity and duration of the flu, is used in tissue repair and helps the immune system. Natural sources of vitamin C include mangos, fennel seed, rose hip, radishes, pineapple, berries, persimmons, silverbeet, paprika, seaweed – dulse and kelp, peppermint, parsley, papayas, kale, cantaloupe, avocados, asparagus, turnip greens and tomatoes. 5,000 – 20,000 mg daily in divided doses (every couple of hours) may help. Do not use more than 5,000 mg daily if pregnant. Use esterified vitamin C if you use aspirin. Large doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, may deplete the body of copper and affect the reliability of oral contraceptives.

BETA CAROTENE – an antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A. Take according to label instructions.

VITAMIN E – an antioxidant involved in circulation and tissue repair. Natural sources of vitamin E include dark green leafy vegetables, seaweed – dulse and kelp, whole grains, sweet potatoes, soybeans, nuts and seeds, oatmeal, cold pressed vegetable oil, legumes, alfalfa, rose hip, cornmeal, brown rice, whole grains and flaxseed. Use according to label instructions. Take according to label instructions if you suffer from diabetes, overactive thyroid, or are taking anticoagulant medication.

ZINC – lozenges. An antioxidant that stimulates the immune system and helps with tissue repair. Zinc may reduce the severity and duration of the flu and help with sore a throat. Natural sources of zinc include seaweed – dulse and kelp, soy lecithin, alfalfa, dandelion, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, torula yeast, brewer’s yeast, legumes, fennel seed, chamomile, whole grains, pecans, mushrooms, nettle parsley and wild yam. Use zinc lozenges that do not contain sorbitol, mannitol and citric acid and supply at least 15 mg of zinc. Dissolve in the mouth every two hours during the day as soon as you feel a cold coming on, after two days reduce total dosage to less than 80 mg daily. Excess zinc intake may cause copper deficiency. For prolonged periods of zinc intake, copper is recommended ie: 30 mg zinc with 2 mg of copper. Do not use more than 100 mg daily as excess zinc may depress the immune system.

ECHINACEA, PURPLE CONEFLOWER. – stimulates the immune and lymphatic systems and has anti-inflammatory and anti viral properties. If it is taken when symptoms first come on, echinacea may prevent the flu from taking hold. Use according to label instructions. Do not use echinacea if you are allergic to flowers in the sunflower family. Do not use if you have an autoimmune disease or have a progressive disease such as multiple sclerosis or tuberculosis. Echinacea may provide best results if used alternately with goldenseal, or in a blend. Do not use goldenseal for prolonged periods or if pregnant, have cardiovascular disease, glaucoma or diabetes.

EUCALYPTUS – essential oil or leaves. Used as an inhalant, relieves congestion and helps with coughs. Add six drops of oil or fresh leaves to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily.

FENUGREEK – – helps with fever, inflammation and breaks up mucous. Use according to label instructions.

GARLIC – stimulates the immune system, protects against infection, has an antibiotic effect and is used for colds and the flu. 6 capsules in divided doses may help. Consult your physician before taking garlic if you are taking anticoagulant medication.

GINGER – tea. Helps to relieve sore throat and fever, also improves nausea. Drink daily while symptoms persist. Do not use for a prolonged period during pregnancy or if you have gallstones.

GOLDENSEAL – has antibiotic, anti inflammatory and antibacterial effects, soothes mucous membranes and is used for colds and the flu. Take according to label instructions. Do not use goldenseal for prolonged periods or if pregnant, have cardiovascular disease, glaucoma or diabetes.

GRAPEFRUIT – essential oil. Used as an inhalation for colds and flu. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily. Grapefruit may be used with rosemary, lime and peppermint as an inhalation blend. Do not using boiling water as the steam may burn your face. Do not use rosemary or peppermint if you are pregnant. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure.

LIME – essential oil. Used as an inhalation for colds and flu. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily. Lime may be used with rosemary, grapefruit and peppermint as an inhalation blend. Lime may also be used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat. Use 2 – 3 drops in half a glass of warm water, gargle for thirty seconds. Repeat as necessary. Do not using boiling water as the steam may burn your face. Do not use rosemary or peppermint if you are pregnant. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure.

PEPPERMINT – essential oil. Used as an inhalation for colds, sinus and flu. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily. Peppermint may be used with rosemary, grapefruit and lime as an inhalation blend. Do not using boiling water as the steam may burn your face. Do not use rosemary or peppermint if you are pregnant. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure. Peppermint tea may be blended with other herbal teas to help with congestion.

ROSEMARY – essential oil. Used as an inhalation for colds and sinus. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily. Rosemary may be used with peppermint, grapefruit and lime as an inhalation blend. Do not using boiling water as the steam may burn your face. Do not use rosemary or peppermint if you are pregnant. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure.

SLIPPERY ELM, MOOSE ELM, RED ELM – soothes inflamed mucous membrane and helps to excrete mucous, is used for colds, sore throats and the flu. Take according to label instructions.

TEA TREE – oil. May also be used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat. Use 2 – 3 drops in half a glass of warm water, gargle for thirty seconds. Repeat as necessary.

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