The flu is usually caused by the highly contagious influenza virus and is typically spread through sneezing and coughing. There are three types of Influenza virus – Influenza A, B and C.

Like the common cold, flu symptoms also affect the upper respiratory tract and can include a combination of:

Headache
High fever, sweating and chills
Aches and pains in muscle and joints
Weakness and lethergy
Sore throat
Unproductive cough
Blocked or runny nose
Flu’s are usually more severe than the common cold. This is because flu’s typically cause high fevers and aches and pains, whilst the common cold doesn’t. Flu symptoms can also linger longer than a week whilst the common cold will usually last a few days.

Pregnant women, older people and individuals with compromised immunity can be more prone to developing complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis due to secondary infections.

To reduce the possibility of contracting the virus, it is important that the immune system is functioning optimally through diet, lifestyle and nutritional/herbal supplementation. Unfortunately, taking antibiotics is not an effective way to manage the flu as antibiotics treat bacteria, not viruses.

Below are a few tips to help improve recovery time from a flu:

Stay warm especially the head, neck and chest area
Dry hair immediately after washing it and prevent children from staying in a cool bath
Have warm soups, broths and herbal teas
Stay hydrated with plenty of room temperature filtered water
Include garlic, onion and shitake/reishi mushrooms when cooking as these can help to support the immune system due to their anti viral and anti bacterial properties.
Steam inhalations and vaporisers can often help to moisten the mucous membranes and loosen congestion in the respiratory system
Ensure plenty of good quality restorative sleep
Slow down and rest
Prepare a Cold and Flu Fighter Tea:
Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a saucepan and add:

1 Tablespoon honey, 2 tsp fresh grated ginger, 1 slice lemon (skin on), 1 cinnamon stick, ½ tsp cinnamon powder, 6 cloves, 1 clove garlic, ¼ tsp fresh chopped chilli. Continue boiling the ingredients for 1 minute then take off the stove. Drink the warm tea freely throughout the day.

I hope that everyone has been finding these blogs useful and the suggestions easy to implement. I welcome and value any comments and feedback.

In health and happiness,

Amy