STRENGTHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AGAINST COLDS.
How To Prevent Colds With Natural Remedies. 8 Natural Strategies.
The average adult typically gets two to four colds each year, while children may have much more, even a dozen. Colds and other disturbs linked to the cold season account for more missed work hours than any other illness and are one of the main reason why people visit their physicians
Because colds are triggered by viruses, it will be completely useless to have or ask for an antibiotic prescription to treat them.
Avoid antibiotics, including penicillin, they do not have any effect on viruses.
Excessive and unnecessary use of antibiotics has contributed to the fast rise in antibiotic-resistant diseases which now claim more lives each year than the AIDS and cost the health care systems billions a year! Furthermore, whenever you use an antibiotic, you’re increasing your susceptibility to an antibiotic-resistant infection — and you can become the carrier of this resistant bug and spread it to others.
There are more than 300 different cold-causing viruses. Each time that you have a cold it is caused by a distinct virus. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria.
Cold viruses are spread by hand-to-hand contact. So, if you shake hands with someone with a cold who certainly has blown his nose, he will transmit to you the cold virus. Also if you touch something that a person with a cold has touched you will get the cold virus because cold virus viruses can live on any object for hours.
Duration of colds is normally between eight and nine days, but the most stubborn could last up to two or three weeks, and for a small percent even up t0 three weeks.
To bounce back from a cold is much depending on your lifestyle habits. And it has nothing to do with how many or which over-the-counter cough and cold remedies or fever reducers you swallow. And there is not even the need to lower your temperature if it remains below the average 102 degrees typical of colds. Besides, a temperature will help you get rid of the cold viruses, in fact, a study showed that people who take aspirin and Tylenol to reduce their temperature, suppress their body’s ability to produce antibodies to destroy the cold virus.
Besides, lung complications linked to Aspirin consumption are known. It should be used only in case of body temperatures above 105 degrees F accompanied by severe muscle aches or weakness.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM A COLD
The best way to protect yourself from the hassles of the classic cold season is to stay ahead of the game trying to prepare the body to react to external attacks from viruses and bacteria.
Prevent the common cold , or at least limit its duration is a realistic goal; to reach it, it’s important, however, to follow some rules to strengthen the immune system; in fact, a strong immune system can avoid the annoying colds or prevent them resulting with the flu.
The higher the quality and quantity of our defense mechanisms against external agents or substances, the lower the risk of becoming ill or, in any case, the shorter the course of the disease will last.
So it is important to avoid weakening your immune system in the first place and then to strengthen it.
The more common factors that can cause the weakening of the immune system are:
- Eating too much sugar and too many grains
- Not getting enough rest
- Vitamin D deficiency, as discussed below
- Inability to manage emotional stresses in your daily life
8 SIMPLE “RULES” TO PREVENT COLD and RESPIRATORY DISEASES
To support the immune system of the body, the first “defensive barriers” against the common cold and flu-like syndromes, it is advisable to follow a few rules , which must be part of our daily lifestyle. Let’s look together.
1) A LITTLE MOVEMENT
A regular physical activity (commensurate with age), can help us keep fit the body and helps to enhance its ability to thwart viruses before they can take root.
According to one study, people who exercise regularly cut their risk of having a cold by close to 50 percent. And if they catch a cold, their symptoms are much less severe than among those who did not exercise.
Exercise cuts your risk of colds because it triggers a rise in immune system cells that attack invading bacteria.
Several studies have shown that a moderate physical activity can increase the capacity of stress resistance of the organism. However, if you’re already feeling sick, over-exercising can actually place more stress on your body, which consequently will suppress your immune system. When you feel you are coming down with a cold, just go for a walk enough to raise your body temperature which will create a more hostile environment to the invading bacteria.
2) KEEP HYDRATED
A proper hydration is very important for the whole organism: dehydration promotes fatigue, it may contribute to headaches and “forces” the heart to work harder to pump blood through the blood vessels.
Furthermore, it is now known the critical role played by water in the body: in addition to promoting the ‘ elimination of toxins, it helps to keep the electrolytic balance of the minerals inside the cells, whose “health” is fundamental to the of the whole body wellness.
3) WATCH YOUR DIET TO ENSURE MAXIMUM NUTRIENT BENEFITS.
Tweak your diet in favor of foods that will strengthen your immune response. Those factors are:
- Raw, grass-fed organic milk, and/or high-quality whey protein. The action of milk combined with the honey has however long been known; this remedy of yesteryear proves always very current and effective.
- Probiotic-rich foods or take a high-quality probiotic to help support your immune health because fermented foods such as raw kefir, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, etc., which are rich in probiotics, or good bacteria. .80 percent of your immune system resides inside your digestive tract,
- Raw, organic eggs from free-ranging, preferably local, chickens
- Grass-fed beef
- Animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil.
- Coconuts and coconut oil
- Beta glucans containing mushrooms, especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake or their immune-enhancing properties.
- Herbs and spices like turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, and cloves.
- Homemade Chicken Soup. It contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily. Do not take processed, canned soups. Make the soup hot and spicy.
- Locally grown fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in fruits and seasonal vegetables provides the body the right amounts of vitamins and useful nutrients to support the immune system and counteract any pathogens. It would, therefore, be good to consume foods rich in vitamin C , D6, B12, zinc, copper, and selenium.
Not only that, but also the right intake of nutrients such as vitamins A, B6 and C , zinc, and unsaturated fatty acids can be of great help, respectively, to facilitate the production of antibodies , maintain healthy respiratory mucosa, prevent colds and shorten battery life.
If diet alone is not enough, you can make use of natural supplements of
- Vitamin C. A very potent antioxidant; use a natural form such as acerola, which contains associated micronutrients. You can take several grams every hour till you are better.
- Propolis. A bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world; propolis is also a good source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two compounds that aid in immune response and even fight cancer.
- Zinc. Take it on the first cold symptoms to reduce the duration of your cold and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
- Oregano Oil. Loaded with Carvacrol ,the most active antimicrobial agent in oregano oil.
- Herbal teas.Make teas of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger alone or in combination. Drink them hot which will cause you to sweat thus helping for faster eradicate the virus from your system.
- Vitamin D. A potent antimicrobial agent, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body capable of killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The largest study to date, which involved about 19,000 Americans, showed that people with the lowest vitamin D levels were having significantly more colds or cases of the flu, with a greater risk for those with chronic respiratory disorders like asthma.
The best source for vitamin D is obviously direct sun exposure, and if that is not even a and not even indoor tanning device is available, then using .an oral vitamin D3 supplement is acceptable. You need about 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight. Ideally, you should maintain a vitamin D level of 50-70 ng/ml year-round.
4) HYGIENE AND CLEAN HANDS!
Washing your hands frequently is one of the easiest ways to wipe out germs and viruses and reduce your chances of becoming sick.
Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than regular soaps.
Widespread use of antibacterial cleansers is leading to strains of resistant bacteria which cause the ingredients to lose effectiveness for the times when they really are needed. Furthermore, the active ingredient in most antibacterial products is triclosan, an antibacterial agent that kills bacteria and inhibits bacterial growth. But triclosan doesn’t only kill bacteria, it’s also been shown to kill human cells.
To limit as much as possible the passage of viruses and bacteria from one person to another, it is essential to maintain a perfect hygiene : pathogens can, in fact, survive on skin and surfaces, contaminate hands and be ingested. For the same reason, it is good to avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with your hands not properly washed, especially if we have been in contact with other people.
Wash hands properly. While a proper hygiene is crucial general to prevent the proliferation of germs and bacteria , even more so is the proper cleaning of hands.
Hands hygiene prevents colds and infections. There are several pathogens that can hide in our hands, and that can be transmitted to third parties (or proliferate in the body) by simple contact . This is why washing must be done in a proper and not hasty , but by following a few basic rules:
Always use soap and preferably warm or hot water. Clean both palms and pass the soap also on the backs of his hands, remembering to insist a bit ‘between a finger and another, and under the nails (areas where more easily accumulate dirt and bacteria). Then rinse with clean water;
Use a personal towel or disposable paper towels, to dry your hands;
Be careful, in public toilets, after you have just washed your hands, not to touch faucets and handles.
When you go outside, carry with you wipes impregnated with special gel or sanitizing lotions to be used in case you have no possibility to wash your hands with water.
5) AIR YOUR ROOMS
To limit the stagnation of humidity, which favors the proliferation of germs, you should ventilate the rooms of the house (or office) by opening a little the windows for 10 minutes during the day.
At the same time, it is unwise to create environments too dry and exceed with the heating. An excessive heat in enclosed spaces in winter, in fact, creates a shift of considerable temperature between the inside and the outside and exposes the body to a thermal shock that can promote a sore throat and colds.
6) NO SMOKING!
Maybe it’s banal to remember it but the smoke, besides exposing us over time to serious health problems , can immediately weaken our airways and so facilitate the onset of sore throats, colds and so on.
The proper functioning of the cilia lining in the respiratory tract (which serve to “lock” the foreign matter) is in fact compromised by smoking. Consequently, the viruses find an open way and can easily reach the lower respiratory tract ( lungs and bronchi).
7) GET MORE AND BETTER SLEEP
A study published in the journal Archives Internal Medicine has underlined a concrete link between sleep and the immune system. According to this study, in fact, it was shown that individuals who tend to sleep less than seven hours per night are at higher risk of contracting infectious diseases, especially colds since when we are fatigued, tired and sleepy, the system immunity is weakened and is, therefore likely to get sick more easily.
Your immune system is strongest when you’re not sleep-deprived.
8) CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONAL STRESS
Also, emotional stressors can predispose you to an infection or make your cold symptoms worse. Find the way to manage daily stress, it will contribute to a strong and resilient immune system. Check the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a system that helps balance your body’s subtle energies and repair emotional “short-circuits”. http://www.eft.com/
NATURAL HERBS TO STRENGTHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND PREVENT COLDS
A precious help in preventing the common cold can be as high as some natural herb extracts that act by supporting the physiological barriers of our body against external agents that cause the respiratory diseases.
Among the plants most known and appreciated for this purpose is Echinacea, the extract of which is often used in the formulation of specific supplements, alone or in synergy with propolis, vitamins, and mineral salts .
Though most of the research on the chemistry and pharmacology of Echinacea has been conducted in Europe, where it is a much more popular herb than in the United States, Echinacea is the name of a genus of native North American plants. In the US, echinacea is available primarily as a tincture or as capsules of dried leaves and stems collected when the plant is in flower.
Echinacea was used traditionally by many Native American tribes to treat snakebite and many other ailments, and from the Indians, settlers learned of its properties.
Of the nine species of Echinacea, only three of them (E. angustifolia, E. pallida, E. purpurea) are used as botanical medicines. Echinacea has a complex chemistry, and no single ingredient has been identified as primarily responsible for the therapeutic activity.
The herb does not kill viruses directly, it rather stimulates the immune system, allowing the host to fight off infection. In one European study, people taking echinacea recovered from their colds four days earlier than those taking a placebo.
According to one study, short-term use will boost cell-mediated immunity, but repeated use over a period of weeks would reduce the immune response. Most authorities suggest six to eight weeks as the maximum time to take echinacea preparations. For this reason, this product can be used for the winter months in cycles of 20 days with 10 days interval in between. 50 drops of tincture once or twice a day after the meals.
To properly support the body’s defenses ahead of winter is good to start taking echinacea-based products as early as the season change.
ECHINACEA AND PROPOLIS: YOUR WINNING ALLIES
According to Professor Sannia of the University of Siena, Italy, in an article on the paper Corriere Della Sera, the most proven remedies against colds are Echinacea and Propolis, the first for the prevention and the second for curative purposes. The effectiveness of echinacea in the prevention of infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract is mainly related to its immunostimulant action.
Echinacea can also be useful in preventing relapse because of its activities in support of the body’s defenses: take it with you diluted in a small bottle of water to be consumed throughout the day, this will allow the polysaccharides (the active ingredients of the plant that stimulate fundamental cells of the immune system) always circulating the body.
To maximize the benefit of the herb, it should be taken together with a multiple vitamin. (In Australia, a formulation that includes echinacea, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and garlic is prescribed at the first sign of viral respiratory infection.)
One study using the fresh juice of E. purpurea showed no problems for people taking it for up to twelve weeks.
A standardized German product is available in the United States under the brand name EchinaGuard.
Side effects have rarely been reported with the use of echinacea.
In a recent study of echinacea extracts for the prevention of colds, 18 percent of the patients taking E. angustifolia, 10 percent of those taking E. purpurea, and 11 percent of those on placebo experienced not serious side effects.
Some of the alkaloids found in echinacea are similar to plant chemicals that can be damaging to the liver. Thus, some doctors suggest that echinacea should not be used with other drugs that can have negative effects on the liver, such as Nizoral, methotrexate, Cordarone, or anabolic steroids.
But these reports are based on theoretical concerns.
PROPOLIS: FROM BEES TO MUMMIES
Propolis is one of the best natural antibacterial able to both kill bacteria and to prevent their multiplication.
The propolis forms a protective film that insulates the decaying organic matter and neutralizes bacteria decomposers; that is why it is used by the bees for embalming the carcasses of the invaders difficult to expel due to their size, without contaminating the hive.
The ancient Egyptians stole the secret of the bees, they had observed the embalming properties of propolis and used it successfully to prepare the mummies and preserve the dead.
Propolis is the resinous substance that bees gather from the leaf buds of trees and certain vegetables.
Tincture (alcoholic extract) of propolis is well known and used for its therapeutic properties, principally for its stimulant action on the organism’s defense system.
Amongst its best properties are the antioxidant and anti-microbial action, its activity as a stimulant and its healing, analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory activity.
Like echinacea preparations, this product can be used in cycles of 20 days with 10 days interval in between. 20 drops of tincture once or twice a day after the meals.
Until next time.