Monday, 18 November 2013

How to help prevent the cold and flu this winter?

The winter months bring crisp weather, comfy sweaters, and often the hallmark sniffling and sneezing of the common cold or a flu. While there is no cure, there are several simple steps you can take to ensure that the colder months are spent snuggling in front of the fire instead of sneezing into a box of tissues.

1.Be knowledgeable about the basics of colds and the flu.
Both the cold and the flu (short for influenza) are caused by a virus. A virus is a small infectious organism that needs to live inside a cell to replicate itself, killing the host cell but not before the virus is spread. Cold viruses infect the upper respiratory tract cells, while the flu virus impacts cells deeper down in the respiratory tract and has more severe symptoms than the cold virus.

2.Practice good hygiene. The principal means for transferring a virus is through contact with an infected person. As such, it is important to wash hands frequently and to cover the mouth and nose when sneezing, using a tissue or handkerchief to cover your nose and mouth. Doing this may prevent those around you from getting sick.

3.Avoid contact or being in close proximity with people who have a cold or the flu where possible. Stay home if you're sick and keep sick children and householders at home when they're sick, to prevent spreading the cold or flu. Doing this will help prevent others from catching the illness from you or from other householders.

4.Keep as healthy as you can by taking good care of yourself. There are sleep, well-being and nutritional considerations to take into account when trying to prevent the onset of a cold or flu. While it isn't proven that healthy practices prevent getting a cold or flu, a healthy lifestyle helps your immune system to be in its best possible shape, giving you the best chance of being able to fight off the onset of a cold or flu.

I personally use my own cold and flu kit made with essential oils which are full of anti-bacterial and immune system booting properties: 

Vapor Rub (60ml) - great from rubbing on soles of feet at night, to help clear the chest.
Open Sinus inhaler - helps clear the head and nose.
I need to stay healthy oil blend (10ml) - anti-bacterial and infection fighting oil blend, to diffuse, add to the bath or massage into your skin.

                       Cold and Flu Kit
For more information on the Cold and Flu Kit or to purchase a kit visit

5.Consider supplements
Many supplements are suggested for warding off illness. In many cases, the jury is still out on their effectiveness at actually preventing the onset of the cold or flu, but if you view supplements as a means for boosting the effectiveness of your immune system rather than as targeted prevention solutions, then these can be a part of your overall cold and flu warding-off arsenal, in tandem with practicing good hygiene and healthy lifestyle choices. As with any supplement, do your research, talk to your health professional, and be totally aware of the possible side effects for your own individual case before taking any of them.

6.Get vaccinated. The flu can be prevented or lessened through vaccinations, and vaccines change from year to year to keep up with the viral changes so that they target the most likely flu doing the rounds for that season. People who have lowered immunity, including the very young and those over 50, can benefit from having a flu vaccination but be sure to do your research before seeking one, as you need to be satisfied that this is the most appropriate approach to warding off influenza in your own case.

7.Stay warm. Although getting cold doesn't actually cause a cold or flu (the viruses do), being cold can reduce your stamina and make you feel miserable and fatigued. If your body feels cold and you have already been exposed to the flu or cold virus, your personal reaction to the cold may be enough to allow the flu or cold to take hold.

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