When you are feeling bad, or have the sniffles, someone may ask what’s wrong with you. You may reply that you have a cold but do you really? And, if you think you have the flu because you wake up with a stuffed up head, is that really the reason? Colds and flu strains do share a few commonalities but knowing the difference can aid in faster recoverytimes and also proper medical care. A cold is caused by a virus called rhinovirus. There are hundreds of strains of the common cold and any one can be around at one time. Viruses have no cure. You can treat the symptoms – but how do you know that you have a cold and not the flu?
One way to know what you have is the severity of the symptoms. A cold may start with a sniffle and progress, but usually you can still function in your life each day.
Flu - short for influenza is also caused by a virus. There are many strains and researchers work to try to identify which ones are active at any one time. The flu, like the common cold, is a respiratory illness but with more severe symptoms and generally comes on more quickly than a cold. The symptoms seem to hit you all at once. Some symptoms that the flu doesn’t share with colds include:
• Fever and chills
• Body aches and pains
• Exhaustion (you really feel worn out and like you have to rest; hard to get up).
This winter, you can give yourself a fighting chance by trying some tried and true natural remedies for colds and flu.
Foods You are what you eat, in more ways than one. A body that is full of fast food additives and preservatives is not going to fight off an invasion by cold or flu viruses as well as one that has received the necessary vitamins, fats and minerals each day. A diet that includes garlic, citrus fruits, capsicum, leafy greens, berries, nuts and natural yogurt will help keep your vitamin C levels up and boost immunity.
Honey Honey has been revered for centuries for germicidal, antiseptic, and immune boosting properties.
Water It is the simplest remedy of them all. The body is mostly composed of water. It needs to maintain a certain level of hydration inside and out to stay healthy. Drink as much water as you can each day to flush the body of toxins and promote total health. This winter, you can give yourself a fighting chance by trying some tried and true natural remedies for colds and flu.
Herbal tea For prevention of colds and flu, try: green tea, Echinacea, ginger tea and any tea that contains vitamin C and zinc. All of these are known for their effects in boosting immunity.
Essential oils Creating a steam inhalation from eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree oil can help to keep the sinuses and nasal passages open and clear.
Hand washing It is the single best thing that you can do. After all activities wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. For proper hand washing, place a dollop of soap on your hands. Wash for twenty seconds, cleaning under nails and between fingers. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Physical activity Get moving this winter to boost your immunity, detoxify your body and stay healthy overall. Winter is not a time to stop activity - keep it going so that you can fight off colds and the flu.