influenza or flu
Influenza and flu Complementary Treatment
If unfortunately, you have acquired influenza of "flu", the best way of treatment is rest and fluids. You may also take mild pain medication, available without a prescription, to help relieve muscle aches and pains. Certain herbs, supplements, and other alternative remedies may also help some of your symptoms.
Drink a lot of fluids
Rest to restore your energy.
Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods provide lots of antioxidants (substances that may help boost yourimmune system), especially vitamins A and C.
Exercise regularly, which may diminish your chances of getting the flu and may improve your response to the vaccine.
Minimize your stress and your reaction to stress.
Medications for flu or influenza:
- Acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen - treatment of fever and for the relief of body aches and pain.( Note: aspirin should NEVER be given to children with a viral illness because of the risk of a life-threatening disease called Reye's syndrome which can affect the liver and brain).
- Antiviral medications
- amantidine and rimantadineare used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of flu;
- zanamivir and oseltamivir are used to reduce the symptoms and duration of flu
Nutrition and Dietary Supplements for flu and influenza
For the first 2 days of having influenza of flu, consume as much fluid as possible, drink a lot of water and fruit juices. Avoid hard to digest foods, rather eat soups and light foods for easy digestion and conservation of energy.
Vitamin C. It is wildly believed that vitamin C can cure a cold or a flu. However there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support this claim. Studies suggest that vitamin C has little effect in the prevention and treatment of flu. Taking large doses of vitamin C may only help a person with flu if he is deficient to vitamin C to begin with.
Lactobacillus acidophilus. Lactobacillus is a probiotic, it is an organism that helps fight infection. Studies suggests that lactobacillus supplements and lactobacillus in certain milk and yogurt products help to increase the body resistance against respiratory infections that includes flu and cold.. Talk to your doctor or pediatrician about possibly trying lactobacillus to prevent infections.
Zinc. Studies have suggested that people with zinc deficiency are more susceptible to infections such as influenza of flu. It has been established that zinc plays an important role in the immune system. Zinc supplementation enhances immune system activity and protects against a range of infections including colds and upper respiratory infections. Several important studies, have suggested that zinc lozenges may reduce the intensity and duration of the symptoms associated with cold and flu, particularly cough. Similarly, nasal zinc gel seems to shorten the duration of the virus. However, zinc nasal spray does not appear to have the same benefit.
Herbal Medicine for flu and influenza
Herbal medicine and the use of herbs for the treatment and prevention of influenza has been there since time we can remember. Herbs are traditionally used for strengthening the body and for preventing and treating diseases. Herbs like medicine, contain active ingredients that may effect and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. Thus, herbs or herbal medicines should be taken with care and should be under the supervision of herbal medicine practitioner.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus). A traditionally used herb to strengthen the immune system, it is also used in preventing and treating colds and flu. It is widely believed that it shortens the duration of symptoms for colds and flu.
Celery seed (Apium graveolens). Traditionally used as treatment for colds and flu.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea). This is a traditional Native American herb also called as "coneflower". Echinacea is primarily used to reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold and flu, which include sore throat, cough, and fever. Echinacea is most effective if taken at the early stage of cold or flu.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra.). The extract of elderberry is used to enhance the immune system of the body. Ederberry is known to shorten the duration of the flu symptoms by half.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus). Eucalyptus is commonly used as remedies to treat the symptoms of cold or flu and cough. Eucalyptus can be found in many lozenges for sore throat and in cough syrups, and vapor baths. Eucalyptus leaves boiled into a tea are used as gargle to soothe sore throats, it is also used to lower the fever. Ointments containing eucalyptus extract are also used to relieve congestion in the nose and throat. Eucalyptus vapors from boiling a water bath with eucalyptus oil help loosen phlegm, and good for cough.
Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea). Goldenrod is traditionally used for a wide range of health problems including colds and flus.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) Goldenseal is traditionally used for the treatment of colds and flu. It is often combined with echinacea to boost the immune system.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Peppermint contains menthol, and is commonly used as an effective decongestant. Peppermint has a soothing effect for sore throats and coughs. It is also widely used for cold and flu.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus/Acanthopanax senticosus) Siberian ginseng is well known to help the body strengthen its immune system. It helps the body to recover from physical and mental stress and thereby making the person more resistant to flu viral attacks.