Cold and flu can affect tens and thousands of people annually but you can avoid them with these 9 best natural cold and flu prevention tips.
Cold and the flu season is here and if you get infected with either viruses, it can be crippling, if not potentially deadly. But you can avoid getting sick if you follow a few very important steps.
Every Fall and beginning of Winter, you see signs everywhere offering free flu vaccines. And whether or not you should get the flu vaccine is debatable since even CDC states that it's not always 100% effective. Personally, I don't get the flu vaccines because I rely on prevention and it has worked for me and my family for the most part. My daughter and I got sick with the flu only once and it wasn't as bad since we were healthy to begin with. And we were able to recover using natural remedies. But you have to make your own decision, depending on your health condition, age, and the environment.
Influenza virus is transmitted through droplets from an infected person to another person. Unfortunately, you won't know if a person is contagious or not since the contagious period starts before a person experiences any symptoms during the incubation period. So it's important to take precautionary steps just in case the person near you is infected.
Here are 9 best natural cold and flu prevention tips so you can avoid getting sick with a cold or the flu.
9 Best Natural Cold and Flu Prevention Tips
- Wash your hands often - yeah, yeah, you hear this often but it's the ONLY way for those viral droplets NOT to go into your orifices. And all you need, really, is soap and warm water. No toxic triclosan or any other fancy antibacterial soaps are needed. Washing your hand thoroughly for 20 seconds - Sing or hum "Happy Birthday" song TWICE - with soap and warm water is sufficient enough to kill the germs. Be sure to wash your hands BEFORE you leave your work or school as you don't want to bring those germs back home. If you forget to wash your hands before leaving work, be sure to wash your hands as soon as you walk in the house, before you touch anything.
- Blow Your Nose - if your nose is runny - even if you're not sick - DO NOT sniffle that mucus back into your head. Blow your nose and get that mucus out of your upper respiratory tracts, just in case virus is lurking in it. Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other. And wash your hands after blowing your nose. Better yet, use a Netti Pot (Affiliate Link) or a Sinu Cleanse Nose Spray (Affiliate Link) to flush out any potential germs in your nasal passage.
- Don't travel and avoid crowded places - stay at least 3-5 feet away from anyone coughing or sneezing. Avoid air travel especially since flying in a confined air plane can increase your chance of being infected. If you must travel, take extra immune boosting remedies like (the following links are affiliate links) Echinasea, Elderberry, Astragalus and Vitamin C (I like powder for better absorption.) Also, try not to shake people's hands (fist pump, 👊anyone?) since it'll avoid being in contact with someone who maybe potentially infected.
- Wear a mask - unless you are wearing a "n95" mask, (Amazon Affiliate Link) all the other types are not as effective in filtering out the virus. However, it will prevent you from touching your nose or your mouth. So it's better than NOT wearing a mask.
- Eat and drink - eating antiviral antibacterial spices and antioxidants like ginger, garlic, dark green veggies, oranges, blueberries, Omega-3 rich foods, and even eggs will boost your immune system. Add extra portions of these fruits and vegetables to your daily intake. More importantly, drink water and hydrate for better functioning immune system.
- Rest - if you are not feeling well, even if you haven't been officially diagnosed with the flu or a cold, DO NOT go to work and rest. And the same applies to your kids and schools. For one thing, incubation period for some strains of virus can start even before signs of infection so you might be suffering from the infection even before you think you have a full blown cold or the flu. At the slightest sign or symptoms of not feeling well, you need to rest so your immune system can fight any infection you might have. Do not perform strenuous exercises if you are not feeling well. A short walk or a slow stretch is all you need to get your body moving. Lastly, by resting at home, you are staying away from others who might otherwise get infected being around you. So stay home and rest.
- Anti-germ warfare - viruses can live on hard surfaces for days and less on porous surfaces. If you have to use elevators or ATM machines, press the buttons with your knuckles, open doors with your sleeve covered hands, and if you touched a surface, avoid touching your face with your hands. And if you can, wipe down any surface that you come in contact with often - at the office or at home - with full strength vinegar. Our beloved devices that we take to work or school daily - tablets and phones - should be wiped down with full strength vinegar at the end of the day. Also, don't forget computer keyboard, TV remote control, door knobs, faucets, cabinet pulls and even car keys or key fobs. When I used to travel often, I'd use portable Lysol wipes to wipe down the hotel room and bathroom before we unpacked.
- Get Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments - I might be biased here but having a full body chiropractic adjustment will re-align your spine properly, improving the spinal nerve flow to your organs, increasing IgA levels to fight stressed to the bod. And it helps your immune system to respond to any viral or bacterial infections better.
- Acupuncture - Eastern medicine has been around for thousands years and long before any antibiotics or antiviral medicine were around. Acupuncture focuses on balancing the chi in your body. And when chi is balanced, it helps to improve your body's response to external attack on the system so it can fight the viral invasion, preventing you from being infected or reducing the severity and the duration of the flu.
Even with these precautions, you might not feel well at times so how do you know if you have the cold or the flu? Check out the following posts on how to differentiate between the two and natural remedies if you do come down with a cold or the flu.
- The difference between the flu and cold
- 50 Natural Remedies for cold
- Asian Pear and Honey Cough Remedy
- Ginger Lemon Honey Immune Boosting Syrup
- Ginger Honey Cough Drops
Disclaimer: Flu like symptoms can mimic many serious conditions. And a mild viral or bacterial infection can lead to something more serious than a common cold or flu. If symptoms persist or worsen, see your doctor. These preventive methods are my opinion only and what works for me. This is not a medical advice nor the methods have been proven to prevent flu or cold.