Colds and flu affect millions of people every year. Though they display many similar symptoms, they are not interchangeable.
Some practices of cold prevention also work to keep the flu at bay, and vice-versa.
Washing Hands – This is the single most effective way to prevent the spreading of cold and flu viruses. Yet, many either do not wash long enough or often enough.
You should always wash your hands after using the restroom and after having contact with people who are carrying a virus themselves. When you wash your hands, be sure to get a rich lather going. Wash long enough to allow the soap to kill as much bacteria as possible.
Try singing a song in your head to be sure you are washing long enough; a couple rounds of “Happy Birthday to You” or a run through the alphabet song should do the trick.
Garlic – Some will eat a clove of raw garlic at the first signs of a cold. If this is too potent a trick for your palette, you could instead mince fresh, uncooked garlic and sprinkle it on top of salads or other savory dishes.
It is important not to cook the garlic, as it can deactivate some of its activity. While garlic is a safe addition to a regular diet, it should be avoided by those taking medication to treat HIV infection.
Ginger – In addition to possibly preventing colds and the flu, ginger is great in treating the accompanying symptoms of both, including nausea and an upset stomach. One of the best ways to consume ginger is in tea form. To make ginger tea, mix 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon in 1 cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
When You Sneeze – avoid sneezing into your hands, as hands get around and will spread germs quicker in a variety of common spaces. Plus, you probably don’t want to mist your hands with gunk. Instead, have a washable handkerchief on hand or at the very least sneeze into your elbow.
If you are beyond the prevention stage, using any of the following herbs can help ease symptoms: peppermint, thyme, sage, and hibiscus. Most can be made into tasty teas by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried herbs in 1 cup of boiling water.
Good health to you all.
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