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Natural Remedies: How to combat the flu.

Do you know what the flu is and how it is different from a cold? Do you know that the flu and stomach flu are very different?

History of the Flu

Influenza is a viral respiratory infection that causes symptoms similar to, but more severe than, the common cold, such as sudden onset fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose and severe malaise (feeling unwell).

One of the earliest reports of an influenza-like illness comes from Hippocrates, who described a highly contagious disease from northern Greece (ca. 410 B.C.).

The word influenza, however, wasn’t used to describe a disease until many centuries later. In 1357, people called an epidemic in Florence, Italy influenza di freddo, which translates to “cold influence,” referring to the disease’s possible cause.

In 1414, French chroniclers used similar terms to describe an epidemic that affected up to 100,000 people in Paris. They said it originated from vent puant et tout plein de froidure, or a “smelly and cold wind.”

Influenza Virus

Influenza viruses, which are part of the Orthomyxoviridae family of viruses, cause the flu.

Four types of the virus exist: A and B, which are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics in people; C, which is relatively rare, causes a mild respiratory illness, and is not thought to cause epidemics; and D, which primarily infects cattle and isn’t known to affect people.

Influenza A virus, which also infects including birds, swine, horses, and other animals, is further divided into subtypes based on two antigens (proteins) on the virus’s surface: hemagglutinin (H), of which there 18 subtypes, and neuraminidase (N), of which there 11 subtypes.

The specific virus is recognized by these antigens. For example, H1N1 refers to influenza A virus with hemagglutinin subtype 1 and neuraminidase subtype 1, and H3N2 refers to influenza A virus with hemagglutinin subtype 3 and neuraminidase subtype 2.

What is Orthomyxoviridae?

The Orthomyxoviruses are a family of RNA viruses that includes seven genera: Influenza virus A, Influenza virus B, Influenza virus C, Influenza virus D, Isavirus, Thogotovirus, and Quaranjavirus. The first four genera contain viruses that cause influenza in vertebrates, including birds, humans, and other mammals.

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. ... Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and carotenoids, may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

What's an Antimicrobial?

An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth. Antimicrobial medicines can be grouped according to the microorganisms they act primarily against. For example, antibiotics are used against bacteria and antifungals are used against fungi.

What's an antiseptic?

Antibacterials include antiseptics that have the proven ability to act against bacteria. Microbicides which destroy virus particles are called viricides or antivirals. Antifungals, also known as an antimycotics, are pharmaceutical fungicides used to treat and prevent mycosis (fungal infection).

What is an astringent?

In medicine, astringents cause constriction or contraction of mucous membranes and exposed tissues and are often used internally to reduce discharge of blood serum and mucous secretions.[3] This can happen with a sore throat, hemorrhages, diarrhea, and peptic ulcers. Externally applied astringents, which cause mild coagulation of skin proteins, dry, harden, and protect the skin.[4] People with acne are often advised to use astringents if they have oily skin.[5] Mild astringents relieve such minor skin irritations as those resulting from superficial cuts; allergies; insect bites;[4] and fungal infections, such as athlete's foot.[6]

What Herbs are good for the flu?

Garlic – anti-viral, antibiotic, and antiseptic.

Onion – great for coughs and raw onion keeps the respiratory tract open.

Ginger – antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. In addition to treating cold/flu, ginger is excellent for nausea and vomiting.

Sage – carminative, antiseptic, and astringent – the mouth and throat plant. Used for sore throats and cough. Also used for sinus congestion. Sage should not be used when pregnant or breast feeding.

Thyme – antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, expectorant, and astringent. Thyme is great for respiratory infections and coughs.  It is also good for the stomach and relieves gas.

Cayenne powder – stimulant, anti-microbial, analgesic, carminative, diaphoretic, and expectorant.  Cayenne can help prevent a cold or flu as well as shorten the duration of a cold or flu. It brings heat to the body, which can help dispel coldness.

Honey – raw, local honey should ideally be purchased either at a farmer’s market or at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. Do not give honey to children under 1 year old.

Lemon – high in vitamin C, lemon may help decrease the strength of the cold and flu virus in the body and reduce phlegm. Many folks use lemons to build resistance to cold and flu, and speed up healing.

Turmeric -Turmeric is a very strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Slippery Elm- Ulmus rubra (also Ulmus fulva) is one of the best herbal remedies for soothing a sore throat. When brewed and consumed as a tea, Slippery Elm coats inflamed and irritated mucus membranes in the throat to offer immediate relief of symptoms. Slippery Elm may also be taken in the form of a lozenge for this purpose. The herb has no known side effects and is even considered gentle enough to be administered to children in moderate doses.

Add Slippery Elm Bark to your herbal medicine cabinet. You can order dried Slippery Elm bark here or try these all-natural Thayer Slippery Elm lozenges.

Elderberry- Sambucus nigra is a traditional folk remedy for cold, flu, and sinus infections which has been scientifically proven to possess antiviral and antibacterial properties. Recent scientific studies have determined that anthocyanins found naturally in elderberries help to strengthen the immune system and inhibit virus attachment to cells inside the body, thus preventing the infecting virus from replicating.

15 Herbal Remedies to help fight Cold and Flu Season

Herbal support for Respiratory Tract

Ginger and Turmeric Tea

Using Natural remedies can speed up your recovery time and save money in the process. God gave us all the medications we need in plants and animals. It is time we get away from man made medicine ( especially when we can, some people require meds so please don't comment negative) and utilize what will Keep us healthy.

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