Beat The Winter Bugs Before They Beat You!

Cold and Flu season is here!

Cold and flu season is speeding towards us again, and with 25 deaths in Queensland this month alone, it’s time to do what we can to prevent the winter bugs from taking us down.

So one question we hear is; Should I get the flu shot?

Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this and there is a huge volume of conflicting information available which can leave us all very confused as to what to do.

Let me start with a little clarification – let’s not confuse the common cold with influenza.  Both are caused by a virus, however they are caused by different viruses and a flu jab will not protect you from the common cold. Although unpleasant, the common cold rarely leads to death. Although in a small percentage of cases (<5%) it does have the potential to turn into a more serious respiratory condition such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

So, I’m going to leave that one in your court – The decision is yours.

Time for some good news

There are a number of approaches that you can take yourself in order to boost your natural immunity.

There are a number of scientifically proven approaches that can assist you to boost your body’s natural immunity and thereby help you to ward off both colds and the flu, or lessen their effects.

A number of over the counter remedies are available in any good health food store – however – as with all supplements or medicines that you may take, there can be interactions with other supplements or medications that you are taking – or they may just not agree with you due to other health conditions that you may have. So, if you’re on medications it’s best to have a chat with your healthcare professional.

Right. Let’s get down to the GOOD STUFF!

Good old garlic:

Garlic (also good for warding off vampires) is a potent antibacteria and antiviral, even in small amounts. Unfortunately it can have a mild blood thinning effect and advice needs to be sought before taking anything more than a culinary approach to consumption.

Andrographis:

This bitter herb is effective against Influenza A and the common cold.  It also has immune enhancing properties.  So gives you a double whammy against colds and flu.

Astragalus:

This is also an antiviral herb, but not against the Influenza virus.  It also has immunity boosting properties especially during chronic stress but can actually make you feel worse if taken during the acute stage of an illness.

Cordyceps:

Again, a mushroom with a narrow spectrum of antiviral activity, and fortunately Influenza A is within its ‘hit list’.  It is also an ‘Immune Strengthener’, which is useful.  Just for good measure it has antinflammatory and energy properties too.

Ginger:

Yes – it’s antiviral against Influenza A! But do you have any stomach sensitivity (ulcers, etc)?  Ouch.  Ginger may aggravate these issues so it’s probably not your friend.

Japanese Knotweed:

Now, this one is a broad spectrum antiviral and is useful for all influenza types.  It is also an immune modulator – however it is not contained in a great number of over the counter immune formulations. It may be found in a Naturopaths herbal dispensary and is also famous for its antioxidant effect.

Olive leaf extract:

This is another anti-viral – unfortunately, not much use against the cold and flu viruses – however – it has antibiotic properties and stimulates the immune system.  So it is useful in the overall prevention and treatment picture.

And the list goes on…….. and I haven’t even mentioned vitamin and mineral supplementation (vitamin C, Zinc, probiotics… etc etc etc.

The list of possibilities is endless, and it can be confusing to know which one is the right one for you.

And that’s where we come in …..

Each of our stores has a qualified Naturopath or Nutritionist who is available for consultations and can offer advice and guidance as to what is the best possible approach for YOU to take.  I say “you” because what is best for you may not be the same as your partner/sibling/ friend, etc.  depending on your current state of wellness and (as mentioned previously) supplements/medications, etc. that you might already be taking.

So ….

A trip to Garden City, Indooroopilly or Toowong branches of Health Squared to meet with one of our qualified practitioners is a suggestion to help you ease through this unpleasant season with minimal down time.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Yours in health, Jane.

To book in with our Naturopath Jane – simply call 33788698