Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu in Santa Monica, CA
Cold and Flu
The common cold and influenza (flu) are respiratory illnesses caused by viruses, and most commonly affect the nasal passages, sinuses, and throat. When confronted with a cold or flu virus, the immune system responds by trying to fight the infection, which results in symptoms like sore throat, coughing, a runny nose, and a headache.
Cold and flu symptoms can be alleviated with a number of over-the-counter medications, but many of these medications have unpleasant or even dangerous side effects. For instance, decongestants can cause increases in blood pressure and interfere with medications that manage blood pressure, and ibuprofen can cause peptic ulcers and kidney damage if used chronically.
As some cold and flu symptoms are the result of immune system activity more than viral activity, it may not be beneficial to treat these symptoms. Fevers are the result of the body trying to eliminate the virus by creating a hotter-than-normal environment. Fevers can also help immune cells and proteins get to the sites of infection faster by quickening blood flow. Coughing is another symptom that may not require treatment, as coughing is needed to clear out breathing passages. Unless these symptoms are causing you genuine pain or discomfort, it may be wise to avoid treatments - other than immune boosters for mild cold and flu symptoms - for the first few days of an infection.
In otherwise healthy individuals, the immune system is able to respond to the virus quickly, with cold symptoms typically diminishing within a week, and flu symptoms typically diminishing within ten days. Individuals with compromised immune systems though may experience more frequent and long-lasting viral infections.
What Weakens the Immune System?
Severe impairment of the immune system can be caused by:
- Sickle-cell anemia
- Cancers like multiple myeloma, leukemia, and lymphoma
- Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants
There are also a number of other factors that can weaken the immune system to a lesser degree. These include:
- Chronic stress
- Lack of sleep
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Too much or too little exercise
Fortunately, there are a number of natural cold/flu remedies that, unlike over-the-counter remedies, can help to strengthen one's immune response. These remedies also help alleviate symptoms and increase the recovery time of a cold or flu.
To make an appointment with a healthcare practitioner in Santa Monica who can recommend natural remedies for cold and flu, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online.
Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
There are several effective natural remedies for cold and flu. The most crucial thing to know when you have a cold or flu is that your body needs rest in order to recover. For similar reasons, you should also stay warm when fighting off a cold or flu. It is also important to not allow germ-carrying mucus to stay in your nasal passages or get into your ear passages, which is why you should blow your nose.
Some of the more well-known remedies include:
- Getting plenty of sleep (at least 7 hours a night) to conserve and restore your body's resources
- Bundling up or staying under blankets to conserve your body's resources
- Regularly and gently blowing your nose to clear mucus
- Drinking hot liquids to soothe sore throat
- Taking hot, steamy showers to moisturize your nasal passages
Less popular but equally effective natural cold remedies include:
- Applying mentholated (containing menthol) salves like VapoRub under your nose to open nasal passages
- Applying cold or hot packs to sinuses to relieve congestion
- Using salt and baking soda water rinses to relieve congestion
- Sleeping with an extra pillow under your head to help keep nasal passages clear
- Gargling with salt water, honey mixed with an astringent like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or teas with tannins; all of these can soothe sore throat
- Consuming chili peppers or other spicy foods to clear your sinuses
- Consuming foods that contain acetaminophen, the active ingredient in aspirin, which can alleviate headache and body aches (blueberries, blackberries, apricots, almonds, and peanuts)
- Boiling raw ginger in water and drinking the water can help alleviate a sore throat and ease nausea from the flu
- Eating chicken soup; inhaling the steam can ease congestion, and the broth can replace lost fluids and soothe a sore throat
Other supplements that may enhance immune response include zinc, echinacea, garlic, and probiotics. Vitamins C, E, and B6 may also be natural remedies for flu and cold, though more research is needed.
Request Your Appointment Today
Sometimes your immune system needs a little extra help fighting off a disease. If you are looking for natural cold and flu remedies, you can find a healthcare professional to recommend effective natural remedies for your symptoms in Santa Monica, CA.
Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online today!
Vitality Integrative Medicine
Address4849 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm