First aid for the flu

This year the nation has been gripped with epidemic proportions of the flu. It seems this year’s flu shot offered up little protection against one of the nastiest intestinal viruses many of us have seen in a long time. The goods news- it seems to be short lived; the average course for this particular bug being two- three days. Oh but those first few hours-yikes!

I have one friend (who lives alone) after lying on the bathroom floor for several hours decided her diarrhea and vomiting had subsided enough to venture out in the middle of the night for some drug store remedies only to find the shelves devoid of every over the counter antacid anti-diarrheal medicine made. She said she went back to her car and would have wept had she had the strength. Now that’s sick.

The best way to avoid that kind of scenario is to keep a well stocked medicine cabinet. While you’re out restocking your medicine chest consider these natural remedies that may be even more effective than patented over the counter medicines.

Ginger- as a tea or preserved in an alcohol tincture; both will last indefinitely and will be available when you need them. You can use the ginger in your spice rack as well.

One or two drops of ginger tincture or a sip of ginger tea held in the mouth will help a stop to the waves of nausea that lead to vomiting. Ginger is particularly healing to the mucous membranes; it boosts immunity and produces an internal heat that helps the body shed viral toxins. When you’re feeling stronger prepare a strong ginger tea and pour it in the tub for a soak.

Rescue Remedy- a five flower homeopathic remedy works to bring harmony and balance to the entire system. It calms the physical sensations of nausea, intestinal cramping and relieves the aches and pains that come with flu. One or two drops under the tongue as soon as you begin having symptoms or in between bouts of vomiting or diarrhea will help your body rest and heal. Rescue Remedy is safe for use with infants as well as the elderly.

Peppermint- from the spice rack, as a tea or an aromatherapy oil will help stop feelings of nausea leading to vomiting. It is known for its calming effects on the entire intestinal track. A few drops of tea under the tongue or just the aroma can be therapeutic.

Acidophilus- the naturally occurring friendly intestinal bacteria can be severely damaged by viruses that lead to diarrhea. When the vomiting and diarrhea have subsided be sure to replenish these important bacteria with acidophilus tablets or active cultured yogurt.

When you’re well enough to take fluids start with purified or bottled water. Chlorines found in tap water are particularly hard on sensitive irritated mucous membranes. Next try some mineral water made by boiling potato skins with one chopped carrot and a stalk of celery in two cups of water. Strain the liquid off and drink a Chinese tea cup full as tolerated.

When you are ready to add solid foods add some digestive enzymes that will help finish off any remaining live virus and keep you from sliding backwards. Stick with simple non fatty foods, light soups and broths, no dairy please.

Viruses are known for having to run there course, most are not serious. That’s not to say you can’t lessen symptoms and heal more quickly with these remedies.

Till next time stay well, Rebecca