The flu season is upon us!
The four times that I did have the flu and I felt I definitely was going to die, made me just a bit paranoid. When October comes and people around us start sneezing and coughing and looking like they about to have the flu, I wish we could pack up and go somewhere nice and warm where the word Influenza does not even exist.
The are three types of the influenza viruses that can affect people: Type A, Type B, and Type C. The virus is spread by droplets traveling through the air, quite short distances up to 3 feet – enough to spread it by coughing or sneezing. Touching surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus and then touching the eyes and the mouth can also spread the disease. Yearly flu vaccinations are recommended, unfortunately, very often the predicted virus is not the one that is prevalent, thus the vaccine may be ineffective. Washing hands and wearing a surgical mask helps, but is not always convenient.
What else can we do to protect ourselves from this nasty disease?
Having a strong immune system definitely helps, so eating foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals should be priority. The consumption of supplements like vitamin C, echinacea and multivitamins increases drastically during every flu season. I suggest researching all supplements before purchase, especially if one takes any type of prescription medications, they may interfere with some of the intended actions and affect the result of that medication.
There is one product though that requires out utmost attention. To my family and many others it’s a life-saver!
May I present: The Elderberry Syrup!
Elderberries are berries of Sambucus tree, native to Europe, but now they grow everywhere. Small black berries grow in clusters and need to be cooked to be eaten. The flowers are creamy white in color and can be eaten raw or cooked. The berries are packed with vitamin C and have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In folk medicine berries have been used in juices, teas and syrups to treat influenza infections, sciatica, headaches, dental pain and nerve pain.
Many people make their own syrup, the recipe can be found here, but for us, the regular folks, Nature’s Way provides Original Sambucus Elderberry syrup – the Influenza Slayer! Since we started using it a few years ago, every flu season we are nipping colds, coughs and fevers in the bud. This syrup tastes great, children love the taste, it can be taken prophylactically through the whole winter up to once per day and in case of actual cold up to 4 times per day. It does not contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, is gluten free, but may be a little sweet for some. It’s a little pricey, but works wonders. Making it yourself would reduce the price. My house will not be without it and I often have to buy ahead of the season, as when the flu starts, there will be a waiting time on Amazon. You can always search for alternative brands, it also comes in gummies and lozenges.
As always – make sure your diet is rich in veggies, fruits, quality proteins and fats. Management of stress is also very important – stress decreases the proper response of our immune system.
And the most important thing – wash your hands and keep your distance from coughing and sneezing humans – the flu virus droplets travel about 3 feet through the air.
Good luck and stay well!