Sunday, November 1, 2009

10 Ways to Fight Flu Naturally

If you're not wholly on board with getting the H1N1 vaccine or are simply waiting your turn, there are steps you can take to help prevent you and your family from getting the flu.

The indisputable #1 way to prevent sickness is to wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently. Find out more about when you should wash your hands here. It's recommended that you wash your hands as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday.

In the absence of a sink, the next best thing to keep hands clean is to use a hand sanitizer. Schools are now asking parents to send their kids to school with a bottle of hand cleaner. The problem here in BC is concern over kids misusing alcohol hand sanitizer. With alcohol hand cleaners containing more than 60% alcohol and that usually being 120 proof, it's no wonder there's some concern over kids ingesting or experimenting with it. Alcohol also dries the skin and stings when it comes into contact with cuts and abrasions.

A great option for fighting germs when you're on the go is a natural hand sanitizer. Cleanwell natural hand sanitizers are lab proven to kill 99.99% germs on contact - and they're free of harsh chemicals, including alcohol. Plus they come in a chic and handy little spray bottle with a no-mess flip top cap - great for your purse, pocket, backpack or desk.

After clean hands, boosting your immunity is perhaps the best thing you can do to fight flu naturally. Here are nine ways we've come across to do this that people are talking about.

2. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (or Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation and is a good, inexpensive preventative method.

3. Swab your nostrils with salt water. Blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is helps bring down the viral population.

4. Drink warm liquids. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

5. Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables.

6. Take a Vitamin C supplement - because most of us don't eat enough Vitamin C-rich foods - and now that the clocks have gone back and we're getting less daylight, this should be supplemented by Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. Zinc also helps with absorption of Vitamin C.

7. Take immune-booster Oil of Oregano (liquid) under your tongue or diluted with a little water.

8. Get lots of sleep. Adults should be getting 7-8 hours and growing kids 10-12.

9. Keep your hands away from your face. Don't touch your eyes, put your fingers in your mouth, etc.

10. Reduce sugar intake. Sugar can have the effect of suppressing your immune system. (Good luck with this one after all that trick or treating yesterday!).

For more information about H1N1, visit

You can purchase Cleanwell natural hand sanitizer at eco boutique Lavish & Lime. Buy a 6-pack and save $3. If you have any thoughts or ideas about fighting germs naturally, please leave a comment below. We've love to hear from you!

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