Supporting the body's natural immunity and taking some simple precautionary measures are the best way to protect yourself from colds and flu viruses. Viruses are spread by contact and droplet infection. We are all in contact with many different viruses most of the time. In most cases, our immune system is able to deal with the virus and we never even realise that we have been threatened. Occasionally, when our immune system is compromised, we succumb and develop flu-like symptoms.
There are many things that can affect our immune systems: from stress, to poor diet or even other underlying other health problems. It is important to be prepared in vulnerable situations. For example, if you know that you are about to have a very stressful time at work, or if you know that a lot of people around you are suffering from viruses - then you need to take preventative measures.
As the weather cools so we enter the cough and cold season. Viruses are opportunistic, they attack the unprepared body. If you are tired, stressed, haven’t been eating well or are suffering from another disease you are more susceptible. This is one of the reasons why patients in hospital often end up with a cold. To prevent this happening you need to prepare the body for the winter onslaught of cold and flu. During the winter months it is really helpful to take extra herbs like echinacea or elderberry which boost immunity, a good quality multivitamin with an immunity boosting diet.
Many people find that after a bad viral attack they feel totally run down and have a long period of ‘post viral’ recovery. (This certainly is how people recovering from glandular fever feel.) Often when they are trying to recover from one attack they fall victim to a second virus because they are so run down. We use herbs like Echinacea to support this in the clinics, and also herbs that support the adrenal glands like Withania (Ashwagandha) and Liquorice