Beat Colds and Flu
To beat colds and flu you need a plan. It may not be possible to totally avoid ever getting a cold or the flu. However, there are certain things you can do that will greatly decrease your chances of getting sick this cold and flu season.
Catching a cold or the flu can make you feel totally miserable. The flu can even be deadly if you are a member of a vulnerable group. That makes it imperative that you take steps now to avoid getting sick. Below you will find a few tips to decrease your likelihood of getting sick this winter.
Wash Your Hands Often
I worked in the health care profession for 34 years. The number one thing we always without fail performed to prevent the transmission of microbes from one patient to another was to practice good handwashing. We would wash our hands or use antibacterial hand foam as we entered a patient room and again on the way out. This has been found to be the best way to prevent cross-contamination from one patient to another.
You should take a lesson from this and wash your hands often. Many people don’t realize that the viruses that cause colds and flu are transmitted easily on surfaces such as door handles, shopping carts, and other hard surfaces. They can live and be capable of causing infection for up to 24 hours.
Here’s an example of how easily you can pick up the virus. Let’s say a sick person is out buying medication to treat their symptoms. They sneeze just before they open the door to the store where they are buying medication. They covered their mouth with their hand but they have nothing to wipe their hands on with them. They feel terrible and all they want to do is buy some cold medicine and go home and crawl back into bed. They open the door with that hand and now all those viruses are now transferred to the door handle. When you open the door right behind them you transfer some of those viruses to your hand. While you are in the store you feel an itch on your nose and you rub it with your hand. You inhale the viruses you just transferred to your nose from your hand. After a few days incubation period now it is you that have the flu!
You can avoid this outcome by using hand sanitizer or washing your hands after touching hard surfaces in public. Let me explain how I made it through the season last year without getting sick once. This will also save you a lot of money and help you avoid harsh chemicals in commercial products.
Homemade Antibacterial Hand Soap
This homemade antibacterial hand soap is just the thing to beat colds and flu. It is made with all-natural ingredients and only takes a couple of minutes to make. You’ll need a foaming hand soap dispenser. You can either repurpose one you have at home or you can buy them. You can find the recipe here along with a link to purchase the soap dispensers. The great thing about this soap is that it uses all-natural Castile soap and 2 essential oils that are proven antimicrobials, Lavender and Tea Tree oils.
Homemade Gel Hand Sanitizer
Ok, but what do you do when you are out of the house and you run into a situation like was mentioned earlier? That’s when you need a hand sanitizer that you can rub on your hands. Well, you can make your own hand sanitizer at home that won’t dry your hands like those alcohol rubs can. You can find the recipe right here. Simply get you one of those small flip-top squeeze bottles and carry your hand sanitizer in your pocket or purse.
Beat Colds and Flu with Essential Oils
Another way to beat colds and flu is to use essential oils in a diffuser at home and even at work. Most essential oils can kill bacteria and viruses. Some are even good at killing yeasts that can cause infection. But since we are talking about how to beat colds and flu I’ll stick with those that can help you avoid those this season. I put together a Cold and Flu Defense Kit with the 3 essential oils you need to help you prevent cold and flu viruses from attacking you in your home or office. Lavender and Tea Tree have already been mentioned. I also included Eucalyptus to help you keep breathing well. You can buy the kit with a diffuser so you will be ready to go when the kit arrives. You can also just purchase the essential oils if you already have a diffuser. If you prefer organic then we have organic versions of all 3 of these essential oils as well.
Get Your Flu Shot
Some people avoid the flu shot because they insist they took it one and it made them sick. This just isn’t true. The flu shot contains dead virus that stimulates your immune system to create antibodies to fight the flu virus should you be exposed. The worst thing that will happen is that you run a low-grade fever as your body produces antibodies to fight what it believes to be a viral attack. Even this is not foolproof. I’m sure you have read news stories of the shot in a given year only being partially effective. But this has to do with trying to predict the predominant flu strain for a given year. But since this is an article about how to beat colds and flu I’ll not go into a dissertation on how viruses work.
How Do I Beat Colds and Flu?
So how did I manage to go for the last 2 years without getting so much as a cold, much less the flu? I used all of the methods I mentioned above. I keep a bottle of homemade antibacterial soap beside all the sinks in the house, and I wash my hands often. I keep a bottle of homemade hand sanitizer in my car and carry a small bottle in my pocket for when I am shopping or using public facilities. I diffuse Lavender beside the bed nightly. It also is amazing for helping you relax and get a good night’s sleep. You can read more about using essential oils for sleep at this link. I also diffuse Tea Tree oil during the day to help kill airborne bacteria and viruses in the house.
This is my method for beating colds and flu. If you have any methods you use please feel free to share them in the comments section.