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With no cure in sight for the cold or the flu, current treatments can 
at best bring symptom relief or shorten the duration of those symptoms. 
You can take one of a variety of medications that may help relieve your 
symptoms. Or you can take the natural approach. 

 #1 Know When Not To Treat Symptoms

Believe it or not, those annoying symptoms you're experiencing are part 
of the natural healing process -- evidence that the immune system is 
battling illness. For instance, a fever is your body's way of trying to 
kill viruses in a hotter-than-normal environment. Also, a fever's hot 
environment makes germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more 
quickly and effectively. Thus, if you endure a moderate fever for a day 
or two, you may actually get well faster. Coughing is another 
productive symptom; it clears your breathing passages of thick mucus 
that can carry germs to your lungs and the rest of your body. Even that 
stuffy nose is best treated mildly or not at all. A decongestant, like 
Sudafed, restricts flow to the blood vessels in your nose and throat. 
But often you want the increase blood flow because it warms the 
infected area and helps secretions carry germs out of your body.
   #2 Blow Your Nose Often (And the Right Way)

It's important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather 
than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, 
pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, 
causing earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over 
one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.

 #3 Treat That Stuffy Nose With Warm Salt Water
  Salt-water rinsing helps break nasal congestion, while also removing 
virus particles and bacteria from your nose. Here's a popular recipe:
  Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm 
water. Use a bulb syringe to squirt water into the nose. Hold one 
nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the 
salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain. Repeat 2-3 times, 
then treat the other nostril.

 #4 Stay Warm and Rested
  Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the 
flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This 
battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by lying down under a 
blanket.

 #5 Gargle
  Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a 
teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. To reduce 
the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle -- such as tea that 
contains tannin -- to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous 
gargle made with honey, popular in folk medicine. Seep one tablespoon 
of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with 
one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before 
gargling.

 #6 Drink Hot Liquids
  Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe 
the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. If 
you're so congested you can't sleep at night, try a hot toddy, an 
age-old remedy. Make a cup of hot herbal tea. Add one teaspoon of honey 
and 1 small shot (about 1 ounce) of whiskey or bourbon. Limit yourself 
to one. Too much alcohol inflames those membranes and is 
counterproductive.

 #7 Take a Steamy Shower
  Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and relax you. If you're 
dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby 
and take a sponge bath.

 #8 Use a Salve Under Your Nose
  A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can open breathing 
passages and help restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose. 
Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that 
may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.

 #9 Apply Hot or Cold Packs Around Your Congested Sinuses
  Either temperature works. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at a 
drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 55 
seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it's 
right for you.) Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold 
pack.

 #10 Sleep With an Extra Pillow Under Your Head
  This will help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too 
awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box 
springs to create a more gradual slope.

 #11 Don't Fly Unless Necessary
  There's no point adding stress to your already stressed-out upper 
respiratory system, and that's what the change in air pressure will do. 
Flying with cold or flu congestion can temporarily damage your eardrums 
as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must 
fly, use a decongestant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just 
before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can 
also help relieve pressure.


 #12 Eat Infection-Fighting Foods
Here are some good foods to eat when you're battling a cold or flu:
	? 	Bananas: Soothe upset stomachs.
	? 	Bell Peppers: Loaded with vitamin C.
	? 	Blueberries: Curbs diarrhea, high in natural aspirin. (May lower 
fevers and help with the aches and pains.)
	? 	Carrots: Loaded with beta-carotene.
	? 	Chili Peppers: Can open sinuses, and help break up mucus in the 
lungs.
	? 	Cranberries: Help prevent bacteria from sticking to cells lining 
the bladder and urinary tract.
	? 	Mustard & Horseradish: Helps break up mucus in air passages.
	? 	Onion: Has phytochemicals purported to help the body clear 
bronchitis and other infections.
	? 	Rice: Curbs diarrhea.
	? 	Tea: Black and green tea (not herbals) contain catechin, a 
phytochemical purported to have natural antibiotic and anti-diarrhea 
effects.
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
12 Tips to Prevent Cold and Flu the "Natural" Way 
  ----------

  Since there are no known cures for colds and flu, prevention must be 
your goal. A proactive approach to warding off colds and flu is apt to 
make your whole life healthier. The most effective way to prevent flu, 
frankly, is to get the flu shot. It may not be natural, but it works 
better than anything else. But there are other strategies you can 
employ as well. 


   #1 Wash Your Hands
  Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who 
has the flu sneezes onto their hand, and then touches the telephone, 
the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours -- in some 
cases weeks -- only to be picked up by the next person who touches the 
same object. So wash your hands often. If no sink is available, rub 
your hands together very hard for a minute or so. That also helps break 
up most of the cold germs.
   #2 Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands
Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and 
sneezes with your hands results in passing along your germs to others. 
When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it 
away immediately. If you don't have a tissue, turn your head away from 
people near you and cough into the air.


 #3 Don't Touch Your Face
  Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. 
Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds, and a key 
way they pass colds on to their parents.

 #4 Drink Plenty of Fluids
  Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates 
you. A typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids 
each day. How can you tell if you're getting enough liquid? If the 
color of your urine runs close to clear, you're getting enough. If it's 
deep yellow, you need more fluids.


 #5 Take a Sauna
  Researchers aren't clear about the exact role saunas play in 
prevention, but one 1989 German study found that people who steamed 
twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn't. One theory: 
When you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a 
temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.


#6 Get Fresh Air
  A regular dose of fresh air is important, especially in cold weather 
when central heating dries you out and makes your body more vulnerable 
to cold and flu viruses. Also, during cold weather more people stay 
indoors, which means more germs are circulating in crowded, dry rooms.


 #7 Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly
  Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of 
blood; makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs 
to your blood; and makes you sweat once your body heats up. These 
exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.


 #8 Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals
  "Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the 
vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill, 
and eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.


 #9 Eat Yogurt
  Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can 
reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent. Researchers think 
the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune 
system substances that fight disease.


 #10 Don't Smoke
  Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more 
frequent ones.
  Even being around smoke profoundly zaps the immune system. Smoke dries 
out your nasal passages and paralyzes cilia. These are the delicate 
hairs that line the mucous membranes in your nose and lungs, and with 
their wavy movements, sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal 
passages. Experts contend that one cigarette can paralyze cilia for as 
long as 30 to 40 minutes.


 #11 Cut Alcohol Consumption
  Heavy alcohol use destroys the liver, the body's primary filtering 
system, which means that germs of all kinds won't leave your body as 
fast. The result is, heavier drinkers are more prone to initial 
infections as well as secondary complications. Alcohol also dehydrates 
the body -- it actually takes more fluids from your system than it puts 
in.


#12 Relax
  If you can teach yourself to relax, you can activate your immune 
system on demand. There's evidence that when you put your relaxation 
skills into action, your interleukins -- leaders in the immune system 
response against cold and flu viruses -- increase in the bloodstream. 
Train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming. Do 
this 30 minutes a day for several months. Keep in mind, relaxation is a 
learnable skill, but it is not doing nothing. People who try to relax, 
but are in fact bored, show no changes in blood chemicals.
   
  --
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity
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