Do you have a cold or flu?
Renowned wellness author Dr Linda Friedland
says, “Real flu is a serious 10-14-day viral infection. You get really sick
with high fever and body constitutional symptoms. In extreme cases, it may
result in hospitalization or death. The common cold is mainly caused by a
common virus of the nasal cavity, resulting in three to seven days of runny
nose, sore throat, coughing, etc.”
Stuffy head, caused by nasal congestion
Itching in eyes, nose and throat
In some cases a fever
Fever and chills
Body aches and pains
Steal tips from the experts
Dr Melissa Brown – Naturopathic
coordinator at the University of the Western Cape.
“To prevent flu, I’m always on 1000mg
vitamin C and 1000mg omega-3 oils per day, as well as a supplement that
contains zinc and selenium. I eat whole foods to build my system. I have about
four to five cups green tea per day to give me an extra jump. I also exercise
at least three times a week to allow my mind to relax and recharge”
Dr Charl Van Loggerenberg - Medicine
specialist and regional medical director for International SOS
My household hasn’t had a genuine flu
inflection since I can remember. Eat a healthy, balanced diet to give your
immune system the best raw materials. Exercise gives you a scientifically-proven
boost. Wash your hands frequently – this is probably the world’s most powerful
infection-control strategy. And key in my personal armoury, the flu vaccine.”
Dr Tina Malan - Clinical research
physician with an interest in integrative and preventative medicine.
A healthy diet using fresh, organic foods.
Sleep at least seven to eight hours per night, 30 minutes of cardio exercise
four to five times per week, eight glasses filtered water per day and some
daily sun exposure. To manage stress, I plan my time and use other means, like
deep breathing and meditation, and my hobbies, bodyboarding and gardening.”
Dr Raakesh Samsunder - Occupational
health specialist and travel medicine specialist
“A healthy diet with fruit and veg plus
exercise will boost your immune system. A good multivitamin also helps. My family
and I take the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available. This helps prevent
contracting the dangerous flu viruses that are expected for the current year.”
What to do when you’re sick
Take time out
“Rest and take a day or two off work – being sick is not for sharing,” advises
Dr Charl van Loggerenberg.
Practise cough etiquette Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or
sneezing, then discard the tissue in a receptache and wash your hands.
Supplement your water Regular doses of vitamin C can be added to your drinking water.
This is to help you recover and as a means of increasing your daily
consumption, which would need to go up during times of infection.
Boost your system
“I’d do this with a herbal antiviral and get autumn colour, i.e. anything you
can eat or drink that’s orange, purple, yellow or red,” say Dr van
Use herbal steam “Instead of using a nasal spray, you can steam with an aromatic oil
base, like eucalyptus oil or anything menthol-based,” says Dr Melissa Brown.
“Place a teaspoon of the product in boiling water, cover your head with a towel
and breathe in the steam in order to open your nasal passages. This is better
done at night when you’re able to get straight into bed”
Fuel your body Increase
your intake of fresh diluted veg juices, soups and herbal teas. Dr Brown
advises avoiding simple sugars, coffee and dairy products that decrease the
immune system response when you need it most.