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.”

Description: Do you have a cold or flu?


·         Stuffy head, caused by nasal congestion

·         Headache

·         Watery eyes

·         Itching in eyes, nose and throat

·         In some cases a fever


·         Fever and chills

·         Exhaustion

·         Body aches and pains

·         Congestion

·         Headache

·         Sore throat

·         Coughing

Steal tips from the experts

Description: 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

Description: What to do when you’re sick

1.    Take time out “Rest and take a day or two off work – being sick is not for sharing,” advises Dr Charl van Loggerenberg.

2.    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.

3.    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.

4.    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 Loggerenberg.

5.    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”

6.    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.

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