Your Action Plan for the first signs of Cold and Flu

With cooler weather around the corner, now is the perfect time to arm your immune system and be prepared. Have some effective natural immune boosters on hand and know how to respond to cold and flu before they take hold. Here’s a simple action plan to stay healthy . . . 

Ancient traditions in modern times

Chinese medicine reminds us to look outside to the cycles of our natural environment. When we live in harmony with these cycles we support our health on a deep holistic level.

The cooler days of autumn bring a contracting energy, as we naturally turn inside, rug up and slow down. Now is the time to stay warm and really look after your immune system. Not just to stay healthy as winter approaches, but because nourishing your health now can translate into well preserved health and vitality come spring time. 

Getting a cold or flu is ‘expensive’ on the body’s vital energy or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) at the best of times, but illness in cold weather can be particularly depleting. Being aware of what signs to look for, when to respond and how to act, give you a head start on preserving your health throughout the cooler days to come.

When to respond to the first signs of a cold or flu

There are a number of phases an illness can progress through . . .

1.    Maintenance phase -  ongoing health maintenance
2.    Resistance phase - preparation before an infection starts
3.    Infection phase - infectious phase of illness
4.    Recovery phase - recuperation after an illness

Responding early to a possible viral or bacterial infection, can help reduce the severity and duration of a cold or flu and also relieve associated symptoms. You can prepare your body with herbal medicine during the resistance phase before a cold or flu strikes, or respond at the first signs of an infection during the infection phase. Either way, get in early!

What are the signs to look for?

These signs are associated with the development of a common cold and influenza (flu), laryngitis, tonsillitis and sinusitis -
•    Fever
•    Headache
•    Sore throats
•    Mucous congestion
•    Runny nose

Both viral and bacterial infections respond well to the appropriate herbal medicines, especially when used early during the resistance phase or infection phase.

Tools at the ready

Keeping natural immune boosters in your home dispensary, means you are ready to act. Five immune boosters to keep on hand;  
•    Andrographis
•    Olive Leaf
•    Echinacea
•    Japanese Honeysuckle
•    Vitamin C

Tip - Not all herbal medicines are the same, and there is a lot out there to choose from. Ensure your Andrographis and Olive Leaf are standardised to contain the active compounds andrographolide and oleuropein respectively. Some such as Fusion Health ActiViral, have clinically evidenced antiviral, anti-infective and fever reducing properties, and it make sense check you are getting good quality.

Written by Peita Handel
Herbalist, yoga teacher and health writer Peita writes to inspire and inform. Her personal passion is women’s health, specialising in prenatal and postnatal natural health in the Blue Mountains, NSW

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