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Old 01-26-2008   #1
abousoun
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Default Cold and Flu: Immune Boosting Strategies

One in three Americans suffers from the common cold each year, but this year it doesn't have to be you! Fight the flu and combat your cold with these immune-boosting strategies and remedies.

Prepare for Cold Season!
The best natural protection from cold and flu is to keep your immune system going strong and to practice preventative measures. Wash your hands frequently with soap, and wash your face at least twice a day. Also, protect your upper back and neck area, because this is where most of the colds will attack the body. The activities listed below will help you build your immunity.

6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immunity

1. Rest up.
Studies show that your immune system function drops by an average of 60% after just three nights of poor sleep, so be sure you are getting plenty of quality rest, at least eight hours each night.

2. Lessen your stress.
Keep your stress level low with meditation, tai chi or yoga.

3. Eat sweet potatoes and mushrooms.
These foods help optimize your body's immunity function. Sweet potatoes contain higher amounts of vitamin C (a famous immune support) and beta-carotene than carrots, as well as being rich in DHEA, a potent immunity booster. Certain types of mushrooms, like shitake, maitake and reishi, contain polysaccharides, sterols, coumarin, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that increase your immune function.

4. Pick potent herbs.
Eat lots of potent herbs and spices, especially garlic, ginger, cilantro, and oregano.

5. Astralagus: the immunity super herb.
Astralagus has been used in Asia to prevent cold and flu for more than 2,000 years. This herb stimulates the body's production of interferon, which is a potent immune protein that boosts your ability to fight infections and diseases.

6. Keep your middle warm.
In Chinese medicine, the abdomen is considered the storehouse of the body's energy. Keeping your abdomen warm and protected from weather extremes has immense immune benefits. A good way to replenish your energy bank is to regularly place a hot water bottle on your abdomen. Also beneficial is applying abdominal wraps soaked in rejuvenating herbal solutions, or pouches containing similar herbs.

Natural Remedies and Relief for Cold and Flu
If it's too late to prepare, and you are already suffering from the runny nose, headache and fever of cold and flu, these recommendations can help you get you back on your feet in no time!
At the first sign of a cold attack, drink scallion and ginger tea, and lots of liquids.

Fasting or light eating is sometimes recommended when you have a cold, so as not to detract from the body's healing by having to digest heavy foods. In general, eat as little solid food as possible to avoid burdening the immune system, but drink plenty of warm fluids such as soups, porridges and tea.

Get plenty of rest and don't engage in exercise. When you have a cold, exercise depletes the body of qi, the vital energy needed to fight pathogens.
Taking up to 50 milligrams of zinc a day may help reduce the symptoms of the common cold.
It is helpful to inhale eucalyptus, oregano, and lavender, which are antibacterial, antiviral, and decongesting.

I hope you use these suggestions in times of sickness and that they serve you well.
May you stay healthy, live long, and live happy!

-By Dr. Mao

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