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Fighting the Flu Bugs


    My immune system is pretty beat up from stress and, for the first time in several years, I'm battling viral bugs left and right very early in this season.  This is totally out of character for me.  I may get sick, 1 whopper, once a year but picking up every bug that comes down the pike is not my norm.  I read an article about gargling with green tea.  The kicker in this is that I really really dislike tea in any form (along with rootbeer).  The smell, to me, is just vile. 

  However, it's fair to say I'd hate being ill more. Being in the realm of medicine professionally, I'm always reading or reseaching something.  So, I picked up some green tea extract capsules on sale and I'm giving it a try.    Basically, you open a capsule in a small amount of water and gargle the mixture up to 3 times a day. 

    At first, I did not think even holding my nose in order not to taste or smell was going to work, but I just did it anyway.  I was surprised to find that afterward there was no real after taste or smell.  Immediately rinsing or drinking after the gargle defeats the purpose, but I really did not have to.

      I had done this a few days before the holiday thing kicked off and then stopped.  Yesterday, I started feeling that feeling you get just before you get sick.  I have been out in the population running around these last several days - it was 71 degrees then 30 something the next day, etc., all over the map and a gazillion people.  Even though it was after the fact and I was already starting to feel bad, I decided to do the gargle late yesterday.  I didn't take any other medicine at all.  Today, I'm back to normal. 

    Whether it was the gargle, luck or otherwise, I don't know.  I am unable to take drugs like Zicam, as I had a really bad reaction in the past.   But if a few pennies each day and mild inconvenience can keep me from getting sick, I'm gonna try it.  I just don't think I can drink tea.  Just can't do it.  Approve


Entry #7


TenajComment by Tenaj - November 25, 2007, 10:53 am
Hope you feel better Jake.
JakeComment by Jake - November 25, 2007, 12:32 pm
Thanks so much Tenaj - today is a better day!
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 25, 2007, 1:27 pm
I hope you feel better. I don't like green tea either. However, you can drink other teas that are healing and taste much better. If you want, I can send you a list. Yogi makes a tea called Cold-Ease. Also, Emergen-C is a power made by Alacer that is available at most stores. My favorite flavor is tangerine, but they have a variety. It has 1 gram of buffered Vit C and B vitamins and will give you energy to fight your cold.
konaneComment by konane - November 25, 2007, 5:04 pm
One thing that helps me when I feel run down is homemade oyster stew ... great provided you're not allergic to shellfish. You need milk, pat of butter, a bit of marjoram, basil, dash of thyme, white pepper. Bring to almost a boil and enjoy. Not sure if it's the iodine, trace minerals or what but has always worked well for me.

Hope you're much better soon!
four4meComment by four4me - November 25, 2007, 6:06 pm
Jake I'm sorry to hear that your not feeling good, if you knew your system was not up to par why didn't you get a flu shot and a pneumonia shot. Not much you can do about it now but rest and let it work itself out.

Here's what kills me people who have a cold insist on coughing in their hands and then shaking yours. Kids bring bugs home from school. Women with colds/flu kiss you on your lips. Door knobs shopping cart handles and money all carry these germs it's probably a good idea to get a hold of some hand sanitizer and use it whenever you come in contact with suspected germs.

JakeComment by Jake - November 26, 2007, 5:51 am
Jxp & Konane - thank you so much! I'm actually thinking about the Emergen-C - it is getting good reviews in the medical community as a positive boost. We do have a health shop that specializes in teas - about a hundred or more I think - so I would appreciate that list. I know many teas are good for me. One thing I may need to compromise on is the fact that I have eliminated caffeine from my diet after years of consumption in soda. I do not drink coffee - I guess that's not too surprising - no coffee, no tea. K - I love seafood and soups and chowders especially - and I love to cook. I may just take your recipe and add it to the winter list.   Something I personally swear by that I'm lacking in the last few months are garlic and onions. The bugs I'm getting seem to be very self-limiting - it's almost like I just get through the beginning to get sick phase and then I'm okay which I hope means my immunity is there just not up to par.   I do think the best ideas are to be found not necessarily in the doctor's office and I appreciate your input!
JakeComment by Jake - November 26, 2007, 6:22 am
Four4me -   We have similar ideas when it comes to exposure. I think parents, especially young mothers, really do not get the lesson that the immune defenses of a newborn or young child are simply not equipped to handle everything at 1 time.   We've all encountered a parent with their newborn in public places, and everyone wants a closeup and personal to admire the child.   Another of my favorites is the employer who insists that a sick employee work with the public - I know the paradox, both for the employee (hey, I work too!) and for the managers who have to keep things going but 1 day at work infecting everyone you work with is not productive.   When WVU had that flu hit, I had a professor who had said that a class missed for any reason (other than death) was a percentage off the grade and some other detrimental stuff and many students in various stages of illness showed up for classes. Hundreds of students were down for weeks and many of us were hospitalized.   Absolute insanity.

      I am an advocate for influenza vaccine and Pneumovax - starting with the high-risk groups on down.   There are thousands of viruses which adversely affect human health but the true influenza viruses are some of the most deadly. I remember thinking when I was a teenager in school and history teaching us that thousands of people have died during flu epidemics that I could understand the very young and very old, but why others in between? I mean, it's just a bug and we've all had bugs. Then, as a freshman at WVU, I was unlucky enough to be one of hundreds on campus that got influenza. Once you've had influenza, you know that everything else just does not measure up on the scale.    At the time of that epidemic, the vaccine wasn't even routinely offered - my how times and viruses have changed!   

     Each year, I look at the vaccine offered, what it covers for the specific year, availability, and my personal situation.   I have a history of severe reactions or no reaction to vaccines. Remember the routine childhood vaccines we all hated (except for the sugar cube)? I received those injections, I think, a total of 3 times because I developed no immunity after each injection. I was not/am not immunocompromised. I simply have this odd immunodefense system, apparently. Other times, I've received vaccines, the outcome has been very unpleasant.     Every person needs to be informed and make an informed decision based on their personal history and their doctor's recommendations.   I was strongly considering this year's influenza vaccine (and hoping there would be enough to go around locally), when I was hit with the first bug even before the shots were offered here.   I would not even think about any vaccine in the midst of an illness.   I am also dissuaded somewhat when you consider that the vaccine generated each year is made to cover only a branch of the whole picture - there is no real evidence to support the vaccine helping with these other pain-in-the-butt viruses that drag us down most of the time. That's why I posted about trying something new with the tea - always open to new ideas!
four4meComment by four4me - November 26, 2007, 1:46 pm
Jake according to some doctors i have spoke with once you get a flu virus and it runs it's course you cant catch it again, you might get another mutated form of it though thats why flu vaccine is so important to get. Because it covers a wide variety of viruses means you are protected from a lot of them. I get a flu shot every year no matter what and i haven't been severely ill with a flu in a long time hope this sentence doesn't jinx me. lol.

Last year i ate an orange or two every day and i don't think i caught so much as a slight cold i also eat at least one vegetable every day as well. Our body's will protect us for the most part if we put the right food groups into it.

Now this isn't to say i never get sick, before i started to think differently about what food i put into my body and getting flu vaccine i use to get sick once a month i was doing a high stress job working with cold flu and virus infected people who refused to keep their illness to themselves they had to come to work and spread it around. I make my kids wash their hands as soon as they come into the house after school. I wipe the door knobs, phones, keyboard, mouse with disinfectant and anything they touch when they are sick so we might not all get sick. It's little things like that that help curb the bugs from spreading.

What helps when we are sick though is different for lots of people i tend to eat lots more veggies and get something called tiger balm rub it on my chest and neck and cover up with a warm blanked hoping to sweat it out. Hot tea with lemon and chicken soup are more for creature comfort than a cure. There is no cure for the common cold or flu.

get well soon!
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 27, 2007, 1:41 am
Jake, Yogi has a sampler of 4 teas for the immune system called "Yogi Tea Cold Season Tea" You can see a list of teas from Yogi and Traditional Medicine on Vitacost.com. I order my vitamins and herbal teas from them. I've read some negative reviews about Vitacost, but I've been using that site for several years and never had one problem. If you prefer a local store, you can just copy down the names. Here's a description I copied:

Breathe Deep - Respiratory Support - Breathe Deep comforts and clears the mucous membranes and relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract-benefiting your complete respiratory health. This safe and effective formula also helps counter many of the negative effects of stress and pollution.*

Cold Season - Nasal and Bronchial Aid Cold Season is safe, seasonal support for chilly weather, promoting free breathing as well as sinus, nasal and bronchial function. It's the perfect way to gently soothe membranes of the respiratory tract and encourage better adrenal function.

Echinacea Immune Support - Immune System Boost Echinacea Immune Support assists your body's natural defense system by enhancing normal immune response. This healing formula is the natural path to a healthy immune system, while promoting efficient respiratory function.*

Throat Comfort - Throat Health Support Throat Comfort is soothing relief for minor irritations in the mucous membranes of the trachea and throat. This safe and beneficial formula also warms the respiratory tract, and helps suppress spasms.

Many people have allergies, so you need to check ingredients like honey. I love honey and royal jelly. I have really bad digestive problems and I'm thinking of trying blackstrap molasses. It's supposed to have a lot of medicinal qualities. Some people swear by ionic or colloidal silver to knock out viruses. When I lived in New England I was able to buy very fresh herbs from an her farm. Making an infusion from the real deal is nothing like using a tea bag. I once got so relaxed (felt high) from chamomile tea, I thought I was floating off the ground! Pau D'Arco is from the rainforests of South America and I used to also drink that and always felt better. I've read that some people use it to fight the effects of chemotherapy.
angelmComment by angelm - November 27, 2007, 10:18 am
So sorry to hear you aren't feeling well.Get better soon!!

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