Colds and Flu
Cold: a cold is the term we use to describe an acute inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages, especially the nose and throat, thought to be caused by several different viruses. The viral infection causes a stuffed up / runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat, and often a dry cough. Usually the lymph glands in the neck will become tender and swollen. Colds cause different symptoms in different people, even if it is the same virus. If there is a fever with a cold, it is usually manageable.
Influenza: influenza (the flu) is an acute, contagious, infectious disease, caused by any of a specific group of viruses and characterized by inflammation of the respiratory tract, fever and muscular pain. The flu exhibits similar symptoms to a cold, but it is much more severe than colds, and will cause high fevers, chills and a feeling of total exhaustion; the whole body aches. The viruses that cause the flu tend to attack the upper respiratory tract with a combination of symptoms – a sore throat, dry cough, and a runny nose. In stomach flu, nausea and vomiting are typical. These are all symptoms of our body’s immune system attempting to rid the body of the viral invader. Although the flu is usually gone within a week or so, the body’s recuperating time is longer because of the strain put on the bronchial tubes and circulatory system.
Causes: flu is caused by 3 principal types of influenza viruses. The most common strain is influenza A, and is responsible for the most serious flu epidemics. About every three years, there are widespread epidemics of Influenza A, and every 30 to 40 years, there are more serious worldwide epidemics, called pandemics.
Influenza B also causes epidemics about every five years, but most cases are relatively mild. The influenza C virus is always present, but it only occasionally causes a few local outbreaks of mild flu.
Mode of Transmission:
Flu passes from one person to another through droplets in the air. When a person with flu coughs or sneezes, millions of viral particles are sprayed into the air. When the flu virus is inhaled, it quickly starts to multiply. The virus spreads so easily that in only a few days a local epidemic may develop.
After about 48 hours of incubation, a person with the flu virus suddenly begins to feel very sick. The first symptoms include a fever of 102 to 103 degrees F, shaking chills, headache, and a backache and leg pains. Fatigue and weakness are common. The respiratory symptoms – a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and dry, hacking couch – are mild at first, but worsen in the next few days.
The fever usually lasts for two or three days, but the other symptoms may last for a week or ten days. The fatigue and general malaise often last even longer.
Most healthy people recover fully in a few weeks, and are then immune to the particular strain of the flu virus that affected them. Complications such as pneumonia or secondary bacterial respiratory infections are most common in the elderly or people weakened by other diseases.
- Sudden onset of fever and chills
- Sore throat and runny or stuffy nose
- Dry cough that produces sputum after a few days
- Headache and generalized aches, especially in the back and legs
- Lingering fatigue and general malaise
Achillea millefolium [yarrow]; Aniba rosaeodora [rosewood]; Cinnamomum verum cort. [cinnamon bark]; Citrus aurantifolia [lime]; Citrus limon [lemon]; Citrus paradisi [grapefruit]; Eucalyptus globulus [Tasmanian blue gum]; Eucalyptus smithii [gully gum]; Helichrysum angustifolium [everlasting]; Hyssopus officinalis [hyssop]; Melaleuca leucadendron [cajuput]; Melaleuca viridiflora [niaouli]; Mentha spicata [spearmint]; Myrtus communis [myrtle]; Pimenta dioica [allspice]; Pinus sylvestris [Scots pine]; Piper nigrum [black pepper]; Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole, ct. camphor [rosemary] (chills); Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol [thyme], ct. carvacrol (head)
Cinnamomum verum cort. [cinnamon bark]; Citrus paradisi [grapefruit]; Commiphora myrrha [myrrh]; Coriandrum sativum [coriander]);Cupressus sempervirens [cypress]; Eucalyptus globulus [Tasmanian blue gum]; Eucalyptus radiata [black peppermint]; Eucalyptus smithii [gully gum]; Helichrysum angustifolium [everlasting]; Hyssopus officinalis [hyssop]; Lavandula angustifolia [lavender]; Laurus nobilis [bay]; Melaleuca leucadendron [cajuput]; Mentha spicata [spearmint]; Pimenta dioica [allspice]; Pimenta racemosa [West Indian bay]; Pinus sylvestris [Scots pine]; Ravensara aromatica [ravensara]; Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole, ct. camphor [rosemary]; Salvia officinalis [sage]; Syzygium aromaticum [clove bud]; Thymus vulgaris ct. thujanol-4 [sweet thyme]; Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol, ct. carvacrol [thyme]
A five minute hot mustard pack on the chest to bring down the fever, eliminate toxins and speed healing. Apply the pack once. If needed, repeat every other day for one week
Air the sick room – a cool room is healthier than a hot, stuffy room – just make sure the patient is bundled warmly
Vitamin C – 500 mg/hr
Ample liquids and R-E-S-T – give your body a chance to heal itself !
Add 10 – 15 drops of a combination of Echinacea and goldenseal to a herbal tea at the first sign of a sniffle to boost immunity
To help alleviate and disinfect dry air passages, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of hot water or vaporizer and leave in the bedroom overnight
At the onset of the flu: linden flower tea with two teaspoons lemon balm oil / thyme tea with honey / or rosehip tea. When you start to sweat – quickly go to bed and continue to sweat for one hour. Change clothes, rub your body dry, and try to sleep. OR: have a warm bath with: 1 tbsp. Dried mustard, 1 tbsp. Ginger, and 1 tbsp. Cayenne – stay in the bath for 10 – 15 minutes, or as long as you can stand it, then proceed with the “sweat routine”
Reflexology areas to emphasize:
- Bronchial / lungs – main reflex
- Neck – houses the throat
- Adrenal glands – helpful for inflammation
- Kidneys – eliminates cellular waste
- Lymph drainage / lymph groin reflex / spleen – the body's immune system