The flu is serious business. According to the Mayo Clinic News Network, up to 40,000 Americans die from flu annually. An additional 250,000 people are hospitalized. To protect yourself, it is important to receive the flu shot. In addition, there are a number of home remedies you can adopt to protect you and your family against not just the flu, but also a host of other ailments this winter.
1. Disinfect surfaces. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explains disinfecting is the only way to kill germs. Cleaning and sanitizing only reduce the number of germs or remove them from a surface. It is recommended to use an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs on surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as doorknobs, computer keyboards, countertops, and phones.
2. Drink tea. Health.com recommends drinking tea all winter. This is because the steam stimulates the hairs in the noise that move germs out of the nose. Ear, nose, and throat specialist at Cedar-Sinai Hospital Dr. Murray Grossman recommends adding lemon to thin mucus and honey as an anti-bacterial.
3. Energy therapy. Julia Millspaugh, RN suggests a strategy she uses on her own patients to unblock energy and help the body fight infection. She told Health.com all it takes it putting the right hand on the top of the head and the left hand in between the eyebrows. With your hands in this position, take slow, cleansing breathes for a full 5 minutes. Millspaugh recommends starting every single day with this simple exercise for optimum health.
4. Eight hours sleep. Prevention reports a study by Carnegie Mellon that found people who sleep 8 hours a night are 30 per cent less likely than those who sleep just one hour less to get sick.
5. Vegetable juice. A nutritious diet is key to maintaining a high-functioning immune system. This is why paramedic Kristina Economou told Health.com her secret for staying healthy during flu season is starting each morning with a juice made from such nutritious vegetables as kale, broccoli, apple, arugula, parsley, cucumber, carrots, Swiss chard, lemon, and mint.
6. Meditate. A study by the University of Wisconsin found that daily meditation reduced a person's risk of illness by 40 to 50 per cent. ABC News explains this is because meditation reduces the immune system-weakening effects of stress.
7. Garlic. Eating garlic helps fight viruses, Dr. Richard Nahas, assistant professor of family medicine at University of Ottawa told ABC News. For best results, it is recommended to eat 2 cloves raw garlic daily.
8. Qigong. This ancient Chinese practice combines breathing control and slow movements to reduce stress and combat illness, reports ABC News. To learn a qigong exercise you can practice daily, watch the below video.
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