What is influenza or flu?

The flu is an acute respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses in the nose, mouth, and lungs. It can cause illnesses that are mild to severe and can cause death occasionally.

People with the Flu frequently feel some or all these symptoms and signs. They generally start suddenly.

- Fever or feeling feverish with chills

- Cough

- Sore throat

- Runny or stuffy nose

- Infection

- Muscle or body aches 

- Headaches

- Some people may have nausea and nausea, though this is more common in young children than in adults.

See: Acupuncture for flu

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How Flu Spreads

Most experts agree that influenza viruses spread primarily through small droplets formed when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in nearby individuals' mouths or noses. Less often, someone might also have influenza by touching a surface or object with the flu virus on it, then touching their mouth, nose, or maybe their eyes.

You might have the ability to pass on the Flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you're sick. Although individuals with the Flu are most infectious from the first 3-4 days after their illness starts, some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after getting ill. Some individuals, especially young children and individuals with weakened immune systems may have the ability to infect others with influenza viruses for a longer time.

When a man has been exposed to the influenza virus and infected, symptoms begin in about 1 to 4 days. The conventional treatment is an influenza vaccine and antiviral drugs, and symptomatic therapy with analgesics and antihistamines.

See: How to get over the flu fast

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Ayurvedic view of Flu

Ayurveda does recognize the existence of germs, infections, and the infectious nature of specific ailments. Nevertheless, the Ayurvedic approach relies on making the body resilient to getting diseases and treating the body as a whole when someone falls prey to an illness. Though noted for infectious diseases and investigated for their antibacterial and antiviral activity, many herbal supplements show milder activity than modern drugs.

The aim of the herbs, according to Ayurveda, is to create an environment in the body that's not conducive to the invading microorganisms and to not directly kill or interfere with their replication. However, you should not replace traditional therapy, including immunization and antiviral and other medications based on your physician's advice, with herbal supplements. Herbal supplements aren't intended to prevent, treat, mitigate, or cure a disease. They can help your body together with other steps mentioned below and, in addition to the traditional treatment prescribed by your physician, to recuperate faster by balancing the three bio-energies known as doshas (namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). You should always notify your physician (particularly if you're pregnant) if you would like to follow some of the advice given here and do this together with their permission.

The symptoms of influenza closely resemble the Vata-shleshamika kind of febrile disease. The disease involves Vata and Kapha's aggravation and Pitta (which is a frequent dosha involved with every type of fever). Therefore, this illness consists of the vitiation of all of the three doshas.

Vata and Kapha's aggravation is the heralding feature of the febrile condition. The indicators are marked with a runny nose named Pratishyaya (Pra-tee- sh-ya-yah) in Ayurvedic terminology. This means the motion of Kapha towards the nose and its expulsion through the uterus. Aggravated Vata triggers this motion. This pathology is shared by both the common cold and the Flu. However, the similarity ends here, and in the latter, the Pratishyaya turns to Kasa. Kasa is the Sanskrit term for upper and lowers respiratory tract infections. To cause sinusitis (known as Dushta Pratishyaya in Ayurveda) or lower respiratory tract, Kasa may progress to include the sinuses to cause inflammation in the lungs, which may lead to pain and trouble breathing while coughing. Here, the Pitta also gets involved, and consequently, fever ensues.

See: The efficacy of echinacea compound herbal tea preparation on the severity and duration of upper respiratory and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study.

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How to develop your flu shield

What do you do about your flu if you get it?

Step one is not to let the Kapha and Vata get aggravated. All of you who understand Ayurveda's fundamentals already know that one of the three bio-energies (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), Vata and Kapha are chilly energies Pitta is hot. The winter season, which is characterized by cold weather, is also the best time to aggravate these doshas. Therefore the critical move is to prevent yourself from cold attacks. It is mandatory to cover your head, ears, and nostrils when ridding yourself with several layers of winter clothing. This relates more to little kids and the elderly. Likewise, having cold food and drinks should be rigorously avoided. These are internal factors that lead to the aggravation of Vata and Kapha.

Further, certain lifestyle factors such as not resting, overdoing it, staying awake at night, or sleeping during the daytime are an example of triggers that could aggravate Vata and Kapha respectively. Studies in basic Ayurvedic principles will list factors that could lead to Vata and Kapha's aggravation, and all these have to be avoided.

Ayurveda suggests you take the next essential steps during a viral illness such as the Flu while maintaining the Ayurvedic lifestyle in mind.

See: Ayurvedic herbs for immune system

Video: Ayurvedic Herbs & Yoga To Boost Immunity

Steps To Boost Your Natural Immunity

Ayurveda recommends a few measures to boost your immune system:

- Enhance natural immunity. This means ensuring that the Kapha and Vata remain in equilibrium. 

Keep yourself warm for this and eat freshly prepared, hot, readily digestible foods.

-Excessive indulgence in sex ought to be avoided.

-Immunity supporting herbs such as Amalaki, Guduchi, Ashwagandha, Tulsi, and Ginger should be taken frequently.

-Warm Tulsi Ginger Tea ought to be reapplied many times a day. To create Tulsi Ginger Tea, take 10-15 leaves of holy basil or 1/2 tsp of dried tulsi leaves, 4-6 black peppers, 1 cm cube ginger, and 1/2 inch stick of cinnamon. Grind them together, then boil them in 1 1/2 cups of water and reduce them for half an hour. It needs to be sweetened with one teaspoon of sugar and sipped hot.

See: Amla Berry Health Benefits & Side Effects

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Cleanse upper respiratory tract ways

- Steam Inhalation: Grate a piece of ginger and boil it. In regards to a boil, take it off the stove and place some eucalyptus oil in it. Inhale the steam so that a stuffy nose decongests.

- Gargling with saline hot water is an ancient home remedy and should start with the first sign of pain in the throat. Snuff the uterus with 2-6 drops of olive oil. When it enters the throat, spit it out. This may be repeated multiple times a day.

- Cleanse the bowels: The bowels should be kept clean by consuming sufficiently hot water, hot poultry or vegetable soups, and ingesting enough fiber in the diet. You can have Triphala as an Ayurvedic herbal formulation of 3 dried powdered fruits. Take this with warm water at bedtime to have a precise bowel movement in the morning. Seek the advice of your Ayurvedic practitioner.

See: Triphala Health Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage

Video: Triphala health benefits & side effects

Ayurvedic herbs & remedies for the flu

It's always best to speak with your primary care physician for assessment to find out whether you might require hospitalization or not. You should rest, protecting yourself from cold, using a nutritious and easily digestible diet, and carrying sufficient fluids are sufficient to take care of most influenza attacks. Nonetheless, i

Useful Ayurvedic Herbs

These herbs may help assist the body to care for the Dosha imbalance, particularly to the Flu.

- Take a decoction of Dashmula along with long ginger and pepper. This works nicely for Vata and Kapha imbalance.

-If Pitta is involved, Pitta pacifying herbs such as Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amaltas, Chirayata, Kutki, combined with Vata and Kapha pacifying herbs may be used.

- Gojivhadi Decoction. This works on Vata and Kapha dosha to restore equilibrium. Additionally, it is combined with other Pitta pacifying herbs.

Ayurvedic  remedies:

- Flush out toxins. Drink a lot of hot water. According to the ancient healing system, hot water is easier for the body to absorb than cold or tepid water flushes out immunity-compromising ama (toxins) out of the body

- Hydrates your mucus membranes, loosening mucus

- Pacifies the dry, cold Vata dosha with its sexy, hydrating properties.

- Take astragalus to boost your immunity. Pilot research printed in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that astragalus extract activates immune cells within a day. Follow the dosage on the bottle. (Check with your doctor first if you are concerned about how the herb may interact with other drugs you are taking.)

- Ayurvedic Diet: Ayurveda recommends eating mild, easy, and warm meals, especially "clear foods"--clear broths, clear liquids (water and teas), and seasonal veggies, which have some translucence as soon as they're completely cooked, like leeks, bok choy, and kale. Avoid thick, heavy, dense, rich foods, which may be difficult to digest when you are sick, including dairy products, juices, and sugar-laden bread. Also, avoid cold, frozen, dry, and uncooked foods, which are hard to digest.

- Gargle with saltwater. According to the practice's, gargling with salt water loosens excess mucus and eliminates bacteria and fungi in the throat. . Dissolve 1/4 into 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of warm water site. Research printed in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who gargled three times per day saw almost a 40 percent decrease in upper respiratory infections during Flu and cold season than a control group.

- Try ginger. Numerous controlled studies (mentioned here) have discovered that ginger alleviates the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. According to Ayurvedic theory, ginger is among the best remedies for colds, too. Its aromatic nature reduces Kapha dosha, which is active during colds and generates excess mucus when it is out of balance. Don't mix ginger and anticoagulant medications like aspirin since they're both blood thinners. 

- Try pranayama and extending to relieve chest constriction. To ease breathing-related constriction due to coughing, sneezing, and physical inactivity, a straightforward practice Named Dirgha pranayama may help.


See: Ginger Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts

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Additional Preventative Tips

Protect yourself from influenza viruses by washing your hands frequently, especially if you're caring for somebody who's sick. Should you get sick, protect others by staying home, visiting your physician, and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

See: Active immunity vs. passive immunity in Ayurveda

Video: Chinese Medicine For Boosting Immune System

References

1. CDC Newsroom." Centers for the Control and Prevention of Diseases, Centers for the Control and Prevention of Diseases, 26 Jan. 2018,www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/t0126-flu-update-activity.html.

2. Influenza (Flu)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 Oct. 2017, www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm.

3. Seasonal Influenza A(H3N2) Activity and Antiviral Treatment of Patients with Influenza." The U.S.— Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 December 2017, Emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00409.asp.

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