The Center for Disease Control charts Oregon’s flu season as currently widespread. This means the illness has spread throughout the region, not just small areas, and that it has spread often and quickly.
While they credit the disease as decreasing throughout the United States over the last four weeks, it is still considered high risk, especially for those over 65 and young children. Within the Portland State community, it’s nearly a guarantee that you will hear someone sniffling or coughing in every class.
It’s all those floating germs, not limited to campus, that make preventive measures essential. What do you do when you feel that tickle starting in your nose or throat?
The world has advanced far beyond just washing your hands and drinking lots of fluids, though those are still important things to do. These methods vary from doctor-recommended to wives’ tales, but with the flu running so rampant this season, they’re worth a try.
Oddly enough, onions and garlic are known as an old-time flu remedy. Just cut them up, grill them in a little olive oil and munch away. Also, chewing on raw garlic (if you can stand it) a few times a day can prove helpful.
Garlic contains alliinase, which is an antimicrobial that can help fight bacteria and fungus. There are also studies that support the raw consumption of onions as a way to draw toxins out of the body.
Another interesting food remedy includes ginger, cinnamon and coriander. In ancient Indian cultures, these spices were used to break fevers, as they can induce sweating.
Drop a stick of cinnamon into any hot beverage and stir to infuse with the hot water. Not only does it taste good, but it has some relief properties too.
Essential oils are also known to help with congestion and coughing. Recommended oils include peppermint, eucalyptus and frankincense. You can use an oil diffuser to permeate a room, or simply rub a few drops on your skin to instantly relieve congestion and sometimes ease coughing.
Not to sound like a parent, but another good, old-fashioned way to both avoid sickness and help move it along is plenty of rest. Sometimes in the school, work and family business that college students often find themselves in, it is easy to cut into sleep to make time for last-minute cramming or a social life.
But science backs that the average human needs six to eight hours to recuperate each night, and there is plenty of research to back that a well-rested body fights off a virus much better than an overrun, tired one.
So make sure to put your head to that pillow for a fair amount of hours, especially once you’re already feeling crummy.
When it comes to the flu season, it is nice to know that you have some options beyond the DayQuil and NyQuil regimen. Also, using natural remedies can lead to other health benefits beyond.