Q Dear Auntie Pearl, with the weather changing I’ve noticed I’m getting a snotty nose.
My work is in a mall so I deal with lots of people mos, and I am really not lus to get sick, especially with Covid still very much with us.
I’ve been trying to go for more natural things and not all the pille and dinge the doctors want to throw at us.
Do you have any natural remedies to prevent the flu?
I’m sure it’s not just me thinking of these things.
A Dear Shereen, jinne but you are like a little breath of fresh air, Auntie has in fact been reading up on natural ways we can build up our immune-systems – especially with Covid-19 still being part and parcel of onse lewens.
Now did you know Shereen, the slimkoppe say every year in South Africa 10 000 people over the age of five years old die of the flu.
So it’s a good idea to know how to prevent it, and also how to do it the natural way without too much pille and dinge like you said.
Now, just so we are all on the same page: just like the Covid-19 virus, flu is a respiratory infection that can affect anyone and you can get mild to severe symptoms.
Common flu symptoms are fever, body aches and pains, a runny nose, a cough and sore throat, and feeling moeg.
What you are talking about Shereen, is strengthening your immune system, and that’s just another way to protect yourself against flu.
A strong immune system will help your body fight off infections, like Covid and the flu; so even if you do become sick but have a strong immune system, the symptoms will be less severe and you should feel better sooner.
Now back to your question, hartjie: What are some natural ways to prevent the flu?
Auntie’s first tips, and the most important ones, the ones you should be doing already for Covid:
Wash your hands, santitise, wear a mask in public and when in large groups, practice social distancing, and don’t attend large gatherings.
Go to bed: Sleep helps build your immunity and you should try to sleep for at least six to eight hours at night.
Get active: Regular physical activity is mos jits, and it will also keep you strong and healthy – even a quick 30-minute walk three times a week will do, Shereen.
Auntie’s tip: Make exercise a part of your daily life and make it fun.
Eat lekker but gesond: That means try to eat as healthy as possible so limit those sugary, junk and fatty foods, meisie.
You want a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and things like grains, beans and wholewheat foods which are full of vitamins and antioxidants to keep you in good health.
Get some sun, Shereen: Mense with higher blood levels of Vitamin D have better immune responses so they have a smaller chance of catching a cold or the flu.
That could be as easy as sitting with your arms and legs open in the sunlight for about 15 minutes three times a week.
Keep things moist and clean: Now Auntie’s talking about your respiratory passages here! You need to drink enough water to stay hydrated, to avoid dehydration, especially if you are starting to feel snotty and stuffy.
You can also keep your throat moist and clean with salt-water gargles, inhale steam or follow Auntie’s favourite old school remedy of taking a nice hot Epsom salt bath.
Simply put three to four cups of Epsom salts in your bath water and soothe the flu feelings away.
You can also go to a natural health store or even your local pharmacy which might stock some more natural remedies to beat the flu.
You can ask about probiotics (either in a pill form or in yogurt and kefir, a probiotic cultured drink), oscillococcinum, a kwaai homeopathic medicine, echinacea which is a plant that has been used for many, many years to treat colds and flu, and elderflower (or elderberry), zinc and of course good old Vitamin C.