Well folks, Flu Season is upon us once again. Of course, we’re being told that this is “the worst flu season ever” and everyone is hoping the stay healthy. I keep my fingers crossed that we manage to stay well as we head towards my daughter’s fourth and final gymnastics meet of the season. Of course, I can keep my fingers crossed all I want, but that ultimately won’t do me much good. Luckily, there are some things you can do preventatively to help ward off the dreaded flu. The flu virus is literally “in the air” so you can run but you can’t hide!
It was once believed that people with the flu would spread the disease through coughing and sneezing. Now it is believed that simply breathing into the air can cause the germs that cause the flu to spread. This lovely tidbit is courtesy of a new study out of the University of Maryland. According to these very helpful scientists who clearly like to rain on our parade, people begin spreading the virus long before they are coughing or sneezing or showing any symptoms at all! There are a few obvious solutions to this problem including, but not limited to, providing bubbles for all individuals or simply confine everyone to their homes and allow them to live in a hermetically sealed environment until June. Sound reasonable?
Flu Shots Effectiveness and Other Troubling Factoids
I have read conflicting reports on the effectiveness of the flu shot this year, which seems to be the story almost every year I can recall. Some reports say the effectiveness is as low as 10% and others have it as high as 30%, which is still low. And then there is all the talk about side effects from the vaccine itself. Most recently, I have read several reports about the drug Tamiflu that is supposed to reduce the symptoms of the flu once you have been diagnosed. Some common side effects listed are hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; a red and blistering or peeling skin rash. While none of those sound pleasant, they probably aren’t going to be life threatening. It’s the “less common side effects” that are a bit more disconcerting. Those include sudden confusion, delirium, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or self-injury. And by “self-injury” that can mean suicide! Just thought I would spell that out in case anyone else isn’t fond of euphemistic terms for the irreversible side effect known as death! All I’m trying to say here is to be cautious. Ask your doctor to show you the insert that comes along with this or any other medication so you can be an informed consumer. We read safety reports on the cars we buy but we don’t always do the same with something we put inside our bodies.
Build Healthy Immune System
Luckily, certain aspects of your health and wellness are within your ability to control. My family and I do everything in our power to help build our immune systems. We eat a healthy diet packed with fruits and vegetables, cut the sugar; we take immune boosting supplements; we exercise; and we get adjusted regularly by our favorite chiropractor (that would be me or my husband). I bet you didn’t know that chiropractic can help build your immune system. In fact, that was its original purpose and a fix for neck and back pain was just a nice little “side effect”. If you are curious about this lesser known use for chiropractic, feel free to comment below and I would be happy to answer any questions. Ultimately, we do everything we can to make our bodies as healthy as possible. So what more can we do?
Promoting A Healthy Environment
You can work towards keeping the air clean around you in so many ways. Everything from the chemicals you used to clean your toilet to your laundry detergent may have a negative impact on the quality of the air you breathe. That is why I always choose the most natural cleaning products possible. There are so many options for every aspect of cleaning that are safe for you and your family. Not only are these products safe, but they are also effective and cost about the same as conventional products. But have you ever thought about the positive effect that indoor plants have on your air quality?
Indoor Plants For Clean Air
Now you’re going to think that I sound like a crunchy tree hugger and you would be right! I do look for the safest and most natural solutions for healthy living and indoor plants seem to fit the bill. Stagnant air is a breeding ground for contaminants that find a home and then they stay put. When plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air, they also suck in a bunch of those harmful contaminants from the air. There are also microbes present in the potting soil that help to clean the air. So where do these harmful chemicals come from in the first place? Well, our furniture and upholstery as well as building materials can release chemicals such as formaldehyde. Add those to those sesasonal bugs floating around and you’re air quality is pretty poor.
My personal favorite air purifying plants are the Peace Lily since my daughter shares the same name and the Aloe plant which can double as a great salve for burns and other skin irritations. I also love the look of the Ficus plant and Orchids, although the Orchid is a very delicate plant that I would probably succeed at killing with great skill! Other great plants that will suck up that nasty air include The Spider Plant, Philodendrons, Palms, Boston Fern, Chinese Evergreen and Baby Rubber. All of these plants are so much more decorative than a can of Lysol!
Fight The Flu With Plants
So go out and get yourself some plants this flu season. I even found some beautiful ones on Amazon, my go to for just about everything on the planet that I could ever need or want! Stay healthy and remember that June is just around the corner and we can come up with something new to worry about!