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Avoiding the flu blues

The sniffling of noses and wads of tissues in the classroom trashcan can only mean one thing: cold season is here. Cold season on college campuses is especially bad due to the cramped living quarters, constant exposure to germy people, and use of public space on a daily basis.
But, what are you to do when you inevitably start sneezing and sniffling? You can’t call Redfern, because if you make your own doctor appointments that means you’re an adult. And no one here is ready to be an adult quite yet.
You can ride it out, but that week that you have the cold, you really have the cold and seem somewhat incapable of doing anything at full speed. So, for those young and young at heart who need a quick home remedy, here are some natural cures to common diseases.
If you feel yourself coming down with the common cold:
1. Start taking zinc. Zinc is a lesser-known cousin of Emergen-C that does the same thing without the slightly unpleasant taste. Zinc can decrease the symptoms of a cold and can make it possible to finish assignments without a completely stuffed up head.
2. Give your nose a massage. Apparently, an acupuncture point under your nostril called the yingxiang can relieve nasal congestion when rubbed. This method is also nice because you own all the materials to try it yourself without hitting up the nearest Rite-Aid.
3. Munch on some hot peppers (if you can stand the heat). The spiciness in peppers, formally called capsaicin, helps loosen up mucus so that you can get rid of it. There’s also the fact that eating spicy foods seems to immediately clear your head and wake you up.
4. If you have trouble with spice, grab a radish instead. The crisp and mild vegetable is both anti-septic and full of fantastic vitamins and minerals. For those who love spice but hate peppers, horseradish is also a good decongestant, but definitely on the spicier side. By eating either radishes or their horse counterparts, you’ll be able to feel yourself clearing up in no time.
If you find that someone has very rudely given you mononucleosis:
1. Reach for the raw garlic. While mono is not a curable disease and you’ll be contagious for a couple weeks, raw garlic can greatly reduce your symptoms. This strange little vegetable is loaded with antioxidants, is antibacterial, and boosts your immune system. Make sure you eat it raw though; because as soon as it’s cooked, it looses its power to fight the germs.
2. Make some ginger tea and add in a little honey. Not only will this soothe your sore throat, but the ginger can also help with loss of appetite that can be associated with mono. The honey can help balance your sugars while simultaneously acting as a lubricant for your throat so you can eat with greater ease.
3. Find Echinacea at your local pharmacy. This small pill cannot cure your mono, but it does help prevent other diseases from taking advantage of your weakened immune system. During such a vulnerable time, you don’t want to compound the flu on top of not being able to kiss anyone.
4. Change your diet. Instead of eating ten cookies in Schilletter after wolfing down a hamburger, fries, and two helpings of mashed potatoes, err on the side of health. Try to incorporate leafy greens, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and spinach into your diet.
Both seafood and lean meats such as skinless chicken and turkey can help as well. And finally, stay away from heavy sugars. Eating (or drinking) a lot of tasty, sugary treats can decrease the activity of your white blood cells and make you feel worse in the long run.
If you find yourself on the wrong end of the flu:
1. Become best friends with lemon. Lemon has antibacterial, antifungal and anti- inflammatory properties that can weaken the flu virus and decrease the effects of any symptoms. Try squeezing some lemon into warm water and drinking it two to three times a day until the flu retreats. To make it a little extra special, throw some honey in your drink to soothe your throat and your nerves.
2. Learn about essential oils. This type of natural cure is often sold as perfume. But, oils such as tea tree, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, lavender and cinnamon can come in handy in your fight against the flu as well. Put a few drops of any essential oil in a carrier oil such as olive and rub it on your throat, behind your ears, along your spine or on the soles of your feet. Often just taking the time to relax and focus on massaging your pain away can relax your body in a positive and healing way. Also, adding in the element of essential oils can help increase blood flow, stimulate aromatic healing and relax your body.
3. Go to the Fike saunas next to the pool. This new feature of Fike can do wonders for your failing body. It can improve your breathing and ease congestion. Breathe deeply and follow all the sauna rules to keep the flu at bay and your body healthy.
Hopefully, these home remedies can improve your life while diseases and germs try to ruin it. They are obviously not foolproof and are not complete substitutes for actual medicine, but they can put your body in sync with nature and don’t break the bank.
If you rely on western medicine, that’s completely fine. But when you find your Nyquil and antihistamines short lived and expensive, take a crack at some of these and even try doing some research of your own.

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