Avoiding Back to School Colds and Flu with Red Reishi

By Dr. Melissa Carr, Dr.TCM

September 29th, 2015

Much to the delight of many parents (and disappointment of many kids), September is finally here. The back-to-school time of the year is a great opportunity for learning and meeting new friends—but also, sadly, to bringing home cold and flu viruses. Increased exposure to viruses can put a strain on your health, so it’s vital to boost your immune system to guard against these pesky fall bugs.

Before you rush out to buy the latest "quick-fix" drug store remedy, here are some helpful non-pharmaceutical solutions to help minimize your family’s number of sick days this year.

#1 Wash Your Hands

You’ve heard this tip many times, but it’s because it’s an important one. Most cold and flu viruses can spread quickly when coming in direct contact with infected people (and surfaces). Bathroom faucets, door handles, and computer keyboards can all be breeding grounds for germs. So wash your hands often throughout the day. If you can’t find a sink, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to get rid of bacteria on your hands.

#2 Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs with Your Elbows

Because viruses stick to your hands, covering coughs and sneezes with your hands is not a very effective way to prevent your germs from spreading. The moment you feel a sneeze or a cough coming on, grab a tissue and toss it away as soon as possible. Don’t have a hankie? You can also use the inside of your elbow to stop from passing your cold or flu to your classmates, friends, and family.

#3 Don’t Touch Your Face

Try to avoid touching your face when you are sick. The most common places for germs to enter your body is through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Plus, touching someone else’s face when you’re sick is a sure-fire way to pass colds and flus on to others.

#4 Exercise Regularly

Swimsuit season has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you should stop working out. Regular exercise will not only keep you slim and trim during the cooler months, but also boost your immune system, helping to keep the bugs at bay.

#5 Eat Healthy

Eating healthy is crucial to supporting your immune system. Foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A and C, beta carotene, zinc, and selenium will help your body fight off viruses and bacteria.

#6 Take Japanese Red Reishi Mushrooms

Nicknamed "The Great Protector," Japanese red reishi mushroom has been used for centuries for its numerous health benefits. Proven to pack a powerful immune-boosting punch, this miraculous mushroom has been shown to contain health-giving compounds that regulate antibody production, protecting you against cold and flu viruses.

Japanese red reishi can be taken during a cold or flu to help speed up recovery and minimize a virus’s impact. However, it works best when taken regularly to prevent viruses from taking hold in the first place.

Make sure to choose a red reishi product rich in the polysaccharides, sterols, and other compounds that support the immune system. Mikei’s Japanese red reishi fits that bill.

Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In practice since 2001, Dr. Carr has a passion for sharing health information. She has been a nutrition instructor and a health consultant, lecturer, and writer for 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper, Fraser Health Authority, UBC, and the David Suzuki Foundation, amongst others. www.activetcm.com

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