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Herbal and nutritional support for the man flu

Men's Health, Immune | September 22, 2016 | Author: Naturopath

Herbal and nutritional support for the man flu

The man flu is a form of the common cold, the symptoms of which are greatly exaggerated. It exclusively affects males causing them to feel weak, sick and miserable. What distinguishes man flu from the common cold is the need for lots of tender loving care (TLC).

If you are a male suffering from this debilitating condition there are herbs, nutrients that can help speed up your recovery. If you are a caretaker of an infected individual there are some tips given to administer the TLC required, as man flu can linger for many weeks following infection.

What are the symptoms?

Generally speaking the man flu can be self-diagnosed from the following checklist.

  • Runny nose and congestion with excessive use of tissues
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Phantom fever
  • Complete debilitation
  • Complaining and moaning

TLC 

If you suspect that you are suffering from the man flu let your significant other or family member know so that they can be involved in the recuperative process.

Without TLC (usually required from a female as they are immune to man flu) it is nearly impossible to recover from this condition.

Suggestions for TLC include the following:

  • Making soups, especially chicken soup
  • Foot rubs
  • Allow lots of rest on the couch in front of the tv
  • Place a cold washer on his forehead
  • Offer regular sources of hydration
  • Be sympathetic
  • Excuse him from household duties for at least few weeks

Herbs and nutrients to assist recovery

The man flu typically lasts for seven days but the convalescence stage can continue for another few weeks. It is important to start these herbs and nutrients at the first sign of man flu to increase their effectiveness.

Echinacea spp. is one of the most popular choices to treat the man flu as it possesses immune-enhancing properties making it beneficial in fighting pathogens.

Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) combines well with Echinacea, helping to achieve a fast outcome for acute conditions. Andrographis is particularly helpful if phantom fevers are also present.

If the symptoms are more severe and a speedy recovery is needed for the sanity of all family members than elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a good choice.

Elderberry has strong traditional use for upper respiratory tract infections as it has specific anti-viral activity against Influenza types A and B. In one study, participants were who were administered a syrup containing elderberry twice daily found a significant reduction in the severity and duration of their symptoms. The elderberry group experienced a ‘complete cure’ in 2-3 days compared to 6 days in the placebo group.

Elderberry is also particularly helpful if there is lots of nasal congestion.

Zinc is also an important mineral for the immune system and for general male health. Several studies have indicated that zinc supplementation of up to 30mg is effective in ameliorating the symptoms and duration of respiratory infection. More recent studies have shown that zinc lozenges can also provide positive outcomes for treating a cold. Zinc could also be taken with vitamin c as it shares similar properties that benefit the immune system. If both of these nutrients are taken as a preventative they could also reduce the incidence of the man flu occurring in the first place.

For recurrent and chronic man flu consider taking an immune tonic to help boost the function of the immune system.

Examples of these herbs include

  • siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
  • korean ginseng (panax ginseng)
  • reishi mushroom (Ganoderma spp.)
  • astragalas (Astragalas membranaceus).

An imbalance in intestinal microflora may also contribute to a regular dose of the man flu. These probiotic strains ‚Äčhave all been shown in numerous studies to be useful in reducing the symptoms and duration of a cold:

  • Lactobacillus GG
  • Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Bifidobacterium lactis

In conclusion, the man flu is a real condition affecting males. TLC is an important aspect of their treatment and should not be overlooked. The use of herbs, nutrients and homeopathics can also be utilized to help males through their suffering.

 

References
Mousa HA. Prevention and treatment of influenza, influenza-like illness, and common cold by herbal, complementary, and natural therapies. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016 Apr 6. [Epub ahead of print]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27055821

Naik, SR, Hule A. Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of an extract of andrographilides from Andrographis paninculata. Planta Med 2009;75(8):785-791
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263340

Zakay-Rones Z, et al. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res 2004;32(2):132-40
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15080016

Balch J, Balch P. (2000). Prescription for Nutritional Healing (3rd ed.), Penguin Publishing, United States of America
Sarris J, Wardle J. (2010). Clinical Naturopathy, Churchill Livingstone, Australia
Thomsen M. (2005). Phytotherapy Desk Reference (3rd ed.), Michael Thomsen, Australia
Hemila H. Zinc Lozenges may shorten the duration of cold: a systematic review. Open Respir Med J. 2001;5:51-8
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21769305

Vouloumanou EK, et al. Probiotics for the prevention of respiratory tract infections: a systematic review. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2009;34(3):197.e1-e10
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19179052

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