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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From zinc tablets to vitamin C supplements -- what about garlic juice or even wet socks?
With the bitter cold comes flu season, and two Louisville doctors are offering advice on how to stay healthy and fight off sickness.
"We have seen an increase in actual flu cases, too," said Dr. Soraya Nastraty, the Medical Director for Norton Healthcare's Immediate Care Centers.
Dr. Nastraty says there is a correlation between the colder weather and a spike in flu cases and flu-like viruses.
She says a fever reducer, plenty of fluids and plenty of sleep are what she generally recommends.
"For healthier younger folks, they can wait it out but anytime your unsure or really feel sick or have symptoms like shortness of air, trouble breathing and really feeling sick it should be evaluated," Dr. Nastraty said.
But if you're more interested in a homeopathic approach, Dr. Peter Swanz offers his own recommendations. Dr. Swanz is a Naturopathic Physician with offices in North Carolina and Prospect, Ky.
When asked if vitamin supplements really work, he replied, "I think it does, you know, vitamin C is a great immune support and I recommend that patients will start to do that if they begin to get sick."
Dr. Swanz also recommends two supplements which can be found at local health food stores to take during cold or virus infections.
He says the amino acid N-Acetyl Cysteine can help to thin mucus and supports healthy liver function.
The supplement ViraClear can lessen the severity of upper respiratory infections.
"Another homeopathic option is what's called the warming sock treatment. You take a cotton sock get it wet with hot water," Dr. Swanz said.
Then, says Dr. Swan, take the wet sock, put it on with a wool sock over it sleep like this to improve circulation and rid the body of illness.
When it preventing sickness, Dr. Nastraty says the flu shot is the best bet. Even if you get sick it can make your flu less severe.
"It's always best to get it because at least you'll be protected at least you'll get a milder version of it," Dr. Nastraty said.
But Dr. Swanz says nutrition is the key to prevention. He recommends taking vitamin D supplements and a probiotic capsule.
"I think to protect ourselves from the food changes that we experience this time of year, taking a probiotic is one of the first lines of defense I recommend," Dr. Swanz said.
Dr. Swanz also offers the following homeopathic recipe for oxymel:
Oxymel: a mixture of honey, water, vinegar and spice, boiled to a syrup. Use at first sign of cold, flu, or sore throat.
At least 1 bulb of garlic
Apple Cider Vinegar
Peel garlic cloves and cut in half.
Boil garlic in 4 cups of water until translucent.
Remove water from stove.
Add 1/4 cup of honey.
Add 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar.
Drink 1/3 to 1/2 cup, warm liquid two to three times a day, eating at least 2 cloves of the cooked garlic with each serving.
Oxymel may be kept covered in the refrigerator for 4 weeks.