A COMBINATION of natural remedies and medical treatments is the best way to beat the flu in winter, according to Booval pharmacist Benjamin Tri.
Mr Tri, who works at Good Price Pharmacy, said cold and flu season begins in Ipswich as early as March and can last as late as August.
"The natural approach is really good at helping to prevent things whereas the medication we have is primarily to treat existing conditions," he said.
"Obviously, we want to stop sickness before it happens.
"You want to make your immune system really strong, focusing on zinc and vitamin C."
Good Price Pharmacy Booval vitamins consultant Jenny Tran agreed. She said staff specialising in natural medicines were on ready to offer people helpful advice this cold and flu season.
"People should also help boost their immune system with vitamin C, horseradish and garlic," Ms Tran said.
"If you are missing those nutrients in the body, vitamins help boost those.
"If they want to go more the natural way, vitamins are a healthier choice I would say.
"They can help prevent a cold and then if they do get cold and flu, it won't be as severe."
Both the vitamin specialist and pharmacist said flu shots were vital to keeping Ipswich as healthy as possible this winter.
"The flu shots I would recommend definitely," she said.
"Again, some people may still get sick but it will be less severe
Mr Tri said during the cooler months "every second person" would come in with cold or flu symptoms.
"It increases a lot at this time of year," he said.
"The flu doesn't discriminate, anyone can get it.
"The people most at risk will be people with a weak immune system, as well as older and very young people."
The Booval pharmacist said the flu shot was important not only for individuals but also for the health of those vulnerable members of the community.
"We do recommend the flu shot. The flu is ever-evolving and just because you didn't get the strain from last year, doesn't mean you won't get it this year," Mr Tri said.
"There are people in the community who can't get the flu shot like young children or those getting cancer treatment so the more who get the flu shot help protect thosewho can't, too."
Mr Tri also revealed how those working in the medical field avoided getting sick themselves.
"We do all the hand-washing measures. We get our flu shots early on and that helps get rid of a lot of risk," he said.
"We also keep up our immune systems with vitamin C and lots of water.
"A lot of people don't realise how easily you can become sick when you're dehydrated."
He said many people in Ipswich were hit hard by cold and flu season with a number of residents having respiratory issues.
"The main thing in Ipswich is a lot of people get respiratory issues. Ipswich has a history of coal and factories and a lot of people also have asthma," he said.
"So having the flu does make those things a lot worse.
"People should be aware of hygiene.
"They should make sure they cough into their sleeve or shoulder, not their hands, because that can contaminate surfaces."
Common myths naturopaths hear:
1. You need to cut out gluten to lose weight
"Gluten is a buzzword and some people are sensitive. There is no evidence that cutting out gluten will make someone lose weight."
2. Naturopaths will make you change your diet
"Yes and no. Life is about balance. For example, if you are having heartburn, cutting down alcohol is beneficial. Your diet will be adjusted more than changed."
3. I can't see both a naturopath and a doctor
"Why not both? Traditional medicine is a wonderful thing but so is modern medicine. The majority of people who suffer from chronic disorders use both."
4. Naturopaths are not as qualified as doctors
"Some naturopaths have studied a doctorate in naturopathy so they still have the qualification - it simply means you are specialised in your field."
5. Treatments done by naturopaths aren't as effective as doctors
"I believe using both traditional medicine and modern medicine is greatly beneficial to treating any health issue. Most people do it now by using honey and lemon tea with cold and flu medicine."
- Good Price Pharmacy naturopath Brooke Pagel
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