Katy Beth Boyers / Arts and Life Editor
With flu season just around the corner, it is important for students to take precautionary steps to protect themselves from getting sick.
Most students go for over-the-counter medicines or supplements to help fight bacterial infections and illnesses. First-year pharmacy student Kayla Dendy said that vitamin C gummies and drinking hot liquids help.
However, Samford University junior biology major Abby Tanko believed that some over-the-counter supplements are not that helpful.
“A lot of over-the-counter herbal supplements are usually no better than placebos,” Tanko said.
Tanko recommended drinking lots of water, washing hands, and getting sleep will help boost the immune system and fight off infections.
Along with medicine and supplements available in retail stores, there are also some homemade remedies that have claimed to help fight off viral and bacterial infections.
Dr. Debra Rose Wilson listed some natural antibiotics including honey and oregano essential oil.
“Certain plant extracts, essential oils, and even foods have antibiotic properties. For example, some food and vegetable extracts can prevent the growth of bacteria in food,” Wilson said in an article.
These natural antibiotics can help, but Wilson warned that people should only take antibiotics only if it is necessary.
“Taking antibiotics for the sake of taking antibiotics can lead your body to build up a resistance to the medication,” said Wilson.
According to “Harvard Health Publishing,” it is important to have a healthy lifestyle as we continue to get older.
“As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer,” Harvard stated.
A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating fruits and vegetables, washing hands and minimizing stress. These tips will help build up the immune system according to Harvard Health.
“Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy,”stated Harvard health.
According to Harvard Health, these are the natural ways to help strengthen one’s immune system. While there are vitamins and other medicines that are said to help strengthen the immune system, Harvard Health stated that it is unsure if these supplements actually help the immune system at all.
“Scientists don’t know, for example, whether an herb that seems to raise the levels of antibodies in the blood is actually doing anything beneficial for overall immunity,” Harvard Health said.
While it may be unsure of what specific antibiotics or supplements help or not, many agree it is important for people to stay healthy by eating fruits and vegetables, get enough sleep and exercise regularly.