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best way to deal with influenza in Việt Nam

Hi there,

I don't post much but I would like to say thanks to the regulars who do. Your comments and inside information are well received.

That said, does anybody have any advice about the best way to deal with influenza in Việt Nam. Usually I just go and buy some Decolagen and hope for the best. This stuff gets you going OK but I have noticed some side effects, mainly disconnectedness.

Thanks in advance.

You do know that influenza is caused by a virus so ultimately it is defeated (or not) by your body's immune system.  Anything else is just symptomatic relief.

Flu is one of those illnesses that lasts for around two week if left untreated, or around a fortnight if treated properly.
Rest, bed, pain killers if you wish, but there's little else you can do.

Fred :

Flu is one of those illnesses that lasts for around two week if left untreated, or around a fortnight if treated properly.
Rest, bed, pain killers if you wish, but there's little else you can do.

Not being British, I had to look up how long a fortnight was to get the joke.  Good one.  :top:

Oh I dunno, Fred. I have a treatment that will have you back on your feet in about 14 days.

Technically the treatment is called Drinkalotarum.

I recommend Myers rum if you can get it. Drink it with tea, coffee, coke, pepsi, lime juice....Whatever.

My special recipe for toddy:

Large glug o' rum in a beer glass, add the juice of half a lemon, add half a teaspoon of powdered ginger, add a dessertspoon of honey (good Vietnam wild honey, not the imported rubbish), add a clove if you are a masochist, add a pinch of mixed spice and top up with hot water.

Drink whilst hot.

repeat several times per day during the coming days.

You can also drink this every day as a prophylactic against most known  illnesses.

It doesn't work but it feels good.

..as any Knight in a Fort will tell you...

@eodmatt

Your recipe is a cure all for most ailments....  :thanks:

Hot curries, the sort that are so hot you need a fire extinguisher for your mouth when you eat it.
They do nothing for the flu, but the endorphins make you feel good and  act as natural pain relief.
Tastes good as well, especially the northern Indian stuff.

Fred :

Hot curries, the sort that are so hot you need a fire extinguisher for your mouth when you eat it.
They do nothing for the flu, but the endorphins make you feel good and  act as natural pain relief.
Tastes good as well, especially the northern Indian stuff.

Interesting you should say that. I also find that a good hot curry helps with colds and flu and it also clears the sinuses effectively too.

My wife shakes her head whenever I get stuck into a good curry as she hates curry. Which is odd when you consider that Vietnamese people do eat some hot stuff - she being no exception, will gnaw on a raw chilli whilst eating pork or beef.

I have yet to find a decent curry in Saigon - blazing hot but with lots of flavour, one where you have to put the toilet roll in the fridge for the morning.

A bowl of hot Pho Bo (beef noodle soup) with plenty of lemon and chilli added to it, taken once or twice a day.
This Pho Bo is one of my all time favourites here in VN  and it really works for me when I am down with flu.
As for medication, I prefer Penadol (green pack, orange tablets) over Decolagen.

eodmatt :
Fred :

Hot curries, the sort that are so hot you need a fire extinguisher for your mouth when you eat it..

Interesting you should say that. I also find that a good hot curry helps with colds and flu and it also clears the sinuses effectively too.
one where you have to put the toilet roll in the fridge for the morning.

I'm serious.
The curry sorts out the sinuses, the pain releases endorphins that null the aches and produce a 'high', and the 'toilet effect' clears out your system. Add the unadulterated pleasure of the taste, and you have a winner.

As with you, I have yet to find a top Indian curry where I live; the ones I've tried so far being weak versions of the excellent stuff we get in England.

senwl :

A bowl of hot Pho Bo (beef noodle soup) with plenty of lemon and chilli added to it, taken once or twice a day.
This Pho Bo is one of my all time favourites here in VN  and it really works for me when I am down with flu.
As for medication, I prefer Penadol (green pack, orange tablets) over Decolagen.

There are some places around HCMC that make and sell black chicken soup. It's made from, well, black chickens. I mean that the skin and meat is black. My wife made some for me when I had a very bad cold last year and it did perk me up (and the chilli and lemon helped).

Not for nothing is chicken soup known as Jewish Penicillin!

Fred :
eodmatt :
Fred :

Hot curries, the sort that are so hot you need a fire extinguisher for your mouth when you eat it..

Interesting you should say that. I also find that a good hot curry helps with colds and flu and it also clears the sinuses effectively too.
one where you have to put the toilet roll in the fridge for the morning.

I'm serious.
The curry sorts out the sinuses, the pain releases endorphins that null the aches and produce a 'high', and the 'toilet effect' clears out your system. Add the unadulterated pleasure of the taste, and you have a winner.

As with you, I have yet to find a top Indian curry where I live; the ones I've tried so far being weak versions of the excellent stuff we get in England.

Oh I know, I swear by curry, much to my wifes disdain: "why you like that stuff it stink too much"

I make my own regularly, with Sharwoods curry powder from An Am store - why oh why wont they get anything other than "medium" curry powder in? I find that if I add a good bit of Thai red curry paste, it improves the flavour of Sharwoods medium curry powder quite a lot.

And my favourite is lamb curry, made with a couple of frozen Australian lamb hocks from Metro.

Hmmm I think I'll make a curry for dinner tonight.

eodmatt :

There are some places around HCMC that make and sell black chicken soup. It's made from, well, black chickens. I mean that the skin and meat is black. My wife made some for me when I had a very bad cold last year and it did perk me up (and the chilli and lemon helped).

In fact black chicken soup (also known as herbal chicken soup) is an age-old Chinese recipe with restorative properties. Really good when you are sick and weak.
I tried this soup a couple of times while in China (south). Although not quite appealing to one's eyes, it tasted much like normal chicken soup with a strong flavour of ginger and some sort of Chinese berries, herbs and spices.
I have noticed black chicken (meat) in a few shop windows here in HCM. May give it a try one day to see how the soup tastes in Vietnam.

Moving away from curries (much as I love them), tiger balm is really handy when you have flu.
It doesn't cure anything, but it loosens up the sinuses, making you feel a little better.

Not forgetting that smelly green oil. Or as I call it, Troi Oil!

I always put chilli paste in my underwear..its doesn't cure the flu but it certainly takes my mind off it....

And guess what?

This morning I woke up with a hacking cough, hot and cold shivers, blinding headache, snotty nose, muscle pains.....

Curry for lunch I think.

I’m surprised that such a simple question has generated such a wealth of information, thanks for all of it. I’ve always wanted the SP on those black chickens (already knew about the chicken and the egg). Up until now I always thought they were just a bit dark about something, what with this being VN and all. So I’ll have to think of another random question to see what other useful information I can get.

Hey eodmatt, as your in the throes of it this may help. Years ago I read a story about how during one of the WW#'s, when the Russian and German forces were having a face off Russian military doctors were telling soldiers who had caught the flu to inhale steam from plain boiled water into their nasal passages to kill/weaken the virus as soon as it appeared. On the German side this strategy was not used and the story reported that casualties from influenza were far greater on the German side.

With this information at hand I began to see if it really worked and I have to say that yes it does. Just boil some water in a pot and (unlike Sid Vicious), remove from stove before inhaling steam that is as hot as is bearable deep into the nasal tract. Back home I added some Eucalyptus but here I use, to borrow your local jargon, smelly green Trời Ơi. It’s not the most pleasant thing you will do in your life and (unlike Sid) you have to be careful  but if you act quickly enough you will be pleasantly surprised when you wake up the next morning. Repeat twice a day for a couple of days.

As for medication, I'll try some Penadol, but I have found an alternative to Decolagen called ATUSSIN which has less side effects for the same end result.

Finally, it sounds like it might actually increase dizziness, but the toddy recipe sounds great as an every day prophylactic.

Thanks BB but I think that the cold or whatever it is has a firm grip of me now. I'll give the hot water treatment a go though.

The flu is easing a bit - no doubt due to inhaling steam, to which my lovely wife added a little fresh ginger.  But the prob I have now is severe back which makes walking almost impossible. It feels like someone has hit me in the base of the spine with a sledge hammer.

Yes, I've been down that road a few times, but many years ago. During a life the average (Western???) human will most probably experience 4/5+ lower back catastrophes, if they are lucky. It's why the chiropractors open up shop.

So far back now I can only remember by calling it up I went through a few of these experiences and for me the only remedy I found was lower back muscle strengthening.

I stumbled upon this by accident when, during my less curious years (+ sidelined by a female), I was a Postie in you know where. Daily I carried a back pack full of mail and, after some time, and to my surprise, I realised that the back dramas I been previously tortured by had disappeared completely.

From that time to date, despite all of my other sins, I have always tried to focus on staying flexible. I'm not a fan of exercise so I just do other things, here you can get a good workout cleaning a tile floor, but you can't use a mop, you have to get down there with a cloth, get back up again to rinse it off and do the next bit, by the time the floor is spotless you have achieved a workout, the fact that you can probably eat your dinner off the floor is a bonus.

Daily I ride a bicycle, but that can be a problem depending on where you are located, but I’m intentionally lucky. Where I am is flat and I have a geared bike that makes me work hard to go fast so everything is getting a workout. The heat’s a problem but you are never as hot as you would be if you walked the same distance. Choosing a bicycle as your preferred method of transport can change your life, especially here in VN, but you have to be in a place where you can do it....OK I will shut up about this stuff.

So, after you recover from this 'event' you have to set your mind to doing something that will stop it from happening again, they even wrote a song about it, it goes something like this...

‘Bend and stretch, reach for the stars, there goes Jupiter , here comes Mars’...etc. (or is it the other way around, who knows?)

Sorry, I’m one of those ‘pretend’ teachers that all of the ‘real’ teachers get so upset about and right now I’m ‘smack dab’ (whatever the f’ that means) in the middle of it so it’s hard to escape some of the more popular tunes.

PS: You don’t have to laugh at any of my jokes.

Life goes on, regardless of all, let all of us be happy...and fit.

eodmatt :

The flu is easing a bit - no doubt due to inhaling steam, to which my lovely wife added a little fresh ginger.  But the prob I have now is severe back which makes walking almost impossible. It feels like someone has hit me in the base of the spine with a sledge hammer.

Avoid sleeping on soft mattress .
How about taking a gentle hot stone massage in a good SPA?
I always find a good hot stone massage quite rejuvenating and it genuinely kills fatigue, stiffness and body aches.
I heard it's good for chronic back pain as well.
Well, first you should consult your physician to see if hot-stone is OK for you.

The steam treatment is very effective. I usually put one Karvol Plus capsule in the hot water and inhale the steam. It gives fast relief from ENT congestion.

I walk 5km every morning but without the mail sack, but my beer gut compensates.

Cant write any more as in extreme pain.

Later chaps.

most of the time the flu starts in the throat and then moves to the head where it is at its worst. the trick is to catch and kill it whilst it is just taking hold in your throat. to do this try gargling warm to hot salty water 4 times a day. this cleans the throat so the flu virus cannot grow there making it easier for your immune system to kill it. I also take a spoonful of coconut oil each day and a small 65ml bottle of probiotic yogurt which you can find in the supermarkets. the coconut oil is known to kill viruses in your gut.  also try not to over exert and stress yourself out and wash your hands when you get home :)

Are you asking how NOT to get, or to treat? In HCM Diamond Plaza Medical as well as many others I am sure offer the flu shot. I get it every year and have never had a flu.

Paracetamol (painkiller and reduces fever) or Efferalgan Codeine (paracrtamol and codeine) if the pain is severe.

Do not take antiobiotics - they only work against bacteria and not viruses.

Drink plenty of water.

pilotadamp :

Paracetamol (painkiller and reduces fever) or Efferalgan Codeine (paracrtamol and codeine) if the pain is severe.

Do not take antiobiotics - they only work against bacteria and not viruses.

Drink plenty of water.

I always take antibiotics because if I don't, a bout of flu is invariably  immediately followed by a bacterial chest infection.

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