Natural Approaches to Cold and Flu
Since it’s officially cold and flu season, I thought I’d share my best tips for preventing and reducing the length and severity of cold and flu. I don’t get sick nearly as much as I used to since starting my Myers Detox, but when I do get sick – albeit rarely – these are my natural approaches to fighting off the cold and flu!
These are my best preventive strategies and natural approaches to cold and flu. These are the natural remedies I have come to depend on to stop viral replication or to ease symptoms of a cold or flu. Here are some of my “secret weapons” that I’ve used for years to recover as quickly as possible. Click on the link to each name to find my favorite brand of each product. There are a million more natural remedies, but I think this is enough to get you well 🙂
- Immunity support formula. Get everything you need in one supplement. Innate Response Immune Response provides powerful immune-supportive ingredients such as vitamin C, Vitamin D3, zinc, and a special proprietary blend of phytonutrients. Take it at the very first sign of wanting increased immune support. It contains all the immune support ingredients one needs to fight infections like colds, flu or any other type of infection: Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Arabinogalactan, Reishi and mattock mushroom and Astragalus.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to reduce the length of a cold. It also helps the immune system battle the infection. I love Innate Response’s food based vitamin C. Dosage: 2000mg a day.
- Vitamin A. You need about 20,000 IU vitamin A a day during an infection. Dosage: 20,000 IU a day. I like to get vitamin A from cod liver oil as well. It’s a great whole food source of Vitamin A.
- Vitamin D3. Vitamin D plays a powerful immunoregulatory role. For most people, cod liver oil should be enough to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. However, some people require higher doses of vitamin D. If you think you have the flu (high fever, body aches, respiratory symptoms, cough, congestion, runny nose), then take 25,000 IU of Vitamin D3 at the first signs of fever or flu-like symptoms. Repeat this dose daily for 3 days. Normally, you only want to take 5,000 IU a day.
- Zinc. Research suggests that zinc can reduce the duration and severity of a cold. Dosage: 60mg a day.
- Black Elderberry. This high antioxidant fruit extract has one of the highest anti-viral properties in nature. It actually prevents viruses from spreading from cell to cell. In studies that looked at its efficacy against influenza strains A & B, Elderberry was found to shorten the duration of the flu from the typical 7 days to 4 days. That’s 3 days less of flu-like symptoms! Dosage: 3000mg a day.
- Colloidal silver. Colloidal Silver is considered to be the universal antibiotic substance that is non-toxic to humans in micro-concentrations. There is no known disease-causing organism that can live in the presence of the chemical element of metallic silver. Based on laboratory tests with Colloidal Silver, destructive bacteria, virus and fungus are killed within minutes of contact. You can also sniff colloidal silver into your sinuses for infection in the sinuses. This works amazingly to clear mucus. Just put a small amount in the palm of your hand, hold up to one nostril and breathe in through your nose, then repeat on the other nostril. You can also buy colloidal silver in nasal spray bottles. Dosage: Adults take 3 Tablespoons per day between meals. Do this for 7 days in a row only; do not take colloidal silver more than 7 days. Children can take proportionally less (an adult weight is 120+ pounds, so a 60-pound child can take 1.5 Tablespoons daily).
- Selenium. Selenium inhibits viral replication. Selenium is a trace mineral that the body incorporates into proteins to make over 25 different selenoproteins (like the enzyme glutathione peroxidase). Most people are selenium deficient today. In fact, researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill found that when influenza viruses pass through bodies deficient in selenium they can mutate into more damaging forms. (4)
- Garlic. I always eat tons of garlic, but when a family member is sick I increase my consumption. And it has the added bonus of giving me fresh breath! Not only is it effective at killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, but it can kill a virus in a jiffy! Garlic must be fresh to give you optimal health benefits though. The fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called allinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin. Allicin rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds that will be killing your infection. So to “activate” garlic’s medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, chop it up and add to food or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice. The active ingredient, allicin, is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless. Dosage: a single clove or two a day is usually sufficient.
Fever can occur and is a normal part of the body’s immune response. A fever of 103 or below is not a danger to the body. This is a necessary response to kill an infection. Use cool cloths on the head as needed for comfort. You can try putting the person in body temperature bath water (98.6 degrees) to bring down fever. A fever over 103 should be dealt with immediately. Seek medical attention if you are unable to reduce a fever over 103.
Honey is a time-honored cough remedy, and recent research suggests that it may be as effective as medicinal cough suppressants. (3) I love Manuka honey to soothe a cough and sore throat. The honey soothes and coats your throat while the powerful antimicrobials in the honey are killing pathogens. Brilliant.
One of the best remedies for a cough is steam. The steam helps to break down mucus so that the lungs can expel it. You may use a tea kettle, pan, or a hot shower. Doing this multiple times per day is usually best. A humidifier may also be helpful. You may also use natural cough drops for the relief of a cough and sore throat like Zand.
A single infrared sauna lamp aimed at the lungs (upper chest and upper back) can be very helpful for a cough.
A sore throat
I love all natural throat lozenges by Zand. I’ll skip the Halls, thank you! Zand all natural throat drops contain natural ingredients like eucalyptus leaf, horehound herb, hyssop herb, licorice root, mullein leaf, peppermint leaf, brown rice syrup, sage leaf, slippery elm bark, and thyme leaf. You can also make your own natural throat drops with this recipe by the Wellness Mama.
Ginger tea with lemon is anti-microbial and can help with nausea and G.I. upset that comes with certain strains of flu. Lemon is a good natural source of vitamin C, and has a soothing quality on a sore throat – especially when combined with honey.
Avoid Toxic Over-the-counter Cold and Flu Medications
Toxic cold and flu remedies include drugstore items such as medicated decongestants and NyQuil. Remember that these are full of toxic chemicals. Most work by inhibiting the immune response. Taking a medication that inhibits your immune response may prolong the length of a viral infection. A runny nose and fever is the immune system at work. So it is best to let these things run their course if possible.
Short frequent infrared sauna sessions induce a “faux” fever and kill viruses. Heat also helps to prevent viruses from replicating. If you have a sauna, use it frequently to help disable the viruses. When fighting infection, one should do short saunas (10-15 minutes each) up to 5 or 6 times per day. I have found these very helpful with colds and flu to shorten the duration of infection.
A single heat lamp is also very helpful. It can be aimed at the throat, lungs, ears, and sinuses for relief and to kill an infection. You may use a single heat lamp anywhere on the body for up to 1 hour per use. If using on the sinuses or anywhere on the head, limited to 10 minutes per use. You may use the single heat lamp multiple times per day.
Avoid the foods that tend to weaken the immune system, such as sugar, unprepared grains, industrial seed oils and processed and refined foods. Eat lightly and stay hydrated. Easy-to-digest foods are best such as soups, meat, and cooked vegetables. Homemade broth is best. Homemade bone broth is rich with easily absorbable minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and trace minerals difficult to obtain elsewhere.
Coffee enemas help to clear out all the dead debris the liver has to process when the immune system is killing pathogens. These are great to do while fighting off the flu. Fighting infection creates a lot of debris in the body that has to be processed by the liver. Coffee enemas aid the liver in cleansing the body of these toxic residues.
Here’s to getting through cold and flu season unscathed! And be sure to stay away from others out of courtesy. According to the CDC, a person can be contagious for up to 7 days after symptoms of the flu begin (even longer for children). (2) Get well soon!
Click Here for References+
1.”Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 26.11 (1973): 1180-184. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Web. 18 Mar. 2015. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract
2.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “How Flu Spreads.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Mar. 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm
3.Paul, IM, et al. “Effect of Honey, Dextromethorphan, and No Treatment on Nocturnal Cough and Sleep Quality for Coughing Children and Their Parents.” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 161.12 (n.d.): 1140-146. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Dec. 2007. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18056558
4.Beck, Melinda, and Heather Nelson. “Selenium Deficiency Increases the Pathology of an Influenza Virus Infection.” The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 15.8 (2007): 1481-483. The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. June 2007. Web. 18 Mar. 2015. http://www.fasebj.org/content/15/8/1481