/Cold and Flu Season

What to do with the Cold & Flu

Dr. Kathleen Regan is one of the co-founders and naturopathic doctors at Innate Wellness. She works a lot with families and kids. We asked… what are the most common health question from families? Apparently, this is a tough question to answer because families come in for all sorts of things from basic nutrition advice to skin conditions. But, at this time of year, she gets asked a lot of questions about the cold & flu. Read more on our interview with Dr. Regan. Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Can Naturopathic Medicine treat the Cold & Flu? Of course! Cold & flu treatment begins with prevention. This starts with the basics like staying active, eating balanced meals & seasonal foods, dressing appropriately for the weather and keeping stress managed. But when a cold or flu strikes, natural medicine is one of the best options to try first! Why? Most colds and flus are viral in origin – antibiotics don’t work here. But there are many wonderful herbs that have antiviral effects. These can be taken in soups or as teas, tinctures and supplements. Many people don’t know how effective naturopathic medicine can be in these cases so we often see patients after they have tried everything else. I like to remind my patients ahead of flu season to book in for a flu prevention visit or an acute check-in visit when the flu strikes before they try more conventional routes. […]

The Immune System Checklist

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND   Immunity is about harmony between the person and their environment that involves a complex web of interactions including those with other people, culture, food, work, weather…. Everything! One might say that the immune system is about relationships or how the cells of the body relate to the outside world. A person dealing with an immune issue whether it is frequent illness or autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus MUST consider the relationship between their inner world and the outside environment. The Mind-Body-Immune System Connection An increasing body of research supports the idea that the mind and nervous system are capable of modulating immune response. The term ‘psychoneuroimmunology’ comes from the growing understanding that our thoughts, moods and emotions affect our neurological and endocrine systems that affect our immune function. The immune system communicates with our neurological and hormonal systems to activate or inhibit immune function. Physical illness and immune system issues can also affect our mental and emotional well being. This relationship goes both ways.  […]

A Traditional Approach to Winter Wellness

by Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND The change of seasons requires a conscious shift in how eat and care for ourselves in order to support vitality, immunity, metabolism and digestion. As we move from autumn to winter this is even more essential for individuals with colder constitutions and weak digestive systems. Improve Circulation Support Digestion Keep Your Wind Gate Covered Support Your Kidneys […]

By |2015-11-12T12:31:37-05:00November 12th, 2015|Cold and Flu Season, Self Care|0 Comments

Herpes 101: Prevent & Treat Breakouts Naturally

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Did you know that herpes can be worse in the winter? We are talking about both types of herpes - oral & genital. The cold weather places a big burden on the immune system which allows the herpes virus to thrive. The herpes virus lives in the nervous system where it hides from the immune system. But when our immune guard is down (during long, cold winters), the virus emerges. The best way to treat herpes naturally is by supporting the immune system. This will prevent the need for conventional medications during acute breakouts. Below is a summary of up-to-date facts on the virus, dietary tips, as well as chronic & acute naturopathic treatments for the herpes virus.   Herpes FACTS Roughly62% of adolescents are infected with HSV-1 (Oral Herpes) Roughly 25% of the population test positive for HSV-2 (Genital Herpes) Only 10-20% of individuals who test positive by blood have actually had lesions (That means many people don't know they have the virus!) The first episode is usually the most severe and can involve lethargy, fever, headache and swollen glands (especially in the groin) Once exposed the virus will typically take 3-5 days to cause an outbreak (Although, the virus can incubate for much longer) Re-occurring infections are typically less severe The virus incubates in the nervous system where it lives until it is periodically reactivated The virus can 'shed' meaning that it can be transmitted from one person to another even when symptoms aren’t present (this is in 5-10% of infected individuals) The most serious complication from HSV-2 (Genital Herpes) is transmission from mother to her newborn child where the virus is most dangerous (this is often avoided with [...]

Darkness, Rain & Cold. Prevent the Weather from affecting your Health.

by Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Did you know that weather has a huge impact on health? From ‘catching cold’ to winter blues, the fall & winter bring darker hours, damp/cold rain and eventually, dry cold weather that can compromise our health if we aren’t prepared. Understanding seasonal changes is one of the most important steps you can take in cold & flu prevention and in maintaining health all-year long.   Darkness We have evolved with the 24 hour light-dark cycle of our planet. Our exposure to sun and darkness influences all of our biorhythms from temperature regulation to sleep cycle to hormonal balance. Long-dark days are notorious for causing us to sleep longer, feel more fatigued, and ‘out-of-sorts’. Tip#1 There are always beautiful, sunny days in the fall and winter. Get outside during these times and expose yourself to the light. This will help to boost mood and physiological balance. Tip#2 Supplement with adrenal support. The adrenal gland sits on top of the kidneys and is responsible for the secretion of cortisol, which is one of the hormones affected by long-dark days. Depletion or imbalance in cortisol secretion can leave us feeling, tired, and overwhelmed with poor stress tolerance. Taking adrenal support will help to nourish this gland and regulate production of stress hormones helping us to manage our stress better. Tip#3 Supplement with melatonin as the season changes. Sometimes the worst part about change is our inability to adjust. The dark days come and we never really make the natural transition. Taking melatonin before bedtime sends a message to the brain that darkness has come and it is time for sleep. This helps us to achieve a deeper state of sleep where our body [...]

By |2019-04-08T19:51:43-04:00September 7th, 2015|Cold and Flu Season, Nutrition, Self Care|0 Comments

Transition to Fall with Traditional Chinese Medicine

by Matthew Richardson, R.Ac   With summer winding down and the days beginning to get shorter we can all feel fall just around the corner with its cool temperatures and windy days. The seasons in Chinese medicine are not events that are separate from us, but are integrated into our lives along with the internal changes of our mind and body (organ systems, emotional selves and habits we have formed). The change in our external environment reflects our internal changes in health and balance. “In ancient times those people who understood Tao (the way of self cultivation) patterned themselves upon the Yin and the Yang (the two principles in nature) and they lived in harmony” The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine –  approx. 475-221 BC […]

The Immune Boosting Power of Massage

with Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND Why might a naturopathic doctor recommend massage therapy? Most people think of massage for musculoskeletal pain or stress as it has long been known that massage can lower perceived stress, blood pressure and cortisol while regulating vagal tone. But did you know that massage has a hug impact on the immune system? From pre-term infants to immune-compromised adults, research shows that a weekly massage helps to enhance immune function via natural killer cells and lymphocytes. […]

How Will You Prevent The Flu This Season?

With Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND   The immune system is our body’s main system of defense, protecting us from getting sick, as well as aiding our recovery. A holistic approach to flu prevention considers supporting the whole person, which in turn will support and boost the immune system. This approach includes a healthy diet and life style, rest and stress management and therapeutic interventions such as herbal medicine and specific nutrients, when indicated. By improving the health of the whole person we are able to support our ‘natural immunity’, which effectively and safely will prevent the flu and other infections. From a conventional perspective, the flu vaccine has become the primary form of flu prevention that the public and media focus on, although research demonstrates positive effects in a healthy population are small and safety research is poor and inconclusive. […]

By |2019-04-08T19:51:45-04:00February 26th, 2015|Cold and Flu Season|0 Comments

Tips to keep you VITAL and WARM through the winter!

with Dr. Angelina Riopel & Dr. Kathleen Regan Winter is upon us, and all that comes with it…  Beautiful snowy days, winter sports, and cozy evenings by the fire but also, shorter days, dry cold air and cravings for richer comfort foods.   The change of seasons is always a time to reflect and attempt to get in sync with nature and support and prepare yourself, mind and body, for the changes that are to come. Start now with these simple tips from our naturopathic experts to support you inside & out this winter. […]

By |2019-04-08T19:51:46-04:00November 25th, 2014|Cold and Flu Season, Self Care|0 Comments

Ginger and Cinnamon Winter Tonic – Recipe + Health Benefits

By: Andrea Sarjeant, CNP Here’s a great recipe for a winter tonic that will warm you up wherever you take it! If you read Dr. Kathleen’s last post, you know that plenty of warming and immune boosting spices already live in your kitchen cupboard. Here’s a recipe for a steeped tea that you can make with simple ingredients. It will keep you warm and healthy during this cold weather: Ginger is a peripheral circulatory stimulant, which means that it’s great for people with cold hands or feet. Adding ginger to your food or sipping on ginger tea can even increase nutrient absorption. Cinnamon is a warming spice that will help to keep you from getting sick, thanks to its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. And cinnamon can help to boost your mood. Ancient folklore says that the smell of cinnamon helps to ward off the winter blues. Ginger and Cinnamon Winter Tonic In a large mason jar or teapot, combine: 1” piece of ginger, sliced (peel it if it’s not organic) 1 cinnamon stick Honey, maple syrup or stevia to taste (although I don’t find that it needs it) Cover with boiling water and allow to steep until cool enough to drink. You can continue to top up with boiling water for several steeps. Enjoy!

By |2019-04-08T19:52:05-04:00February 3rd, 2014|Cold and Flu Season, Nutrition, Recipes|0 Comments