By Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND
This is the time of year that many of my patients ask about cold & flu prevention. With the holidays on the horizon the pace of life, pressure and late nights are increasing, which can increase your chances of getting sick. There is a lot that you can do to help defend yourself from getting sick and if you do get sick, help to lessen the duration and severity of the symptoms.
There are two categories to address when it comes to cold’s & flu’s:
1) Prevention is the stage that we keep the immune system strong in order to prevent getting sick.
2) Acute Care is the stage that you have the opportunity to nip it in the bud and avoid a long, drawn-out illness! We begin treatment at the first sign of getting sick.
For those with a healthy immune system, you would begin to support your immune system during cold and flu season – spring and fall. For those with a depleted immune system and a tendency to get sick all the time, preventative care should be considered year round. Keeping the immune system strong is the key to prevention and lessening the effects and duration of a cold and flu.
- Follow a whole food, low inflammatory diet
- Consume 7-10 servings of vegetables and fruit per day
- Consume protein with your meals
- Avoid excessive amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates (baked goodies, breads and pastas) Choose whole grains, beans and legumes.
- Avoid or limit dairy consumption. Dairy increases inflammation and mucous in the body and respiratory system.
- Keep hydrated with clean water, herbal teas, vegetable juice
- Limit alcohol and coffee intake
MANAGE STRESS RESPONSE
Stress lowers the immune system and affects sleep which will make you more susceptible to getting sick
Muccococcinum is a homeopathic remedy that can be taken during cold and flu season to prevent the getting sick. If the flu does come on you can take it acutely to lessen the symptoms and decrease the duration of the illness.
Try: UNDA Muccococcinum
Herbal Remedies. There are a number of herbs as well as formulationsthat help keep the immune system strong and fight off colds and flus. ‘Deep Immune Activation’ is a formula that we love and find very effective, containing both herbs and mushrooms.
Try: Innate Wellness Immune Activation or St. Francis Deep Immune
Medicinal mushrooms are very helpful at strengthening the immune system and in cold and flu prevention. They can be taken as a supplement, in a tincture or as a hot drink.
Try: Innate Wellness Chaga blend or NFH Mushroom Blend.
The old saying goes: “Starve a fever, feed a cold”. The idea here is that when the body is fighting an infection, it needs more energy. Digesting requires a lot of energy and that is why people are often not hungry when they are sick. It is important to listen to the body! The individual may not want food, and that can be beneficial, but hydration is very important, especially with a fever.
Avoid sugar & dairy
- Sugar weakens the immune system
- Dairy creates mucus in the respiratory system, so it can increase the symptoms of a cold & flu.
- Bone broth soup
- Vegetable juice
- Nutritive tea including nettle, alf alpha, chamomile
- Immune Boosting Concoction:
- A couple of slices of ginger – diced
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- ½ lemon juiced (if organic wash and throw on the rind)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Steep in 3 cups of boiling water or simmer for 10-15 minutes
Herbal remedies are a very important “first defense” as they help improve the body’s immune reaction to the offending virus.
Try: Innate Wellness First Defense or Innate Wellness Botanicals Cold & Flu Tea or St. Francis Echinaceal
Zinc lozenges help to improve the local immune response. Viruses typically invade through mucous membranes. Most commonly the nose, eyes and mouth and zinc lozenges will help to improve the immune response of the local tissue.
Try: Douglas Labs Zinc Lozenge
Gargle. A gargle of warm sea salt water, herbal tincture or Listerine (yellow!) again helps to fight the infection locally in the throat and will help to lessen swelling and irritation.
Try: Innate Wellness Throat Gargle or Listerine
PreOrder your supplements packages ahead of time with us and receive 15% off.
- Herbal Tincture 250 ml
- Unda Muccoccinum
- Chaga Blend or NFH Mushroom Blend
Acute Care Package
- Herbal Tincture 250 ml
- Douglas Labs Zinc Lozenge
- Viriditas gargle or NFH Ascorbatate
- Innate Wellness Botanicals Cold & Flu Tea