It’s Flu and Cold Season Again; What Do You Need to Know to Fight Flu and Cold Season Naturally!
Runny nose, body aches, coughs, fatigue, sinus issues, stuffy nose, congestion, headaches. Sound familiar. As it gets colder, the “aachoo” season has started! Though we need to keep our kids as healthy as possible all the time, this is a time to really ramp up their healthy habits to keep their immune system ready to attack the bad guys to keep them out!
How do we keep our families from going through boxes of tissues and lots of sick days? Our immune system is responsible for keep our bodies healthy. It makes sense that to stay healthy, we must optimize our immune system to keep sickness out!
Now the question is, how? And what to do if we do get sick? Don’t worry, your body was built to fight off infections if you treat it well. Remember to always focus on the foundations of good health:
Optimize Digestive Health
Gut Health and Nutrition
Keeping the microbiome healthy is key to healing chronic disease and preventing acute disease. – Tweet this!
Detoxification during the Flu and Cold season is key. – Tweet this!
Stress leads to a lowered immune system, so make sure to incorporate a stress management technique into your daily routine to keep damaging hormones at bay and keep your army healthy.
I love meditation and abdominal breathing. Exercise is also important to keep your immune system awake and ready. – Tweet this!
Keep sleep a priority. During sleep we can remove all the bad stuff and fix what needs to be fixed. One can seriously heal and prevent illness in their sleep! What’s better than that!
Keep people in your life that will love you and lift you up. Love heals!
Gratitude is so important! Gratitude keeps your body working properly and improves your immune system! Say 10 things every morning that you are thankful for! So easy, right?
Additional Integrative Tools
Prevent, Prevent, Prevent
Including the above, one must hand-wash, cover your sneeze and everything else that will prevent one from transmitting viruses to another person, including wiping down surfaces, and staying home when you are sick. Gargling with warm water with some sea salt can really get rid of whatever bad guys are hanging out in your mouth and throat (I will also even add a probiotic into the mix for extra benefit).
Vitamin D3 (5000iu per day, children 1000iu per day). I love vitamin D!!!! Research has shown that low vitamin D levels are linked to higher rates of respiratory illnesses. High dose vitamin D3 can be used to get rid of the virus (7). I have my patients keep their vitamin D between 50-70 ng/ml- so it is important to get your levels checked.
Fish Oil (1-2 grams of EPA/DHA per day). Fish oil can maintain wintertime immunity.
Vitamin C (Take 1000mg 3-4 times per day, children 1gm per day) Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and acts as a natural antihistamine to help tame inflammation and swollen membranes. Vitamin C has been shown to increase glutathione (a super antioxidant) in human lymphocytes (8) and decreases the incidence of upper respiratory infections in athletes (9).
Echinacea (1000mg 2-3 times per day) Echinacea is a powerful antiviral. Don’t use for more than 2-3 weeks at a time (10).
Zinc (50-100mg daily, excessive amounts are not good for you) Zinc has antiviral effect and supports the immune system. (11,12). Zinc is needed for gene regulation and the functioning of white blood cells.
Garlic (prevention: 1 capsule per day, first sign of infection take 4-6 capsules daily for a period of one week). I love to use garlic!!! This is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Other Antivirals Olive leaf extract (two 500mg, 4 times per day with meals) (13), grapefruit extract and elderberry extract (10ml daily). cordyceps and mushrooms extracts have provided immune supporting properties. Oregano oil (14) has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are so many “homeopathics” out there that can help. Cold calm for colds, occillococinum for flus, sinusalia for sinus issues and sabidil for allergies (15).
Lavender reduces inflammation and helps to calm anxiety. Peppermint (16) and frankincense essential oils can be applied on the neck and bottom of the feet can support the immune system. Clove oil has amazing antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and can protect the body against infections and speed recovery from flu (17).
Massage Large intestine 4.
Chiropractic care for flu prevention can help to boost immune system (18).
Let’s Talk Fever
A fever is so scary, but did you know that meds that lower the fever could be fueling our flu. but before we run to treat it with meds, let’s examine what it really means. Your body gets hot as it tries to fight inflection, as it creates an inhospitable environment for bad bugs in you or your child’s body. The best approach to deal with a fever is to support the immune system and keep your child and you comfortable with plenty of rest and lukewarm baths. Remember suppressing the fever increases the amount of the influenza flu virus a person sheds and prolongs the duration of the shedding (so they stay contagious for longer!) and increase the transmission rate leading to larger epidemics with greater morbidity and mortality!!! (19)
Always Talk to Your PCP
Fevers in newborns, immunosuppressed kids, and children with over 104 Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius) can indicate dangerous infections and severe illness. If your child (or you) appears severely ill with (or without) a high fever, trust your instincts and reach out for medical care immediately.
See how simple that is! There is so much hope! The key is to optimize our immune system.
RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Cost-and Time-Effective Steps to Optimize Your Health!
Taking Your Life Back,
Madiha Saeed, MD ABIHM
Holistic Mom, MD
Now This Is Your Turn: When you feel that “something is coming on”, what do you do to optimize your immune system? Please, post your comments below.
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I am a practicing family physician and an integrative holistic family physician, in Illinois!My book “The Holistic Rx: Your Guide to Healing Chronic Inflammation and Disease” was #1 new release in 4 categories and a best seller on Amazon, all before the official launch.The book has since been picked up by medical schools. We are changing the face of medicine!!!I’m the director of education at Documenting Hope - a national organization dedicated to heal chronic disease in children, a writer for Holistic Primary Care and a proud mother of 4 holistically-raised boys (who share their healthy habits on YouTube). On social media I'm HolisticMomMD . I speak nation wide igniting the world with my energy and passion to start a healing revolution! I have appeared on the Thriving Child Summit and I am the featured speaker for many more summits including the Shift Network's Winter of Wellness 2018 Summit – the most prestigious holistic online event (www.winterofwellness.com). I will be the featured guest on multiple episodes of the Emmy nominated medical lifestyle show Ask Dr. Nandi speaking on parenting and healing chronic illness.