As summer comes to an end and flu season starts, Dr. Doni Wilson advises on natural approaches to protecting yourself against those nasty winter viruses.
Autumn is here and that means cold and flu season has started. This means we’re all more likely to get exposed to viruses that can make us feel awful for a week or more, and make us susceptible to bacterial infections as well. Meanwhile, while taking antibiotics and steroids (which are commonly prescribed for these infections) can help in the short term, they can lead to more health issues later on. So anything you can do to help you fight off infections without the need for antibiotics or steroids, the better it will be for your long-term health. I’d like to help you accomplish that goal.
Here are the 5 steps to help you fight cold and flu naturally – starting with prevention.
Step 1: Boost Your Immune System
As a naturopathic doctor, my belief is that the best thing you can do to help yourself stay well and avoid catching viruses in the first place is get your immune system working as well as possible. This will enable your body to fight off infections for you.
This process can take time – anywhere from a few weeks to several months – so you may as well get started now. If I had to give you an overall strategy based on the research and my experience, it would involve the four most important daily “CARE” activities:
Exercise at your own speed
These are the four key elements of healing and the more you do them, the better you’ll be able to fight off any type of infection. For help with getting started, check out the 7 and 21 day Stress Remedy Programs I have designed to help you. If you’d like to individualize your plan, then a one-on-one consultation is best so we can test for your food sensitivities to find out which foods you should avoid, and test your cortisol and neurotransmitter levels to find out exactly how stress has affected your health.
Step 2: Know What to Expect
When patients come in and tell me they keep catching colds or other infections and want to know what they can do, I tell them six things (at least):
Step 3: Follow My “Fight Off a Virus Quick” Instructions
If, despite of following the first two steps, you do succumb to a virus, these three things will help you recover as quickly as possible:
Step 4: Start Taking Supplements Right Away
I recommend stocking up on these supplements so you have them to hand and can start taking them as soon as you notice you’ve caught a virus:
An all-in-one nutrient and herbal combo product that I’ve counted on for over 15 years to help me and my patients fight off infections. Recently reformulated, there are minor differences in this tried and true product containing vitamin A, C, zinc, echinacea, bio-flavonoids, and garlic. Take 1 or 2 capsules every 4 to 6 hours through the day (up to 8 per day in divided doses). You can also take 1 or 2 capsules prior to a flight or for prevention.
A natural bioflavonoid-based anti-histamine, which helps both with allergies and congestion associated with colds. Take 1 or 2 capsules every 4 to 6 hours through the day (up to 8 per day in divided doses).
Triple Flu Defense
The most comprehensive homeopathic remedy for fending off cold and flu viruses is reformulated each year to make it specific to the current virus strain. For prevention, you can take 10-20 drops weekly. For when you’re actually sick, you can take it multiple times per day.
Mushroom extracts are known to provide immense support to the immune system, in particular to help it fight off viruses. Take one capsule once or twice daily – both for prevention and when you get sick. There is also a mushroom extract in a throat spray form that can be useful as well (log in at DrDoniStore.com to find these).
Vital for calcium absorption, we get vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Considering that light exposure is lower in the fall and winter, it is probably a good idea to supplement our intake at this time of year (unless you live near the equator). Vitamin D also supports immune function. 5000 iu per day is a standard dose, but it is better to have your vitamin D levels tested in your blood to know where you stand and how much you need to take every day. The optimal blood level of 25 OH vitamin D is 70.
As long as you are not pregnant or don’t have liver disease, then taking vitamin A can make all the difference when it comes to fighting off infections. I suggest you take between 10,000 iu and 25,000 iu per day. If you work with me directly, I may guide you to take a higher dose for a short period of time in order to address the infection effectively.
“Probiotics” refers to supplements containing bacteria that are good for your gut. about how gut health influences your overall health and immune system here.
Additional Immune Support
You may also consider these other supplements, all of which support immune function and help you fight off infections:
- Olive leaf extract
- Oregano oil
- Colostrum – plain or vanilla
- Larch arabinogalactan (ARA6)
For children, or if you can’t take capsules, I recommend Respiguard liquid and Immune Glycerite liquid, plus you could also add Liposomal Vitamin C, Berry Well Immune, and arabinogalatan (ARA6) powder.
Of course, if you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients in these products, or if the ingredients are contraindicated based on a medical condition, don’t take them – we can always find alternatives.
Step 5: What to Do if it Becomes Bacterial
If you notice green or yellow phlegm when you blow your nose or cough it means bacteria have become part of the infection. Now it’s good time to see your health practitioner, so that you can devise a plan to address your specific situation.
In my practice, two supplements I commonly recommend for a bacterial infection are:
- BerberCap or Berberine-500 comes from a plant and is highly anti-bacterial. You need to start taking this at the lowest dose and start increasing it bit by bit to determine the effective dose for you.
- Argentyn 23 is a nano-particle form of silver that is known to safely and effectively boost immune function and fend off viral and bacterial infections. It can be taken orally or as a nasal spray for sinus infections.
But again, seek help from a professional at this point. If you don’t have a practitioner, I can meet with you individually to support you through fighting off the bacteria using nutrients and herbs and working to address the underlying reason why you are susceptible to infections in the first place. Find out more about scheduling an appointment here.
It’s Time to Put Yourself First
The best way to fight off an infection is to focus on yourself – at least for a little while. Many of my patients resist this, which we can all understand. We’re busy, with demands from our families and our jobs. But making a concerted effort to give your body the best food, nutrients, herbs, hydration, and sleep gives it a chance to help you recover.
If you’re not seeing progress, it means we need to up our game a bit or to investigate whether there is something we are missing. So if you are not getting better, schedule an appointment with your naturopathic doctor or at urgent care right away.
Are You Ready to Fight Infections Naturally?
Do you think that we can make a commitment to try decreasing the use of antibiotics this fall and winter? I’d love to give it a try because I believe it is possible. What about you? The better you get at fighting off infections naturally, the more confident you’ll feel in your body – and the better prepared you’ll be for exposure to viruses and bacteria in the future.
Let me know how you feel about it – and remember to go at your own pace. What’s right for you is not necessarily what’s right for someone else. Just be logical, be optimistic, and be careful. Pay attention to what you body is telling you – and always seek help from a practitioner if you are not sure of something.
To find any of the products mentioned in this article (and more), go to DrDoniStore.com and search under the health concern for cold and flu. Also, look in the packages where you’ll find discounted rates for what I refer to as your “natural medicine cabinet.”
And – I’m running a special from Sept 28th thru Oct 15th! You can get 20% off anything in the cold/flu category at DrDoniStore.com.
Be sure to set up an account at DrDoniStore.com in order to access all products and if you’d like to set up an auto shipment so that your favorite products arrive on schedule without you having to do anything, and with a discount.
To stay in touch and receive my next article in your email box, feel free to sign up for my e-newsletter here. I’ll also send you a quick guide to recovering from stress for free.
28th September 2016
*Please keep in mind that any and all supplements—nutrients, herbs, enzymes, or other—should be used with caution. My recommendation is that you seek the care of a naturopathic doctor (with a doctorate degree from a federally-accredited program) and that you have a primary care physician or practitioner whom you can contact to help you with individual dosing and protocols. If you ever experience negative symptoms after taking a product, stop taking it immediately and contact your doctor right away.
Read more here:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DrDoni/~3/x2A46mSJvqo/