Taking medications to treat or prevent cold and flu symptoms does just that: they only address the symptoms. The underlying cause of the illness is still present in your body. What you have done by suppressing the symptoms is ignore your body’s warning signs that something is amiss and your immune system is having to work overtime. The synthetic medications also add to the toxic burden your body already has to deal with every day.
Instead of waiting until you experience these cold and flu symptoms, your best bet is to build up and strengthen your body’s natural defense mechanism–your immune system. If you do still experience cold and flu symptoms, don’t worry. Your body always does the right thing at the right time. A cough means your body needs to rid itself of mucus. A fever means the body needs to raise its temperature to kill a virus. Learn to recognize these symptoms as natural processes of the body.
As I’m sure you know, I definitely do NOT recommend you get a flu shot as a preventative measure for the flu. These vaccines educate your immune system in an improper and unnatural manner and often contain dangerous chemicals and preservatives.
Prevent the Common Cold
There are a number of vitamins, minerals and herbs that will naturally boost your immune system, which will be much more effective at preventing or fighting off a cold or flu. It’s important to remember, though, that herbal supplements should not be taken for an extended period of time.
- Brewer’s yeast contains B vitamins, chromium and protein. It is used for cold, flu and other respiratory tract infections.
- Brewer’s yeast stimulates intestinal enzymes to help relieve diarrhea, fights bacteria in the intestines and improves immune response to viruses that infect the lungs.
- Research has found that Brewer’s yeast reduces the risk of getting a cold or the flu and helps symptoms dissipate more quickly.
- Echinacea acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce bronchial symptoms of cold and flu.
- Echinacea directly attacks yeast and other kinds of fungus.
- Different preparations have different concentrations of Echinacea. Some common preparations and dosages include:
- Tablets containing 6.78 milligrams of Echinacea extract, two tablets 3 times a day.
- 900 milligrams of Echinacea root tincture daily.
- 5-6 cups of Echinacea tea on the first day of symptoms, and then 1 cup a day thereafter.
- The flowers and berries of elderberry is said to boost the immune system, treat flue and relieve sinus pain.
- Elderberry does seem to attack flu viruses and reduce bronchial inflammation. A preliminary study found that it reduced severity and length of flu symptoms when given at the first signs of symptoms.
- Garlic has antibiotic and antibacterial properties. In a recent study, people that took a garlic supplement for 12 weeks got about 60% fewer colds than those who didn’t and recovered faster if they did get a cold.
- The best way to take garlic, aside from adding it liberally to your dishes when you cook, is to swallow a raw clove. You might need to cut it in half if it is too large. Bite down once to release the allicin, then swallow with water like a pill.
- If you find this method too odorous, garlic capsules are fine to take as well.
- Olive leaf is proving to have potent anti-viral properties and is often prescribed for cold and flu. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Vitamins and Minerals
- Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is derived from a naturally-occurring mineral. It may be used to combat a whole host of disorders and works by decreasing acidosis in the body.
- In the early 1900’s, Dr. Volney Cheney found that baking soda helped reduce flu symptoms and greatly reduced the risk of contracting the flu to begin with. He began using bicarbonate of soda to treat colds and flu and found that “in many, many instances, within 36 hours the symptoms would have entirely abated.”
- Cheney also claimed that those who took daily doses of baking soda on his advisement reported that they were among the few that didn’t get the flu when it rampaged through their schools.
- Dr. Walter Bastedo reported that sodium bicarbonate soothes mucous membranes and dissolves thick mucous.
- A number of doctors even advocate the use of baking soda to treat cancer.
- To treat cold or flu, dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda in water 6 times a day at the first day of symptoms, 4 times a day the second, and two times on the third.
- Vitamin C can boost the immune system and reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms.
- Take 1,000mg of Vitamin C daily to ward off a cold or the flu and up to 4,000mg daily when you are experiencing symptoms.
- Vitamin D is produced in the body by sunlight and regulates the expression of over 2,000 genes, including those of the immune system. Recent research has found that low vitamin D levels are linked to higher rates of cold, flu and respiratory infections.
- Many physicians believe that current recommended daily amounts of vitamin D are far too low, and that 2,000 rather than 200-400 units per day is a better choice.
- To treat cold or flu, take 2,000 units per kilogram of body weight once a day for 3 days.
- You can also order home testing kits to test your vitamin D levels.
- Zinc may lessen the symptoms of the cold virus but excessive amounts aren’t good for you. Zinc pills and sprays do not seem to be effective.
- Take 50-100mg of zinc daily to ward off or treat cold and flu symptoms.
- During the 1918 flu epidemic, flu patients that received chiropractic care survived much more readily than those that didn’t.
- Matthew McCoy, chiropractic journal editor says, “These results are not so surprising given what we now know about the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system. We know that chiropractic has beneficial effects on immunoglobulins, B-lymphocytes (white blood cells), pulmonary function and other immune system processes.”
- More recent studies have found that chiropractic care reduced the incidence of colds and flu by 15%.
Drink plenty of fluids
Fluid helps your body to flush bacteria and viruses from your system. Drink approximately half your body weight in ounces daily of either spring water or reverse osmosis filtered water. Green and black teas are potent immune system-boosters and antioxidants.
Restoring the beneficial bacteria in your gut will boost your immune system considerably.
Get Fresh Air
Indoor winter environments can be a source of concentrated toxins and germs. The dry air we inhale as we heat our homes during the winter makes airways more reactive and sensitive to viruses.
An added bonus to time spent outdoors in the winter is the extra bit of sunlight you receive.
Simple relaxation has been found to increase immune system cells. Chronic stress, on the other hand, has been found to increase both the risk and duration of cold and flu substantially.
Pick one or more method of busting stress in your life.