By Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
With the flu season rapidly approaching, we can never be too proactive while taking preventative measures avoiding the ‘bug’ this year. The children are back in school and the weather is changing. The autumnal equinox is a time to reap in the harvest, so we will be sharing some of nature’s best flu remedies as a sign of gratitude. Mother Nature is full of remedies and knowledge is power when it comes to good health. Before getting that next flu shot, consider choosing the alternative route while fighting off the ‘bug’ this flu season.
Our first line of defense is a healthy mindset. Good health and wellness is contingent upon our attitude of gratitude. A sense of well-being begins in the mind. Our thoughts can be our greatest ally during this ongoing saga in the battle of mind over matter. Focusing on the positive boosts our immune system.
In most cases, the body may need assistance while defending itself against those lowered antibodies that accompany every flu season. The change in weather and diminishing sunlight will test the mind, body and spirit as old man winter rushes in, sticks around and often overstays his welcome.
Natural Flu Remedies
A healthy dose of vitamins and minerals can help prevent the flu by flushing toxins and boosting the immune system. They also help fight flu viruses during active infection. Boosting the body’s immune system is crucial during flu season.
Recent studies show that vitamin D3 will greatly reduce the risk of experiencing the flu. I recommend our Diamond Nutritionals brand of Vitamin D3 to support your immune system this Fall!
“Dr. John Cannell, MD, suggests high-dose vitamin D (50,000 IU) be consumed for three days at the first sign of a cold or the flu. If you have an infection, the truth is you need more vitamin D. That’s a given. In other words, vitamin D acts as a natural antibiotic. It works against every type of microbe (viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites).”
Load Up on Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps prevent sickness and is recommended as a daily supplement. “Research has shown that vitamin C taken daily can reduce the symptoms of the flu and shorten its duration. Vitamin C is found in great abundance in citrus fruits, berries and cherries, red peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli. Research showed that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C every six hours effectively relieved, or even prevented, flu symptoms. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of developing a cold by approximately 50 percent. Several forms of vitamin C are now produced that don’t cause digestive discomfort. Look for buffered C or liposomal types.”
To reduce the symptoms of flu and lessen its severity, I recommend a healthy dose of vitamin C. As mentioned, whole fruits and vegetables are a fantastic source of this nutrient, helping to build your immunity during the cold months of the year. Here’s a great product to quickly raise your vitamin C levels.
Natural Antibiotics for Flu
Some bacteria can take advantage of a flu-weakened body by producing infections. Here are my top picks for the best natural treatments to battle bacteria:
Garlic supplements: Due to its antibacterial properties, garlic helps in preventing the spread of opportunistic bacteria during the infection process. The usual dosage is 1600 to 2400 mg daily in four divided doses during meals.
Echinacea supplements: This plant, like garlic, is a good natural antibiotic. It eliminates microorganisms and enhances immunity. The usual dose is about 1000 mg per day divided into 5 daily doses. (Echinacea can cause allergic reactions in some people. Do not take with immune diseases: AIDS, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.).
Supplements of Zinc: Zinc is believed to help shorten the duration of the flu and/or colds. I recommend zinc glycinate. This is a form of chelated zinc. Chelated minerals have a much better rate of absorption and bioavailablity. One 30 mg. soft-gel every four to six hours during the first three days of the flu is recommended. For the rest of the week, one soft-gel every six hours will suffice. Never exceed a total daily dose of 150 mg.
Ginseng supplements: By means of increasing the production of lymphocytes, ginseng provides the body with added protection against the attack of viruses and/or bacteria. Ginseng has been used to treat influenza, and respiratory tract diseases.
Know your Herbs
1) Yarrow: Calming to upset digestion, diaphoretic (producing perspiration) and anti-inflammatory
2) Eyebright: Anti-catarrhal/anti-inflammatory. This herb helps remove excess mucus from the body.
3) Elderberry: Immune stimulating, anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal, and diaphoretic. This all-purpose herb has tough flu-fighting agents.
These herbs can easily be combined or used singly as teas or tinctures. Some are available in pill form as well. For more tips, consider reading Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide.
Bug-Be-Gone Anti-Flu Juice
3 lemons, 1 garlic clove (minced), 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 & 1/2 cups of organic pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon of raw honey. Mix in a blender or shake up in a jar. Drink 1/2 cup per day during flu season or immediately if you are beginning to feel sick.
Better Yet, Keep it Simple!
Diamond Nutritional’s Vira-Calm is widely used for colds and flu. This popular product is used to boost the immune system, especially during cold and flu season.
The above recommendations are based on adult dosages. Please consult your physician for pediatric dosing.