We are approaching one of the busiest holyday and holiday seasons that often leaves us totally exhausted just thinking about all the excitement and things we must accomplish in a short period of time. We find ourselves running ragged, losing sleep, not eating well or eating more than usual, and putting the ole exercise routine on the back burner just to make it all happen.
This running around oftentimes leaves us feeling puny and vulnerable to the common cold, upper
respiratory infections, sinus conditions, sore throats and flu because our immunity is challenged. Wouldn’t it be sweet if you can get through this season without a cold or flu?
You can. Yes, you read that right…you can! There are several healthy preventive approaches that can protect you from the bugs that like to house themselves in a frantic and weary body. And
for those of you who have been following my website for any length of time, you know I discourage the use of over the counter (OTC) relief medications for several reasons.
Safety is the first reason. Just because TV commercials, newspaper articles, pharmaceutical companies and billboards promise relief, this does not equate to safety. Hormone Replacement
Therapy promised relief too, and we all know the outcome of that story of how women were exposed to more danger than benefit. I know consumers have been using OTC medications for many years without many serious side affects, however, these drugs contain many powerful ingredients that can trigger other problems that consumers ignore because of their desperate need for relief.
Secondly, the safety of drugs today is marginal at best. The FDA is responsible for inspecting all
plants that manufacture drugs and medicine in the United States. The problem is, since 2000, almost 80% of ingredients for US medicines were being produced overseas. This is not to say these ingredients are inferior, however due to the growth in these areas, the FDA has been unable to perform regular inspections which removes them as a third party to evaluate safety measures. It’s risky business to even think about the flu vaccine this season due to the current situation.1.
Thirdly, most consumers reach for antihistamines and decongestants that cause drowsiness, sleeplessness, nervousness, and palpitations. More times than not, consumers use nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Motrin), which have been linked to gastrointestinal and liver damage. Also, acetaminophen (Tylenol), if taken in excess, has been shown to be toxic to the liver.
Why expose yourself to risk if you do not have to? This should be the first question you ask yourself, not to mention that scientific research is clearly reporting that the value of more natural approaches preventing pesky germs and infections provides safer and more effective outcomes.
Prevention and Treatment
There are many things you can do to prevent colds and flu from bringing you down this season before resorting to antibiotics ( which should not be used anyway for colds and flu) or other drugs that leave you feeling gloomy.
Wash your hands frequently and do not dismiss this behavior as insignificant. The more you wash your hands, the less likely your chances are to fall prey this season.
Increase your dosage of vitamin C from 1,000 mgs. to 5,000 mgs. at the first sign of any symptoms. If symptoms persist consume 1,000 mgs. every hour as a preventive measure. Begin to back off if diarrhea occurs, then resume to a comfortable dose. Vitamin C should always be taken especially during this season to increase immunity that fights against viral and bacterial infections. Linus Pauling, Ph.D., the granddaddy of Vitamin C research used 10 grams per day. Yes, that is 10 -1,000 mg capsules daily!
Use a zinc lozenge that contains at least 10 to 20 milligrams of zinc per lozenge, five to eight times a day. Zinc lozenge has shown to speed the time it takes to recover from a cold by about 40%.
Drink plenty of water, tea, hot water with lemon or chicken soup. Research has demonstrated that inhaling soup’s warm vapors loosens thickened mucus, and that sipping hot chicken soup clears congestion and lessens cold symptoms. The soup broth also replenishes the body with fluid, sodium and minerals—substances that are typically lost during illness. These fluids also flush the system that accelerates healing.
Use Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy for flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever, achiness and/or malaise. It will speed up healing or if taken in time, can help you avoid the flu entirely.
Use Olive leaf extract in a dose of 1,000 mgs. three times daily. This extract seems to help fight viral respiratory infection, colds and even yeast infections. Use it at the first sign of symptoms.
Please teach your children to keep their fingers out of their ears! This will greatly reduce the chances of germs nudging their way into the inner-ear where they begin breeding. Once this
happens, these germs travel throughout the body to infect and make us ill. Use hydrogen peroxide. A 3% solution, placed into each ear, starts working within minutes, to killing the flu or cold. German researchers had great success using hydrogen peroxide in dealing with colds and the flu in the 1930’s. Too bad their data has been ignored for over 70 years! It is important to begin treatment as soon as symptoms appear. If treatment is started promptly, effectiveness seems to be in the 80% range.
Take Probiotics regularly. Probiotics are the supplemental form of good bacteria for the gut. These should be taken daily and I suggest everyone taking them for several reasons. Probiotics improve immunity by protecting the intestinal walls which in turn optimize the absorption of nutrients, they produce lactic acid that discourages growth of bad bacteria and they help to break down undigested food. 2.
Consume raw garlic. This is preferable over capsules. Garlic does a lot more than keep your friends away. Before penicillin was discovered, this pungent herb was used to treat infections on the battlefield. Garlic has direct antiviral activity. The best way for quickest results is to mash one or two raw cloves, mix them with a little raw honey and eat them quickly. If this does not suit your palate, crush the garlic in a green leafy salad with vinegar and oil dressing. If neither of these ways are palatable, take one or two garlic capsules 3-4 times per day.
Echinacea is not only good to prevent colds and flu at the first sign, but is useful to decrease the intensity and duration if not caught immediately. This Native American remedy has become the most popular herbal remedy in the US. Laboratory and clinical studies show it activates white blood cells to fight off viruses and bacteria. It’s best used at the first sign, sniffle or scratchy throat. Ask any herbal specialist or pharmacist how to use it best. Don’t be scared off by the drug companies suggesting this herb is worthless. There is entirely too much research to back its claims today.
A ginseng-based cold remedy, COLD-fX (pronounced cold effects) has taken Canada by storm. A recent study says it can help prevent colds, relieve symptoms once you have a cold and cut down the duration of a cold. This herbal remedy has grown from $1.5 million in sales to $33 million in sales in just two years. And now a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says the ginseng extract actually works as a weapon against the common cold. To review the research click here. This is just another example of nature lending its ways to help us remain healthy and prevent illness.
Wellmune WGP®- As of September 2012, nine double-blind clinical studies have been conducted with Wellmune WGP demonstrating positive results in reducing the signs, symptoms, frequency, and duration of upper respiratory infections. WGP mobilizes billions of innate immune cells that are part of the body’s natural defenses without over stimulating the immune system.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is a broad spectrum bactericide, fungicide, antiviral, and anti-parasitic compound. It comes from seeds and pulp of grapefruit and is used by the medical community worldwide to fight infection from parasites, viruses, fungi and bacteria. Needless to say, it is very effective for earaches, sore throats and the flu. It can be found in all health food stores in a liquid form. A study by the Bio Research Laboratories of Redmond, Washington compared chlorine bleach to GSE and found that GSE was superior to chlorine bleach at killing organisms like E. coli and Salmonella typhi. Every home should be equipped with grapefruit seed extract (GSE). 3.
Sambucol Elderberry Extract is a natural remedy with antiviral properties, especially against different strains of influenza virus. It is beneficial in helping to improve the immune system for a multitude of illnesses and diseases. 4.
So here you have it; a plethora of preventive options to choose from if and when you or your loved ones experience the first sign of a cold or flu. Because these options work on building your immune defenses to prevent germs from getting too cozy or to fight off a virus or germ, they remain safe and effective and encourage your body to do the work.
The key as always, is prevention and good healthy behaviors. The truth is that medications and modern medicine won’t cure the cold or flu; they just ease pain and suffering. There’s plenty of evidence that certain foods, nutrients, herbs and supplements can help prevent and fight infections. Ample rest and “TLC” can also make a world of difference too.
1. Institute of Medicine, Assessment of the US Drug Safety System Sept. 5, 2005.
2. American Journal Clinical Nutrition .1981;34:1552-1561
3. “The Authoritative Guide to Grapefruit Seed Extract, “Allan Sachs D.C., C.C.N., LifeRhythm, 1997
4. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2001 Apr-Jun;12(2):290-6.
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