Although it is already February and the last few days have felt like spring, cold and flu season is still in high gear. Every day I hear about another person coming down with the flu, a bad cold, or a sinus infection.
This season can prove to be challenging in many ways:
- The lack of sunshine can lead to feeling down.
- The cold temperatures and infections that are circulating may cause you to stay isolated from friends and fun activities, which can have a direct impact on your immune system.
- The comfort foods we all enjoy and crave this time of year (although not a bad thing in moderation) can cause an imbalance in our digestive system where over 80% of our immune system lives.
For those of you who know me well, I believe strongly in prevention. Our family does not get the flu shot (I know that may cause some of you to shriek in horror – lol) but that doesn’t mean I don’t take a lot of precautions to prevent getting it. I thought I would share some of those things with you. Before I continue, I just want to be clear that this is NOT medical advice, and I highly encourage you to talk with your physician about what the right protocol is for you.
For starters, I take a product known as Influenzinum made by Boiron. It is a homeopathic product (little pellets) that dissolves under your tongue. I take it prophylactically starting in late October and again in February. Our naturopath advised a certain time and dose schedule that I follow.
I also take a daily probiotic that contains at least 25,000 CFU’s. This is important to keep your gut bacteria balanced and working hard for you.
The next product I take regularly is elderberry. This comes in many forms: liquid, gummies, lozenges. It tastes great, so it’s not hard to remember. 😉
As a child and young adult I was prone to upper respiratory infections. My doctor advised me to take NAC (which is the precursor to glutathione – the master anti-oxidant). I know for a fact that this has helped me tremendously.
Next on the list is vitamin D. I take 5,000 iu’s a day during cold and flu season, but often bump it up for a short period of time if I feel I am fighting something. It is a good idea to have your vitamin D levels checked regularly. You don’t want them too low or too high.
I also find zinc to be beneficial in boosting the immune system.
Another powerhouse in my arsenal is echinacea/goldenseal. This comes in liquid and capsule form. I recently added this into my immune defense repertoire and I have definitely noticed a difference.
One of the last, but certainly not least, products is Argentyn 23 colloidal silver. I used this when our son was undergoing chemotherapy treatments and he never developed a mouth sore, which was highly unusual AND I believe it helped him from developing neutropenic fevers. I use it today to give my immune system a boost. I follow a physician’s dosing protocol and it has worked very well.
Some of my favorite essential oils to use for cold and flu season include: lavender, oregano oil, peppermint, eucalyptus, RC, and Thieves.
Now, if I do get the flu (it happens, but thankfully not in many years!) I swear by the product called Oscillococcinum, also by Boiron. Try saying that 3 times fast! It helps tremendously with all flu-related symptoms, especially body aches.
The strength of our immune system is affected by so many other factors – our stress level, our diet, our mindset, our surroundings. So many things are out of our control but there are some things we can manage. Here’s a few more things to consider to help keep your immune system functioning well:
- Get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep a night
- Wash your hands frequently and for a long enough time
- Leave your shoes outside in the garage
- Eat nutritious whole food meals and limit alcohol and sugar (which directly lowers your immune system)
- Move consistently throughout the day (get up from your desk every hour to stretch or walk)
- Stay hydrated
- Diffuse essential oils in your home (Thieves, frankincense, lemon)
- Make time for fun and relaxation
I hope these tips are helpful. My desire is to support you on your health and wellness journey so you create a life you love.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any other immune-supporting tips that work well for you. I’d love to know!
It’s time to get up and move if you’ve been sitting reading this blog. ;
Let’s keep plugging through this season…spring is on it’s way with its promise of hope and new life (my first spring flower finally popped through the ground today)!