For those of you that know me, you know that my entire family was struck by this "mega-flu" bug that is traveling the US right now. I did my normal prevention, hydration, extra vitamin C and zinc, eating my greens, and getting lots of sleep, but I still succumbed.
My hope for you is that you are still well and rested, and ready to take steps to keep you from falling victim to the virus. Thanks to Dr. Cory Reddish, here are some natural tips on keeping you well in 2013.
1. Wash your hands. No brainer, right? 20 seconds with soap and then rinse. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes, with dirty hands as this is how viral particles are spread. Avoid or limit contact with people who are sick or might have been exposed to the flu.
Used effectively in Europe for decades, this homeopathic remedy provides a whopping 88% effectiveness rate for preventing the flu- no matter what strain is going around! No flu vaccine is even coming closeto that. And, it's super simple: Take 1 tablet every other week from October to March.
You can also take it to treat flu symptoms-clinical evidence also shows it has an 82% efficacy rate. And while it sounds similar, it is not the same as over-the-counter Oscillococcinum.
3. Take a probiotic or include fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchee daily. Healthy gut bugs=healthy immune system
4. Avoid eating mucous forming foods: peanuts, oranges, dairy, sugar, bananas, red meat and alcohol.
5. Load up on all things green: green leafy vegetables, green juices, wheatgrass, and sprouts. These high energy foods alkalize to help your body resist infection. And drink green tea! A 2011 study showed a group taking green tea had a 69% lower incidence of flu vs. placebo group.
6. Boost immune function by supplementing with Vitamin D or Cod Liver Oil with Vitamin D. It is an essential winter immune support staple.
7. If you tend to have a weak immune system, or catch everything going around, try a formula called Thymic Formula. It is the bomb. It can be taken as an immune support multivitamin daily, or increased as needed if you start to get sick. (Please note: it is not vegetarian)
8. Have your medicine cabinet stocked with remedies that will help with the flu. I like Muccocinum, Acute Immune Formula, Flu Buster, and IM-Encaps. Look for remedies with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and zinc. Additionally, I like to have a cough elixir and sore throat formula on hand. I take Yin Chao Chinese formula at the first sign of a cold or flu.
9. Catch up on extra sleep.
10. Eliminate or cut down on sugar.
11. Give up alcohol and coffee for a while. These substances tax your liver. Did you know that the liver plays an important role in immune function?
12. Hydrate! Mix 1/4 tsp of baking soda in water and drink it once a day. This helps alkalize the body, which helps it fight infection. Make sure you are drinking at least 8 cups of water/day minimum. Avoid ice water and sip herbal teas.
13. Give yourself a hot foot bath at the first signs of getting sick.
- Soak feet in hot water while wrapped in a warm wool blanket. Put a cold cloth on your head ( very important!) and relax while you sit in a comfortable position for 10-15 minutes. Take care to avoid getting chilled after this treatment. Great to stimulate the immune system, decrease congestion and help with headaches.
14. Engage in stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation, hiking, deep breathing, fun, play, sex and creative endeavors. Stress decreases immune function, and there are so many supportive things you can do to protect yourself and stay healthy!
Dr. Cory Reddish has been in practice as a licensed naturopathic doctor since 1998 and is a purveyor of all things good, healthy and fun. She has a certified green business, specializes in cleansing and clinical detoxification, and teaches her Essential Cleanse Program locally and virtually across the country. Find her at www.drcory.com.