by Dr. Brooke Azie-Rentz
The holidays have come and gone and Spring is in the air, but the cold and flu season is going full steam ahead, and it is bad this year. Here at Alpine Integrated Medicine, we believe that prevention is the best medicine, but sometimes that is not enough. Here are some tips and tricks to prevent illness and also some of our favorite supplements to use if you succumb.
- Diet. Consider eliminating sugar and dairy, which are immune hindering and mucous producing. Support the immune system by increasing leafy greens, berries, and including high quality proteins and fats with every meal. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the invaders out.
- Probiotics. Keeping the gut healthy by populating it with good bacteria can prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria. In addition, it can help better prepare your GI system if you do need antibiotics.
- Vitamin D. It is dark here in WA, we suggest dosing year round, not just in the dark fall/winter months. We tend to dose on the high side at AIM while monitoring blood levels, but upping your dose acutely when you are feeling sick can boost your immune system.
- Minimize spread. Wash hands thoroughly, maintain surfaces/toys with anti-microbial cleaning solution (Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar and 60 drops of tea tree essential oil in a spray bottle), and wash fabrics (especially pillowcases) that may be contaminated in 140 degree Fahrenheit water. Remember that flu and cold viruses can survive on hard surfaces for approximately 24 hours.
Remedies to try at home:
- Sambucus or Elderberry is a safe but potent anti-viral that has been effectively used for centuries to treat colds and flus.
- Vitamin C. Research has found this well-known antioxidant to decrease severity and duration of virus symptoms. Take in divided doses to bowel tolerance.
- Oscillococcinum. This homeopathic remedy has been found to temporarily relieve flu-like symptoms in all ages. Dose ½ to one tube under the tongue every six hours up to three times daily.
- Honey. One of nature’s best remedies. Either 1 tsp melted directly in mouth or in a tea like throat coat or gypsy cold care, can help calm that nagging cough.
Other Immunity-Boosting Supplements and treatments available at AIM
Of course, there are many other herbs and supplements that we use here at AIM, including IV therapy treatments, but these get a little more intense and should only be started under the consult of a physician as some treatments include very high doses of vitamins for short periods of time that would otherwise be liver toxic, herbs that maybe you haven’t tried before and may have an allergic reaction too, or maybe you are too sick for Naturopathic intervention and really need an antibiotic. Whatever your ailment is and whatever it needs, here at AIM we have a variety of ways to get you feeling back to your healthy self and hopefully even more ideas of how to help you stay that way!