by Kim Kelly, ND, MPH

What can we do to strengthen our health so we won’t be sidelined by that nagging cold or debilitating flu?  We’re seeing local pharmacies with their ads promoting flu shots as a way to get through this “flu season”.  There are natural ways one can take to strengthen the immune system, without the having the side-effects one can get from the flu shot.  Listed are some key tips to boost that immune system. 

 Myer’s cocktail IV Push:  This contains a blend of vitamins and minerals that is administered intravenously.  There is 100% absorption as it bypasses the gut.  Some people call this the Turbo Charge.  It can be used as prevention or treatment of a cold or flu or just a nice boost to keep up with your heavy schedule.  Good maintenance schedule is monthly and if fighting a cold or flu, then every week until symptoms improve. 

 Herbs:  Some of my favorite herbs to use during the cold/flu season are:

  • Elderberry extract or syrups have been clinically proven to help get over colds and flu and offers significant protection against respiratory viral infections.  And, it tastes good!   
  • Astragalus has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties and stimulates the immune system.  It also has especially been shown to help with the immune system when one is undergoing a lot of stress.
  • Echinacea works best when taken at the very initial onset of a cold or flu. 

 Homeopathy:   I list my two favorite remedies but there are also several other homeopathic remedies used to help fight colds/flu. 

  • Oscillococcinum –  is a remedy known for preventing colds and flu’s.  They are tiny pellets that you dissolve under your tongue.  If you feel any symptoms of a cold/flu, it is important to take it the first few hours of onset.  For prevention, take 1 capful 2x/day (AM and PM) away from food.  When feeling any symptom of cold/flu, take the whole vial every 12 hours. 
  • Muco-coccinum – is a remedy known for preventing and treating colds and flu.  For prevention take 1 tablet under tongue every 2 weeks.  If develop symptoms of cold/flu, take 1 tablet under tongue 3x/day. 

 Diet/Lifestyle:

It goes without saying the importance of diet to keep our immune system in check.  Did you know that a few grams of sugar can destroy your white blood cells’ ability to resist infection for several hours!  So with that said, minimize your sugar intake.  Instead, try taking some more onions, garlic, ginger as these have strong immune boosting properties.  It’s not just to scare away the scary vampires. 

 Exercise:  Walking a mile or two a day can help keep the doctor away.  It doesn’t have to be everyday but try for at least three times a week.  Walking moves the lymph, enhances blood circulation and helps the mind to de-stress. 

 De-stress:  They say angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.  Well, let’s also try and do the same and de-stress by getting enough sleep, exercising, meditation/yoga and being less critical of others and ourselves.