Supporting your immune system
To support your immune system this fall, stock your fridge with fresh ginger, lemons, shitake mushrooms, garlic and lots of orange and yellow vegetables. The most important nutrients for the immune system are Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and zinc. Vitamin C is found in peppers, kiwis, and oranges. Vitamin A is found in orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots, squash and sweet potatoes. Zinc is found in red meat and chicken.
To boost your immunity a great cold and flu tea is as follows:
Take fresh ginger root and cut off a two inch piece. Peel the ginger and grate the ginger into a saucepan. Cut three slices of fresh lemon. Cut off the peel and throw the lemon in the saucepan. Add six cups of water and bring to a boil. When it’s boiling, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for the next ten minutes. This is a great tea which has antiviral properties because of the ginger. The addition of the lemon makes the tea more alkaline which shifts your pH to one that is more health promoting.
Feed a cold but starve a fever. If you have a fever, listen to your body and only consume clear fluids until the fever comes down in temperature.
If you find you have frequent colds, take 1000 mg Vitamin C daily through the fall and winter months. If you feel like you are coming down with something (sore throat, fever), I would take 1000 mg every hour until you are feeling better. This will often prevent an infection. If you dose until the point of diarrhea, then you have gone too far. Everyone has a level of bowel tolerance; if you get diarrhea from dosing Vitamin C then you have reached saturation of the tissues. Because Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin you cannot overdose; you will just get diarrhea if you take too much. Talk to your naturopath before you take Vitamin C if you are on conventional medications.
Homeopathic medicines are very effective to prevent flu. Mucococcinum, a clinically proven homeopathic preparation, formulated to stimulate the body’s own defenses in order to combat all types of influenza. It is prepared with homeopathic dilutions of the worst flu epidemics of the 20th century. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have shown mucococcinum is 88% effective in the prevention of any flu type. Dose one tablet every 2 weeks for the entire cold and flu season (late fall, winter and early spring). See me for more information on Mucococcinum.
Belladonna 30c is another good homeopathic remedy to have on hand. Take 5 pellets when you have a high fever and sore throat away from food and drink; dose five pellets every 20 minutes if necessary. If after 3 doses, you notice no improvement, then stop dosing. Stop dosing once you notice any improvement, even if it is slight.
Herbal medicines to boost immunity include Echinacea, Cold Fx, oil of oregano or cat’s claw tincture. Don’t use the same antiviral all the time; your body will get used to it and it will not be as effective. I recommend rotating antivirals every ten days if you are around people who are sick or you cannot afford to get sick yourself.
Basic hygiene is so important as well. Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. Sing happy birthday to yourself to determine the amount of time needed to get rid of germs. Do not touch your nose, eyes, mouth as you go about your day. Get adequate sleep (at least 6.5 hours) and exercise daily for at least 30 minutes unless you are under the weather. Drink enough water (your urine is pale yellow or clear). Think good thoughts! People who are more optimistic tend to have stronger immunity.