ginger tea

Tips and Tricks to Fight Cold and Flu Season

It's that time of year again when we start to worry about getting sick with the coming colder months. There are viruses and infections we hear about on the news and the common cold is starting to get passed around again. Yuck! 

Fear not my friends! There are several things you can do to help boost your immune system and avoid those nasty germs. Here are a few:

Immune Boosting Tips

  • First and foremost, wash your hands often with soap and water. 
  • Eat your greens - Focusing on a healthy diet with good quality protein and colourful fruits and veggies provides an abundance of helpful nutrients to fight any infection and support your body's immune system. Try to focus on soups and warm foods and nothing cold and damp, such a dairy, as these can increase phlegm. 
  • Anti-sugar - A high sugar diet will spike the body's stress hormone, cortisol, and ultimately block your body's natural immune defenses. 
  • Ginger tea - An easy root to have on hand to sooth your stomach, ease muscle tension, while fighting the infection. Simply use fresh ginger slices and steep in hot water. 
  • Probiotics - About 70% of your immune system is in your gut, called GALT - gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Therefore, improving your digestion will indirectly improve your immune system. Probiotics provides the "good" bacteria that can be out of balance in our digestion systems.
  • Vitamin C - This vitamin can be found in many foods such as oranges, kiwi, and even in your slice of lemon in the morning. High doses at the onset of a cold is ideal to kick out those nasty bugs. 
  • Vitamin D - Not only does this vitamin improve your mood in the dreary winter, it helps stimulate your immune system as well. Around 3000 IU is a safe but effective dose. 
  • Andrographis - An herb that works both as a preventative and treatment. It can be found on its own or in an immune combination at your local health food store. One of my favourite supplements is Can-Prev's Cold-Pro, which includes Andrographis, as well as Reishi mushroom and Astragalus, both immune tonics. 
  • Individualized teas - I love making teas in my practice since you can make them specific for the individuals symptoms. Catnip or Bonset are two herbs I would think to include for flu symptoms such as fever and achy bones.  

Immune Boosting Shot

Another helpful option is an all-natural immune injection that I do at my clinic. It is a combination of two homeopathic formulas, which are gentle and safe for everyone, with no added fillers or preservatives. The formula includes herbs such as Echinacea to boost your immune system and other herbs to move lymph and pathogens out. It can be done in conjunction with the flu shot or in replace of. It is suggested once or twice a year if you are healthy, or once a month for those with weak immune systems, who tend to get sick often. Finally, it can be done as soon as the first signs and symptoms of flu appear. 

For specific dosing and other immune boosting options, see your local Naturopath.

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen