The flu seems to be quite virulent this year. According to the latest statistics, this is considered to be the worst outbreak in a decade, with many flu-associated deaths. What can you do to protect yourself? Whether you are a proponent of the flu shot or not, the following tips will help to keep your immune system strong in 2013.
First…the everyday basics:
1. Wash your hands frequently.
2. Get 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
3. Get frequent, moderate exercise.
4. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of clear water per day.
5. Limit sugar intake.
6. Limit alcohol intake
7. Avoid processed foods and focus on eating nutrient-dense foods (organic vegetables, nuts and seeds, organic hormone-free meats and eggs, fermented vegetables, etc.)
Second…the important additions:
8. Be sure you’re well nourished. To accomplish this, consider taking Catalyn from Standard Process. It supports general nutrition by way of a whole food supplement.
9. Be sure your vitamin D levels are in the optimal range. You can request a blood test next time you visit your doctor. It’s a safe bet to take 4000-5000 IUs per day, especially during the fall, winter and spring. I like to take Premier Research Labs vitamin D3 in olive oil, and have it available for purchase.
10. Take a good quality probiotic. Freshness is important. Buy from a store with good turnover. I prefer brands sold in natural foods stores/coops over those sold in big box stores. Standard Process makes a great product called Prosynbiotic.
11. Take Elderberry tincture or syrup both as a preventative and a treatment for the flu (see below). This is great for kids, because it tastes great!
12. Protect yourself from airborne bacteria and viruses by inhaling antimicrobial essential oils regularly (tea tree, eucalyptus, niaouli, nerolina, to name a few). My recommendation is to either diffuse Niaouli Melablend or use a Breathe inhaler (see below), both from Plant Extracts, International.
13. And, last but not least, GET REGULAR ACUPUNCTURE! Studies have shown that acupuncture promotes the production of T cells in the body, which help to ward off harmful bacteria and viruses. (Neuroscience Letters, 2010)
Many studies have proven the effectiveness of Elderberry to prevent and treat the flu. Two are listed in this article . Elderberry grows throughout our area, and is found in many city parks. Next summer consider collecting some and making a delicious syrup out of it! If you need Elderberry’s healing properties now, I have the tincture available.
Breathe inhalers are handy little things to carry in your pocket. Any time you’re exposed to sickness, unscrew the top and inhale deeply to fight off bacteria or viruses that are on the attack. You can also inhale through your mouth to be sure your whole respiratory track is protected. Red Clover Clinic stocks 5 different inhalers from Plant Extracts International.