Even in pre-pandemic times, flu season could be troublesome and sometimes deadly. Here are my preventatives (and treatment) for flu and also Covid. I have treated many Covid cases the last two years; the current strains are less deadly but more contagious.
In the fall and winter our immune systems are tested! Slowing down and paying attention to your body’s signals will help you weather the storm. Over the years I have developed what I call “lines of defense” for maintaining health.
I take vitamin C (1,000mg) and zinc (50mg -1x/day) starting in the fall. Also, one of the simplest – and cheapest - things you can do if you have a tickle in your throat is GARGLE with warm salt water (with a pinch of turmeric.)
Echinacea must be taken on a regular basis throughout the season to be effective, so it is a preventative taken well in advance. Source Naturals has a good Wellness Formula that includes echinacea.
Here are the 3 types of strategies for winter wellness:
Cold Calm (Boiron): when you feel a cold coming on take this immediately, 3x a day. If anyone in the household is sick, everyone else should start taking this 1 or 2x/day.
Oscillococcinum (Boiron): This remedy is like the flu shot in that it targets several strains of flu emerging in any particular season. Take this IMMEDIATELY when you notice symptoms; I find it works best at the onset rather than later.
Yin Chao: Whenever I feel something starting in my throat, I go to this Chinese herbal combination, and it stops most illnesses in their tracks.
I like the Plum Flower Chinese brand (best to chew a little, although at my house we call the taste "mummy dust.") Other good brands are Planetary Herbals, Health Concerns and Cold Snap in capsules and tablets (avoiding the yucky taste.)
Turmeric: A powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and much more. This herb is now well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but for illness it’s taken in larger doses – 500mg 3x/day. This is more for flu than colds.
3) Essential Oils:
I use blends from Young Living oils for my winter kit: Thieves, Raven, RC, and Immunpower (there are similar blends/brands available from other companies.) Immunpower is a basic immunity boosting oil; I add Raven or RC for respiratory distress, and Theives for hard core flu. Put a few drops on your wrists, apply to lymph nodes behind ears and take a few deep breaths of it. It can also be applied directly to the chest and throat.
These are my personal recommendations and practices (note I am not an herbalist, MD or homeopath.) I hope they will help you stay healthy!
Remember that we used to "hibernate" during the winter - but in modern times we just move the show indoors. If all else fails, you must really NEED to spend a few days in bed. It’s nature’s way of forcing you to take care. So don’t push yourself, because sadly we are not out of the woods yet with Covid.
The best prevention we have for Covid is the VACCINE (if you have any pre-existing conditions speak with your doctor.) It provides 90% immunity which wanes over six months to approximately 60%. Getting Covid gives you natural immunity starting at around 60% and waning over the next three months to a minimal level (these are the latest stats, always changing as the scientific data grows.) Omicron brought with it more breakthrough infections, and you can even have more than one. Still, your illness will be milder if you are vaccinated.
I have never been a big proponent of the flu shot, although I think I will get it this year. My opinion is DON'T get both vaccines at the same time; give your body a break of at least a week or two in between.
Covid tests, particularly home tests, are not that reliable these days. I believe it’s because our ”viral load” is smaller. Many people test negative while feeling sick and then test positive when they are getting better! This is because the viral load had to increase to be detected.
With a virulent flu season predicted and more indoor activity, it’s time to put our masks back on in enclosed situations with many people (sigh).
Still, do enjoy yourself! Being social and having fun is a powerful antidote - and immune booster - anytime.
Peace, love and healing -