The weather outside is delightful…but soon it will be frightful!
Andrea’s Cold and Flu Arsenal
NOW IS THE TIME TO STOCK YOUR HERBAL MEDICINE CABINET
Don’t let the media hype get you nervous. Be pro-active rather than reactive. No one knows for sure whether the coming season will be a bad flu season or not. What I do know is that I am not taking any flu vaccines and will, instead, protect myself with the following immune system supports. Some are preventatives, some prevent as well as treat, and others are used just when symptoms arise.
I’ve never taken a flu vaccine because
- it’s not guaranteed to prevent me from getting the flu (because the flu vaccine is made long before the actual flu strain of the season is even known) and
- the flu vaccine is prepared in a base of substances I’d rather not take into my body and have challenge my immune system.
So what do I do? I prepare for the season with what I call my Cold and Flu Arsenal and bring it out at the first sign that ‘something’s coming. My Arsenal consists of the following antimicrobial substances:
Echinacea: This is the first medicinal herbal I go for. It must be in the liquid, alcohol extract form (even for children…Echinacea is water AND alcohol soluble so taking it in tablets, capsules, teas or in glycerin extracts is not potent enough).
- Take 1/2 teaspoon diluted in a little water (actually I just take a swig right from the bottle!) every 2 hours.
- I even keep a dose next to my bedside for when I wake up during the night.
- In some circles, I’m known as the Echinacea Lady…I make a potent extract (a large 4oz bottle is $20 and has a long shelf life).
- If you catch “it” in time, you can totally avoid symptoms.
- If symptoms develop, continue taking the Echinacea every 2 hours for a day or two, then 1 tsp – 3 times a day for a few days to diminish duration and severity of symptoms.
For children’s dosing, see my book, Gentle Healing for Baby and Child.
Vitamin C: I take this concurrently with Echinacea as it enhances the action of Echinacea.
- I take 1000mg every 2 hours to bowel tolerance. That means you know you’ve taken too much when it causes diarrhea. That never happens to me because when I’m feeling like I’m about to get sick my body needs lots more Vitamin C than it normally does.
Probiotics: These are the bacterial cultures that help keep beneficial bacteria (the good guys) active in your intestines. It is often said that the health of the body relies upon the health of the intestinal tract.
- Dose according to bottle instructions – take 2-3 times a day, making the last dose at bedtime so it can work in your intestines unimpeded throughout the night.
- I prefer Food Science’s Megaprobiotic-ND. It’s non-dairy, shelf stable and does not require refrigeration, making it easy to travel with. Also, it contains FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) which stimulate immune function in the intestinal tract.
- As soon as I’m feeling a bit “off” I always increase my Megaprobiotic intake to 3 capsules – 3 times a day…it acts quickly and the brain of your immune system resides in your intestines.
Mucococcinum: This is not the “Oscillo” product you see in health food stores. This comes from Canada and is a homeopathic cold/flu preventative as well as treatment, while the Oscillo is just a treatment.
- You dissolve 1 tablet in your mouth every 2 weeks during flu season (November to April).
- If you feel you are coming down with cold/flu, take a tablet 2-3 times a day for a day or two (1/2 tablet for children).
- I’ve been using it for many years, think it’s a terrific product and always take it with me when traveling.
- Since it is a homeopathic remedy, be sure to take it at least 20 minutes away from food, other remedies and water.
Sinus Plus: An herbal decongestant great for sinus congestion/stuffy noses. If colds tend to wind up in the ears for you or your children, take this at the first sign of a cold.
- One dropper, diluted in a little water or juice, 3 times a day until symptoms are relieved.
- This is part of my traveling arsenal. As soon as I board a plane, I take a dose of Sinus Plus, a dose of Echinacea and a Mucococcinum. If I am traveling for longer than 2 hours, I repeat the Sinus Plus and Echinacea doses.
- If sinus symptoms persist, I add Xlear, a sinus spray I purchase in the health food store.
Nutriferon: A great immune enhancer. Stimulates production of interferon in the body. Good for people whose stress tends to make them prone to getting sick more often.
- If your immune function tends to be weak, take 1-2 tablets once or twice a day during winter months. Otherwise, take when needed.
Goldenseal: This is a potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It is not taken for more than 10 days at a time. It can also be used as a gargle for a sore throat.
- A dropperful, diluted in a little water or juice can be taken 3-4 times a day.
Lung & Bronchial Formula: Contains anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory herbs for lungs and bronchials.
- 1 dropper, diluted in a little water or juice, 3 times a day, as needed.
Garlic: This is a great anti-everything.
- You can chop up a fresh clove or two, spread a piece of toast with olive oil and have health-promoting garlic bread. Most kids will be happy with antimicrobial garlic bread as their “medicine”.
- Or, you can take it in deodorized tablets…my preference is the product made by Nature’s Way: Garlicin.
Dr. Christopher’s Immune Formula: a great anti-everything and high in garlic so it could be used instead of the garlic mentioned above. Tastes like salad dressing (due to its apple cider vinegar content) and can be put in food or diluted in water or juice.
- For an adult, a teaspoon 2-3 times a day, ½ that dose for children. Can be taken every few hours, if needed. Great for relieving diarrhea.
Vitamin D3: Long recognized for its role in calcium metabolism and bone health, musculoskeletal issues and chronic low back pain, some doctors believe that Vitamin D3 is a better preventative than a flu shot and safer since the supplement doesn’t contain toxic elements found in vaccines (like aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, etc). Vitamin D3 acts as an immune system modulator, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. How much to take? Most people generate 10,000-20,000 IU of Vitamin D after about 30 minutes of summer sun. Needless to say we’re not getting that exposure in the fall/winter/spring. It’s hard to know how much is exactly enough during the winter season unless you have your Vitamin D levels tested. I take 2000IU, twice a day, as I have seen that recommended as an effective dose and it does maintain my D level when tested.
Dandelion Root: Perhaps overindulgence has stressed your liver?
- A dropperful twice a day can help cleanse it.
Last note for immune protection: if you are on your cell phone a lot, consider affixing a Ray Away to it…a tiny chip attached to the phone that diverts radiation away from the brain and strengthens your energy field while using the phone. On muscle testing, it is clearly seen how holding the phone weakens your field but when a Ray Away is affixed, your field remains strong. Studies unequivocally show how the health of your body weakens when the field is weakened.
See why I call it an Arsenal? Vigilance is key – if you want to be in charge of your wellness and stay healthy you’ve got to:
- be educated
- be prepared
- be vigilant
- be tuned into your body so you are aware when you are feeling ‘off’.
If you need help in locating any of the above please don’t hesitate to contact me.
You can email me for pricing and to create your personalized herbal arsenal.
Do share these important findings with everyone you know. It’s a blessing to be able to help one another.
Until next time…stay healthy, think peace, be love and see love in everyone!
About Andrea Candee, MH, MSC
Andrea Candee is a master herbalist for over 25 years with a consultation practice in South Salem, NY. She lectures throughout the country and at corporate wellness centers about taking charge of your health naturally. Media expert and author, her award-winning book, Gentle Healing for Baby and Child (Simon & Schuster), received The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. Andrea is noted nationally for her unique and successful approach to Lyme Disease and works with clients and their pets anywhere in the country.