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Oct 7, 2013

How to Stave off Colds, Flus, and Infections

Steps You can Take to Boost Your Immunity

When you first feel yourself becoming sick, there are things you can do to avoid becoming ill or to shorten the duration of illness. These suggestions are especially helpful if you do them as early as possible. They will help you fend off flus, colds, or minor infections. 90% of common colds are due to viral infections. Please note that antibiotics are not effective against viruses. The reason they are prescribed is when a secondary bacterial infection is likely or is dangerous to a particular patient. Call a physician if your symptoms become severe. 

Eat Very Lightly or Not at All 

With most illnesses, the appetite is diminished. This is a natural response of the body. Energy is needed to fight off the "bug" and the body doesn't have energy to process food. Give your digestive tract a rest!

Get Rest as Soon as Possible

Many people ignore the early warning signs of illness and keep working until they "drop". you will take longer to heal if you allow the illness to get a foothold. If you feel a sore throat, headache, congestion, etc., coming on, take it easy. If possible, take a day off from work. This may prevent you from having to take three days off later on.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

This standard advice is good advice. You can clear the toxins from a "bug" out of your system with large amounts of filtered water and herb teas. Fruit juices are not good choices as they have a high concentration of sugars in them. If you do choose to drink juices, dilute them by using half (filtered) water and half juice.

Take Immunity-Boosting Supplements & Homeopathics

- Vitamin C: Take 500 mg every 3-4 hours with a small amount of food. Cut back on dosage if stools become loose or if you experience gas and cramping.
- Vitamin A: Take 10,000 IU 3 times daily. Women who are pregnant should not take high doses of vitamin A as the fetus can be affected. Consult your physician for recommended dosages and signs of toxicity.
- Zinc: Take 30-50mg once daily with small amount of food. This can be continued for 1-2 weeks without depleting copper stores.
- Bioflavanois: Take 1 gram per day.
- Oscillococcinum: Homeopathic remedy. Take 6 pellets every 6 hours at the first onset of flu or cold symptoms. take away from food.

*These are adult dosages. Consult your physician regarding dosages for infants and children or if you have other conditions affecting your health.

Take Immunity-Enhancing Herbs

Dosages depend on the form in which they are taken (tincture, raw plant, solid extract, etc.). For teas (3-5 sups/day), tinctures (30 drops 4x/day), or in freeze-dried capsules (2 capsules 4x/day). 
- Astragalus
- Echinacea purperea ( purple cone flower )
- Glycyrrhiza glabra ( Licorice )
- Hydrastis canadensis ( Goldenseal ) *also considered to have anti-microbial properties which can affect against bacterial infections
- Commiphora Myrrh ( Myrrh )
- Trifolium praetens ( Red Clover )
- Ligusticum ( Osha )

Home Hydrotherapy Treatment

Hot Foot Bath: Soak feet in hot water while wrapped in a warm wool blanket. Put a cold sloth on your head and relax while you sit in a comfortable position for 10-15 minutes. Take care to avoid getting chilled after this treatment.

Throat or Chest Compress

Warm the throat or chest with a warm washcloth or hot shower. Dry skin thoroughly and apply a thin cotton wrap (to throat) or thin cotton t-shirt (to chest) that has been soaked in cold water and wrung out. Cover with wool scarf or sweater and go to bed this way. By morning, coverings with be dry- this treatment increases circulation and increases while blood cell activity.

Prevention

Contamination studies have demonstrated that viral infections are spread much more readily by direct contact than through air. Cleanliness tips to help avoid contamination or virus include not sharing utensils, frequent hand washing and laundering of clothing or bedding (especially for children sharing rooms).