What to do During Cold and Flu Season
Taking a flu vaccine shot is an individual choice. The proponents of the vaccine claim that it protects against influenza infection and if contracted, lessens the severity of the illness. Medical advocates encourage it for persons with weakened immunity such as young children, the immune compromised and the elderly:
There are concerns about it that many patients have that affect their decision. These concerns include:
- It is a preparation that is made from the previous year's flu virus and may not be specific for the current year's flu and hence may not be effective.
- There is concern that untoward effects may occur many months or years later, although a cause and effect relationship has not been proven.
- Vaccines are a combination of ingredients including egg protein, aluminum (as a preservative since thimersol mercury is not used as much) and formaldehyde. So along with the de-activated virus that people can react to, they may also react to these possibly toxic substances.
- It may not be effective or the best method of prevention
The naturopathic physicians at Integrative Healing Arts do not advocate for or against the flu vaccination. We support those of you that receive the shots and will continue to assist you with your health concerns.
- Eat a good naturopathic diet, which is low in sugar and bad fats, and high in essential fats, organic proteins and complex carbohydrates and vegetables. Avoid your food sensitivities.
- Do a detoxification cleanse at least once if not twice per year. The body gets sick for a reason. The IHA DeTox Kit is excellent for this.
- Balance your activities and work. We get sick because we don’t take the time to care for ourselves when we are well. Getting sick is a cleansing process and it forces you to REST! So take care of yourself or the wisdom of the body will take over and do it for you!
- Wash your hands a lot no matter what your profession is! The studies are very definitive on this one. Do not touch your mouth, nose, eyes or ears without washing your hands, as these are the portals of entry for viruses.
- Citro-max: homeopathic prophalaxis (prevention) (this is not equivalent to a vaccination): taken once per week.
- Cold FX, a ginseng extract, 2 capsules a day for prevention. Scientists report a 26-per-cent drop in the average number of upper respiratory tract infections per person among those taking Cold-FX. Among those who got at least one cold, Cold-FX users found a 56-per-cent drop in the chance of getting sick again.
- Intravenous Vitamin Push (IVP). A cocktail of multi-vitamins and minerals as well as homeopathic immune boosters is a favourite at IHA. Book yourself in once or twice a month during the winter, or once a week if you are feeling run down or are particularily vulnerable to cold and flu. For immune compromised patients, your doctor may recommend larger dose infusions
- Supplementation with a daily multi-vitamin, Core Level Health Reserve or IHA multi vit. min.
- Vit. C, 2-4 grams
- Natren superdophilus (which puts proper bacteria back into your gut supporting the 60% of your immune system that is there)
- Astralagus 10+ Traditional Chinese Herbs: 2-4 pills per day,
- Sterol 117, 2 caps per day
- Oregano Oil (5 drops per day)
- garlic 2-4 caps per day.
These suggested therapies are also recommended to those who have received the flu shot.
- Flu Milieu is a homeopathic remedy to treat the first signs of the flu and if you take it within the first 24 hours of symptoms you can prevent the flu from getting a hold on you. Keep it on hand.
- Cold FX was recently proven to be the most effective remedy for colds and flu. Take as directed on the package for three days and your symptoms will ease or disappear. Remember to take it preventively.
- Intravenous Vitamin Push (IVP). When you are sick, book yourself in for an IVP once to twice per week until you feel better.
- Naturopathic hydrotherapy: Take a very hot bath with 4 cups of Epsom salts before bed. Put on flannel pajamas and cold, wet wool socks (that’s right) and crawl into bed with your favourite hot drink. You will sweat profusely, so have another pair of pajamas at your bedside to change into during the night. You should feel relief in the morning. Repeat each night of your illness. In addition you may also wish to detoxify using IHA DeTox Kit and/or coffee enemas or rectal ozone.
- If your environment is dry, put on a humidifier. You may wish to add Cold & Flu essential oils.
- You may also wish to include: 7 Forests’ Ilex, 4-6 pills per day, Sterol 117, 4 caps per day, Vit. C 2-4 grams/ day, garlic capsules 2-4 per day.
Alternative Cough Therapy, Use Vicks VapoRub on Children's Feet
There is uproven but anecdotal evidence that suggests this therapy can be effective. It is safe to try and if it works for you, you have an alternative to taking any risks with drugs.
To stop night time coughing in a child put Vicks Vaporub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime, then cover with socks. Even persistent, heavy, deep coughs may stop quickly and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. May be more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly.
These recommendations are also effective for those planning on flying on airplanes during the cold and flu season. Many people get ill after airplane flights. This is not due to the re-cycled air as once believed, but rather to the confined space and the touching of our faces with unwashed hands which contact objects touched by many others. As well the stress of travel for some will compromise the immune system. Follow the above suggestions, wash your hands frequently and do not touch your face, eyes, ears, nose and mouth to reduce the risk of getting sick before or after your holiday.