Since I avoid the flu shot, this is what I do to limit the flu and colds that I am exposed to.
As with any health regimen, you need to support your unique body. I myself have autoimmune conditions, so I need to take immune supporting and modulating herbs. I do not want to take immune boosting herbs, which can put my already ramped up immune system into overdrive. This may possibly cause a flare of my Crohn’s or Hashimoto’s.
Starting around September, when the children go back to school in our area, I concentrate on supporting my immune system. I then taper off around April or so, depending on the severity of the flu season. I practice grounding /earthing which helps me get sun exposure and I supplement with Vitamin D3. Daily I take probiotics, digestive enzymes/HCL, cod liver oil and a multivitamin. Every morning I drink warm lemon water with ginger. Sometimes I add a clove or turmeric. I also make sure I am eating fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut. (Raw, not heated, or pasteurized.) I also make and drink home-made bone broth. I keep hydrated with water, bone broth and herbal teas. When I cook I make sure to incorporate sea salt, spices and herbs. You can add these to your foods or to your teas. Coconut oil is antiviral, so I oil pull and eat it. I avoid alcohol, dairy, juice drinks, fried food, fast food and processed food.
That pretty much takes care of the diet, now what I find helpful in my lifestyle in preventing colds. I keep my neck warm with a scarf when I go out. I make sure to get enough sleep. Meditation and deep breathing help to calm the immune system to repair itself better. I also do light exercise as I have adrenal fatigue. So when I feel well I rebound, walk or do yoga. Again listen to your body, don’t push it if you are sick. And of course wash your hands and stay home if you are sick to prevent spreading and re -infecting.
You may find the neti pot, useful. As well as eating raw local honey.
Here are a few examples of immune modulating herbs elderberry, sovereign silver, olive leaf, oil of oregano and eleutehro. I rotate them to keep my body guessing. The more you take an herb the more likely your body can become dependent on it or it may become less effective. You can rotate every 4 to 7 days. The following herbs are more boosting to the immune system. Astragulus, andrographis, echinacea, cordyceps, Reishi, Mataki, goldenseal, grapefruit seed extract. You can also add Arabinogalactan in the rotation.
Keep in mind people tend to get sick at Christmas because of the family stress. Also around the end of December is when our stored Vitamin D starts to run out from summer, and sugar suppresses your immune system. Think about how much sugar you consume in a day, especially around the holidays.
If you get sick, you can put thieves oil, garlic oil or oil of oregano on your feet. As a precaution when you are around sick people, up your Vitamin D3, C and zinc. Drink herbal teas and broth. Rest when you are sick, take warm baths, stay warm – wrapped up, and use an air humidifier. Mullien and white horehound are both good for congestion and coughs. Ginseng will lessen the severity of your symptoms. Fenugreek can reduce fever and body aches and is helpful with dry coughs. Slippery elm tea eases coughs and sore throat pain.
As long as you do not have a dairy allergy, at the first sign of the flu you can take the natural product called Oscillococcinum by Boiron.
When you are sick, avoid: Alcohol, dairy products, juice drinks, fried food & fast food/processed food.
Drink nettle tea after you are sick to help boost your adrenals and replenish your minerals.
Hope this helps you to stay healthy this season!