It is STILL flu season, what are you doing about it? In my house, we have a box devoted to herbs and supplements to use in acute situations or for prevention. Here is what I recommend for natural flu prevention for your family. Use one or two - but a few of these products in combination give the best results. Happy Healing.
Elderberry and/or Andrographis Extract: These are two great anti-viral herbs that boost your immune health and help fight pathogens. Use these especially if you are teacher, traveler, or health-care practitioner who finds yourself around lots of people this season. Other anti-virals you can buy over the counter are grapefruit seed extract or echinacea angustifolia. Note: Most of these herbs work best when used BEFORE you have full blown symptoms, so taking preventatively is the safest bet.
Cayenne capsules or Garlic oil: Cayenne and Garlic are both cooking herbs that have enormous health benefits. Using cayenne pepper as a supplement in capsules can prevent flu, colds, headaches, and arthritis. Making a simple garlic oil is a great use of time. It helps in any case of lung ailment, cough, cold, flu and flu prevention, & infections both bacterial and viral. Note: Make garlic oil by mincing or crushing about 6-8 oz fresh garlic cloves into a mason jar. Add just enough olive oil to cover the garlic and let sit in a warm place with a tight lid on for about 3 days, shaking daily. Strain the mixture and store. You can take 1 tsp of this oil internally up to every hour for colds, flu, fever, and infections. It also makes a great ear-drop oil for ear infections!
Oscillococcinum Homeopathic Remedy: I think it’s best to take these over the counter vials for prevention, rather than waiting until you have active symptoms.
Multivitamin: If there is ever a time to take your vitamins - it’s now! Taking a well-rounded whole foods multivitamin is a safe way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need and replenishing your daily stores. I like Catalyn from Standard Process or Rainbow Light Organic Multivitamins.
Five Mushroom Formula: Ask your Chinese medicine practitioner about Wu Gu Fang (“5 Mushroom Formula” by Golden Flower). Because it is both tonifying and can kill pathogens, it is safe and effective to take throughout the season as a preventative and can also be used in the initial exposure phase of influenza. It contains 5 species of mushroom that have the power to kill viruses and stimulate your immune system. Good stuff!
Don’t Eat Sugar or Junk Food: Numerous studies show that eating refined sugar is immediately followed by a decrease in immune function - happening within minutes of consumption. Don’t allow your body to get bogged down by sugar and junk food during this season… it’s not worth it to yourself or your family. Instead, strengthen your defenses with warm meals like hearty soups, cooked veggies and rice, meat broths, and plenty of water or herbal teas.