It’s that time of year . . .
Can you treat cold and flu viruses effectively with a holistic approach? Yes, there ARE natural things you can do and take safely, that can help tremendously.
During early exposure, you can often nip a virus so that it never has a chance to take hold. In other cases, you can shorten the duration, as you give your body the tools it needs to beat the virus, and prevent it from becoming a stubborn bacterial infection.
I use a combination of herbal medicine with vitamins and minerals. In fact, this combined approach tends to work better than pharmaceutical drugs that mask symptoms, and antibiotics that don’t work for viral infections.
The sooner you start natural treatment, the more effective it will be. So you need to have the right products on hand. Wandering through a store already sick, trying to self-prescribe, is risky and not fun. Hopefully this guide will help you stock up on the right things for when you need them immediately.
Herbal formulas based on chinese medicine
This herbal tradition has an incredibly long and rich history in the treatment of colds and flu. Each herbal formula has an intricate and balanced design, one that pays attention to the temperature and properties of the individual herbs, and how they work in concert as a formula.
Each herb in a balanced formula has one or more job. For example, some are antimicrobial. Others are immune regulators or boosters. There are herbs that clear heat, cold, phlegm, or dry cough. Some make the formula more absorbable, or “harmonize” it. Nowadays we herbalists trained in Chinese medicine can apply these design principles to any herbal formula or treatment plan.
Of course when we see you in person, we can tailor a protocol specifically to you. We assess the nuances of your cold or flu, your constitution, and the strength of your immune system. We can also use acupuncture, which is highly beneficial to rally your immune system and reduce symptoms.
My guide below includes balanced herbal formulas that are safe to use for all types of cold and flu, when you can’t see an herbal practitioner one on one. I also include variations for specific symptoms.
the right vitamins and minerals
You may have heard to boost vitamin C or zinc when you’re sick. But how much and what types? What other vitamins?
It’s a fact that certain vitamins and minerals are well-researched to strengthen your immune system’s ability to fight colds and flu. I’ve done the research for you, and my general protocol is safe for adults with any type of cold or flu. It’s an excellent foundation that works amazingly well for most people.
However, it works best with immediate application. So again, you should have these basics on hand so that you can begin as soon as you feel you are coming down with a bug.
Before getting to the goodies, we need to cover this next highly important topic . . .
When to seek medical attention
It’s imperative that you know when to see a doctor and not just use these natural remedies. Let’s talk about the signs and symptoms of the common cold and flu (influenza), and high risk populations who should seek help from a qualified practitioner . . .
About the common cold
The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat. According to Mayo clinic, most people recover in a week to 10 days.
Symptoms can include: Runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, slight body aches, mild headache, sneezing, low-grade fever, and generally feeling unwell (malaise).
The discharge from your nose may become thicker and yellow or green in color as a common cold runs its course. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT an indication of a bacterial infection.
Seek medical attention if you have:
Fever greater than 101.3º F (38.5º C), fever lasting five days or more, or fever that returns after a fever-free period; shortness of breath, wheezing, severe sore throat, headache or sinus pain.
About the flu (influenza)
Most people who have the flu virus have a mild illness and don’t need to see a doctor.
Symptoms can include: Fever above 100º F (38º C), cough or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea (more common in children). Not everyone with the flu has a fever.
Seek medical attention if you:
Are 65 years old or older, are pregnant or have given birth in the past two weeks, have chronic medical conditions (including asthma, emphysema, heart disease, diabetes, neuromuscular disease, and kidney, liver or blood disease), have a weakened immune system due to medications or HIV, are an American Indian or Alaska Native, have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, or live in a long-term care facility.
My adult cold and flu protocol
This protocol includes embedded links to my store in this Allergy, Cold, Flu category; however you can get these products elsewhere. Only buy directly from the manufacturer or a trusted source, otherwise you don’t know how products are stored. I cannot vouch for other brands.
We have these convenient packages to get the basic protocol with one click.
• Cold and Flu Package #1: Stellar-C is in capsule form and Gan Mao Ling is tablets.
• Cold and Flu Package #2 Liquids: Liposomal Vitamin C is liquid and needs to be refrigerated, Gan Mao Ling is a tincture.