It's that time of year again…cold and flu season. As a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist, I am often asked how I am able to ward off so many colds throughout the season. After all, I am seeing sick patients in my clinic almost on a daily basis during winter season. You would think that I get sick more often, but I only get one or two brief colds during the entire winter.
I have even managed to get over the flu within 24 hours using a supplement trick I learned during my extensive research looking for alternative medicine remedies. We'll get to that in a minute, first, let's talk about prevention.
5 Top Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu
- First and foremost, washing your hands after each contact is of utmost importance. This means washing your hands after you have held the gas pump or touched the escalator rail where others most likely have touched and spread their germs.
- Using a natural, essential oil-based hand sanitizer with simple, non-toxic ingredients like Dr. Bronner's Magic Organic Fair Trade Hand Sanitizer Spray or CleanWell hand sanitizer spray is also not a bad idea and can be found at a local, natural grocery store. At our office, if someone has the flu, which is spread by respiratory droplets, we will disinfect the room used to see the patient before seeing the next patient. This is to protect us and the next person.
- If you live with a loved one that is sick, it's always best to sleep in a separate room, especially if they are coughing all night (unless you want to get sick as well).
- Of course, many times it's hard to avoid people that are sick around us. An atomizer with essential oil of eucalyptus can help sterilize the air of viruses traveling in droplets. Essential oils atomizers can be picked up at most health food stores.
- Keep strengthening your immune system. Stress, diet, pain, and other issues can weaken your immune system leaving it vulnerable to viruses. Getting proper rest, eating gut friendly foods, and alleviating pain through integrative medicine techniques is an excellent prevention strategy.
2 Best Naturopathic Supplements for Cold and Flu Prevention
When it comes to supplements, my most important preventive strategies are the natural remedies I have come to depend on to stay as healthy as possible during the winter months.
- Thymucin, an immune booster that helps activate killer T cells while boosting energy with an adaptogen, was my first lifesaver. 2 capsules a day is a good preventative dose. When I learned about this, it seemed that I became much more resistant overnight to most colds I encountered daily.
- For adults, adding Vitamin D3 5,000 IU daily to this mix provides another boost to the immune system. I've discussed the many benefits of vitamin D3 over and over. This vitamin is what saved me when I had the flu last winter.
If you'd like specific tips on ways to keep your kids healthier this winter, click here.
Dr. Adam Graves
Colorado Natural Medicine + Acupuncture