6 steps to prevent cold and flu

We’re in the heart of cold and flu season here in the northeast, so I thought I would share my tips and tricks to maximize immunity & prevent sickness:

  • Wash your hands!  Whenever I come home, I always wash my hands to remove any bacteria from my hands, which can spark unwanted sickness.  Avoid soaps with triclosan, Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and parabens.  To make a very easy DIY soap, take a used old foaming soap pump, add 1 tbsp. vegetable glycerine, 4 tablespoons castile soap, 10 drops of a protective essential oils blend and fill with water.  It’s that easy!
  • Get a daily dose of probiotics – either in food form (grass-fed yogurt, raw sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, kombucha) or as a supplement to promote gut-health and strengthen immunity.  See my previous post for more about gut health and probiotics.
  • Boost your Vitamin C intake – I love to start my day with hot water with lemon and ginger – the vitamin C in the lemon and immune-boosting properties in ginger make this a powerhouse (and it also serves a gentle detox)!  For extra anti-inflammatory action, grate some tumeric or use a pinch of the powder form.  When traveling, I also take Emergen-C to get an extra 1000mg dose, and there’s also Emergen-C Kidz (Funtional Farmacist tip: I also like to use this as substitute for Gatorade).
  • Practically everyone is deficient in Vitiamin D!  Vitamin D is critical to our immune systems so get out in the sun! Just 15 minutes a day (without sunscreen can boost vitamin D levels. Check vitamin D status and consider supplementing to bring the vitamin D blood level to the middle of the “normal range.” After learning I am deficient myself, especially in the wintertime here in the Northeast, I like to use a source containing Vitamin D3. Children one year of age and above: 400 IUs per day, taken with a meal. Adult dosing can range from 1000-10,000IU/day depending on levels.
  • Take advantage of plant based medicine.  Essential oils oregano and thyme are potent natural antibiotic and antivirals. I like to use 1-2 drops diluted with a tsp of fractionated coconut oil on the feet at bedtime.  Note pregnant women and small children should not use thyme.  I also like to use a protective blend (which includes orange, clove, cinnamon, euaclyptus and rosemary).
  • Sleep like your life depends on it!  I think sleep is such a critical factor in prevention of sickness, I wrote a post about it.  Seriously one of the most important things you can do to keep your immune function running smoothly.

How about you?  Have you used any of these remedies in your personal care?  Need help with obtaining quality essential oils?  Contact me at functionalfarmacist@gmail.com.


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