Not sure about the flu shot? Why not boost the front lines of your immune system instead?
I’m a control freak. I may have mentioned that more than once in this blog in an attempt to explain why I devote my time trying to figure out what will help to make us, and keep us, healthy. My control freakishness is also the main reason why I will never get a flu shot. Basically, I don’t like surprises such as potentially unpleasant side effects or even possibly contracting the illness that is being injected into my body to prevent that very illness. I’ve seen too many otherwise healthy folks react negatively to these vaccines, so I choose to take matters into my own hands.
Thankfully I can control, to a great extent, whether or not I get the flu virus. Does that sound naive? It may very well, based on what the media is telling us. But the truth of the matter is, my immune system is the responsibility of only one person: me. Here’s what I do to boost my immune strength, especially during the winter months (aka “flu season”):
1. A good quality probiotic. This is a supplement that will provide your intestinal tract with friendly bacteria that fight off the bad guys (like bacteria and viruses). Your gut is where your immune function begins, so this is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. You can find probiotics at grocery stores and health food stores. The Pearl Elite by Enzymatic Therapy is one that I’ve found to be helpful, easy to take and not in need of refrigeration.
2. Vitamin C. I’m a firm believer in the incredible benefits of this nutrient. The more stress you have, the faster your body goes through this vitamin. Since our bodies can’t make it (interestingly, most mammals do …), it’s up to us to take it in via diet and/or supplements. With all of the stress, both mental and physical, that we have today, chances are diet alone isn’t cutting it. So I take 1000 mg of a buffered Vitamin C with bioflavonoids three times daily during the winter.
3. Vitamin D3. I’ve written a lot about the “sunshine vitamin”. No matter where you live in the US, in the winter time the sun isn’t close enough to the earth to allow our bodies to manufacture D3 through sunshine, so supplementation is a necessity. 5000 iu’s once per day with a meal is what I take. Ideally, get your blood level of D3 checked by your doctor and maintain that above 50 ng/ml.
4. Neti Pot nasal irrigation nightly. I swear by this. Whatever bacteria or viruses end up inside my nasal passages during the day are flushed out before they get a chance to do damage. For those of you who haven’t ever tried nasal irrigation, it may seem a bit odd not to mention uncomfortable. But trust me, once you get in the habit, doing this occasionally when you feel a bug coming on or as a preventative during flu season, it will become as second nature as brushing your teeth. Because so many illnesses are going around right now, I add 4 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (from my local health food store) to my neti (along with the typical warm, distilled water and neti salt). Grapefruit Seed Extract is an incredible anti-viral and anti-bacterial that can be used like this or even taken orally.
Okay, let’s say I’ve done all of the above religiously but a bug still makes its way into my system. I start to feel a bit of a scratchy throat and maybe slightly feverish. What do I do now???
1. Colloidal Silver. I provided extensive info on this wonderful supplement in an earlier post, but just briefly, this is basically a liquid containing microscopic particles of silver. Silver is an incredible antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial that has been used extensively in conventional medicine in the past. I take 1 teaspoonful (held under my tongue for 30 seconds prior to swallowing) every 4 hours as soon as I begin to feel “off”. You can find this at your local health food store.
2. Thieves Essential Oil Blend (I use Young Living Essential Oils because I’m convinced that they are 100% pure). I actually rub this oil on the bottom of my feet before bed and I put a drop on my tongue anytime throughout the day when I’m feeling ill. Please note that I do not recommend ingestion of Thieves Essential Oil unless it is specifically Young Living brand. Click HERE to read the interesting history behind this oil blend. Click HERE to purchase Thieves Essential Oil Blend (scroll to the very bottom of the page that opens).
3. Fresh Ginger Root Tea. You can’t beat this if you aren’t feeling well. Ginger is an awesome immune booster and absolutely miraculous for stomach issues. Read more about the benefits of ginger root HERE. I mince a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger root and put that in water, bring it to a slow boil and drink. Sometimes I add a teaspoonful of raw honey for some healthy sweetness.
4. Last but definitely not least, Oregano Oil. I use Oreganol P78 by North American Spice Company. A drop or 2 under my tongue (be forewarned, it has a very strong, spicy flavor!) This stuff will stop any sore throat in it’s tracks. I also will use a few drops in a Neti Pot to ward off a sinus infection.
So, now that I’ve shared the main things that I do to prevent and fight the flu and other viruses, I think it’s important to mention some small “common sense” items like eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of spring water, avoiding sugar, caffeine and processed foods and adopting some stress-busting habits like meditation and yoga. It’s all interrelated after all, which is why the term “holistic” is used so often when it comes to healing.
Oh, and one last thing – if you find that your immune system is a mess and you’re catching every winter bug that comes your way, give juicing a try. Nothing beats fresh fruit and vegetable juice as a way to get nutrients straight into your bloodstream to help on the front line of your immune system’s battles! And as usual, message me if you have any questions or need some support to get your health on track!