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Natural Health from A to Z
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 • Posted August 31, 2013

School began this week, so it is time to mention immune building and my best tips for staying well as cold and flu season approaches. My best strategy is to keep vitamin C and zinc at good levels and to take something that builds immunity and also has anti-viral properties. I recommend either a very high quality olive leaf, an elderberry combination, or a grapefruit seed extract combination.

I also recommend keeping your body on the more alkaline side since viruses such as the flu will thrive in an acid environment. Most of us do not know what is acid and what is alkaline – so, I will summarize it for you.

Good – or alkalizing includes vegetables and fruits (raw being the most alkaline), raw vegetable juices, kombucha tea, coral calcium, green supplements, enzymes, raw lemon juice, raw apple cider vinegar and raw almonds.

Bad – or acid forming foods include sodas (diet sodas are the worst), tea, coffee, chocolate, smoking, and foods made with white flour and/or white sugar. Meat and dairy products are also acid forming. I do not recommend avoiding meat and dairy, but do keep the portions you eat balanced with plenty of vegetables.

Alkalizing really works. It is one of the main tenets of natural health. Alkalizing will help lessen almost any disease condition. It is really simple. If you want to know if you are alkaline or acid, measure the pH of your first morning urine using special pH paper.

Olive leaf is a great herb for its anti-viral properties. I recommend taking one 500 mg olive leaf capsule per day to support the immune system. Dosage can be increased when you feel “flu-like”. Many rely on olive for its immune building properties and take it throughout flu season and never get sick. The form of olive leaf is very important – it must have at least 18% oleuropein content, or it will not be effective. Read the label. Cheaper olive leaf is not the same and is a waste of money.

I also like elderberry for immune support. It is a natural fruit extract that keeps the virus from reproducing. One of my favorite combinations is Elderberry Defense – when taken regularly, it keeps the immune system strong so that colds and flus tend to be shorter in duration and less severe. Some regular users report terrific results with this product.

There are also homeopathic formulas. The biggest benefit of the homeopathic formulas is that they do not interact with prescription medications and are generally safe for all ages. The single best selling flu product in America is a homeopathic called Oscillococcinum. Oscillo speeds recovery from flu symptoms to within 48 hours when taken at first sign of cold or flu – this is backed by clinical trials.

Remember that diseases such as the flu are opportunistic. If the host is full of acid waste and other toxins, then the flu will love their body and thrive. If the host is healthy and alkaline, then the flu will have a hard time and will move on.

Stress and the typical American diet tend to make us good homes for viruses because they make our pH acid and deplete our vitamins and minerals. We are also inundated with chemicals that are bodies cannot break down and eliminate. To stay in balance, alkalize your diet, use herbal cleanses periodically to get rid of excess toxins, and take good high quality supplements that help keep you balanced.

Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.

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