Cold, dreary weather and flu season have a lot in common. I recommend building immunity during this time.My first tip during weather like this is up your intake of vitamin D. It always seems like the worst cold and flu bugs circulate around the school after one of these spells.Build your immune system by taking extra vitamin C, zinc (if you tend to be deficient) and something that keeps viruses from taking over the body – I recommend a very high quality olive leaf, elderberry or a grapefruitseed extract combination called Defense Plus.I also recommend keeping your body on the more alkaline side since viruses such as the flu will thrive in an acid environment. Here is a short summary on acid/alkaline.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 helps any disease condition. 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 has terrific anti-viral properties. I recommend taking one 500 mg olive leaf capsule per day to stay well. 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 building. It is a natural fruit extract that keeps viruses from reproducing. My favorite is Elderberry Defense – which also contains 2000 IU of vitamin D. My son has a great attendance record at school on 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. www.naturalcowgirl.wordpress.com