Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

by Becky Mauldin, N.D. (Contributor) ~

It’s that time of year. The common cold and the flu are going around. What are you going to do?
While many people get a flu shot, I advise against this for many reasons. First, there are toxic compounds in the vaccines that hamper our bodies natural immune response, such as mercury in thimerosal. Second, do they even work? And are the benefits they provide worth the risk?

Not in babies: In a review of more than 51 studies involving more than 294,000 children it was found there was “no evidence that injecting children 6-24 months of age with a flu shot was any more effective than placebo. In children over 2 yrs, it was only effective 33% of the time in preventing the flu. [Reference: "Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2 (2008).]

Not in adults: In a review of 48 reports including more than 66,000 adults, “Vaccination of healthy adults only reduced risk of influenza by 6% and reduced the number of missed work days by less than one day (0.16) days. It did not change the number of people needing to go to hospital or take time off work.” [Reference: "Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 1 (2006).]

So, what should you do?
Prevention is important. It is not the germs that we are exposed to that determines whether we get sick or not, but rather the health of the body at the time of the exposure. Keeping your immune system strong by eating well is most important. When you eat refined carbohydrates and sweets, you are setting the stage for illness. Sugar depresses the immune system, decreasing the activity of infection-fighting white blood cells for up to 5 hours after you eat it.

There are safe, natural remedies that can alleviate symptoms and also prevent illness. Natural remedies are best taken at the very first sign of illness and can be most effective at that time. Here is what I recommend to my clients:

Cold and Flu Remedies
Cod liver oil: This is the most important supplement to take because it is rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Vitamin A helps to maintain resistance to infections. Vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption and for the health of the immune system. Adults should get at least 2000 I.U. of vitamin D and 40,000 I.U. or more of vitamin A per day in the winter months. Higher amounts can be taken for a few days when you first start feeling flu-like symptoms and can be remarkably effective in restoring health. Vitamin D levels should be monitored by a physician if you take more than 5000 IU of vitamin D each day as it can be toxic in extremely high doses.
Elderberry: Studies have shown elderberry to neutralize and reduce the ability of influenza viruses to infect the body. Viruses form tiny spikes that enable them to penetrate the wall of a healthy cell and set up shop inside it, replicating more viruses. The active ingredient in elderberry breaks down these spikes within 24-48 hours, so the virus cannot spread. It also reduces fevers, alleviates sore throats, tonsillitis, and respiratory illnesses, such as viral bronchitis. Elderberry juice or liquid concentrate is more effective than capsules or tablets.
Zinc and Vitamin C: Zinc and Vitamin C are powerful immune supporting nutrients that many people are deficient in.

Stuffy Nose?
Try a Neti Pot or a Sinus Rinse: the NeilMed SinuFlo Ready Rinse bottle at a local drugstore works best. You can use saline for a nasal rinse, but for a sinus infection, cut up 1 garlic clove and blend it up with some water, strain it, then put it in the nasal rinse bottle. Add enough water to equal about 2 ounces. Then irrigate sinuses with the garlic juice water.

Make Onion and Honey Syrup: Put a one inch thick slice of mild onion in a blender with a couple of tablespoons of water. Blend and strain. Add 1 Tablespoon of raw honey to the onion juice and mix well. Take this syrup as often as needed for a cough.

What to Eat When Sick
Eat only nutritious, easy-to-digest foods, such as homemade soups with chicken broth, green vegetable juices, and raw foods while sick. Starchy foods, such as bread, sweeteners, or dairy products, are best avoided until you are completely well because sugar suppresses the immune system and dairy products and bread can be mucus-forming.

Follow these guidelines and be well this winter!

“Becky Mauldin, N.D. has over 15 years experience educating hundreds of people on the healing power of alternative medicine. She has her own practice, Pure Vitality, in Douglasville, Georgia, and has authored 2 books, entitled Recipes for Life: A raw food cookbook, and Vibrant Health: Simple Steps to Transform Your Health. Having recovered from her own health challenges, she is passionate about helping others achieve a higher level of vitality that enables them to live life to the fullest!” Visit her website at

Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

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