Search
  • Nanci Miklowski, ND

Natural Ways to Prevent and Recover from Colds & Flu

Updated: Nov 15, 2019


Dirima/bigstockphoto.com

When it comes to cold and flu season, prevention really is the first line of defense. To keep your body’s defense system—the immune system—in peak condition, follow our immunity-boosting tips to help your body fight off the bugs looking for a host. And, for times when you are feeling ill, the second set of tips can help ease your symptoms and support a quick recovery.


Cold & Flu Prevention Tips


Your immune system is at work 24/7! The best approach to supporting immune function is a healthy lifestyle that includes stress management, exercise, whole foods, nutritional supplementation, and the use of plant-based medicines. On a daily basis, you can take the following steps to help your immune system keep you healthy:


1. Wash your hands regularly to help prevent transfer of bacteria. There is no evidence that anti-bacterial soap is more effective than regular soap, and many times it contains harmful ingredients. Stick with a natural soap that is good for you and the environment.

2. Stay clear of people sneezing or coughing. Avoid shaking hands or other close contact with anyone whom you know to be sick.

3. Make sure your home and work space are well-ventilated. Even on a cold day, open a window for a few minutes to clear out stale air. Consider investing in a high-quality HEPA air purifier as well.

4. Follow a consistent sleep/wake schedule so the immune system can repair and recover. Aim for at least 7 hours a night in a completely dark room. Avoid screens for at least 1 hour before bed and put your cell phone on airplane mode (or better yet, keep it out of the bedroom!).

5. Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and veggies, which contain antioxidants that help the body neutralize cellular damage.


Healing Tips


1. Rest. Sometimes the body’s only way of getting your attention is to force you to slow down by getting sick. Don’t push through fatigue. Honor your body and sleep/rest as needed to promote healing. Reduce activity at home and at work as much as possible.

2. Increase fluid intake to include water, diluted vegetable juices, soups, and herbal and green teas.

3. Eat light meals and eat more soup. Whether you choose a vegetarian broth or a heartier bone-broth, soups for healing should be loaded with a variety of herbs and veggies.

4. Manage stress. Even just 10 minutes of meditation a day has positive effects on the immune system and promotes a positive mindset.

5. Laugh—it truly is good medicine. Patch Adams was onto something when he brought humor to his patients’ bedsides. Read a funny book. Watch stand-up comedy. Share jokes with a friend or your kids. Laughter lowers the stress hormones and elevates your mood—both are good for healing.


Vitamin, Mineral, and Botanical Support for the Immune System


There’s no panacea, but a growing body of research has shown that certain vitamins, minerals, and plant-based supplements can help prevent/curtail the symptoms of colds and flu. Some that you may want to include are listed below. Talk to your practitioner as these suggestions must be tailored to your specific needs and health status.

  • Multivitamin and mineral formula

  • Vitamin C

  • Bioflavonoids, 1000 mg/day

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin D, 2000 IU/day

  • Zinc, 30 mg/day

  • Echinacea, elderberry, and astragalus (tea, capsule, or liquid extract) help prevent common cold and viral infections.

Physician-scientists continue to study the immune-enhancing effects of these and other botanical remedies.



References:

Balaji, P. A., S. R. Varne, and S. S. Ali. “Physiological Effects of Yogic Practices and Transcendental Meditation in Health and Disease.” North American Journal of Medical Sciences 4, no. 10 (October 2012): 442–448.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3482773/


Besedovsky, L., T. Lange, and J. Born. “Sleep and Immune Function.” Pflügers Archiv European Journal of Physiology 463, no. 1 (January 2012):121-137.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00424-011-1044-0


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What You Should Know for the 2015-2016 Influenza Season.” Accessed July 2015.

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm


Kachko, R. “A Pillar of Optimal Health: The Immune System.” American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website. April 14, 2015.

http://www.naturopathic.org/article_content.asp?article=1010


MacDonald, C.M. “A Chuckle a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Therapeutic Humor and Laughter.” Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services 42, no. 3 (March 2004):18-25.


MedlinePlus. “Chicken Soup and Sickness.” Accessed July 2015.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002067.htm


Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. “Natural Medicines in the Clinical Management of Colds and Flu.” Accessed July 2015. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/ce/ceCourse.aspx?s=ND&cs=&pc=12%2D108&cec=1&pm=5


Pizzorno, J. E. and M.T. Murray, eds. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 4th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier Science, 2013. 516-524.

http://www.rhc.ac.ir/Files/Download/pdf/nursingbooks/Textbook%20of%20Natural%20Medicine-2013-cd.pd


25 views

25201 Chagrin Blvd Suite 390

Beachwood, OH 44122

WEBSITE DISCLAIMER: The information provided by Cleveland Natural Health (“we,” “us” or “our”) on www.gonaturalhealth.com (the “Site”) is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHALL WE HAVE ANY LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF THE SITE OR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THE SITE. YOUR USE OF THE SITE AND YOUR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION ON THE SITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS DISCLAIMER:The Site may contain (or you may be sent through the Site) links to other websites or content belonging to or originating from third parties or links to websites and features in banners or other advertising. Such external links are not investigated, monitored, or checked for accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness by us. WE DO NOT WARRANT, ENDORSE, GUARANTEE, OR ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY INFORMATION OFFERED BY THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES LINKED THROUGH THE SITE OR ANY WEBSITE OR FEATURE LINKED IN ANY BANNER OR OTHER ADVERTISING. WE WILL NOT BE A PARTY TO OR IN ANY WAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MONITORING ANY TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES.

 

AFFILIATES DISCLAIMER:The Site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links. Our affiliates include the following: www.berkeyfilters.com and www.relaxsaunas.com

 

TESTIMONIALS DISCLAIMER:The Site may contain testimonials by users of our products and/or services. These testimonials reflect the real-life experiences and opinions of such users. However, the experiences are personal to those particular users, and may not necessarily be representative of all users of our products and/or services. We do not claim, and you should not assume, that all users will have the same experiences. YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. 

 

The testimonials on the Site are submitted in various forms such as text, audio and/or video, and are reviewed by us before being posted. They appear on the Site verbatim as given by the users, except for the correction of grammar or typing errors. Some testimonials may have been shortened for the sake of brevity where the full testimonial contained extraneous information not relevant to the general public.

 

The views and opinions contained in the testimonials belong solely to the individual user and do not reflect our views and opinions. We are not affiliated with users who provide testimonials, and users are not paid or otherwise compensated for their testimonials.

 

The testimonials on the Site are not intended, nor should they be construed, as claims that our products and/or services can be used to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure, prevent or otherwise be used for any disease or medical condition. No testimonials have been clinically proven or evaluated.

This disclaimer was created using Termly’s Disclaimer Generator.

©2018, 2019, 2020 by Cleveland Natural Health