As I sit here on Sunday reflecting on these past two weeks I feel like I just emerged from the trenches and I’m finally coming up for air! We battled influenza and moving C1 Athletics to our new larger and permanent location!
Two weeks ago I put on my nurse practitioner hat and helped my boys get through the nasty influenza bug that is going around with natural remedies. This year’s influenza is wide spread and hitting people hard. I’ve had so many conversations with people that tell me they are scared to get it. I have spent the last 4 years making a transition to how we treat various illnesses and I used to rely heavily on Western Medicine based remedies. They have their time and place, but many come with significant side effects and oftentimes these side effects aren’t discussed in length with those that are prescribed the remedies. I’ve taught myself over the years how powerful our diets and holistic remedies can be and have used them heavily to address various ailments and let me tell you, they were just as effective.
While this year is rough I don’t want anyone scared or panicked. There is so much we can do holistically to boost our immune systems and if by chance you do get influenza I have some great holistic recommendations for fighting it that doesn’t require Tamiflu and it’s side effects especially in kids (Tamiflu insert).
I went Live on Facebook last week talking about what we did and uploaded the video to Vimeo to be able to reference if needed. A lot of this arsenal is about boosting the immune system and letting it do its job. I think when we take power over our health and trust that there are things we can do to heal ourselves, it is a remarkable thing. I can see how people feel helpless and panicked when there are people out there telling them that if they don’t get the flu shot they are making a huge mistake and if they do get the flu they need Tamiflu which is in a shortage right now. Unfortunately, the flu shot this year is between 10-30% effective and personally I have issue with the ingredients, listed below (vaccine Insert).
FLUARIX QUADRIVALENT does not contain thimerosal. Each 0.5mL dose also contains octoxynol-10 (TRITON®X-100) ≤0.115 mg, α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate ≤0.135 mg, and polysorbate 80 (Tween 80) ≤0.550 mg. Each dose may also contain residual amounts of hydrocortisone ≤0.0016 mcg, gentamicin sulfate ≤0.15 mcg, ovalbumin ≤0.050 mcg, formaldehyde ≤5 mcg, and sodium deoxycholate ≤65 mcg from the manufacturing process.
The tip caps and plungers of the prefilled syringes of FLUARIX QUADRIVALENT are not made with natural rubber latex. (1)
Both Lucas and Elijah were really sick for about 2-3 days, but on that 4th day they turned the corner fast and have been on the upward swing since. I’ve also heard from others that have started this arsenal that it has worked well for them. I’ll include at the bottom all the links to the supplements I talked about. The video I did does the best job of explaining how we did it. If you are diagnosed with Influenza, use your judgment and as I said I’m not here to tell you how to treat it. Also, it should be noted that as you start feeling better please remember to take it easy and continue with your regimen as that is when the secondary infections settle in, like pneumonia. Stay home from work and rest! You can be contagious “1 day before you have any symptoms and can stay contagious for 5 to 7 days after you start feeling sick. Kids may be able to spread the virus for even longer, until all of their symptoms fade” (3).
The supplements below are the brands we like and use. If you have any other recommendations, please let me know! I’m always learning! For essential oils I applied oregano and On Guard from Doterra, but also love Eden’s Garden and Plant Therapy! Let me know if you have any questions, but this should cover it! And, as always with medications and supplements, please check with your healthcare provider to make sure there aren’t any interactions. Also, if you are pregnant, please check before starting anything as some of these remedies are contraindicated.
I linked everything to Amazon for convenience, but price shop as there are other places to buy these and many times if you have a natural foods store they have someone in there that is extremely knowledgable.
Information: Vitamin C and Infections
COLLAGEN PEPTIDES (for smoothies, good for gut health and boosting immune system)
Read more on Collagen here!
It helps boost the immune system, but I would be cautious with this one and wouldn’t be my first stop. Those with autoimmune disease should be careful in using Echinacea or many other herbs. You can get a lot of benefit out of herbal treatments, but it is best to work with a naturopath or functional med provider. Chris Kresser explains:
Why? Because autoimmune disease is not only extremely complex, but also highly individualized. Hashimoto’s in one person is not the same as Hashimoto’s in the next person. In one person, Hashimoto’s could present as a Th1-dominant condition. In another, it may present as Th2 dominant. In still another, both the Th1 and Th2 systems might be overactive, or under-active. And each of these cases requires a different approach. For example, botanicals like echinacea and astragalus stimulate the Th1 system. If someone with Th1 dominant Hashimoto’s takes these herbs, they’ll quite possibly get worse. On the other hand, antioxidants like green tea and Gotu Kola stimulate the Th2 system, and would be inappropriate for those with Th2 dominant Hashimoto’s.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
- Drink a tablespoon in water (gargle first) at the first sign of illness and repeat hourly until symptoms disappear. This alkalizes the body and helps kill viruses and bacteria.
- Fire Cider, which is my favorite as it contains extra ingredients to help the immune system! I mix it with water or elderberry syrup and shoot it, then chase with water. http://firecider.refr.cc/tarawoodland
- Braggs ACV
Optimal Vitamin D levels can help prevent illness as it boosts the immune system, and taking several thousand IU a day while sick can help speed recovery. So many of us living in cold climates are deficient. Read more here. This can also be obtained from supplements like Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
Here is the blog post I wrote that includes the homemade recipe I use, which is my recommendation as it’s easy and cheaper.
Gaia Brand– quick easy pre-made version
Additional studies on elderberries benefits
- Effects on Influenza
- Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
- Randomized Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections
Homeopathy is something that I have been looking into, but only scratching the surface. I am no where near an expert, but intrigued by it’s potential. This flu season is the first I’ve used homeopathic remedies and Lucas told me that he could tell when the Oscillococcinum wore off and felt it help a great deal. According to Living Naturally, “Oscillococcinum® (Anas barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum 200CK HPUS), a patented homeopathic preparation manufactured by a French-based company (Boiron Laboratories), is marketed and widely used for the treatment and prevention of influenza symptoms, including “feeling run down,” headache, body aches, chills, and fever. It is made from the heart and liver of wild duck and undergoes multiple dilutions (one part in 100, 200 times in a row, i.e., 200C), after which there are reportedly few to no original duck liver or heart molecules in the final product.
There is some preliminary evidence in humans suggesting that Oscillococcinum® may shorten the duration of the flu. However, it has not been found to prevent the flu. Despite its popularity and anecdotal reports of effectiveness, there is currently little scientific evidence that Oscillococcinum® is superior to placebo.
More research is required to determine the efficacy and safety of Oscillococcinum®, especially in young children and pregnant and lactating women.” (2)
Oscillococcinum on Amazon
Another homeopathic remedy I have on hand each season is influenzium that I get from a homeopath. They will tailor each years dose to that flu season, similar to the flu shot.
Influenzinum which helps to boost your immune system so that you can avoid experiencing flu-like symptoms this season. Updated for the 2019-2020 cold season. Package includes dosing for up to a five-member family.
You will receive all of the dosing instructions you need. It also includes access to a trained homeopath – Me! – for any dosing, symptom or immune support questions you have about this process.
OIL OF OREGANO
Lastly, I want to touch on a few things you can do on a regular basis to boost your immune system and work to keep yourselves healthy.
- Get adequate sleep (not always easy, but one of the most important things you can do)
- Drink adequate water and eat a well balanced diet, limit sugar
- This could be a blog post all itself, but I’m a huge proponent of a whole foods/paleo style way of eating. Limiting processed foods as much as possible.
- Wash your hands!
- Supplement with some immune boosters. When we talk supplements, quality matters and you get what you pay for and I steer people from buying them from Target. See above for the links. Dosages will depend on adult vs. kid.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Elderberry during cold season (I like to cycle 1 week on, 1 week off)
- Multivitamin to fill in the nooks and crannies of the diet. I love Smarty Pants and Vitamin Code for brands.