With flu season right around the corner, a local naturopathic doctor gives us tips on how to protect against illness this fall.
"The minute you feel a scratch in your throat, you want to get on and start boosting your immunity because this will decrease the duration and severity of an illness," Dr. Andrea Purcell said.
She advocates for natural solutions, such as taking vitamin C and zinc to boost white blood cell count.
Here's a look at some of Purcell's recommended natural remedies:
Natural Treatment: Works best at onset, don't wait!
*Fever: Remember that fever is a healthy reaction by the body to combat infection and regain normalcy. Fever raises body temperature so that the virus cannot live.
*Vitamin C: shown to reduce the duration and severity of viral infection. Shortened cold duration and the infection was less severe. 2,000mg 2x/day
*Zinc - maintains healthy immune function and patients developed less colds on a dose of 15 mg 2x/day. To be taken with food, can cause nausea and digestive upset on empty stomach.
*Whey protein supports immune system. Specifically High Lactoferrin whey protein, the substance also found in colostrum. It has antimicrobial activity and enhances abilities of immune system.
*Echinacea and andrographis - Potent anti-microbial herbs that reduce the duration and severity of infection.
*Elderberry - extremely anti-viral, sold in syrup for children called Sambucol, effective against herpes, influenza A and B, prevents virus from entering healthy cells and replicating. Faster response if given during the first 48 hours of flu symptoms. In a Norway study the use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract. Also shown to reduce fever. New Chapter sells a chewable elderberry 2/day.
*Garlic - shown to reduce the duration of an infection.
*Larch - arrabinogalactan - stimulates the immune system by triggering it to attack the virus. Especially assists with recurrent middle ear infections in children, in both bacterial and viral infection. Can be used preventatively to assist immune function in between illnesses.
*N-Acetyl cysteine - potent antioxidant breaks up mucus and is expectorant, used to treat bronchitis. 300mg 3x/day.
*Olive Leaf - interacts with virus particles and reduces infection ability of virus, and prevents replication of virus in colds, flu, and lower respiratory infections. This enhances the immune response to viral infection.
*Nebulized Glutathione - lung treatment with glutathione prevents H1N1 from causing the lung tissue injury that causes pulmonary edema or fluid on the lung. Glutathione being a super anti-oxidant stabilized lung cells and prevents lung tissue death.
*Vitamin D - Regulates the immune system and decreases incidence of respiratory infection. Allows immune system to attack microorganisms.