By Alex Kelly
Cold and flu season is among us. The key to combatting this season is making sure you are actively building up your immune system all year long. There are many wonderful (and easy!) ways to do this.
Ahhhh. Good ‘ole Vitamin D. Most Americans are deficient in this vitamin, and it would make sense as we don’t spend nearly as much time outside as we probably should. Vitamin D deficiencies are linked to cancer, low calcium levels, weak immune systems, inflammation, hormone issues, and autoimmune diseases.
Vitamin D benefits seem capable of helping to strengthen the immune system by decreasing the ability of some viruses to replicate and grow. It’s been shown to enhance the expression of an enzyme called ACE2, which is believed to have the ability to protect against acute lung injury (2).
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and studies display that getting enough vitamin C (along with zinc) in your diet may help to reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections and shorten the duration of illnesses like the common cold and bronchitis (1). Not only does Vitamin C boost your immune system it also supports the brain, fights oxidative damage in the body, boosts mood, promotes a healthy heart, boosts collagen production and improves skin, and supports the adrenals.
It is especially important to consult your general practitioner before starting on Vitamin C as the dosages will vary from person to person, and too much Vitamin C can cause loose stool.
Zinc is a micronutrient that modulates cell-mediated immunity. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide a cure for the common cold (3). But don’t immediately run to your local pharmacy and grab whatever you can find as the type of zinc and the dosage is important. If you are beginning to show cold/flu symptoms, Ben Greenfield recommends zinc lozenges over capsules or tablets as they dissolve slowly and provide a steady release of free ions into the pharyngeal region in the nasal cavity, and therefore can have a greater effect on reducing respiratory and nasal symptoms associated with sickness (3).
Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” understood that Elderberry was key to boosting your immune system. He used elderberry because of its wide array of health benefits, including its ability to fight colds, the flu, allergies, and inflammation (1). Elderberries naturally contain vitamins A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system.
A study published in the Journal of International Medical Research shows that when elderberry was used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract reduced the duration of the flu, with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier.
Wellness Mama’s recommended dosage – ½ – 1 teaspoon for kids and ½ – 1 tablespoon for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.
Thieves is known for its immune and cleansing properties. During cold and flu season I like to diffuse Thieves daily, as well as rub is on the bottoms of my feet and collar bones.
- Diffuse 8-20 drops to create a healthy home.
- Dilute and apply to the bottom of your feet during cold winter months.
- Take in a capsule to help support the immune system.*
- Put a drop in your morning juice, tea, or coffee.
- Add a drop to oatmeal, granola, or other cereal to elevate your breakfast and help cleanse the digestive system.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Young Living products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.