by Christopher M. Valley, N.D.
When you first feel yourself becoming sick, there are things you can do to avoid a prolonged illness. These suggestions are especially helpful if you do them early on. They will help you fight off colds, flues, and minor infections. Call a physician if your symptoms become severe.
The First step to a healthy immune system is proper hygiene and sanitation. Make sure that wash your hands before and after any direct person to person contact. If you know the other party is sick, avoid handshaking, or other forms of contact. If you know that you are getting sick, do your best to avoid direct contact with other people. The tricky part is that we?re often contagious before symptoms appear. This comes back to keeping our immune systems in tact.
Eat Very Lightly or Not At All:
With most illnesses, the appetite is diminished. This is the natural response of the body to conserve energy while trying to fight off whatever ?bugs? it has. Give your digestive tract a rest. Eat things that are easily digestible (i.e. soups, broths, applesauce, toast, water and fresh juices). Some individuals do well with short fasting. Be sure to contact your healthcare provider before embarking on a fast.
Get Rest as Soon as Possible:
Many people ignore the early warning signs of illness and keep working until they ?drop?. You will take longer to heal if you allow the illness to get a foothold. If you feel a sore throat, headache, congestion, sudden fatigue, etc.., coming on, take it easy. If possible, take a day off from work and stay in bed. This will likely prevent you needing to take three days off later on.
Drink Plenty of Fluids:
This old advice is very wise indeed. You can clear toxins from a ?bug? out of your system with large amounts of filtered water and herbal teas. A good rule of thumb is to drink ? your body weight in ounces of water while you?re sick. Please note that if you don?t drink close to this much, are on a diuretic medication, certain electrolytes etc.., please consult your physician before you drink this much water. This much water may very well not be necessary when not ill.
Take Immunity?Boosting Supplements and Homeopathics:
Vitamin C: Take 500-1000 mg every 2-4 hours with a small amount of food. Cut back on the dosage if bowel movements become loose.
Vitamin A: Take 10,000 IU three times daily. (Women who are pregnant should not take more than 8,000 IU per day without consulting their physician.)
Zinc: Take 30-50 mg once daily with a small amount of food. This can be continued for 1-2 weeks without depleting copper stores in the body.
Beta Glucan: 500mg 3-4x/day for the duration of the illness.
Oscillococcinum: Take 6 pellets of this homeopathic remedy under the tongue every 6 hours at the first onset of symptoms. Take away from food, caffeine, or mint.
Take Immunity?Enhancing Herbs:
The following herbs can be taken as teas (3-5 cups/day), tinctures (30-60 drops 4x/day), or in freeze dried capsules (dose dependant). Please remember that these are adult dosages. Consult with a physician before using on infants, children, or the elderly. Herbs have very powerful pharmacologic actions in the body and must be treated with caution. They are NOT simply benign!!!
Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)
Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh)
Berberis Aquafolium (Oregon Grape, AKA Mahonia)
Trifolium Pretense (Red Clover)
Curcuma Longa (Turmeric)
Allium Sativum (Garlic)