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Alert:  This Is A Serious Cold And Flu Season.  Know What To Do!

How to Support your Immune System this Season


This is one of the worst cold and flu seasons!  For stats and recommendations in regards to the flu shot  go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.   Go to The Health and Human Services site for local information and statistics for San Diego County that is updated weekly.

Signs and symptoms of the flu are similar to the common cold.  The difference being is the severity of the symptoms.  With the flu there is higher fever, chills, body aches, headache, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, rough cough, lethargy, tiredness, possible gastrointestinal discomfort with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach fullness.  Symptoms of a cold are not as severe, which may include a tickle in the throat, itchy throat, slight cough, low fever if there is one, runny or stuffy nose.  Generally speaking, a flu will get you down, and keep you in bed.  Where with a cold you feel terrible, but aren’t feeling too sick to keep you from doing anything, although you know you shouldn’t spread it around!

Would you like to know what you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy? 

Is it too late, and you’re already experiencing symptoms?  Did you get the flu shot, and you’ve managed to come down with it anyway?  Are you running to the nearest store to pick up anything that will help relieve nasal discharge, stuffy head and nose, cough, sore throat, body aches, fever, chills, or headache?

Though uncomfortable, these symptoms are your body’s way of defending itself against viruses.  In the long run you may do more harm than good when dosing yourself up with drugs to dry up the mucus membranes.

What are other things you can do to lesson your chances of acquiring a cold, flu or cough this season?

Here are a few natural suggestions:

-Eat Immune boosting foods, such as Apples, oranges, bananas, lemons, garlic, red and green bell peppers, onion, beets, apricots, pineapple, horseradish, leafy greens.  Make these into juices, soups, slushs, or eat them whole.  They provided necessary vitamins A, B, C, E, selenium, zinc, and bioflavonoids your immune system needs.

-To aid in shortening the duration of a cold, have a lemon fizz:  dissolve 2 tsp. baking soda in 1/2 cup boiling water, stir in juice of 1/2 lemon into cold water, then combine the mixtures until fizzy.

-Drink a citrus-mint herbal tea combination: orange, mint, peppermint, lemon or lime.

-Clear your head by soaking your feet with a 20-min. foot bath.  Add essential oils such as thyme, eucalyptus, cinnamon, lavender, cypress, white fir or Siberian fir.  Do hourly.

-Facial steam.  Get a pot of steamy water (not boiling) add 1-2 drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus, thyme, lavender, peppermint, cover head over pot with a towel.  Inhale steam 10 minutes.  Do hourly.

-Drink a cup of herbal tea every 60 minutes, coupled with plain water.  Until symptoms subside.  Tea: Cinnamon Twig (Gui Zhi Tang).  Ingredients:  cinnamon (Gui Zhi), white peony (Bai Shao), fresh ginger (Sheng Jiang), Zhi Gan Cao (Honey-Baked Licorice), and red jujube/dates (Da Zao). For the flu modify with the additions of Honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua), Dandelion (Pu Gong Ying), Apricot Seed (Xing Ren), Anemarrhena (Zhi Mu), and Shi Gao (Gypsum).

Other teas: rosemary, peppermint, goldenseal, echinacea, dandelion, chamomile, horehound, licorice root, slipper elm, skullcap, ginger.  Add fresh lemon juice or a drop of lemon oil.

Clear nasal passages:  1/4 tsp. salt to 1/2 cup warm water with 1/2 crushed garlic clove, spray into each nostril.  Twice daily.

Clear chest with essential oil rub.  Use Vegan Vegetable shortening, about 1 Tbsp.  Mix in a few drops each of Eucalyptus, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrrh.  Rub into chest and upper back.  For a young child avoid rubbing into an area that is too close to the face.  For children 5 or younger be sure the effervescence isn’t too strong.  You can use more shortening, or fewer drops of oil to dilute to per your needs.

Sore throat:  Gargle with salt water.  Add 1 tsp salt to 6 oz. water.  Gargle and spit out.  Do several times throughout the day.  This is even more effective if an essential oil is added such as clove, or cinnamon.

Dry throat, Dry cough:  Drink pear juice. Drink honey tea with spearmint and lemon.  Gargle with a tsp. of apple cider vinegar diluted in 6 oz. water.  Essential oils that can sooth dry throat, and support loss of voice are lemongrass, myrrh, rosemary, and lemon.

For Other Symptoms

To Calm Diarrhea or loose stools: Eat white rice, rice water, rice congee, bananas, boiled potatoes, barley water (made just like rice water); Carrot soup; raspberry leaf tea.

To Ease Stomach upset/Nausea/Vomiting:  peppermint leaf tea, cinnamon, ginger; marjoram tea.

Constipation-Choose one or a few of these different suggestions:

A daily tsp. of black sesame seeds cooked in cereal such as rice, millet, buckwheat; Celery juice with a little sweet cream; Chamomile tea; Prunes; 3 tbsp. bran per day.

Other Tips

*Get rest!!  Stay home, and don’t spread your germs!

*Wash your hands.  Use a hand cleaner with Aloe Vera Gel, Cinnamon, Clove, Rosemary, Orange, and Lemon.

Dietary Guidelines

*General dietary guidelines when you’re not feeling your best whether it is from a head cold, flu, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or when recuperating from injuries, surgeries, or other illness:

-During convalescence & severe deficiencies:  Eat cereal creams, rice congees, clear broth such as chicken or vegetable, light soups, or gelatin.

-If you can’t keep fluids down try sipping a teaspoon or tablespoon of water or tea at a time.  Sip on a Popsicle or fruit bar, or lollipop to obtain glucose.  Dehydration can be a killer.

-Foods & Drink to Minimize:  Raw cold foods, raw salads, ice cream, frozen desserts, mangoes, watermelon, pears, celery, persimmons, cucumbers, iced-cold drinks, milk, cheese, commercial sweetened yogurts, sugar, white flour, tofu.

I hope this helps you stay well and feeling good!


Dr. Michele Arnold


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