5 Ways to Prepare for the Cold and Flu Season

As we are entering the new school year and the hottest part of the SoCal year, it’s odd to think that the cold and flu season starts now. But it does. If you are currently taking a customized formula from me, you already have a better than average chance of not getting sick.

Here are some ways to prepare yourself for in advance to avoid or shorten a cold or flu attack.

Elderberry extract. Those little old ladies that sipped Elderberry wine for medicinal purposes were on to something. Elderberry inhibits a virus’s ability to replicate. So if it is in your system before or at the same time as a virus first enters, you have a good chance of avoiding getting sick. It also tastes good (it is a berry!) and it’s easy to use with a child. You could take it all the time, but I recommend using this as soon as you notice somebody around you is sick. When my son was little, as soon as I heard a child sneeze in his vicinity, out came the Elderberry.

You will want to get an extract for higher concentrations of the good stuff and I’ve found that pill form works better than syrup unless you are dealing with a child. Gaia Black Elderberry is good BUT my hands-down favorite is New Chapter Immune Take Care. New Chapter is what I used and for my kiddo. I would open the gel cap into a cup of bubbly water and he thought he was drinking a berry soda.

Emergen-C Fizzy Drink. Definitely old-school but a large dose, 1000 mg Vit C with Zinc or with Additional B vitamins definitely can give your immune system some ammunition. Drink it warm to help the body absorb better. And with kids again it tastes good.

Use a light jacket or scarf to keep warm. Warning you to keep warm in summer temperatures sounds crazy but going back and forth from summer heat to intense air conditioning can cause a sudden chill. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this can cause a glitch in your immune system and an opportunity for a bug to get the upper hand. Most important is the neck when you feel that chill on your neck -- cover it.

Get plenty of sleep. TCM stresses the importance of “regular life.” This means having a regular mealtimes, worktimes and bedtimes. We all do better with routines, not just children. Having a regular bedtime will help your establish dependable sleep patterns that will keep your immune system strong.

Schedule an appointment. If you know you’re rundown and overstressed, see me for some maintenance care and a custom formula to boost your whole system and increase your tolerance to stress.

If boosting with the vitamins and using the elderberry as a barrier does not keep you feeling tip-top, it’s time to go to you TCM remedies. Your at-home cabinet should have the following:

  • Yin Chao – this is the formula for colds that begin with a sore throat

  • Gao Mao Ling – this is the formula for colds/flus that begin with an achiness in the skin and muscles

  • Hou Xiang – this is the formula for “sudden turmoil disorder,” when the contents of your GI tract are exiting using one or both exits

You can find these online or ask me next time you come in for an appointment.

Disclaimer: Please remember any signs or symptoms that are severe or last longer than two days without improvement should be evaluated by a medical professional.