Cold/Flu Tips from Dawn at Dunlap Pharmacy

Well, it looks like the cold/flu season is fully upon us.  I think we are in for a wild ride this year.  We all know the usual recommendations for preventing influenza; wash hands, stay home if you are sick, cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve, drink plenty of fluids and get enough sleep.  Being well hydrated will make sure that your mucous membranes, such as nasal passages are not dried out.  If they are dry, it is much easier for a virus to enter the body.  Getting enough sleep or rest will make sure that you are not run down, which would make it easier for a virus to take hold.

No Flu Vaccine?

What about if you can’t get or don’t want to get the Flu vaccine?  Natural Creations has a product that I like and use with my family called Influenzinum 1M.  It is a homeopathic version of the flu shot.  You take it daily for 3-7 days, then once monthly through influenza season.

Ok, ok, but what else can we do to prevent or maybe even treat this?  Well, make sure that you are getting sufficient Vitamin C, Zinc and Selenium.  These three are essential for proper immune function.  Vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, is also essential.  Most people want to get about 2000 units daily, and if starting to get sick, may increase to 4000-10,000 units daily for 3-5 days.

A good probiotic, such as Enterobiotic, once daily is important.  The good bacteria are one of our first defenses and are especially important if you have been on antibiotics.  The good bacteria won’t fight off a virus but can help make sure that you don’t get another infection on top of or after the flu.

Support that Immune System! 

There are a number of herbs that can be taken to support the immune system.  One of the most well-known herbs is Echinacea.  Other herbs that have immune supporting/stimulating effects are Andrographis, Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng), Astragalus, Ashwagandha, and Maitake.  A couple of herbs that are especially helpful with viral infections are elderberry and olive leaf.  Other nutritionals that may be helpful are Beta-glucan and Cordyceps.  Homeopathic remedies are designed to treat viral infections as well.  Some products that I like are Flu HP and Viral HP, Oscillococcinum, and Umcka.  Make sure when taking anything, to check with a professional who can instruct you on how much, how long and when to take it.

A few other things to consider that will help protect/support your immune system:  eat plenty of protein, but minimal red meat; avoid processed carbohydrates, such as white flour products; avoid excess sugar and artificial sweeteners.  Try to avoid stress, stress weakens the immune system.  Avoid crowds, it’s much easier to transmit a “bug”.  Keep toothbrush clean by rinsing with peroxide daily.

There you have it, my recommendations for preventing/managing the flu.  Hopefully, you won’t need to use any of these products, but it’s shaping up to be a long cold/flu season, so you may want to keep this info handy.

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to call the Dunlap Pharmacy at 712-643-5162.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Dawn and the team at Dunlap Pharmacy