Winter Infections

Winter Upper Respiratory Infections

Colds, flus, sore throats including strep, bronchitis, sinusitis, and mono

The best use of natural therapy is to prevent infection by optimizing immune function so that either the bacteria or virus are killed before they reproduce enough to cause symptoms. Most infections are viral and thus antibiotics are not helpful. Also most infections, either viral or bacterial, resolve in 5-7 days with or without treatment. If antibiotics are needed then the contagious period is reduced to 1 day of treatment. Natural therapies reduce the duration and symptom intensity of these infections by enhancing our body’s normal immune function. Begin your winter prevention routine by reducing processed carbohydrates (most ‘junk foods’) and get 7-8 hours sleep. Antibiotics only officially recommended if positive Strep test or symptoms of a URI worsen after 5-7 days. Remember to cough into elbow and wash hands frequently. You are contagious until on antibiotics for 24 hours or as long as 5 days of a viral illness.

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Fall to Spring Immune Enhancement:

  • Vitamin C 2000 milligrams.
  • Vitamin D3 4000 iu daily. Always take Vit. D (# VDC60)
  • Zinc 20-30 milligrams (picolinate or citrate forms) (# ZNP)
  • Echinacea 1 capsule. Make sure standardized with 3.5 % echinacosides. (#SE500) Note: Ineffective for acute illness!
  • Cold-FX: 2 capsules daily. A North American Ginsing extract. At local stores
  • Green tea: 3 cups per day or capsuled extract. Contains catechins and theanine.

Acute Infection Immune Enhancement:

Keep one or more on hand, start with first symptoms and use for 3 to 5 days for best effectiveness.

  • Vitamin C until ‘bowel tolerance’ reached. 1-2000 milligrams per hour till loose stools each day. Sodium ascorbate is effective form.
  • Zinc acetate 12.5 milligrams lozenges every two hours (colds/sore throats) Progressive Labs Co. (#ZIN18)
  • ViraClear EPs 7630: Tincture of South African Pelargonium sidoides plant. (# VCEPSO)
  • Oscillococcinum: Homeopathic duck thymus: 1 tube every 6 hours for three days. (#OSC13)
  • Mucinex (extract of herbal Guaiacum officinale). 1200mg twice daily to thin mucus and stimulate mucus flow. At local pharmacies.
  • Eliminate wheat and daily products: ‘eat light’ with lots of fresh garlic and ginger soup.

Miscellaneous Tips:

  • Sinusitis: Neti Pot nasal irrigation both for prevention and treatment.
  • Fevers: Fevers help the body kill viruses and bacteria. Homeopathic medicines help this process be rapid and uneventful. Ferrum phosphoricum 30c with fevers between 99-102 and Belladonna 30c if the fever is 102 or greater. 
  • Flu Vaccination: Recommended especially if have COPD or heart disease, also the pneumococcous vaccine.
  • Probiotics: For intestinal ‘bugs’ (and ‘eat light’). Also whenever taking antibiotics.