I know I have shared my immune boosting tips with you in class and on FB, but I get asked about it a lot so I wanted to post it here so you can all refer to it. I learned most of this from my daughter’s pediatrician, Dr. Howard Schlacter in Essex Fells (most amazing doctor ever, btw). Since I starting taking his advice, I haven’t been sick in well over a year, 15 months in fact. Not even a cold. (Of course I probably just jinxed myself and now I will get something horrid, lol.)
Anyway, here are my basic, simple tips:
-Be more aware of handwashing and touching public items such as shopping carts, atm buttons, etc. Use hand sanitizer when you can. Esp in the cold and flu seasons. (It is fair to say that I became a crazy germaphobe when I had Giuliana.)
-Take a vitamin D supplement (and give to your kids if you have them). I take a traditional vitamin tablet, but I give my daughter a drop form that can go into her food or drink.
-Take black elderberry in pill/vitamin form. You can open the capsule and put the powder into a smoothie if you don’t like the pills. Black elderberry is like an all natural version of Tamiflu. It works wonders on the immune system in protecting against cold, flu and other viruses.
-Take astragalus in pill/vitamin form. Same reasons as above. And again, you can put into a smoothie if you don’t like taking pill
If you feel like you may be getting sick: Immediately purchase and start taking Sambcol, found in the cold/flu section of most drug stores. (They have a childrens version too, check amazon if you can’t find it.) Sambucol contains elderberry extract and zinc. The elderberry boosts your natural immune system to fight the virus, and Doctor Oz will tell you that zinc helps push the virus out. It is the only real way to make your cold 3-4 days versus 7-14.
-Drink teas that support your respiratory tract during cold and flu season. Yogi teas makes two, and Traditional Medicinals make a few. Browse your tea aisle in your stores natural foods section
-Remember that MOST colds, flu, ear infections and other viruses are just that: viruses. They can’t be helped by antibiotics. In fact, taking an antibiotic will reduce their effectiveness if you ever do catch a bacterial infection that requires their treatment. Some doctors will even prescribe an antibiotic when not needed. They know you came in looking for medication. They know that most patients will not be happy with a doctor saying: there is nothing you can do but wait it out. They are running a business, too, and can’t afford to lose your business. I have spoken to many doctors about it and they will openly admit it. If you don’t believe me, MSN or Parenting (I can’t remember which one) recently had an article where doctors discussed this. I will probably get heat for posting this. But I want you to understand that just because an antibiotic is prescribed, it doesn’t mean you need it. Instead, ask your doctor if it will actually benefit you, or if you have a viral infection. If he says it is viral, there is no need for an antibiotic. Sometimes they are unsure, and in that case, take the script home and fill it, just in case. And sometimes, you definitely need antibiotics, for example with strep throat. Don’t mess with that, take your prescriptions. Have a conversation with your doctor to determine how to boost your natural immune system and how to get better faster, naturally!