Now that we are in the throes of flu season, I have been getting a ton of questions on what I recommend for colds and flu. I make no bones that I am not a fan of flu vaccines, and since I mentioned my ‘secret weapon’ on a facebook thread last week, my email has been blowing up – so here is my list:
1. My ultimate ‘secret weapon’ is Muco coccinum. I was turned onto this supplement 9 years ago by another doctor, and we have used it with our family and our patients ever since. One year I waited too long to order my supply and it got sold out. Lesson learned! I now order early to make certain that I secure my supply for my kids , myself, my patients, and clients. Muco coccinum is a homeopathic preparation comprised of homeopathic preparations of four of the worst strains of flu seen in the past century: Influenzinum 200 K, Klebsiella pneumoniae 200 K, Branhamella catarrhalis 200 K, and Micrococcus tetragenes 200 K. For those of you unfamiliar with homeopathy, it is a system of alternative medicine developed in Germany over 200 years ago based on the principle of ‘like treats like’. Extremely diluted preparations of natural substances are prepared using specific ratios and delivered in liquid or tablet preparations which you dissolve under the tongue.
Muco coccinum is made in Belgium, but I import a supply from Canada each year. It was designed to boost immune function and stimulate the body’s own defenses to combat or prevent symptoms associated with flu and other seasonal viruses. In studies it has been shown to be 88% effective in the prevention of influenza and 82% effective in the treatment of primary flu-related symptoms of chills, muscle aches and minor fever. So, if taken as recommended, most people find that they simply do not get sick, but if they are exposed to a virus, they have fewer and less severe symptoms and recover faster. The key is to take the product regularly. It is recommended that you dissolve one tablet under the tongue every two weeks. If you know you have been exposed to a contagious person, you can take an additional dose as soon as possible as an extra preventative measure. A box of 10 tablets will last a person for the duration of the flu season, if taken every two weeks from late October through March. Please note, that particularly susceptible individuals such as children and seniors can take one tablet every week for prevention. Another unique feature about Muco coccinum is that if you haven’t been able to take it preventatively, and you are already starting to come down with symptoms of the flu, you can take it to lessen those symptoms. Simply dissolve one tablet 2-3 times per day until the package is emptied. Muco coccinum is a safe and natural way to prevent symptoms and guard you and your family against the flu. With over a million doses sold each year, the country of Belgium has been using this successful remedy for many years. It is now become available in North America. This oral medication is considered a safe and effective alternative to the influenza vaccination.
Auto-immune disorders and pregnancy. Muco Coccinum is not indicated for pregnant women due to a lack of research on its safety for pregnant woman by the company that makes this product. Homeopathic remedies do not have the actual molecular ingredients that are used to make these products, as they have been diluted down to such a level that the original substance is no longer detectable; it is the energetic quality of the substance that remains. Though those energetic qualities do move the body to build up it’s immune response antibodies, so those antibodies can recognize and react to these flu strains in this product if you are exposed. Non-Medicinal Ingredients:Xylitol (from birch or beechwood), Magnesium stearate, Lactose (from milk). Note: As with any homeopathic treatment, it is not advisable to eat, drink, or consume products containing mint (ie. Candy, chewing gum, toothpaste, etc.), or to use products that contain menthol, camphor, or eucalyptus (e.g.- Tiger balm, Ben-Gay, mentholatum, etc.) within 30-60 minutes of using a homeopathic. These products can antidote the medication, so do not use them around the time of taking mucococcinum. *** Muco coccinum is part of a physician only nutritional line, so be very careful where you are buying your supply from. Neither I nor the company authorize or recommend online sales. Buy from a doctor that guarantees that you are receiving fresh product that hasn’t been exposed to potentially damaging shipment conditions, heat, light, etc. As of today, I still have a limited supply of Muco coccinum at the office, so contact me if you would like me to reserve it for you.
2. Use a humidifier! Coughing and sneezing spreads germs and viruses, and studies have shown that the less humidity in the air, the further those bacteria and viruses can spread. Many physicians have even speculated that the real reason we have a cold and flu season, is because of the fact that we are cooped up in closer quarters and bacteria and viruses thrive in the drier indoor air resulting from popular heating methods. Not only do these nasties live longer in dry conditions, but they can rapidly spread on air currents effectively contaminating entire rooms in mere seconds. By placing humidifiers in your living and sleeping areas, not only can you alleviate symptoms of colds and flu if you are already sick, but you can thwart their spread to other members of the household, and even prevent certain bacteria and viruses from being able to take hold in sensitive lung tissues. If you have small children, make sure you place the humidifier at a safe distance so they do not burn themselves.
3. Take your probiotics. It has been said that over 80% of your immune function originates in the gut, so support your immune system by taking a potent probiotic blend. I am very pleased with ProBio5, and I rotate other broad spectrum probiotic blends in my household to boost immunity to optimal levels.
4. Wash your hands frequently with good old fashioned hand soap. Do not use anti-bacterial soap or hand sanitizers, use of either of these has been associated with increased risk of cancer.
5. Use peroxide. If you have been exposed to someone who is coughing, sneezing, or otherwise presenting as ill, swab your ears out with a cotton swab soaked in hydrogen peroxide as soon as physically possible. I learned this trick from an old Doctor of Osteopathy, who premised that many airborne germs enter your system via your ear canals since your nose and mouth have other protective mechanisms to prevent infection. I started swabbing my ears our after any air travel several years ago and cut my incidence of getting sick after flights dramatically.
6. Load up on raw fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are chock full of valuable nutrients and enzymes that boost your immune system and help it resist infections.
7. Eat your soup! Grandma knew what she was doing when she made you eat homemade chicken soup when you were feeling ill. A few different studies have now confirmed that not only does chicken soup possess anti-inflammatory benefits, but it also affects the mobility of certain types of white blood cells which make it particularly effective at helping with chest and sinus infections and symptoms. Make sure to use bones when you make your broth and include plenty of onions (source of quercetin) and herbs (source of a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds).
8. Drink Green tea. A recent study showed that regular green tea drinkers had 69% less chance of developing the flu vs. non-green tea drinkers.
9. Supplement with Vitamin D. Most clinical studies in the past decade conclude that the RDI is woefully inadequate, and believe that 3000-10,000 IU/day of Vitamin D is an optimal dose. I recommend cholcalciferol (D3), not ergocalciferol (D2). I attended a medical conference a few years back in Cincinatti, and one of the lead researchers on vitamin D proposed that nearly all doctors are dosing vitamin D incorrectly. She said that our current practice of only dosing in the winter months is opposite how we understand vitamin D uptake to work. Since vitamin D synthesis and uptake is circadian and based on the wavelength of sunlight, she proposed that we dose heavily from mid-Spring to mid-Autumn (when the wavelengths of sunlight are the longest) and only take a maintenance dose over the winter months.
10. Get out and exercise. Spinal movement is essential for maintaining health, and regular and consistent movement of your quadriceps is the best lymphatic pump in your body. A simple walk each evening for 20 minutes or so after your meal will do wonders for your overall health and immunity. Deep breathing associated with moderate physical activity also helps to clear the lungs of mucous and foreign substances.
11. Increase your protein intake. High quality protein and whey protein are both valuable sources of proteins and amino acids such as argenine help the body make lymphocytes and T-cells that dramatically improve your immune function. Plexus 96 is a great, portable source of whey protein, and an easy way to add it to your diet. Also, studies have shown that the nutrients in whey protein give your body all of the building blocks it needs to increase its glutathione production, one of the best markers of health.
12. Don’t make a habit of popping acetaminophen or ibuprofen at the first sign illness. These not only tax your liver or kidneys, but artificially lower your body’s natural response to defending against colds or flu (fever), which can dramatically increase both the intensity and the duration of your cold or flu.
13. If you have low or altered immune function, consider taking desiccated thymus gland concentrate. This supplement is another ‘hidden gem’ at boosting overall immune function and helping you ward off seasonal nasties.
and lastly, my personal favorite
14. Visit your local chiropractor. Spinal adjustments have been shown to stimulate immune responses, and as the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Copyright 2012, 2015 Miranda Jorgenson