Home Remedies For Cold & Flu [Infographic]

A stressed out, run down, under nourished immune system is a sure fire way to leave your immune system at risk. With 2018 seeing a rise in Influenza Like Illnesses (ILIs) now is the time to be taking care of your defense system. 

A panic seems to circle the flu each year and as stated above most of the rise in cases are flu-like cases, not just the flu. Symptoms include fever, sore muscles, nausea, weakness, cough, diarrhea, vomiting and a running nose. This points to a big need for a more proactive approach on giving the body what it needs to thrive. 

The flu, a viral driven respiratory illness, can be a fatal condition if not properly addressed, especially if there are underlying immune complications.1  Traditional approaches are medications to treat the condition (Tamiflu, etc) and vaccination. 

Effectiveness studies for this years vaccine show a 10-17% effectiveness rate against the flu virus strain that has caused 80%+ of flu cases. Meaning 100 out of 1000 unvaccinated people get the flu compared to 90 out of 1000 vaccinated people. Effectivness had shown to be higher in other less prominent strains. 

The conversation that I belief we need to switch to is not if one is for or against a vaccine but what is the most effective and least toxic way we can prevent anyone from being harmed by a cold or flu. How do we get real health to produce healthy people in the long and short term.

Below are my top 7 natural remedies to fight the flu if you are looking for an alternative to using drugs.  

1. Oregano Oil (200mg Daily if Emulsified in Oil)

Oregano oil is high in phenols (Thymol, Carvacol, and others) which have strong anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. Oregano oil is almost more important in preventing further cold and flu complications than it is at combating the virus itself. It has been shown to be as effective as antibiotics without all the side effects. 23 

As a precaution cut the oregano oil with olive or coconut oil to increase surface area, effectiveness, and decrease irritation as it can cause dermal or mucous irritation. Opt only for pure oregano oil made from Origanum vulgare and Thymus capitatus instead of commercialized lower quality sources.  

2. Vitamin D (5,000 – 10,000ius Daily Depending on Blood Levels)

Direct correlation and common sense says the flu is almost exclusively present during colder winter months.4 The correlation between proper Vitamin D levels and flu prevention is perhaps the most well studied natural alternative. Low vitamin D levels have been shown to increase the flu and infections.5

The more northern a person lives the more vitamin D is essential. Direct sunlight is a great source but in winter months supplementation is a must. It plays a vital role at recovering and protecting further flu complications as well. 

3. Elderberry (100 – 1000mg Daily During Symptoms)

One of nature’s most powerful antiviral herbs. The herb, and it’s antioxidant flavonoids, have been shown to increase cytokines in the bodies immune system to increase the defense. This proves to be one of the best flu fighters there is. 

Elderberry research shows flu symptoms being resolved in just two days.6 More effective than dangerous medications like Tamiflu, without the side effects of psychologic disturbances and delusion. 

4. Echinacea (300 – 900mg Daily Depending on Body Weight)

A true cold and flu fighter echinacea herb shortens the duration and severity of colds and other upper respiratory infections (URIs) when given as soon as symptoms become evident. 7

On top of that it has been shown to be great for inflammation, concentration, asthma, and more. To get the proper therapeutic dose choose supplementation as drinks and teas seem to not be high enough. 

5. Andrographis (50 – 300mg Daily)

This herb native to India has a positive effect in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections and also relieves the inflammatory symptoms of sinusitis. Study suggest a 33% reduction in the common cold when taken regularly.8

The extract of the plant has been shown to be a powerful antimicrobial, cytotoxic, anti-protozoan, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-infective, and immune booster.9

As a precaution do not take while pregnant just to be safe. 

6. Chiropractic Care

The central nervous system is the master controller of all function in the body, including the immune system. Studies show a chiropractic adjustment, that alters the central nervous system, has a profound effect on the short and long term immune system, cold and flu prevention, and recovery.1

7. Vitamin C (1000+ mg Multiple Times Daily)

A staple known by most has shown to significantly reduce cold and flu like symptoms when taken properly.11  Test subjects saw an 85% reduction in symptoms when taking multiple high doses of vitamin C.

To find your maximum effective dose take 1000mg doses every several hours until one experiences loose stools and then back down. Avoid sugar filled sources and poor quality (corn) sources of vitamin C, as those work against the immune system. 

A Precautionary Note

The research points to there being a much safer, less toxic method of dealing with the flu. The above is the opinion of Dr. Livingood but of course do not put yourself at risk and be sure to consult with a physician if you have or suspect you have the flu. 

The best defense for the flu remains to be never getting it in the first place! Prevention is key. As a bonus here are Five Ways to Fend Off the Flu.

Five Ways to Fend Off the Flu

1. Rest

The reason our body goes into “sick” mode in the first place is because it needs to fight! If viruses, bacteria, and invaders get in to our bodies then our bodies must get them out. It does so by coughing, sneezing, snotting, throwing up, going to the bathroom, and through sterilizing (fever).

If the body is not spending all its energy eating and stressing through a day then it can spend all its time healing. Rest and sleep, 7-9 hours daily, is essential for prevention.  

2. Chiropractic Care

There are numerous studies showing the correlation of regular spine and nervous system care increases immunity. For example spinal care shows an increase in the IgA immunoglobulin by 139%.12 As well as increases in IgG and IgM through other studies.13

Finding the right doctor is crucial to ensure a proper analysis as well as a specific focus on pre and post testing to ensure optimal results. 

3. Vitamin D

As covered in the flu remedy section vitamin D is an essential flu fighter and powerful to fend it off. In fact research points to vitamin D being as effective and even more effective at preventing the flu than the flu shot.14 

Overall, the study said one person would be spared infection for every 33 taking vitamin D supplements. The flu vaccine needs to treat 40 to prevent one case. In some studies it reduces incident rates by nearly 50%.15

Get your blood levels measured and target over 50ng/mL. The dosage of high quality vitamin D3, of 5,000ius+ daily, helps achieve these levels.

4. Probiotics

Good bacteria, or probiotics, make up and interact with 60-80% of the immune system. Harmful medications like antibiotics, poor nutrition, toxins, and stress decrease the gut’s good bacteria and weaken the immune system. 

For example the power of multi-strain probiotics in children were shown in a 2009 study to reduce fever incidence by 72.7%, coughing incidence by 62.1%, and rhinorrhea incidence by 58.8%.  Antibiotic use and missed days of school were also decreased.16

Multiple, highly resistant strains are the key. The probiotic dosage should be 10-50 Billion CFUs daily, depending on weight, of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strands.

5. Cut the Sugar

The American Association of Cancer Research has shown the direct link between increased sugar intake and the weakening of the immune system and increase in inflammation. Cancer levels increase with an increased carbohydrate diet, let alone colds and flus.17

A diet in super food antioxidants like blueberries, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and healthy fats are a combative formula for warding off immune system dysfunction. A breakfast smoothie is a simple and quick way to get immune boosting foods in.