There’s more to preventing the flu than just getting your annual vaccine (which actually doesn’t protect against the current strain of the flu). A healthy immune system is always our best defense against any type of bug, whether it be a virus, bacteria, fungus or parasite. To achieve and maintain a healthy immune system, a person has to take care of the basics. That includes having a healthy diet, adequate water intake, deep breathing, stress reduction, adequate rest and exercise, quality sleep, healthy relationships and last but not least, spirituality. Besides these general recommendations, there are specific nutrients that could help in the fight against the flu. These include certain vitamins, minerals, herbs and essential oils. Vitamin D (D3 in particular), the so-called “happiness” vitamin because of it’s role in preventing SAD or seasonal affective disorder, is more than a vitamin. It’s a pro-hormone and and an immune modulator as well.
Doses from 1,000 to 10,000 IU daily may be given to achieve an optimal level of 60-80 ng/ml. Vitamin A can also be used for short periods to help increase secretory IgA and improve the immune system. Doses from 50,000-100,000 units have been used for short periods to help against viral infections. Make sure that a person has a healthy liver prior to initiating high doses of vitamins A and D. Vitamin C complex (with bioflavonoids) can also be given at 1,000-6,000 mg daily. Adequate water intake is suggested when taking higher doses of vitamin C. Minerals such as zinc and selenium, and herbs such as astragalus and garlic, do help as well. Finally, there’s essential oils such as clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary and thyme. I specifically recommend a therapeutic-grade essential oil blend from YLEO called Thieves. It works!