According to Gretchen Mendell of Nature’s Remedy in Ellicottville, “Last year was the worst cold and flu season that I have experienced in my store over the past 18 years. Lower respiratory or lung infections, secondary to upper respiratory infections, seemed to be a combination of viruses and strong, resistant bacteria working together to create hard hitting, long lasting and often recurring sinus and lung infections, with the latter being the worst.”
I can attest to this statement as I’ve worked at Nature’s Remedy since October of 2012, and witnessed my clients’ frustrations with intense respiratory symptoms, antibiotics commonly not working, concomitant infections (especially yeast infections) from misuse and overuse of antibiotics, OTC meds not helping, and confusion about how to “work” themselves and their loved ones through the journey of microbial invasion. This article responds to that need.
Once the body’s microbial protective barriers (skin, mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth and throat, good bacteria of the eyes, nose, mouth, throat and ears, and the body’s overall immune system functioning and energy levels) have been compromised, then pathogenic bacteria or viruses can invade the body. The resultant symptoms are red flags that our bodies raise to signal that a serious problem has occurred. Too often our “modern day” tactics aim only at suppressing those symptoms … this is not good! Many people stay sick too long because they suppress the symptoms and do not deal with the underlying infection.
Our job is to directly attack the pathogenic microbes, increase all the body’s system functions and open the pathways of detoxification in order to clear out the debris. How? … Read on!
Prevention of the Common Cold & Flu
• Hand washing and Use of Silver Shield Gel or Wipes.
• Boomerang Purifier to purify the air around you with Silver Shield Technology.
• Cover your mouth always when coughing or sneezing! A cough or sneeze sends thousands of respiratory droplets into the air at a speed of 47mph!
• Tei fu essential oil: 10 drops in a small spray bottle with water. Constantly spray your area (especially when traveling) to prevent germs from spreading to you.
• Support the immune system starting in September and October.
• Keep the back of your neck, or your “wind gate,” covered in the Fall.
Antimicrobials for The Common Cold & Flu
• Silver Shield Liquid and Gel is a patented Aqua-Sol technology approved as non-toxic by the FDA and very effective for all microbes.
• VS-C (TCM) is a concentrated Chinese herbal combination used especially for viruses and when the energy is low, immune system is weak and the body is hot.
• Lauricidin is a highly absorbable, pure sn-1 monolaurin derived from coconut oil. This product is safe for the whole family and effective at promoting a strong immune defense while maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria and yeast in the digestive tract. Good for all microbes.
• Echinacea purpurea (the ROOT!) enhances the immune system, promotes the production of antibodies, strengthens and clears lymph nodes, inhibits enzymes that promote the spread of infection, fights viral and bacterial infections and purifies the blood.
• High Potency Garlic is likened to nature’s penicillin and acts as a powerful decongestant and expectorant.
• Olive Leaf inhibits the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites by interfering with their reproduction and is very effective at reducing fevers.
• Elderberry D3fense is especially great for viruses and it boosts the immune system, improves lymphatic drainage and prevents the spread of infection.
• Yarrow is an excellent antiviral in addition to lowering fevers.
THE COMMON COLD
Microbial Invasions: The common cold is contracted 1 billion times per year in the U.S. and is the most commonly occurring illness in the world! There are over 200 viruses that cause the common cold with the rhinoviruses being the most common. Since the common cold is caused by viruses (primary invaders) then antibiotics will only help with secondary bacterial infections, as they target only bacteria. The only true way to know if a respiratory infection is bacterial or viral is to culture the mucus, phlegm or sputum. This is often time consuming and costly. Instead, too often, scripts are given for antibiotics without the knowledge of the infection being bacterial or viral. Or, if it is a bacterial infection, identifying the bacteria will assure the proper antibiotic prescription.
Many decades of antibiotic misuse and overuse have created antibiotic resistance and therefore, stronger bugs … ”life-threatening”: MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), drug-resistant gonorrhea and Clostridium difficile; “serious”: 11 drug-resistant bacteria and one fungus (Candida); and “concerning”: 3 drug-resistant bacteria.
Some healthy people can fight off infections with minimal interventions. Others approach the fall and winter (in WNY) with an unhealthy, unbalanced stance allowing the body to be infected and re-infected. The common cold can develop into croup (most common in children), acute bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia. This was seen over and over again in the 2012-‘13 ski season.
Symptoms of The Common Cold and Their Corresponding Treatments (general overall body support):
• Homeopathy…requires a mini-consultation
• Spicy/Hot Foods
• Liquid Chlorophyll in Water
• CranioSacral Therapy on an Amethyst Biomat (Very healing!)
• Allow someone to help take care of you
• Various forms of Hydrotherapy including Cold Wet Socks and Constitutional
• Support your Immune System
• Detoxify regularly.
Catarrh is an inflammation of mucus membranes in the respiratory tract/nasal passages, sinuses, throat, trachea and lungs. The inflammation occurs as a response to an invasion of microbes. The inflammation response increases mucus and white blood cell production in an effort to kill and remove the microbes. Inflammation with increased mucus and white blood cell production will lead to coryza (congestion) or rhinorrhea (runny nose). At this stage the best thing to do is:
• Directly kill the microbes (see Antimicrobials above)
• Decrease the inflammation and therefore excess mucus production. ALJ is one of the best formulas for almost every type of respiratory problem, especially sinus and lung problems. It combines well with Garlic, Echinacea and Immune Stimulator. Sinus Support is an alternative to OTC antihistamines. It dries up excessive sinus drainage while working to improve digestion, expels excess phlegm and detoxifies the body. Fenugreek & Thyme act as a decongestant and expectorant. It also is effective for sinus headaches.
• Support the immune system to prevent the spread of infection. Immune Stimulator does just that by boosting white blood cell count, enhancing antibody activity and helps the body to destroy microbes. It is great for prevention of colds, warding off symptoms in the early stages and dealing with more serious infections. It is made of beta glucans and various mushrooms. Trigger Immune (TCM) is great when the body is run down and weak. Astragalus and ginseng are its primary herbs, giving the body energy and improved immune function. Defense Maintenance stimulates the immune system via a host of superfoods.
• Promote the elimination of mucus and debris. The Nasal Irrigator is a large syringe with a rubber bulb on the end, similar but more effective than the Neti-pot. The use of salt and water or probiotics and water flush the nasal passages and the sinuses to promote expelling mucus and debris, free breathing and elimination of the infection.
Coryza is really congestion of the nasal passages due to the above-mentioned inflammation (or catarrh). Congestion can lead to head pain, fatigue, difficulty working/sleeping and sinus infections. At this stage the best thing to do is:
• Use Decongestants (avoiding post-nasal drip). Kali bichromium is a homeopathic remedy for thick mucus. Natrum muriaticum is a homeopathic remedy for post nasal drip. ALJ, Sinus Support, Garlic and Fenugreek & Thyme (see above). Four is a blend of herbs used mainly as a decongestant by thinning the mucus. It also relieves coughing by relaxing the lungs. Steam inhalation with Rosemary and Thyme essential oils.
• Support the sinuses. Make sure the bowels are moving 3 times/day. Fiber, Magnesium Complex and Bowel Detox, Tei fu oil, Silver Shield in a nasal aspirator. Bayberry dispels mucus, clears the sinuses and supports the immune system. Fenugreek & Thyme and Sinus Support (see above). Antihistamines help dry up sinus congestion due to histamine production. Seasonal Defense helps decongest the sinuses, reduce sinus inflammation and fights respiratory infections. Vitamin C is excellent for colds in general.
Rhinorrheais a runny nose. Rhinorrhea and sneezing are good symptoms for removing the mucus and debris from the upper respiratory tract. Preventing post-nasal drip is key here so that the infection does not spread to the throat. At this stage:
• Assist the body in clearing the sinuses and nasal passages. Nasal Irrigator (see above), Blowing the nose often - use Aloe Vera Gel, Herbal Skin Treatment or Tei fu oil to heal the skin around the nose and lips.
Sinusitisis inflammation of the sinuses due to infection. The concern is a severe or impacted infection. In addition to what is mentioned above:
• Hot compresses to the maxilla (cheek) and frontal (forehead) sinuses
• Steam inhalations with Rosemary, Thyme and Tei fu oil
• CranioSacral Therapy
• Antimicrobials (see above)
Conjuctivitis (Viral or Bacterial) is itching, burning, redness and discomfort in the whites of the eyes and under the eyelids.
• Enzyme Spray on a cotton ball to the eye.
• Silver Shield Liquid in the eyes with a dropper.
• Chamomile Tea Compress or Eye Drops (Cool tea!)
Pharyngitis (or sore throat)
• Undiluted Liquid Chlorophyll
• Celtic Sea Salt and water … gargle
• Slippery Elm, Licorice, Aloe Vera and Marshmallow Teas
• Tei fu oil on the back of the tongue
• Sore Throat and Cough Syrup: in a glass jar fill 3 layers of chopped onions, raw honey, fresh lemon juice and Tei fu oil. Let sit at least 2 hours (the longer, the better) and swallow.
Dry Cough with Burning, Painful, Lungs. Coughs can be acute (lasts less than a month), subacute (lasts 1-3 months) and chronic (lasts more than 3 months). Acute and Subacute coughs are usually a result of infections. They can be treated!
• Lung Support TCM - a Chinese herbal combination acting as a tonic to moisten and nourish the lungs, especially dry, irritating coughs.
• Tei fu oil in a humidifier and Tei fu oil or lotion on the chest! A good old natural essential oil version of Vicks Vapor Rub.
• Demulcent herbs - soothing to the mucus membranes. Aloe Vera Juice, Marshmallow, Licorice Root and Slippery Elm.
• Breathe Activator - a Chinese herbal combination providing nutritional support for the lungs and helps increase the flow of mucus to remove toxins.
Headaches with regard to the common cold usually come from inflammation of the sinuses.
• ALJ, Fenugreek & Thyme, Tei fu oil, Four (see above)
• Colon Cleansing
• CranioSacral Therapy
Fever is a good symptom to have as an increased body temperature helps to destroy microbes. Of course it doesn’t feel great to have a temperature but it was created for a purpose. Watching for a high temp is the goal and proper medical care should be taken as a temp climbs to 103°.
• Garlic Enemas will bring down a temp while cleansing the lower bowel.
• Have a CranioSacral Therapist do a “Still Point”
• Drink teas: Yarrow OR Peppermint and Chamomile combined to bring down the fever by promoting perspiration. Yarrow is especially good for high fevers.
• High Potency Garlic (or raw garlic on toast)
• Essential oils (Bergamot, Chamomile, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rose Bulgaria, Rosemary or Thyme) in cool water … use a washcloth to the forehead.
SEASONAL INFLUENZA (THE FLU)
Microbial Invasions of The Flu: According to the CDC, 2013-2014, flu viruses are “Seasonal Influenza, H7N9 influenza and MERS-CoV infection and they can cause similar respiratory symptoms, including fever and cough. However, so far, symptoms of most reported cases of H7N9 and MERS-CoV have been more severe than the common seasonal influenza. Of these viruses, doctors are most likely to encounter patients with seasonal influenza infections. Seasonal influenza viruses circulate each year in the United States, with most flu activity occurring between October and May.”
I guess it doesn’t matter what virus is causing your flu (or common cold for that matter) … antivirals are the key! (See above for effective antivirals.)
Symptoms of the flu and their corresponding treatments (general overall body support):
• Antivirals-the key for effectiveness is to take something every 1-2 hours
• Support the Fever
• CranioSacral Therapy on an Amethyst Biomat
• Hydrate the Body
• Homeopathy … Occillococcinum. Upon the first signs of the flu, dissolve one vial of this remedy under the tongue every 6 hours. The results are amazing! Best when used within first 24 hours of onset.
Nausea & Vomiting
• Teas and herbs: Ginger, Peppermint and Cinnamon
• Nux vomica homeopathic remedy
• Essential oils: Tei fu, Peppermint, Clove Bud, Pink Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon
• Activated Charcoal
• Bentonite Clay
• Liquid Chlorophyll in water
• Psyllium Hulls Combination or Nature’s 3
• Activated Charcoal especially for severe diarrhea
• Slippery Elm or Marshmallow especially for infants and children
• White Oak Bark or Yarrow for very watery diarrhea
• High Potency Garlic and Silver Shield
• Ionic Minerals in water
Malaise and Body Pain
• IF Relief or Relief Formula - your natural pain relievers
• Boneset for fevers when the bones ache
• IF-C (TCM) is a Chinese Herbal Combination for fevers that alternate with chills.
These ideas are not meant to be substitutes for proper allopathic care … they are meant to be added to and used together with your chosen route of healthcare. This information is NOT intended to “treat,” “cure,” “diagnose” nor be a substitute for the proper diagnostic assessments and treatments prescribed by your doctor. Naturopathic doctors are not PCPs, so also consult with your doctor for your health care needs. This article is only intended for your information, at your discretion and supplementing your allopathic care.
All products, information and services mentioned in this article are available at Nature’s Remedy, 26 Monroe Street in Ellicottville, NY, phone 716-699-4372 or 716-353-0786 for direct access to Dr. Kristina. Please call or stop by Nature’s Remedy at any point for further information regarding colds, flu and the prevention thereof.