*Well, a lot less time than doing nothing, anyway.
(Click-baity enough for you?)
About 10 years ago I got it into my head that I wanted to be a naturopath. I enrolled in a distance learning program, got half way through the classes, attended a conferences, adopted a baby…and the school went under before I could get my act together and finish. Oops!
However, it was a really valuable experience, particularly the conference. One of my favorite presenters was herbalist Daniel Gagnon who taught us this genius method to get over a cold faster than ever before. And by cold I mean cold, flu, virus, bacteria, etc., etc., etc. It works by optimizing immune function. I was going through my old notes and thought it would be helpful this time of year.
For general immune system support, Gagnon recommends you take medicinal mushrooms like maitake, and either astragalus or schisandra. His other steps:
At the very first sign that you don’t feel well:
1. Echinacea every hour. I like Traditional Medicinals organic echinacea tea, Celestial Seasonings Complete Care Wellness Tea with Echinacea, or Airborne. Go ahead and mock me, but it’s handy, it tastes good, and it works for me. Gagnon recommends an herbal tincture (40 drops) or a gel cap or capsule as a good way to take it (but I always forget it). Daniel explained that it takes small, frequent doses of echinacea to maintain the gel-like matrix between cells to keep the bugs out. Frequency is key!! (Echinacea is not recommended for autoimmune disorders.)
2. Vitamin C every hour, 500mg is a good dose (or a bigger dose of time release Vitamin C every 3-4 hours). Keep in mind that too much Vitamin C will cause loose bowels, so if it hits “bowel tolerance,” back off the dose.
3. A natural antiviral every 2-3 hours, like garlic, olive leaf extract, oil of oregano, lauricidin, or elderberry. I like Sambucus brand, which comes as a syrup or as gummies. (Gummies!) Sambucol brand is also quite good. Elderberry is particularly helpful against flu viruses and the Sambucol brand was used in one study where flu patients who took elderberry recovered in 2-3 days and the folks on placebo took at least 6 days to recover. <—-This is where we get the headline "Get over a cold or flu in 2 days" In all honesty, it really has worked for me.
4. Minerals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Natural sources like green juices, vegetable broth, homemade chicken broth, Quinton water, Himalayan sole are more easily assimilated. Getting zinc is important too, about 15 mg, 2x a day. You can take a capsule or a lozenge.
I frequently mix this up as an immune boosting cocktail: 1/2 glass of water, Airborne or echinacea drops, 1 oz elderberry syrup, and 1/2 a pack of Emergen*C powder because it also includes minerals.
Here’s a link to Daniel’s method and some of his other articles.
My additional suggestions:
- Wipe off your cell phone with an alcohol wipe every day.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Don’t use antibacterial soaps because they strip your skin of beneficial bacteria.
- Keep Vitamin D3 levels optimized. Get your Vitamin D level checked. Nice mid-day sunshine is a good adjunct, but I supplement. I give my kids their dose in either drops or gummies. (We’ve got a thing for gummies.) When I get sick, I take a pretty high dose of Vit D–like 10,000-20,000IUs–for 3 days.
- For sinus problems, stuffy nose, I use a neti pot. You can find them at Walgreens and CVS. Make sure you use distilled water and keep your nose at a higher level than your chin!
- Homeopathic drosera 30C has been very helpful for me for coughs
- Herbal blends with Osha are also great for address the symptoms a cough or bronchial infection Warning: it tastes terrible, but it works great.
- Arabinogalactan or Larix supports immune system function and provides fiber for good gut function. Here’s a nice description from Wellness Resources. From what I’ve read and heard in a nutrition lecture, arabinogalactin helps activate the lymph system. I have found it helpful when I get sore, swollen lymph nodes.
As a reminder, I’m not a doctor or a medical professional. The FDA has never, ever, not in a million years investigated or vetted this information. This is not to be construed at medical advice or treatment directions. It’s entirely educational based on my own reading and experience. Use this information as a starting point in your own research and education.