10 Tips to Stave Off Colds and Flus

People all around you may be coming down with colds and flus, but you don’t have to be one of them!
When you first feel yourself becoming ill, these tips can help you avoid sickness or at least shorten the duration and severity of your illness. The earlier you begin, the more effective these methods will be!

Eat Very Lightly

Have you ever noticed that you don’t have much of an appetite when you don’t feel well? This is the body’s natural response. The body needs all its energy to fight off the “invaders” and doesn’t want to waste it on digestion.

A liquid based diet is most effective. If you are feeling chills, drink vegetable or grain soup. If you feel a fever coming on, drink fruit and vegetable juices and eat fresh fruits. Avoid meat, dairy products, and heavy grains that take a lot of work to digest. Stay away from sugars and any processed foods.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

This is always good advice, but it is especially important when you are feeling ill. You can clear the toxins out of your system with large amounts of filtered water and herbal teas.

Get Rest As Soon As Possible

You’ve got so much to do—but you won’t be getting any more of it done for some time if you become so sick that you’re stuck in bed! So give your body a rest immediately!

Many people insist on working until they “drop”. By using all their energy to keep moving they rob their body of the energy it needs to fight back and lets the illness get a strong foothold.

If you feel yourself getting a sore throat, headache, congestion or just feel achy and run down, take it easy and get extra sleep. If possible, take a day off work. This could allow your body the strength to fend off the illness and save yourself from having to spend several days in bed recovering.

Go to bed early (by 9:00 PM). Viruses love late hours because cortisol levels (from the adrenal gland) are lower then and your immune system is weaker.

Foods Are Medicine

Nutrient rich foods and extracts can help strengthen the immune response.

Garlic has such strong antiviral properties that it can often stop a cold or flu in its tracks if taken soon enough. As soon as symptoms begin to appear, Peel a garlic clove and cut it in half. Insert it between your cheek and your teeth.

Hold it there without chewing for 20-30 minutes.

You’ll need to move the clove around occasionally to avoid burning the tissues in your mouth. If the juice from the half clove is too much for you, substitute an uncut clove and keep it in your mouth for a longer time period.

Cabbage with hearts and green peppers with their insides are rich in bioflavonoids. Carrots, broccoli, parsley, turnips, horseradish, scallion, fresh ginger root, lemon juice, grapefruit, and most other fruits are also helpful. Use your creativity for a delicious vitamin-packed juice. Citrus seed extract is a potent natural antibiotic. It is also sold as Grapefruit Seed Extract because it is mainly taken from the seeds of grapefruit. It inhibits bacteria, viruses, protozoa, amoebas, and some fungi.

Citrus seed extract can be used internally in fluid, capsule, or spray form. Take three times daily, after meals, but do not exceed 1500 mg per day. If taking the liquid form, it will require dilution. Mixing it with a vegetable or citrus juice will help avoid the bitter taste.

CAUTION: Do not take Citrus Seed Extract if you are allergic to citrus fruits. If you develop a rash or any other unwanted symptom, discontinue use.

Take Immunity-Boosting Supplements* and Homeopathics

Vitamin C Take 500 mg every 3-4 hours with a small amount of food. Rose hips is a good source. When taking large doses, be sure to increase your water intake. Cut back on dosage if stools become loose.

Vitamin A Take 10,000 IU three times daily. Women who are pregnant should NOT take high doses of vitamin A as fetus can be affected. Do NOT take high doses of vitamin A if you have a liver condition or jaundice.

Zinc: Take 30-50 mg once daily with small amount of food. This can be continued for 1-2 weeks without depleting copper stores (zinc and copper oppose each other to some degree).

Elderberry Syrup:  The European elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has many immune boosting properties. and has been shown to reduce the severity and length of colds and flus.  Sold in both syrups and lozenges, up to one teaspoon a day for prevention or up to 4 teaspoons a day taken during illness is recommended for most commercially prepared syrups   We sell a concentrated formulation of elderberry syrup that includes both echinacea and zinc, making it even more potent.

Oscillococcinum: his is a homeopathic remedy. Take 6 pellets every 6 hours at the first onset of flu or cold symptoms. Avoid food and fluids 20 minutes before or after each dose. Avoid strong aromatic herbs or substances (mint, eucalyptus, strong smelling oils or rubs, etc.)

*These are average adult dosages. Consult your physician regarding the correct dosage for you and regarding dosages for infants and children.

Take Immunity-Enhancing Herbs*

Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower) Commiphora Myrrh (Myrrh) Hydrasis (Goldenseal) Ligusticum (Osha) Trifolium (Red Clover) Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)

These herbs can be taken as teas (3-4 cups/day), tinctures (30 drops 4x/day), or freeze-dried capsules (2 capsules 4x/day). Lemon and honey may be added to the teas.

Use Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils**

These oils have traditional uses that can strengthen your immune response. They should be used in a diffuser or applied topically in conjunction with a carrier oil. They should not be ingested, except for Oregano. You may mix one drop of oregano oil into a full glass of water and drink once daily.

Bay Laurel (Immune Support, Antibacterial, Antiviral, Expectorant)

Cistus (Antiviral, Anti-infectious, Respiratory Support)

Cypress (Respiratory Ailments, Sore Throats) Eucalyptus (Decongestant, Colds, Flu)

Frankincense (Strengthens immunity)

Geranium (Viral infection)

Oregano (Respiratory ailments)

Palmarose (Antibacterial, viral infections)

Patchouli (Decongestant)

Pine (Antiviral, Respiratory Support)

Rosemary (Colds, Flu)

Tea Tree (Decongestant, Colds, Flu)

Thieves Oil (Decongestant, Immune Support, Colds, Flu)

Give Yourself a Home Hydrotherapy Treatment

These treatments can increase circulation and white-blood cell activity, increasing your immune response.

Hot Foot Bath
Soak feet in warm/hot water (not hot enough to burn you) while wrapped in a warm wool blanket. Put a cold cloth on your head and relax while you sit in a comfortable position for 10-15 minutes. Take care to avoid getting chilled after this treatment.

Throat or Chest Compress
Warm the throat or chest for 2-3 minutes with a warm to hot washcloth or shower. Do not make the water so hot that it would burn you.

Dry the skin thoroughly and 1) apply a thin cotton wrap to the throat or 2) put ona thin cotton t-shirt for the chest-- that has been soaked in cold water and wrung out so that it is NOT dripping wet. Cover this with a wool scarf for your throat or put on a wool sweater for your chest.

Get in bed IMMEDIATELY, cover up with blankets and go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, the scarf or t-shirt will be dry.

CAUTION: If you have a heart condition, seek the advice of your physician before using hydrotherapy treatments. Do NOT do these treatments if you have Diabetes.

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicines

Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal supplements help balance the body. Illness occurs when the body is out of balance. The acupuncture points or supplements needed must be evaluated on an individual basis.

Our office uses an advanced computerized system that measures your body, comparing one side of your body to the other for more accuracy,discovering imbalances and recommending the best acupuncture points and herbal supplements to bring your body back into balance, allowing it to fight illness more effectively.

Time is of the Essence

These suggestions are especially helpful if you do them early on—as early as possible. They will help you fend off flus, colds, or minor infections. Call a physician if your symptoms become severe or worsen.

When You Need Help

If you want help getting over a cold or flu, or would like help building your immune system to avoid them, call us at 417-725-6655 and we’ll help you determine the regimen that’s right for you.

Dr. Hunter Greenwood DC ND MTAA is a chiropractor and naturopathic physician certified in acupuncture and acupressure, with over 30 years experience helping patients get relief from stress. He practices at Chiropractor Plus, 1361 West Mount Vernon Street in Nixa, Missouri.


Consult with a physician before administering ANY of these treatments to make sure they are appropriate for you.

This article does not take into consideration your health conditions. The treatments and remedies are for educational purposes only.

Chiropractor Plus, 1361 W. Mt. Vernon St., Nixa, MO  65714

Call us at (417) 725-6655 to schedule your appointment.

These articles are the property of Dr. Hunter Greenwood DC ND.  They may not be reused without permission.  You are welcome to link your site or social media account to this article.

The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Hunter Greenwood DC ND.  The information on this site is not intended as medical advice.  Dr. Greenwood recommends that patients make their health care decisions carefully after doing their own research and consulting with a licensed health care professional.

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