Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wellness essentials for flu season

When our kids get sick, we often have a knee-jerk reaction to their symptoms.  We want to do whatever we can to heal them and fast.  We don't like to see our children feeling sick and acting lethargic.  Healing naturally from illness takes more time, but rest assured that it is more thorough.  Once we become accustomed to the new norm, you will be able to help your children cope with illness while encouraging their body to heal itself.  And remember that when our body heals itself, it learns from that experience, building up a better defense system over time.  This is really important to our kids with reduced immune function.  So I decided to put together an entry with all of our go-to flu season products.  Some are used in prevention and some are for active illness.  PLEASE keep in mind that I am no doctor and that I am merely sharing with you what WE do.

I will provide links to the products we use for easy access to the site where you can actually purchase them.  I have no affiliation with any of them, I am just making it easier for you to find them.

Our first line of prevention ALWAYS starts with increasing vitamin D3.  We start this before the weather even turns cold, but sometimes my reminder trigger is when they actually catch their first cold from going to school.  Ideally it should be done before they go to school, to help their immune systems defend themselves against the increased bugs and reduced sun-time.  We have three forms of vitamin D3 in our home at all times.  We use a liquid product (this one is 2,000IU in one drop which may be too high for younger kids) for our kids, they get this daily with their vitamins.  My husband and I take a capsule form daily and the third form is the one we make sure we keep "in stock" for flu season is a high dose gelcap.  If you want to buy all of the above from the same source, you could use this high dose vitamin D and this for the liquid, just be sure to notice that the liquid requires more drops to get the same dose as the product we use.

When you are ill with the flu, Dr. Cannell believes that vitamin D can trigger our immune system to repair ourselves so taking three large loading doses when sick can really kick the bug in the butt!  When we use Dr. Cannell's protocol, even when there is a fever, it disappears in no time!  If we react quickly enough, we can often stop the illness in it's tracks, before it takes hold!

Dr. Cannell's flu protocol
1,000IU of vitamin D3 (important NOT D2, never D2) per pound of body weight (a 40 pound child would get 40,000IU a 150 pound adult, 150,000IU, hence the high dose supplement above), given in ONE SINGLE DOSE per day, for three days. 

This is the link to the Vitamin D Council.  If your child has many food sensitivities, here is a link regarding the connection between vitamin D deficiency and increased food sensitivities.  If you want recommended doses, Dr. Mercola has a great article discussing Vitamin D.  Notice that he mentions that these are starting points for dosing.  Grayson was low when tested, even though we were giving the recommended dose for his weight and age so we have increased temporarily.  And lastly, consider supplementing vitamin K2 with the D3, since they are synergistic.

For the prevention and treatment of the flu, homeopathy is our #2 go-to treatment.  Nothing works like homeopathy when it comes to the health of our children.  The best part about homeopathy is that it's so safe, it can be used on newborns and pregnant women!!  Influenzinum isn't recommended for babies though.  There are other homeopathic remedies that be used instead.  If you are nursing and you take the remedy, it will still benefit the baby via your own immune reaction. Infleunzinum is the only homeopathic flu remedy that is updated each year based on the recommendations of the WHO (World Health Organization).  It contains a dilution of the same three viral strains as the conventional flu vaccine.

In 1998 the French Society of Homeopathy conducted a survey of 23 homeopathic doctors concerning their use of Influenzinum for the prevention of the flu (Coulamy, 1998). The survey included use of Influenzinum over a 10 year period (1987-1998) in 453 patients. Results of the survey were remarkable. In approximately 90 percent of the cases no instances of the flu occurred when Influenzinum was used preventively for all ages 2 and older. In the survey, no side effects were noted in 97% of the cases, while 3% experienced mild nasal discharge. Influenzinum has been used throughout the world by millions of people for decades.

Keeping the body healthy with supplements is vital, but as far as meds go, homeopathy is our #1 choice.  We also like to have Oscillococcinum on hand for handling flu symptoms.  It is HIGHLY successful at reducing them very quickly.

Our first DAN! doctor gave us a great supplemental protocol for handling for handling illness of any kind.  It's called the ZAC therapy, because it's the synergistic combination of using zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C together.  Now that we are low oxalate, the vitamin C isn't an option for the kids anymore, but my husband and I still use it.  These are the guidelines our doctor gave us at The Woodlands Healing and Research Center.  Please keep in mind that these are adult (@150pound) doses.  For children, you would dose them based on their weight. 

Zinc - staying well - an extra zinc capsule beyond the daily vitamin (or multi, if you use one) 1-2x/day.
Zinc - early illness - an extra zinc capsule beyond the daily vitamin (or multi, if you use one) 2-3x/day.

Vitamin A - staying well - 25,000U 1x/day for 2-3 days in a row, then 10,000-25,000U 1-2x/week.
Vitamin A - early illness - 100,000U 1x/day for 2-3 days as a loading dose, then 50,000U 1x/day for 4-5 more days

Vitamin C - staying well - 1,000-2,000mg 1-2x/day.
Vitamin C - early illness - 2,000-3,000mg 2-3x/day.

Antibiotics are dangerous to our microflora, causing an imbalance that can set the stage for life-long battles with illness on an increasing scale.  Our favorite means of killing off the bad guys without causing much harm to the good guys is by using the following neutraceuticals to target the specific bad guys:

Oil of oregano - This is a great broad spectrum natural "antibiotic".  It works for just about everything and anything.  We have even seen it attack the start of bronchitis with hourly dosing.

Some of the amazing uses for OoO (as we call it) are: sinus infections, flu, pneumonia, chest congestion, sore throat, infected gums (I can attest to this, I used to get major gum infections before I had my amalgam fillings replaced), UTI, gingivitis, gastritis, fungal infections, relieves pain (rubbed right onto the ailing area), some parasitic infections, skin infections, digestive problems.

When it comes to OoO, brand DOES matter.  There is a component of OoO that makes it effective, it's called carvacrol and the higher the carvacrol, the stronger the antimicrobial effects.  The tablet form by Biotics Research is highly recommended by Andy Cutler, in fact, it's the ONLY brand he recommends, because of it's time release dosing.  We also use a liquid form from Bio-Alternatives, which is easy to dose, but VERY hot.  When taking a liquid form of OoO, the best way to reduce this heat is to swish a lot before swallowing it.  Some people prefer to put it into a juice to hide it, but I think it's pretty hard to hide something that tastes like a chili pepper, hehehe.  My kids take it with no problem mixed in water with the rest of their vitamins and antimicrobials.  We just don't make it optional.

Olive leaf extract - This is one of the first things we reach for when anyone has a virus or bad bacteria, but there are many other uses, including Lyme Disease and AIDS patients!  It is better at preventing than curing.

Some of the amazing uses for OLE are: overall immunity enhancement, better able to fight colds and bacterias, lowers cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, lowers blood sugar levels, anti-clotting and anticoagulation, gastritis and excessive stomach acid,  prevents wrinkle formation, acne problems, chronic fatigue, is effective against pneumonia, flu, dysentery, respiratory and sinus infections. It also curbs infections of the eye, ear, tooth and other vaginal infections. It also reduces symptoms of PMS.  And even more...yeast infections, ringworm, shingles, and Epstein-Barr disease. It actually prevents the critical amino acid production of viruses. It renders the virus ineffective, penetrates the cell and inhibits viral replication. It also helps to stop infections caused by protozoa, bacteria and retrovirus. It supposedly neutralizes reverse transcriptase and proteases in retroviruses. It contains flavonoids and oesters which help combat disease and the antioxidant properties help to slow down the aging process. One of the most notable properties of antioxidants is its ability to neutralize free radicals which cause various ailments in the body including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, aging etc. When free radicals are neutralized they also increase the life span of an individual and the antioxidant properties of the extract help to slow down the aging process.

We have worked our way up slowly to fairly high doses.  Grayson couldn't even tolerate 50mg originally, because of the significant Clostridia (bad bacteria) infection he had.  The die-off was too great so we stayed low and slowly increased as he tolerated it.  When he was younger, we used liquid OLE from NOW Foods, because it is pure, has no alcohol and has an effective amount of oleuropein.  As we began increasing his doses, we needed something stronger so we moved to Swanson's brand, first the 500mg capsules, then eventually the 750mg capsules.  I personally take these three times a day.

Grapefruit seed extract - THE fungal powerhouse!  We increased this when we were all exposed to mold and we use it for systemic yeast regularly.  If you have sinusitis, it's usually related to yeast or fungal overgrowth in the sinus cavities, in which case, the Nutribiotic nasal spray is priceless, and doesn't cause that little addiction that comes with other OTC nasal sprays.

Other great uses for GSE are: acne, athlete's foot (or anything with a fungal origin), common cold, ear ache, IBS, ringworm, throat infections, and it raises the PH in the body which is an important  health regeneration benefit, because disease causing microbes like parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria cannot survive in an alkaline oxygenated environment.  GSE naturally detoxifies, enhances and supports the immune system.

Here is a very specific list of external uses (and their "recipes") for GSE. We use it as a fruit and veggie cleaner by mixing about 20-30 drops with water in a large spray bottle.

We are very particular about the brand we use, because all other brands could have questionable ingredients used in the production of their product.  Nutribiotic is organic and pure, not to mention the studies that have shown it to be very effective, by comparison to it's counterparts.

Again, we started REALLY low and increased slowly with this one too, because of the significant fungal die-off we saw when it was first introduced.  So we started with single drops of the liquid version and then increased to the tablets when doses warranted a higher amount. 

**Anytime you decide to use antimicrobials to kill off anything, be sure to support the liver, because all these toxins will be filtered via the liver.  You can use artichoke extract, milk thistle (very high oxalate in the herbal form), Liver Life, Taurine, and any number of other liver support products.  If your liver can't handle the toxic die-off of these microbes, the body will suffer and symptoms will worsen.  There is always a period where things get worse before they get better, but you can reduce that by supporting the liver.  If the die-off (herxheimer) is too bad to handle, take an activated charcoal tablet about an hour away from anything else.  It will absorb the toxins, thereby preventing the uncomfortable side effects.

They should be used year round, but when sick, especially anything gastrointestinal, INCREASE, increase, increase. 

Virastop - This enzyme breaks down virus cell walls leaving them vulnerable to the immune system and is always a part of our virus-healing regimen.  I consider this the catalyst to healing, by it's ability to open the doors for the natural antimicrobials above to do their work more effectively.  Healing enzymes should always be taken BETWEEN meals, not with them, otherwise they will be used in the digestion of food.

Thymucin - The health of the thymus gland is crucial to supporting your immune system.  We use this as a regular part of our supplement list during times of high illness.

Supporting the adrenals with supplements and/or adrenal cortex products.  Our adrenals are fatigued during times of stress and being sick or exhausted are forms of stress on our adrenals and thymus glands.  Other supplements that support the adrenals are Rhodiola, Taurine, Pantothenic acid, relora, natural salt, iodine and magnesium.

Our physical body sometimes takes the hit from dry heat, lack of moisture and exposure to rough weather.  Hands get dry and crack, lips peel, our hair becomes dry and in my case, my face resembles the moon's surface!!  Shea butter can be used for all of the above!  I make my own lip balm and use it on my face, body and hair, in place of most other products now.

I have had an unbelievable experience with shea butter!  Here are photos on my FB page of my skin and hair after just a few days of shea butter use.  This is the story I shared on my FB page, Wellness Warriors...

If you are like me and have horrible skin drying and possibly even acne, keep reading. I have spent my entire adult life searching for anything that would help me balance the delicate intricacies of horrible unrelenting acne and flaky dry skin. How could I be so oily, yet so dry at the same time? As I near 40, I have finally learned that my subclinical hypothyroidism could be the cause, so while I treat the underlying cause, I continued to struggle with ways to tame the increasingly dry skin and the unbearable acne hiding and worsening beneath it! The Fall always does this to me, without fail. I wish I took pictures before and after, because words will do no justice to the drying flaky skin I had. It was painful, peeling in sheets (I kid you not) and it was my ENTIRE face, none of my skin spared, not one inch. Combine this with painful acne that couldn't surface, because of the dryness, and ouch....not to mention YUCK! I wouldn't leave the house! I've always had skin problems, but this particular time in my life has taken the cake. Getting ready for the day was like painting an oil painting every day from scratch. The work it took to look normal was intense. I was attempting to remove the dead skin (even though some of it was still fully attached and alive) with microdermabrasion. In the past, it has always worked to smooth things out for the day. In this case, it just made a bad situation worse, causing my skin to flare and become inflamed and raw, just to start cracking and peeling all over, but now on top of raw skin. I showed my husband up close what I was dealing with and his response was, "That is just crazy!!". And it was, completely crazy. So a few days ago I was making lip balm and as I was using the shea butter (important to know that it was organic and unrefined), I thought, "Hmmmmm, this is thick and smooth, but slightly greasy......I wonder if it's worth trying on my face". I was REALLY desperate and although I completely fear trying ANYTHING new on my horrible skin, because of break outs, I was willing to risk acne for the traumatizing evils of this insane dry skin. I put a dab on my forehead, rubbed it in. It felt soothing, a little greasy, but not as bad as I thought it would be. It absorbed fully and the drying started to come back a little, but not nearly as bad, in fact, the loose stuff started flaking off. So I got daring and covered my face, all of it!! Talk about risky, with my skin, I could have thrown myself into months of acne reaction, but honestly, it would have been better than this! I can artfully cover acne!! THEN, I thought, "Maybe I should check this out online?" Low and behold, TONS of testimonials about the benefits of using unrefined, organic shea butter (with nothing else) for not just dryness, but ACNE!! WHAT?! Holy moly, I was on to something. Since it's pretty greasy when it's first put on and makes your skin so smooth and shiny (a healthy shine, more like a glow!) I decided I should probably avoid trying it under make-up until I get my skin under control, so I started using it at night instead of my face lotion (oh and worth mentioning here that I have been trying to find a lotion that balances being toxin-free, with not making me break far a losing battle there too) before going to bed. It's been TWO days and I cannot believe the improvements in my skin. Seriously floored by this. The peeling is almost gone entirely, my skin tone is more even, my pores are smaller, the skin is tight and smooth rather than lumpy and wrinkled close up, there is a glow to my skin, and my acne is actually clearing up and FAST!! The areas that were effected before using the shea butter were increasingly getting worse, I had cysts that were painful, they are gone! Anyone who has had cysts knows that two days for a cysts to heal is incredible, they last WEEKS if not longer, then they leave scares behind. Inflammation is gone! Healing is rapid! All I can say is wow, wow, WOW! Now, considering it's only been a few days, I don't know the long-term effects, but I am usually effected negatively pretty quickly by something that isn't going to work for me, so I have high hopes. I thought this was worth sharing for those who would like a more natural skin cream. You can't get more natural than this! I've always believed that if you can't eat it, you shouldn't put it on your skin. Well, this you CAN eat! On this site (, organic shea butter is $8 for a POUND! At the rate it's used that could last your entire life, hahaha. You don't put it on in globs like lotion, just a little softened on your finger goes a really REALLY long way! I've started putting it on a bad scar I have too, because I read that it heals scars and stretch marks as well.

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