Beating a Virus
Viral infections, though common, can be debilitating. While there are no conventional or natural therapies that have been proven to be effective for eradicating all viral illnesses, there are many things you can do to help strengthen your immune system and help your body fight off the virus quicker:
1. Get plenty of rest. Your body’s immune system is much more active during deep sleep. Take naps during the day if you feel tired — your body needs extra energy to fight off infections.
2. Drink plenty of fluids. This keeps your immune system cells hydrated and helps them work more efficiently.
3. Prevention. A specific genetic strain of probiotics found in UltraFlora Immune Booster has been shown to prevent upper respiratory infections during cold and flu season. Take one/day.
4. Vitamin C. High doses of oral and intravenous vitamin C have been shown to be effective for fighting off viruses. When your body is sick, you can absorb very large doses of vitamin C orally, up to 20 g a day. Begin by taking 2000 to 3000 mg every one to two hours. If you begin to have loose stools, back off the dose a bit.
5. Echinacea. Studies are somewhat conflicting on the use of Echinacea for viral infections. However, when taking the proper form of Echinacea at the proper doses, many studies show good benefit. Take Echinacea angustifolia three times a day during the first several days of an illness. The dosing varies by manufacturer.
6. ImmuCore from Metagenics is an effective nutraceutical that has been shown to boost T-cell activity, using 3 different herbal components. Take 3 pills a day for the cold season to avoid getting a cold in the first place. Essential Defense, also from Metagenics, contains a blend of traditional Chinese herbs that are helpful for acute colds.
7. Byron White A-V Complex can help boost your overall immune response to viruses as well as treat acute viral infections. Start with 5 drops in a glass of water twice a day, and gradually work up to 15 drops twice a day for adults (ask your care provider for childrens’ dosing). Be sure to take this at least 45 minutes away from any other food, drink, medicine, or supplement.
8. For nose and sinus support, take Nazanol from Metagenics. This is a blend of Chinese medicine herbals that help mucosal immune function and capillary permeability.
9. Zinc orotate has been shown to be effective for sore throats. Take 300 mg three times a day. Also, a spoonful of honey a few times a day has been shown to be more effective than over-the-counter cold remedies for sore throat. You can also mix honey into Throat Comfort tea from Yogi Teas.
10. A mixture of eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil is effective for opening respiratory passages and clearing of mucus. The tea tree oil may directly kill viruses on contact. Pour a few drops of Sinus Oil Blend in an inch of steaming water and inhale for several minutes. Or place one drop on your skin under the nostrils. Alternatively, you can use the Thai Cold and Sinus Inhaler as needed.
11. Regular use of a Neti Pot can help keep sinuses clear and calm down irritated nasal mucosae (lining). Be sure to perform proper nasal breathing after a treatment to dry out the sinuses. Be sure to follow the proper technique for irrigation as well breathing technique after use, to clear out any excess fluid from your sinuses. A helpful video can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8sDIbRAXlg.
12. Xclear is a xylitol nasal spray that can also help treat and prevent sinus infections. It is also helpful for preventing ear infections in children.
13. Give yourself time and energy to heal! A typical viral upper respiratory infection takes 7-21 days to run its course. By giving your body a chance to fight off the infection, you will get back on your feet quicker.
14. For influenza and other viral infections, take Andrographis Plus from Metagenics. Try to follow the dosing instructions on the label as closely as possible, but good sleep is more important than waking yourself up to take the pills. The dosing is based on a Swiss study showing excellent efficacy of Andrograhpis in decreasing symptoms and duration of influenza infection.