Colds and Flu
Flu season is in full swing, and I’ve received lots of letters asking about the best way to fight it,including the value of getting a flu shot. I have strong issues against flu shots, not the least of which is the fact that they aren’t very effective. To me, that makes even the hint of side effects unacceptable. I believe in a more holistic approach—naturally boosting your immune system to prevent infection, and strengthening your ability to recover quickly if infection occurs.

Here is my three-step strategy for fighting the flu. I’ve used it for years and have seen it work wonders for my patients. It’s also never failed me. If you do end up getting the flu, you’ll find relief in a matter of hours and be yourself again after just a couple of days.

Step 1: Balance Your pH
If you have an overly acidic constitution, you’re more vulnerable to respiratory infections, with harsher and longer-lasting symptoms. For optimal health—and to protect against colds and the flu—I recommend that you balance your body’s pH to a healthier, slightly alkaline state. Click on the red more information.

If you do catch the flu or a cold, here are some quick pH-balancing “emergency” tips:

Take one-fourth to one-half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in a glass of water, three to five times a day. (Note: Though rare, you can get overly alkalinized from this program. If you experience tingling in your extremities, feel over-energized, can’t sleep, or experience muscle spasms, stop the bicarbonate immediately. Take two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in water, to rebalance your system. Restart the baking soda the following day at a lower level.)

Avoid highly acidic “remedies,” such as orange juice, ginger ale, and Jell-O. Instead, neutralize acidity with mineral water—two to three quarts a day—plus herbal tea and vegetable or chicken broth.

If you happen to be a high-alkaline producer, skip the two recommendations above and acidify your system with citrus juices, ginger ale, and other acidic foods.
Step 2: Bolster Your Immune System

These remedies can help your immune system fight the flu once it hits. Ginseng can also be taken to help prevent the flu.

Ginseng: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 323 patients, 2 capsules of Panax ginseng taken daily for four months significantly reduced the number and severity of cold/flu cases. I recommend taking 100 mg of Panax ginseng, standardized for ginsenoside, twice daily.

Saline nasal flushes: Flushing your nasal passages using a neti pot (under $20 at most health food stores) can reduce the inflammation and congestion that come with the flu. It can also physically remove millions of viruses and bacteria, making it easier for your immune system to finish the job. Flush your nasal passages every two to four hours at the first sign of the flu, then every six to eight hours as your symptoms subside.

Elderberry extract: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 60 patients with flu-like symptoms, 15 milliliters of elderberry extract syrup taken orally four times a day for five days brought recovery four days faster, without side effects.

Echinacea: Taking this herb increases the number of phagocytes—specialized cells that surround and engulf pathogens—and stimulates “killer” cells, such as T and B lymphocytes. A review article of six clinical trials concluded that echinacea not only abbreviates and softens cold symptoms, but sometimes stops a cold that is just starting. I recommend two 125 mg capsules (standardized to 3.2 or 4.8 percent echinacosides) taken three times daily. Or, even better, try 10-30 drops of a 1 percent echinacoside liquid extract three times daily. (Many herbalists believe that part of the herb’s benefit comes from direct contact with the tissues at the back of the throat.) Do not take echinacea longer than eight weeks at a stretch, and do not use it if you have an autoimmune condition.
Step 3: Fight Congestion and Inflammation

If you don’t get it under control, respiratory inflammation and congestion can actually prolong a bout with the flu. Feel better faster by adding these supplements to your daily program.

Take one or more of the following digestive enzymes, three times daily, one-half to one hour before meals to maximize absorption:

— 300 to 1000 mg pancreatin
— 200 to 300 mg papain
— 500 mg bromelain, with vitamin C to enhance its action

Buffered vitamin C aids in the production of naturally anti-inflammatory adrenal corticosteroids, and enhances bromelain’s anti-inflammatory action. Take 1,000 mg buffered vitamin C two to three times a day, between meals.

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. Take 250–750 mg MSM granules three times daily, with meals.
Finally, take care of yourself. While it’s tempting to jump back into your busy lifestyle once your symptoms have diminished, good old-fashioned R&R is essential for a complete recovery. Stay on this program as your body regains its strength, and never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.

Wishing you a healthy season no matter what time of the year it is!

Teresa Rispoli has her Ph.D. in Nutrition, is a licensed Acupuncturist and clinical researcher. She has been in practice for well over 25 years. It is through her clinical practice that she has gained insights into chronic health conditions.
If you are suffering from unexplained symptoms that come and go you may have hidden allergies. Find out today call for a Nutritional Consultation with Dr. Rispoli.

Your happiness is a reflection of your health call today For an appointment, contact her office at (800) 956-7083 or (818) 707-3125.

We also offer Functional Laboratory tests that can be done through the mail in the privacy of your home to help determine why you are having these symptoms. For more information on these click on lab tests.