Safest Natural Options For Colds and Flu

Safest Natural Options For Colds and Flu

It’s the flu season. And many are reaching for natural prevention or treatment methods, and many have used herbal and natural supplements including vitamin C, Zinc, elderberry and others.
 
While I am a big fan of above mentioned supplements, I also know that those who are in a flare may not do very well with them, especially if you just buy store bought vitamins that were not recommended by a health care practitioner who knows your case.
 
There are options that are easier on the gut during the cold and flu season. And one of them is homeopathy.
 
Like vaccination, homeopathy seeks to stimulate the immune system. A vaccine contains a tiny amount of the pathogen that causes a certain disease. Principle of homeopathy: Substances of plant, animal or mineral origin that can cause symptoms of disease also can cure symptoms when given in the form of very highly diluted remedies.
Homeopathy is not a one-size-fits-all therapy. Rather, the remedy must be carefully matched to a person’s specific symptoms and his/her physical and mental reactions to these symptoms.
 
People who have colds or flu often respond to self-treatment using nonprescription homeopathic remedies sold in health-food stores and online. Paradoxically, the more dilute the potency, the greater the effect.
 
Remedies usually are sold as tiny pellets that dissolve under the tongue. Oils or other substances on your hands can inactivate pellets, so use a spoon to remove them from the container and place them in your mouth. Do not put anything else in your mouth for 30 minutes before or after taking a remedy.
 
Homeopathic remedies generally work quickly. Unless otherwise directed by your practitioner or product labels, follow these instructions…
  • -If there is no change in symptoms after several hours, repeat the dose once more. If symptoms still do not change after several hours, try a different homeopathic remedy that corresponds to your symptoms.
  • -If you feel somewhat better after taking a homeopathic remedy, repeat it at four-hour intervals until you feel significantly better, for a maximum of four doses in total.
  • -Once you feel significantly better, do not take another dose. If symptoms return, repeat dosing according to the instructions above.
 
Products by Guna like Guna-Flu and Citomix are great during this season. Also, Elderberry syrup is such a great natural immune system support and anti-viral. And some forms of vitamin C can be easier on the tummy than others like liposomal vitamin C. Also, it’s so important to ensure adequate vitamin D levels during flu season, consider getting vitamin D supreme by DFH.
 
When to seek help: In some cases, patients need prescription-potency homeopathic remedies and/or conventional medical treatment. See your primary care practitioner if…
  • -None of the remedies below seem appropriate for your specific symptoms.
  • -You have tried three or four of the homeopathic remedies below without result.
  • -You are over age 65 or have a chronic health problem.
  • -You are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Homeopathic options may be “the go to” for cold and flu if you are seeking more natural options, but the immune system needs to be addressed post virus or flu, and the right kind of detox ideally should be started even for those without gut and hormonal issues. Give your body a lot of rest, increase your warm liquids and consider safe detoxing. I wrote about a few different detoxing options in the previous newsletters.
10 Ways To Reduce Sugar Cravings

10 Ways To Reduce Sugar Cravings

The holidays are over and you are finding yourself craving more and more sugar because there was plenty of overindulging. For those with chronic gut and/or hormone problems this issue is even more problematic since most of these patients will have some sort of blood sugar instability. 

In fact, sugar is just like the worse addictive substance:

· Heavy sugar consumers have trouble functioning without it.

· People eat it compulsively, despite negative consequences and the intention to stop.

· With continued use, people develop a tolerance to its effects.

· It stimulates the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, just like alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs of abuse.

· People eat it compulsively, despite negative consequences and the intention to stop.

· When consumption stops, withdrawal symptoms occur. 

WHAT IT MEANS: Breaking free from sugar addiction is easier said than done. Because the roots of sugar addiction are both physical and emotional, you need a combination of physical and psychological approaches. The less you eat sugar, the less you will crave it. If you get withdrawal symptoms, know they will only last a few days and then you’ll feel more balanced and energetic than ever.  

These 10 tips will make it easier to get a sugar problem under control.

#1: Keep sugar and sugar products out of your house. This includes white and brown sugar, corn syrup, and maple syrup. 

#2: Eat enough healthy food to satisfy your hunger in different colors, textures, etc. Eat healthy, whole food snacks like carrots, berries, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, dried apricots (unsulfurated) to satisfy your sweet tooth. Drink plenty of water, too. Add a little fruit juice to mineral water for the experience. Once you have cleared sugar from your system, your taste buds will become more sensitive, and these whole natural foods will taste sweeter and more satisfying. If you slow down and eat mindfully, you’ll enjoy these foods even more.  

#3: Eat three regular meals each day that combine complex carbohydrates (veggies, whole gluten-free grains, and berries), lean protein (poultry, fish, lean meat and beans) and healthy fats (omega-3’s, olive oil and other cold-pressed oils). This will help you maintain a steady blood sugar level throughout the day and reduce your sugar cravings. Eating a diet high in fiber also helps to reduce sugar cravings.  

#4: Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Chromium picolinate and l-glutamine help to reduce cravings for some people. I recommend Metabolic Synergy (multi-vitamin with sugar supporting nutrients).  

#5: When you go out, make sure you are not starving, especially if sugary sweets will be the only food available. Bring your own healthy snacks with you, or eat before going out.  

#6: Get regular exercise, like Yoga, plenty of sunlight or at least an adequate amount of vitamin D, and adequate sleep to reduce sugar cravings.  

#7: Learn to identify and manage cravings that are not a result of physical hunger, but instead are rooted in stress or anxiety. Develop alternative ways of managing stress: Take a walk, call a friend, read a book, play with your pet, watch a movie. Breathe, listen to music, meditate or take a hot Epson salt bath to activate your body’s relaxation response. Relaxation helps to balance your blood sugar and reduce cravings. 

#8: If you have turned to sugar to deal with uncomfortable feelings, learn to identify the specific feelings and respond appropriately to them. If you are tired, take a break or rest, rather than trying to persevere in the face of fatigue. If you are bored, find something stimulating to do. If you are lonely, reach out to a friend. Overcoming your sugar addiction involves really paying attention to what you are feeling, and giving yourself what you really need instead of using sugar as a substitute.  

#9: If you do overindulge in sugar, acknowledge that you slipped, and get back on track as soon as possible. Let go of the guilt and shame. Eating sugar is unhealthy, but it’s not a sin. As with other addictions, it doesn’t matter if you need multiple attempts to quit, just that you keep trying until it sticks.  

#10: Love yourself! To end the struggle with sugar, learn to nourish your body well and respond compassionately to your own feelings. The best sugar substitute is genuine self-acceptance.

 

Do you need to keep taking a Vitamin D supplement during the summer?

Do you need to keep taking a Vitamin D supplement during the summer?

“Should I keep taking my Vitamin D supplement in the summer?”
I get this question often this time of year and have been receiving a lot of emails about it, so I wanted to share some important information with you about Vitamin D.
To answer the question, it depends on your condition.
 
Many of my clients suffer from chronic conditions that are both affected by and can cause a Vitamin D deficiency. I don’t recommend stopping your routine at any time of year if you are one of these patients. Chronic diseases like Crohn’s cause inflammation and absorption issues year round, and it has been scientifically proven that the bioactive form of vitamin D3 (1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D) improves the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. This form is at least twice as effective in raising vitamin D levels in the body, produces greater storage for vitamin D, and converts to active form faster.
 
If you’re not one of these patients and are taking Vitamin D for your own comfort and get enough sunshine, it’s alright to continue. If you are taking it to help with inflammation, bone health, and nutrient absorption, you definitely want to keep your routine. However, anything over 1000 IU should be recommended by a practitioner. It is important to talk to your doctor if you think you have a vitamin deficiency so they can check your levels.
 
So for the most part, if you’re taking a Vitamin D supplement then keep taking it no matter the season. Cases for which you should STOP taking Vitamin D for would be if your levels are high (90 ng/ml) or if your liver markers get elevated without a known reason. Yet another important reason get your levels tested by a knowledgable practitioner.
 
If you are interested in learning more, including my recommendations for children, you can watch my Facebook Live video here.

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