Natural Protection for Cold & Flu Season

Make it through the winter months without a sneeze or sniffle

There are certain constants associated with the winter months.  Frigid winds, snow, sleet and long gray days often go hand and hand with the winter months.  Another unfortunate constant happens to be the dreaded cold and flu season.  A myriad of suffering patients will inundate physician offices with stuffed and running noses, body aches, headaches, etc.  Very few people realize that there are simply and easy natural preventative treatments that can augment the immune system and allow an individual to breeze through cold and flu season unscathed. 

1. Probiotics – Probiotics are live and active microorganisms that aid with digestion and offer protection from harmful bacteria.  They flood your system with ‘good’ and ‘protective’ bacteria.  I would recommend taking a probiotics on a daily basis.  A quality probiotics should have as many different species of beneficial bacteria as possible.  Probiotics vary in range from 8 billion to 200 billion of bacteria per cell.  The therapeutic dose level of probiotics varies per individual.  An adult with a normally functioning immune system should take from 15 to 20 billion of bacteria per day.  Individuals with compromised immune systems should consider stronger probiotics.  If you happen to be taking an antibiotic, wait at least two hours to take your probiotics. 

 2. Chaga Mushroom – Medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Shitake and Maitake are incredibly beneficial, but the Chaga mushroom is the undisputed king.  The Chinese called it “King of All Herbs”.  Siberians referred to it as the “Mushroom of Immortality”.  Chaga is typically found in Siberia and Northern Europe growing off of wild birch trees.  It’s five to eight times more nutritionally valuable than any other medicinal mushroom.  Immune function is enhanced by the beta-glucans present in the mushroom which activates T-cell activity and the production of antibodies.  Once ingested, beta-glucans create a significant amount of immune enhancing cells.  Chaga increases natural killer cell activity (NK) by 300%. 

3. Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) – Astragalus is an ancient Chinese adaptogenic herb that possesses immune-boosting and antiviral properties.  Its immune stimulating properties have been highly researched.  Astragalus contains a polysaccharide that actually increases the number and activity of immune cells.  It can be taken daily and it’s highly effective at preventing the common cold and expediting recovery after an illness.  Dosing recommendations: eight to nine 400 to 500 milligram capsules per day. 


4. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) – Siberian Ginseng, like Astragalus, is an adaptogenic herb that can be taken on a daily basis.  It has been used for centuries in China, Russia and Eastern Europe.  Siberian ginseng is usually associated with Olympic and professional athletes due to its performance enhancing properties.  Few people realize it’s a powerful immune booster.  Siberian ginseng has an active ingredient called eleutherosides that stimulate the immune system.  It does a tremendous job combating common illnesses like the cold and flu.  Discontinue use if you experience nervousness, irritability, insomnia or gastrointestinal upset.  Dosing recommendations: Up to nine 400 to 500 milligram capsules per day. 

Astragalus plant