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Vitamins, Herbs, and Techinques to Reduce, Relieve or Eliminate Cold and Flu Symptoms

Scott Maness Certified Health Specialist

BrightVibe HealthNotes

November 2011 / Volume 1, Issue 1

Find your purpose. Transform your life. Brighten your vibe.

Woman Sneezing in White Hankie. By mcfarlandmo [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Each year as fall and winter approaches, we probably all consider that we might come down with a cold or a flu. For people with age on their side, or a strong immune system, the thought may not come with much discomfort. However for others who are older or in a weaker physical state, they may be very concerned at this time of the year.

I would like to present to you some of the ideas that have helped my family and others enhance their immunity during the colder months. My goal is to give something to everyone. My initial focus will be on a novel theory as to why we get colds and flus. Second, I will focus on lifestyle reminders and habits we can develop and maintain that make a difference in the function of the immune system. These are either free or at minimal cost. Third, I will highlight a few nutritional and herbal products that I feel are very important in building, maintaining, and enhancing the immune system at any age. Finally, I will impose upon you the responsibility to love and respect yourself enough to implement as many of these suggestions as you can in your current situation.

A Theory: Why We Get Colds and Flus

When do flu epidemics hit? Generally, when the seasons change. If you want to observe a big flu season look for years that included drastic and immediate temperature changes; freezing cold one day and T-shirt weather the next. Enough of these cycles and even the toughest immune system can become compromised. Have you ever wondered why this can make people get sick?

Many Natural Medicine Doctors (NMD's) hold a theory that they feel explains this phenomenon, that has to do with what is required by the body in order to maintain a constant internal temperature of 98.6 degrees. During the hot summer months, the body doesn't have to work hard to maintain steady body temperature. However, when the outside temperature suddenly drops, the thyroid (the body's thermostat) is called upon to turn up the fire, so to speak, in order to keep body temperature properly regulated. This is done in part by the thyroid gland releasing thyroxin and other gland stimulating hormones that speed up metabolism in the body.

A weak thyroid, therefore, may not respond effectively to weather changes. What follows is this: toxic metabolic waste builds up in tissues due to decreased elimination through the liver, kidneys, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes and vessels. With this backup of metabolic sludge in place, possibly combined with a sluggish bowel, we get the flu.

Why do NMD's consider this to be the mechanism of the flu? Very simply it is because every symptom of a cold or flu is also a symptom of detoxification:

  1. High fevers burn waste and bacteria quickly
  2. Profuse sweating rids the body of toxins and waste
  3. Diarrhea dumps waste quickly and cleans the internal environment
  4. Chills generate internal heat
  5. Vomiting and coughing up mucus are further cleansing actions of the body.

Put simply: a cold or a flu is a quick, albeit violent way that the body can detoxify itself of metabolic waste.

Metabolic waste is literally a smorgasbord for bacteria. As an example, consider a strep infection in the throat. T-Lymphocytes (immune response cells) in the blood stream go to the affected area to isolate, cluster, and then destroy this infectious bacteria. Next, dead bacteria are transported in the lymph and blood for removal. The important point here is this: Why were the bacteria there in the first place? They were attracted to and feeding on unprocessed metabolic waste. The immune system responded and took care of the bacterial overgrowth, but the real issues here have to do with elimination as well as nourishment to rebuild diseased tissue in the throat.

Natural Ways to Improve Your Immune System

1. Hydrotherapy

What if we could mimic this process of temperature change, in a controlled environment, to keep the body's thermostat in good working order and keep metabolic waste from building up? It's actually quite easy to do this. It's called Kneipp therapy (also known as hydrotherapy or hot & cold therapy), it's been around for over 100 years, and it's very simple to do at the end of your daily shower. Once you have completed your shower, turn your water to cold (as cold as you can stand it) and stay under it for 30 seconds to 1 minute if possible. You can then switch back to hot water for a minute or so and repeat this 3 times ending with the cold water for 30 seconds. It's important to remember to do this gradually at first. The key is consistent repetition over time. I have a separate document available for those who want more information about Kneipp therapy and the advantages of utilizing it. (Please consult with your doctor if you have health issues of particular concern).

Interestingly, and not to change the subject, heart patients may be concerned with hydrotherapy. However, in a study reported in the American Heart Journal in 2003 researchers found a number of benefits to heart patients when they engaged in a 6 week program of Kneipp therapy. I also have this available in printed form, or you can go to to read the abstract of the research.

2. Sleep

When you're tired, it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done. The same is true if your body is overly fatigued: it will be difficult for the body to get its internal tasks done as well. The result will be depressed immune response, and infection is more likely. Regular rest will keep you strong and ensure that your body has the strength to fight off any potential invaders. Everyone needs a minimum amount of sleep to ensure robust health, and generally this is somewhere between 7-9 hours per night. If you feel tired, or your immune system is depleted, rest!

3. Manage Stress

We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. It has been estimated that up to 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health, consider deep breathing and other relaxation techniques, as well as simple systems that can help release negative emotional patterns and beliefs such as Belief System Elimination (BSE) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). For more information, please visit I also have printed documents of these procedures as well that I can send to you.

Additionally a little pampering can do a lot of good, as there's nothing more soothing than an aromatherapy bath.

4. Exercise

Exercise increases circulation and blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system is more effiicient at finding an illness (i.e. has more chances to "bump up" against invaders) before disease has a chance to spread. Exercising helps your immune system to be more efficient in weeding and destroying viruses and diseases before they get a foothold.

5. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands decreases the likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. If your immune system is strong, it should be able to fight off the virus if it does enter your body, but washing your hands provides a bit of extra protection. Instead of antibacterial soap, find a simple chemical-free soap that you can use.

6. Reduce or Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet

Sugar has been demonstrated to decrease the function of your immune system almost immediately. It is especially imperative to avoid sugar if you feel you are coming down with something, but keeping sugar out of your diet for the long haul will do wonders for your health and make your body stronger, which will make it harder for the flu (and a host of other illnesses and diseases) to bother you.

A very popular home remedy when a person has the flu is to drink large quantities of orange juice. This may on the one hand be a source of vitamin C, but on the other hand is a source of large quantities of fructose, a sugar found in fruit. Studies have shown that 75 grams of glucose can knock the immune system down for a whopping 5 hours. This could be done with about 26 oz of orange juice. During those critical hours the immune system is compromised, the invaders can gain a greater foothold.

One of the biggest tragedies of human civilization is the precedence of chemical therapy over natural, of poison over food, in which we are feeding people poisons trying to correct the reactions of starvation. ~ Dr. Royal Lee

Supplementation Options

1. Standard Process Immuplex Capsules

The immune system is not really a system in the traditional sense, because immunity is not the job of any one gland or body part. It is more of an alliance of a number of glands and functional systems of the body: the bone marrow from long bones creates immune cells, the thymus gland matures immune cells (T-Lymphocytes), the spleen produces antibodies, proper intestinal flora in the gut destroys pathogenic microbes and manufactures B12, the liver produces enzymes and detoxifies numerous chemicals out of the body, and finally strong stomach acid immediately destroys foreign invaders on contact. Standard Process Immuplex Capsules was created with this complexity in mind. It combines organic forms of whole-food nutrients to create what we might call a whole body immune system multivitamin. Many find excellent immune support by taking 6 capsules daily beginning at the start of the season and continuing through the cold-weather months. This is very affordable immune insurance policy, at just over $1.00 per day.

2. Standard Process Congaplex Capsules

When the immune system is already under attack, a different approach has proven to be more successful. Congaplex is a combination product which includes thymus gland support, whole food vitamins A & C, echinacea, and calcium, and is formulated for acute immune system support and function.

Why Support the Thymus?

The thymus gland is the center of the immune system, and plays a key role in antibody production. In fact, the thymus is the key immune gland, especially in newborn infants and young children. It preprocesses T-lymphocytes after their origination and migration from the bone marrow. In the thymus, the cells divide rapidly and develop diversity for reacting against specific antigens. The thymus extract in Congaplex contains the gland's steroid and hormone precursors, enzymes, co-enzymes and synergistic cofactors produced by the cell. The main purpose of these aqueous tissue extracts is to support hormone dependent tissue functions until the tissue is able to do so itself.

3. MediHerb Andrographis Complex Tablets

Andrographis is an herb highly revered in India for its ability to support a wide range of conditions. It is considered the key herb where strong and immediate immune support is required. It acts by supporting and stimulating immune system function, supporting healthy respiratory function, supporting and maintaining normal body temperature already within a normal range, and supports the GI tract for cleansing as well as healthy liver function.

Be Well This Season!

I am happy that you spent some time with me in this newsletter, but I think more to the point you have spent some time on yourself. It is my firm belief that a little time spent on ourselves pays back enormous dividends in increased health and well-being. I am also convinced that nourishing our bodies is key if our cells and tissues are to function at the capacity that they have marvellously been designed to do. Please take care of yourself this season and I hope to see you again in my next newsletter!


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