Fighting the Flu and Cold Season With Natural Remedies
Chicago’s brutal winter is upon us. And the wind chill, ice and snow is the perfect environment for cold and flu season. Air-borne viruses pass a lot more quickly in close quarters and the dampness can trigger allergies, making people more susceptible to respiratory viruses, said Anthony Qaiyum, co-owner of Merz Apothecary.
Many people are accustomed to taking multivitamins and popping pills when they get sick, but there are other things you can do to fight illness and boost your immune system, according to experts in naturopathic medicine and homeopathy.
The fastest acting remedy is homeopathy, said Dr. Elizabeth Laskonis, who works at the Larch Tree Natural Wellness Center in McHenry, Ill. as a certified natural health professional nutritional counselor, and master herbalist.
“You’re not taking the actual herb,” she said. “It’s made from an herb and it’s usually a liquid (called a tincture). It has the frequency of the herb because every living thing has a vibration.”
She explained that tinctures act in minutes because you place the liquid under your tongue and it goes through the blood stream, rather than through you digestive system like a taking a pill or eating an herb.
Qaiyum said the way homeopathic medicine is the most “gentle” form of medicine. It works stimulating the body’s own defenses with a diluted form of an herb that would trigger a similar physical response a virus would. For example, if a patient was suffering from itchy hives they might want to take a diluted form of bee venom to counteract it, he said. Although not homeopathic, the most popular alternative medicine his apothecary sells to treat cold and flu is Oscillococcinum, a product from Boiron. The active ingredient comes from a duck, he said.
Laskonis said almost every illness can be taken care of by the thousands of herbs and weeds growing around us. But, she added, before eliminating your illness it’s important to know if your illness is caused by a parasite or toxin that is causing the illness. That can be diagnosed by kinesiology, which is muscle testing.
Jacquin Dole agrees that everything we need to take care of ourselves can be grown in our back yards. Dole is a biologist with a botany background who cultivates healing herbs, such as echinacea and goldenseal, on her organic farm in McMinnville, Ore.
“The belief in natural healing is a challenge,” Dole said. “People need to know what they’re doing.”
The best thing to do during the winter is rest and drink a fresh lemon squeezed in a glass of water every day, she said.
“It’s all you need”. At 70, she can’t remember the last time she had a cold of flu – but she does get pneumonia. For that she takes black elderberry, olive leaf extract and golden seal.
Laskonis recommends eating healthy, non-genetically altered foods, staying hydrated, exercising and taking vitamin D.
“Most people don’t get enough Vitamin D,” she said. Fifteen minutes of sunshine a day is recommended but people living in northern states, such as Illinois, don’t get enough during the winter. “I wouldn’t take anything less than 1000 milligrams.”
Chicago businesses that sell homeopathic and natural remedies