Cold & Flu…Go Away!
By Christine Cheng, R.Ph. and Frederick Cheng, R.Ph.
The changing colours of the fall leaves are an indication that cold and flu season is upon us. Although for most people, these are not life-threatening illnesses, they can make your life miserable, especially during the holiday season. Protect yourself from the cold and flu by following these simple steps.
At the top of the list are some non-drug options. Stay well-hydrated, eat your fruits and veggies and ensure adequate protein intake because all of these actions will help your immune system function optimally. Wash your hands frequently, even if you do not feel they are dirty. We inadvertently touch many surfaces throughout the day and then touch our faces, risking the introduction of viruses and bacteria into our body through the eyes and nose. Simply washing your hands several times throughout the day can minimize your risk of exposure to cold or flu viruses.
Getting a FLU SHOT is one of the best ways to minimize the impact of the flu virus on your body. Notice we do not say that it prevents you from getting the flu as that can only be achieved by not inhaling droplets containing the virus. The flu vaccine works by showing your immune system parts of the flu virus and stimulating your body to produce antibodies and other killer cells that fight the virus. Then if your body does encounter the live virus, you will already be armed with the weapons to fight it. Thus, the flu shot does not prevent you from getting the flu, rather it minimizes how sick you feel since the body is able to fight it before the virus causes you to be symptomatic. You may have heard that some years the flu shot does not cover the strains of influenza that are found to be the problematic in our area that year. However, that is not say that the flu shot did not do them any good at all as those who were vaccinated now have antibodies in them that would protect them when these strains do come around our area during future flu seasons. Come talk to us about getting vaccinated.
Supporting the immune system can help prepare it for its fight against seasonal viruses. For those who have a contraindication to the flu shot or choose not to receive it, or as additional protection against the flu, consider using THYMULINE and INFLUENZINUM on an alternating schedule to balance and prime the immune system homeopathically. Additionally, most of the Cloverdale Pharmasave staff keep ESBERITOX on hand during the winter months. Chewing a few tasty tablets three times a day at the onset of a cold can reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms. For those who prefer a liquid, PASCOLEUCYN is used in much the same way. Both Esberitox and Pascoleucyn can be used by almost all the members of the family with dosing provided for as young as 4 years of age and infants, respectively. The family of SAMBUCUS products all contain a cultivar of black elderberry that is reported to contain higher levels of naturally-occurring flavonoids, which supports the immune system. Black elderberry is a traditional remedy used to help reduce the severity and duration of flu symptoms. It is combined with Echinacea in the SAMBUCUS IMMUNE product for relief against both the cold and flu.
Although the forecast is for El Nino to bring us a mild winter, this does not necessarily translate into a mild cold and flu season. Protecting yourself against the winter viruses can also help protect the more vulnerable members of our population such as the very young, the very old and those who are immune-compromised. Do your part in keeping everyone in your family healthy during the cough and cold season: wash your hands, eat healthy, get a flu shot, and use complementary medicines as necessary.
(Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-owned and operated Pharmasave in Cloverdale, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore. They would love to hear from you or meet you at one of their seminars. Please call if you would like to schedule a seminar at your community facility. 604-576-2888; www.cloverdalepharmasave.com. Of course, before you begin any activity program or try any OTC supplementation, check with your physician and pharmacist.)