Bug Out

As the days get shorter, thoughts of colder weather usually cross our minds. This usually means cold and flu season. Catching a cold really has nothing to do with cold weather. Spending more time indoors during the winter means viruses are more easily passed hand to hand and through the air. Someone at work or school with a cold will often, unknowingly, pass it along through a handshake, sneeze or cough.


1. Echinacea is an immune stimulant, which means it stimulates your immune system into activity. The best course of action is to take it as soon as you feel the first sign of a sniffle, sore throat or cough. That way, your immune system will have the extra boost it needs to tackle the infection before it really takes root.

2. Vitamin D is crucial in activating human immune defenses such as T-cells, the killer cells of the immune system.

3. Vitamin C has been proven in more than 1,200 scientific references to be a powerful antiviral agent in fighting colds and flu, either through prevention or by minimizing the symptoms.

4. Zinc inhibits viral cell reproduction in the mucus membranes of the upper respiratory system.

5. Oregano oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties, and helps your lungs recover from a bout with a cold or flu by thinning the mucous. This allows for easier breathing and faster removal of the infecting virus.

6. Natural honey has antioxidants and antiviral and antibacterial properties. Taking honey when you have an upper respiratory infection can provide relief from coughs and restless sleep in adults and children.

7. Chicken soup containing golden broth, chicken, carrots and onions bolsters the immune system. The chicken and vegetables inhibit inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which is what causes coughs and congestion.

8. Ginger tea contains compounds called gingerols that attack pain, inflammation, germs and viruses. Ginger suppresses inflammatory compounds and relieves stomach aches and vomiting.

9. Salt-water rinsing for a stuffy nose helps break nasal congestion, while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose.

10. Steam, although it doesn’t kill cold or flu viruses, is helpful because it opens the sinuses and airways so you can breathe more easily. Adding eucalyptus oil is beneficial—it fights viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Now you’re prepped to protect yourself and your family from getting sick this winter. Stock up on the immune-enhancing herbs, cut down on sugar consumption, get plenty of rest and use common sense. Combining a balanced diet with appropriate natural health products is probably the most important consideration in maintaining a healthy immune system.