Fall is officially here! Now, we can welcome in cooler air, apple pies, pumpkin carving, and yes – cold and flu season! This is the perfect time to start boosting your immune system so it can effectively battle all of the bacteria and viruses that it will be encountering very soon.
Let’s dive right in and discuss the top 5 strategies you can use to turbo-charge your immune system and keep you feeling great so you can enjoy your fall and winter.
1. Get your vitamin D
Vitamin D is very important for helping our immune system during cold and flu season. Vitamin D doesn’t just make our immune system stronger – it makes our immune system smarter. Many of us have low levels of vitamin D, and unfortunately, since we live in Canada, we can’t always get out in the sun to increase our levels. You should be using a vitamin D supplement during the fall and winter months. Ideally, if we can do a blood test to know your vitamin D levels, this will help in determining your optimal dosage.
2. Get adequate sleep
It’s always important to get adequate quantity if sleep, but it’s even more crucial during the fall and winter months. You should aim for 8 hours of sleep per night. You should also aim for having the best possible quality of sleep that you can. If you’re getting your 8 hours of sleep, but you’re sleeping lightly or waking frequently, you will still feel fatigued and less resilient overall. Chamomile tea, Lavender tea, and magnesium can all be helpful for getting a better night’s rest, but if these are not helping we can always set up a naturopathic appointment to discuss other options.
There are lots of herbal medicines that can be helpful for strengthening the immune system, but echinacea stands out from the crowd as one of the best. Echinacea can boost white blood cell counts, which are an important part of our immune system that fights off bacteria and viruses. Echinacea can also help to reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu once they occur. Echinacea can be taken in capsule, tablet, or tincture (liquid) form.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has long been used to help support the immune system. Our bodies cannot produce vitamin C, so it’s important to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin C through our diet. Oranges, strawberries, kiwis, and peppers are all excellent sources of vitamin C. During the cold and flu season, it’s best to supplement with additional vitamin C to make sure you have optimal levels. At our naturopathic clinic, we will often use intravenous (IV) nutrient treatments (which include high dosages of vitamin C) to help prevent and treat colds, flu and other illnesses. Call or email our naturopathic clinic if you’re interested in having an IV nutrient treatment.
5. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil has antimicrobial properties, which means it can help fight against bacteria, viruses, and other types of infections. Oregano oil is an excellent herbal treatment for colds, flu, and sore throats. Oregano oil is available in many forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts.
At our naturopathic clinic, we also utilize intravenous (IV) nutrient therapy, homeopathic medicines, and herbal medicines for more aggressive treatment of cold and flu symptoms. We also use inhalation treatments, which are very effective for any respiratory infections and sinus infections. If you develop symptoms of a cold or flu, please don’t hesitate to contact our naturopathic clinic.
Yours in health,
Dr. Michael Morsillo, H.B.Sc., N.D.
Newmarket Naturopathic Doctor
16655 Yonge Street, Newmarket, ON
905-898-1844 ext. 135