Cold And Flu Prevention for Healthy Families

30 Jan
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Cold and Flu Prevention for Healthy Families


Our health professionals at Erin Mills Optimum Health in Mississauga enjoy speaking on cold and flu prevention regularly for our healthy families, and are also seen in the community speaking on natural health topics as well.  Check below for dates and times of events or connect with our doctors in Mississauga!

Also, Check out our office blog on Snort Sniffle Sneeze No Antibiotics Please.

Healthy Families: How to Prevent Cold & Flu

In this seminar, Dr. Wyse discussed differences between cold & flu, Why our body mounts a fever and how to make that fever effective and how to optimize our health to prevent the cold & flu from taking over our household.


Naturopathic Doctor Tiffany Wyse presenting health class at Goodness Me in Mississauga
Naturopathic Doctor Tiffany Wyse presenting a health class at Goodness Me in Mississauga
health presentation in Mississauga no antibiotics please
Dr. Peever and Dr. Tiffany presenting this topic in Mississauga at Goodness Me.

Here are some notes from Dr. Tiffany’s talk on Cold and Flu prevention for the family:

How can we prevent the flu?

We can OPTIMIZE the resilience of the body.

The flu is an opportunistic pathogen. When a person’s immune system is run down it presents an “opportunity” for the pathogen to infect the body.

The immune system becomes run down from:

  • highly refined diets
  • refined sugar
  • chronic stress
  • lack of sleep
  • can you think of more?


What is the difference between

a cold and the flu?

onset: gradual, 1 to 3 days rapid, 3 to 6 hours
duration: 4 to 10 days 1 week to several
fever: little or none high often with chills
coughing: hacking, productive cough dry, unproductive cough
aches: slight severe
sneezing: common uncommon
stuffy nose: common uncommon
sore throat: common uncommon
chest discomfort: mild to moderate often severe
headache: fairly uncommon common
chills: uncommon fairly common


Lifestyle for cold and flu prevention

  • Ensure adequate rest – 8 hours in ideal. Restful sleep is healing and restorative
  • Wash hands with soap frequently during the day
  • Do deep breathing exercises
  • Walk and do stretching exercises to boost the immune system

(Note: Extreme aerobic exercises and weight training are best minimized if you have any of the above symptoms)

  • Dry skin brushing and contrast showers are useful to support optimal lymphatic system function
  • Remember that ‘emotional’ stress, fear and worry can depress the immune system
  • Allow and respect a fever. A fever of 1-3 degrees above normal core body temperature (37.5 degrees Celsius) has a profound effect on immune modulation and optimizes the healing response


Nutrition for cold and flu prevention

This is a good time to incorporate preventative measures to help strengthen the body’s immune defenses.

Some beneficial choices include:

  • Immune Boosting Astragalus
  • Vitamin D – It is an amazingly effective antimicrobial agent, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. Remarkably, researchers have found that 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day abolished seasonal influenza. This is somewhat surprising, as it is half the dose of what most adults need to achieve ideal levels of vitamin D. The best source for vitamin D is direct sun exposure. For many of us, especially in our Canadian climate, this just isn’t possible during the winter so supplementation is recommended. In order to prevent the flu, children and adults need 35 IU of vitamin D per pound of body weight. So, for example, a child weighing 57 pounds would need 2,000 IU a day of vitamin D.
  • Drink plenty of fresh, pure water daily – we recommend half of your body weight in ounces (for a person weighing 150 lbs., drink 75 ounces of water). Water is essential for the optimal function of every system in the body
  • Avoid too many sweets or processed foods – these foods suppress immune function and slow the body’s healing ability
  • Eat 5-8 locally grown organic fruits and vegetables every day – they are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals
  • Include mushrooms, especially Reishi, Shiitake, Chaga and Maitake, which contain beta glucans (with immune-enhancing properties)
  • Use Coconut oil – it is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral when used topically or eaten
  • Use vitamin C daily – Young children (under 5) can take 250mg twice a day and older children can take 500mg twice a day
  • Include probiotic as a part of your daily supplement regime as well as consuming plenty of probiotic rich fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, etc…
  • Eat garlic, regularly – it is a potent antimicrobial that kills bacteria, viruses AND fungi
  • Exercise – preferable outdoors in the fresh air – regular, moderate exercise can reduce your risk for respiratory illness by boosting your immune system. Be careful though and do not overdo it, over-exercising can actually place more stress on the body, which can suppress the immune system–and you don’t want that either. You might just go for a walk if you are coming down with something

When to seek immediate medical emergency

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Ways that a Naturopath can help treat a cold or flu:

HERBAL strategies:

If you or a loved one happens to contract a cold or flu there are many natural options that can shorten the duration of an illness and lessen the symptoms.

I have included a number of suggestions here. You may choose what works best for you. The herbal medicine that we use comes from Viriditas Herbal Products, which use the highest quality organic herbs and are crafted in a precise artisanal manner.

If you buying herbs on your own, look for those that are organically grown and be sure that they are fresh.

herbal teas/tinctures:

Echinacea of course is the king of the cold/flu herbs, and deservedly so. Besides stimulating many aspects of the immune system, it also helps stop the infiltration of germs deeper into the body by inhibiting the enzyme hyaluronidase. This is what bacteria like Staph and Strep use to break down the body’s lining and penetrate deeper.

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) is safe, gentle, and capable of both preventing and fighting viral infections. Echinacea can be used in small preventative doses throughout cold and flu season or in larger doses for fighting sickness. Use of echinacea has been shown to shorten the duration of colds. The tincture is the single most effective way to give children this medicine. For maximum effectiveness during an acute infection it’s important to give echinacea tincture in therapeutic doses.


1 drop of extract per 2 pounds of
the child’s body weight (i.e., a 50-pound child would get 25 drops, every 2 to 4 hours, depending upon the severity of the infection).

It can be given diluted in 1/4 cup of water, tea, or diluted natural fruit juice.

In children over one year honey may be added.


Elderberry as a tablet or concentrated juice daily.
rx a defense by gaia herbs 1-2 caps daily or andrographis tabs daily.

Elderberry: In one study, published in the Journal of International Medical Research, elderberry syrup reduced the severity of flu symptoms and shortened their duration by about four days. Elderberry extract is also known for inducing sweating, and helps relieve congestion.


At the first signs of illness start:

Cold and flu tea, drink hot 3-4 times daily.
increase the rx a defense or andrographis to 2 caps four times daily. increase vitamin c to 2-3 times daily.
vitamin d – 1000iu for children; 2000-3000iu for adults per day. gargling with salt water.
neti pot with saline solution or warm water.
flew away by natura 2 caps 3-4 times daily, or
esberitox as directed on the box.
probiotics with each meal.


try a wet sock treatment for upper respiratory congestion and sinus pressure. After a warm bath or shower put a pair of cotton socks wet with cold water on to the feet with a plastic bag over each sock and get into bed with extra blankets. Keep the socks on 1/2 hours or until they feel warm. this hydrotherapy technique might sound a little crazy but it helps more times than not.

The remedies listed here are intended for children over the age of two. For treating younger children with herbs, consult your health care practitioner.

Dr. Aisling Lanigan recently presented her “Prevention of Colds and Flu” class at Goodness Me! Mississauga.

Check out the pictures from the event below and schedule an appointment if you want to apply Naturopathic health strategies to your life in order to prevent colds and flus!


Dr. Aisling Lanigan presenting at Goodness Me! Mississauga on preventing colds and flus
Dr. Aisling Lanigan presenting at Goodness Me! Mississauga on preventing colds and flus
Dr. Aisling Lanigan presenting at Goodness Me! Mississauga on preventing colds and flus
Dr. Aisling Lanigan presenting at Goodness Me! Mississauga on preventing colds and flus
Dr. Aisling Lanigan presenting at Goodness Me! Mississauga on preventing colds and flus
Dr. Aisling Lanigan presenting at Goodness Me! Mississauga on preventing colds and flus

Read about the Chiropractic connection to the Immune System too!

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