How We Boost Our Immune System During "Flu Season"

The weather is changing and kids are back in school which means: “Cold and Flu Season.” But is it? My friend Courtney says it’s more like a “lack of vitamin D season” as she explains how this is the season we’re not outside as much, and therefore have less exposure to sun. The lower our exposure to sunlight, the less we’re able to convert to vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential as it attaches to the immune cells, producing antimicrobial proteins which are antiviral.

This is also the flu vaccine season, not only from doctors, but local pharmacies or even churches. Outside of any issues you may or may not take with vaccines, there are a few things we should pause to consider.

Flu vaccines

FluMist Shedding
  • Efficacy

    • According to Cochrane database: “At best, vaccines might be effective against only influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all circulating viruses” and furthermore, “Our results may be an optimistic estimate because company-sponsored influenza vaccines trials tend to produce results favorable to their products and some of the evidence comes from trials carried out in ideal viral circulation and matching conditions and because the harms evidence base is limited.”

    • Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission.

    • Vaccines grown in egg-protein mutate to adapt to the environment. “This means a vaccine containing the mutated version of the protein will not be able to trigger an effective immune response. This leaves the body without protection against circulating strains”

      • Don’t overlook the “mutation” that occurs. This is what’s happening in Papua New Guinea with the Polio outbreak, which they are calling “Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus.”

  • Shedding

    • According to the FDA, the FluMist, CDC’s recommended vaccine for the 2018-2019 season, can shed for up to 28 days post vaccination.

    • If you have the flu, the accepted protocol is to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. Following this logic, if one is shedding the live virus post vaccination (in the same way one would if they had the flu) the protocol should be the same; stay home during the shedding period to prevent the spread of the virus

  • Accurate Reporting

    • The CDC says 36,000 people die annually in the United States from the flu and that influenza and pneumonia claimed the lives to 62,034 people in 2001. These are the numbers they (and the media) use to insist upon vaccine compliance for the flu. But are they accurate?

    • When Dr. Peter challenged these numbers, he found that of the “62,034 influenza and flu” deaths, 61,777 of them were attributed to pneumonia and 257 to the flu. Furthermore, there were only 18 actual deaths positively identified of the flu. That’s a huge discrepancy to 62k!

    • The CDC actually compiles all deaths with respiratory symptoms and attribute them to the flu. Vaccinated or not. This is just a reminder to do your own research, always!

What we do

I’m not a doctor and never instruct anyone to do anything specific; only to be truly informed and make informed choices for themselves and their families. Here’s what we do to boost our immunity during the season. This doesn’t guarantee that we won’t get sick, but we do our best to support our immune system to do its thing.

Boosting our immune system

  • Vitamin IV drip from a trusted Naturopathic Doctor – We try to get these quarterly particularly in September/October and December/January

  • Elderberry syrup: Make your own or from my favorite Seattle Elderberry since she makes it with all the same organic ingredients as I do (plus offers a maple syrup option)

    • As a special for my readers, Seattle Elderberry is offering a special 10% off with the code JANNYORGANICALLY at checkout

    • Orders of 4-7 units qualify for an additional 25% off

    • Orders of 8-20 units qualify for an additional 30% off

    • And…free shipping with 2 or more bottles!

  • Lipsomal Vitamin C and/or Camu Camu (682 mg vitamin C per serving)

  • Liquid Vitamin D3 with K2 (or this brand)

  • Immune Shroom

  • Matcha (It’s actually a flu preventative! (source 1source 2) discount on amazon with code E15Janny

  • Boiron Oscillococcinum: One tube weekly-ish during ‘season’ (homeopathic)

  • Chiropractic care

  • Avoid processed foods, sugar, starches and dairy

  • Exercise, sleep and for goodness sakes, drink water!

How We Boost Our Immune System During "Flu Season"

At the first sign of virus or flu we:

  • Increase Vitamin D 5x-10x (Drops are best for this)

  • Administer Elderberry dosage every 3-4 hours

  • Organic Herbal Tea – particularly Nettle, Peppermint, Ginger and/or Yarrow

  • Oil of Oregano

  • Zinc

  • Boiron Oscillococcinum: One tube every 6-8 hours for 3 doses and stop

Fevers:

AAP says “Fever is not an illness, rather, it is a symptom of sickness and is usually a positive sign that the body is fighting infection.” In fact, I’ve had holistic, integrative and conventional doctors all tell me there is no need to worry about my child’s fever unless they are having a febrile seizure.

Make sure you’re aware of the temperature rages of what constitutes low, mid or high fevers for specific ages (infants, children and adults).

As a parent, I understand the concern of a sick, uncomfortable kiddo! I always advocate for trusting your intuition to care for your child. This may be allowing them to reach a certain temperature or level of distress before deciding to intervene medically. Sometimes it’s as simple as the fever interfering with their ability to get sleep, which is important for healing! I get it, trust your gut! If it’s urgent, you should contact a licensed practitioner. 

Homeopathic options we consider/use for treating a fever:

  • For the start of a fever: Boiron Ferrum Phosphoricum 30c: 3 pellets 4 times a day

  • For fever over 102 before sweating: Boiron Aconitum Napellus 30c: 3 pellets every 15-30 minutes, twice, then every 2 hours until sweats.

  • Once sweats, Belladonna 30c: 3 pellets every 2 hours until improving then 3-4x per day while fever is present

Reducing fever:

  • We avoid Tylenol/acetaminophen

    • “In March of 2017, clinicians and scientists from Duke, Harvard, and the University of Colorado published a critical review describing a litany of evidence suggesting that acetaminophen use from birth to early childhood may be responsible for a variety of neurodevelopmental problems in children, including many, or even most, cases of autism.”

    • Read the summary here and full study here

    • Acetaminophen also depletes glutathione, which an essential antioxidant and key for the immune system

If I must reduce a fever, my choice is Children’s dye free Motrin (I order online before I need it since most pharmacies don’t carry it) but supplement glutathione. My daughter has a prescription for a topical glutathione from a compound pharmacy.

Thanks, Ali for your post on Tylenol!

For cough and upper respiratory we use:

  • If well enough to run around during the day, this can help shake things up to cause coughing; try to cough up as much as possible during the day to ease nighttime cough

That’s all I’m going to cover personally, but I’m going to add in reader recommendations below for those sending tips on ways they boost their immunity or recover from illness below:

READER RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • I do elderberry syrup, silver, and adjustments

  • sovereign colloidal silver!!! When things are getting a little more infectious

  • We consider collagen our new multivitamin! It provides such a great foundation to our bodies through the winter season!

  • If I do too much I take time to slow down and rest, get good sleep. Other things I incorporate are Astragalus; elderberry syrup; Fire cider; fish oil; probiotics; echinacea ; vitamin C; D, washing my hands; stress relief

  • Regular chiropractic care! To keep my nervous system (and immune system) functioning at 100%

  • Homeopathy! At the start of anything we use aconite! And then if flu symptoms we use oscillococcinum. Also elderberry and lots of sunshine

  • Rest!! As much as possible! I think most people view being sick as a minor inconvenience, continue with their day as normal, and never really slow down. Our bodies need sleep, water, and time to heal. Elderberry sure does help too!

  • ACS silver, restore nasal spray, golden seal, echinacea, zinc, olive leaf. Rebound to keep lymph moving, get adjusted, and infrared sauna

  • Diffuse essential oils like crazy. Frankincense, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, wild orange, tea tree. We did this all last winter ( and elderberry)and nobody got sick. ( We usually always have before. )

  • Raw garlic, sleep, I drink like 20 cups of tea a day and avoid sugar like the plague.

  • Oil of oregano!

  • Oregano essential oil is LIFE during “the season”. We also up our D and C vitamins. Trying Cod liver oil for the kids this year and I’m adding elderberry

  • My top TWO are sleep and oil of oregano!

  • Limit/Eliminate sugar is probably my top. Regular chiropractic, vitamin D both supplemental and the real deal at least 20 minutes a day, liposomal vitamin C (for the other friends of the flu), elderberry syrup, thieves applied and diffused, lots of fermented foods, lots of greens, sleeping with a humidifier to keep nasal passages moist, try to limit stress, and plenty of sleep. Oh and lots of warm beverages like tea and hand washing. Must wash as soon as you walk through our door. Plus some echinacea, tinctures, homeopathy, oil of oregano and garlic if we do get sick.

  • Colloidal silver!

  • I haven’t gotten the flu shot, and I have only had the flu twice in all of 10 years. When I get a cold/fever though I take a hot bath with epsom, make a superfood smoothie, take vitamin C, gaia herbs quick defense (elderberry and echinacea), lots of hot water w honey and lemon. Lots of water and sleep and diffusing/applying oils depending on symptoms.

  • Lots of water, ACV & extra vitamin C

  • We eat well. We diffuse all the time! Around flu season or if one of us starts to feel sick, we use thieves, oregano and I’ll make rollerballs for us all. Also what really saved us from getting the nasty flu going around last year was juice plus! It was a game changer for our immune system

  • I use elderberry syrup, zinc, probiotics, vitamin D and Chaga mushroom elixir.

  • astragalus has been a game changer for us!!

  • We do most of what others have already posted but we also do wet sock treatments (when sick or getting sick) throughout the day and night. It temporarily boosts the immune system as your body kicks out extra blood supply to warm your feet. We did this with our daughter as we didn’t want to boost her immune system too much due to her cancer. You wet socks thoroughly, not dripping, the put thick socks on top. Wear until socks are dry. We also do liposomal vit c every 2 hrs till stools are soft

  • Dandelion root tea is great for boosting immunity and a mild detox. I make pineapple popsicles for the Vit C too!!

  • Homeopathy: Oscillococcinum! It’s one of the only homeopathic remedies that work as a preventative! Recommended to take a few pellets a month during “flu season”!

  • We do most of your recommendations! I'll add for coughing or any chest congestion, Lung Qi Jr by Blue Poppy works wonders and also Gentle Warriors chest relief. Both are chinese herbal supps that work amazingly!

  • Echinacea and goldenseal 100%

  • GARLIC! Gotta be raw, crushed or chopped, and let sit for 15 minutes so main active ingredient will destabilize and form compounds that boost disease fighting abilities of some types of white blood cells when they encounter viruses (cold and flu) whenever I start to get an itchy throat or runny nose I B-line to the garlic! it soothes my throat (garlic is also an anti-inflammatory this could be why) but also feel better and don't end up getting sick (at least so far but been doing this 2 years!)

  • No Tylenol! I’m a nurse and wouldn’t touch my kids with it!

  • So far the kids take organic olivia immune shroom and Thorne vitamin D with k2. I and my hubs take the same Thorne D and herbs like so many with odd names but one for Sure is Ashwahanda and gotu kola oh and Ho - Shou-wu.

  • We do oil of oregano, colloidal silver, vit c and d, ionic zinc, elderberry, garlic, ginger juice, apple cider vinegar.... humidifier with diffusing essential oils. Also I juice raw tumeric and drink.

  • Elderberry, Goldenseal Echinacea, Vit C, B12 my go to when feeling sick

  • I make my own elderberry syrup & fire cider to have on hand during “cold & flu” season and use as needed to boost immune or taken more frequently when actively fighting something. In addition, vit d3, vit c, probiotics and certain herbal adaptogens for preventive.

  • Getting as much sun as possible right now, and no sunscreen so it doesn’t inhibit vit d absorption. eating healthy plant based diet, going for walks even if it’s cold, goo quality vitamin, diffusing essential oils.

  • Fire Cider, Oregano Oil, Colloidal Silver, lots of water, and fruits and veggies high in vitamin C. I love love love this post. Thinking about ordering the elderberry to add to my collection! 

  • We all take a daily probiotic, vitamin c, vitamin d, and thieves on the feet before school/gym.

  • When we get sick we chug raw garlic and Manuka honey, ginger & carrot juice, and get lots of rest. I just made “Four Thieves Vinegar” for the first time and am waiting until November to crack it open! We never do Tylenol to reduce fevers because they’re so important to killing whatever virus is going on! Because of that no one is sick for very long.

  • We take all the same things in your hand! We have a local organic elderberry syrup we adore here

  • Elderberry too along with colloidal silver, chiropractor appointments, essential oils (especially Thieves!), Ningxia Red juice and ideally extra fruits and veggies but extra Juice Plus gummies is usually what it ends up being!

  • For sore throats I use Bee Propolis Throat Spray.It tastes amazing so no worries for little ones and works instantly!

  • Colloidal silver and my homeopathic dr. I live in Canada where we have ‘Universal Health Care’ but that doesn’t cover homeopathy or naturopathic drs. So we pay out of pocket for true Heath care, my children have never been to a conventional dr before. Chiropractic care for ear aches + oils moms! Works like a charm every time. I have 6 unvaccinated children, who go to public school. Never have they ever in 9.5 years had anything besides a cold. One winter we all caught the flu which they beat pretty fast with vitamin c, probiotics, and essential oils. I’ve taught my children how to swallow capsules and that has been our saving grace. Every week people ask me “What do you do for infections, bronchitis, RSV” - we haven’t ever transgressed into secondary infections. Intact immune system, I think my 6 healthy children are living proof 

  • Sleep, Outside play, Probiotics, Elderberry, Homeopathy

  • Plant based eating, exercise, CBD Oil 

  • I totally second you on boosting the immune system instead of getting those nasty flu shots that benefit no one except Big Pharma. I make sure to stock up on honey, Vit C and D, elderberry and probiotics to maintain healthy immune system. If we do get sick, OreganolP73 and Oscillococcinum.

  • We use vitamin D (from chiro) & C. Along with elderberry we drink Ningxia red daily(highest antioxidant drink). Daily on feet and spine I use thieves, immupower, & frankincense essential oils. Oregano oil as needed if sick.

  • Lypo spheric Vitamin C has consistently kept illness away

  • Colloidal Silver , Elderberry, Vit D, keep an eye on my sugar/carb intake and H20!!

  • I drink amla juice, bone broths, and I drink rosehip and hibiscus tea, with cayenne pepper and ginger.. I apply white flower oil + shea butter to my feet soles at bedtime.if its really bad, I chop garlic cloves and onion and apply to all my foods, and I use the elderberry syrup with Cayenne first thing in the morning. Make sure I go to bed as early as I can.

  • We start with cleaning always. Supplements from standard process and young living including multi, enzymes, antioxidant boosts, fish oils, and pre and pro booties. We also use a lot of essential oils. Epsom salt and oils in the bath.

  • Garlic mullein oil for ear pain/infection, it’s worked for us every single time! Hylands for cold/cough. Ferrum phosphoricum for low grade fever, and vinegar socks. Harmless Harvest coconut water, never pedialyte.

  • Elderberry syrup (and gummies I make with gelatin), D3 and K2, Vitamin C (found a non synthetic version this year), Oil of Oregano, Zinc, and Either eat or juice pineapple for coughs (bromelain as a cough suppressant)

  • Apple cider vinegar or ginger and lemon and honey and turmeric! Of course SLEEP 


*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This post is not advising you to any medical action but rather promotes the reader to educate themselves and to make decisions with a licensed medical professional.