We hate to break it to you, but summer is coming to an end. We’re already seeing the signs of fall approaching–fall colours, people wearing sweaters and a crispness in the air. With the end of summer also comes the dread of fall viruses, which means it’s a great time to start talking about natural cold and flu prevention.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Disclaimer: Please remember that all of these are general recommendations. Herbs and supplements can interact with medications. Please discuss with your naturopathic doctor or your general practitioner before beginning any treatments.
1. Wash your Hands!
It seems so simple, but it really is a powerful tool to help prevent the spread of some viruses and bacteria. Remembering to wash your (and your kids’) hands, especially after touching public railings, doors and being on public transit, can help to reduce your risk of infection. This is also a good time to mention that plain old soap and water are just fine. Antibacterial soaps are not necessary, and may not even be safe or effective thanks to the presence of triclosan.
2. We love Anti-Virals
Echinacea purpurea, garlic, onions, and more! Increasing the consumption of garlic and onions in your foods during the fall and winter is an easy way to get a dose of their antimicrobial goodness. An Echinacea purpurea botanical tincture is also excellent to have on hand during virus season.
3. Eat Your Mushrooms
Yep. These little fungi are packed full of immunity boosters. But we may not all want to indulge in their savory goodness (FYI – Dr. Rachel can’t stand mushrooms). Another great way to get their benefits is through Deep Immune & Deep Immune Children’s Formula. These tinctures by St. Francis Herb Farm include a number of beneficial mushrooms, along with supportive adaptogens that help the body handful stressors like viruses.
4. Nasal Lavage
In Ayurvedic practice, the neti pot is used to rinse microbials out of the nasal passages before they can unleash their harmful effects. It’s an excellent habit to get into during virus season. Use your neti pot once in the evening before bed to remove daily dirt.
The gut is one of our first lines of defense against invaders. Probiotics help to balance out gut bacteria ensuring the good outweighs the bad. A gentle daily probiotic, like Orange Naturals Probiotics for Adults or Orange Naturals Probiotic Powder From Toddler to Teen, can help keep your family’s immune systems functioning optimally.
Did you know? Free flu shots are available at all Rexall Drugstore locations across Canada without an appointment. Get yours today!
Dr. Maryska Taylor and Dr. Rachel Corradetti are naturopathic doctors practicing out of Toronto. They offer concierge naturopathic medical services to their patients throughout the GTA via home and Skype visits.