Winter Flu Season 2020

This flu season is giving everyone a lot to worry about. In addition to the usual concerns over the flu, there is that other virus flaring...yup, you know the one. The good news is the same protective measures apply for both viruses, and in fact, other viral bugs as well.

First and foremost, be vigilant about washing your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds and drying them using a towel whenever possible. Try to avoid touching your eyes or mouth unless your hands have been recently washed. Cover coughs with a tissue and dispose of it immediately. Hand sanitizers are not nearly as effective as soap and water - so do not exclusively rely on them for protection.

For those of you that have access to good quality herbal products like those we carry in house, including Mediherb, Gaia, and our Chinese medicine suppliers, there are some herbal remedies that may help build resistance to viruses. For children or those with more sensitive constitutions, Elderberry syrup is a good place to start.

For prevention, I recommend elderberry OR echinacea OR andrographis complex (better if you have ragweed allergies than echinacea). NOTE: if taking Andrographis, be sure to supplement zinc as well. Mediherb has an outstanding Echinacea extract which works very well when taken daily before you get sick. They also carry Andrographis Complex with a combination of immune boosting herbs. Yu Ping Feng San (aka Jade Windscreen Decoction) can be very helpful for those that have weak immune systems. Herbal formulas like Microgard which regulate the microbiome in the gut may help improve immune function as well.

These formulas are available in our online store, as well as in-office.

For those who don't have access to quality herbs or if you want to add an extra layer of protection you can also include Vitamin C, D and zinc. Foods like hibiscus and rose hips can be helpful as sources of vitamin C. I also recommend Lysine to boost the immune system against viruses. Lysine can also be very effective at shortening the duration of cold sores that may emerge this time of year. Supplemental vitamin D can be helpful and we recommend a liquid form from Metagenics that's easy to take and readily absorbed by the body. If you are sick, you definitely need to be sure you are supplementing C, D, and zinc to replace what your body is using.

***If you take any prescription medications, it is important to check with your healthcare provider before adding any herbal remedies or supplements to your routine.***

My preferred protocol if I’m feeling under the weather or think I’ve been exposed is:

  • Liquid Zinc from Pure Encapsulations (15mcg/day)
  • Cataplex C, Cataplex F and Calcium Lactate from Standard Process (taken as directed on the bottle)
  • Metagenic Liquid D - 2 drops (2000 IU) 2x per day
  • Lysine (1000mg) 2x per day
  • Plus the appropriate herbal formula - Gan Mao Ling Wan, V- Defense 2 or Release Pearls are all good general anti-viral blends, but, if you don’t see relief within 24 hrs of taking it, contact the office for a more precise herbal formulation for your needs. It is ok to take a 1 ½ times the recommended dose for severe symptoms.

Lastly, nasal rinsing with buffered saline solution can rinse out any viruses before they have a chance to pass through the mucous membranes (remember NEVER use plain tap water to rinse nasal cavities). This is also a helpful practice during allergy season to keep pollen and dust out of your nasal passages. We recommend the Nasopure bottles for ease of use and safety.

In Summary:

For Prevention: Echinacea (it should make your tongue tingle or it’s not the real stuff) ORElderberry ORAndrographis ComplexPlus: Vitamin C, D and zinc

If Actively Sick:

  1. Stop the echinacea or elderberry or andrographis complex and
  2. add Gan Mao Ling Wan OR Release Pearls OR V-Defense 2 at 1 1/2 x the recommended dose. Contact us if you have not improved within 24 hrs.
  3. Optional: Add calcium lactate, Cataplex F and Lysine to inhibit viral reproduction.

***With Chinese herbal formulas, it's important to check with an experienced herbalist before taking them. ***

We offer free 15 min consults to help make sure you get the most appropriate formula for your needs. Book an appointment today!

Hi, Jenny-Marie here at Raja Wellness and today I’m going to address a question we hear frequently in our clinic: “What vitamins should I take to keep my immune system healthy?”

Now like anything else that pertains to nutrition and herbal medicine, the answer is, “That depends”. There really isn’t a one-size fits all vitamin because we are all unique bodies with a number of factors that will influence our needs. Age, gender, exercise habits, stress-levels, type of work, and where you live can greatly influence what your body needs. However, there are a couple of key vitamins that are generally going to be safe for most people and help your immune system to function at its best.

One product that I recommend to most people is something called Catalyn by Standard Process. This product was developed to offset the nutritional gaps in most people’s diets that started to happen when eating organ meats - like liver and kidneys - fell out of favor in our culture. Liver and kidney are full of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Folate, heme iron (the kind you body can easily use), copper and choline. All of these contribute to your health and B6 in particular has many important functions in supporting the immune system. The best option would be to include liver in your diet and I have a surprisingly tasty recipe from my Grandmother that you can find here. For those people who don’t want to do that, Catalyn is a great option. It does contain animal products and is not appropriate for anyone with an alpha gal allergy or those who don’t want to consume animal products- for them, a product called Floradix is a plant-based liquid supplement that is a good alternative.

Depending on where you live, vitamin D may be in short supply - those of us at higher latitudes have less time during the year when the sun is high enough in the sky for us to get adequate sunlight to trigger our bodies’ production of vitamin D. Others may not be as efficient at producing it; things like stress and diet may actually deplete your natural levels of vitamin D. This is an easy test to get via bloodwork from your physician to check your levels and be sure you aren’t getting too much or too little. If you do need a little extra, I prefer the liquid forms of vitamin D for ease of absorption. Metagenics makes a great liquid D with 1000 IU’s in each drop and has a refreshing subtle minty taste. Again, this is not going to be a good supplement for any one with an alpha gal allergy, or who is avoiding products derived from animal sources. However, we do carry a liquid vitamin D that is derived from lichen (which is a symbiotic association of algae and fungi) by Pure Encapsulations.

Next is Vitamin C, which if you eat plenty of dark leafy greens, bell peppers and citrus - you should get enough from your diet. However, in times of stress, your body may need more of this than you can easily get from food, and there is some evidence that higher doses may help your body fight off invaders. Vitamin C has a short half-life in the body and if you get too much of it can cause diarrhea as the body dumps the excess. I like using lower doses of pure ascorbic acid in a loose form myself so I can take more frequent, smaller doses when needed. However, a 500mg capsule gives good dosing options to people. There are buffered forms of ascorbic acid available and these work better for some people than the pure ascorbic acid. Buffered forms of vitamin C work by binding ascorbic acid with minerals to reduce stomach upset. As long as the capsules are vegetarian - Vitamin C is generally safe for those with alpha gal allergies or who avoid animal products.

Lastly is calcium, which we all know is good for the bones - but it also plays an important role in our immune system and defending against viruses in particular. For this purpose, I like Calcium Lactate from Standard Process which comes in a form your body can use very, very quickly. Again, not suitable for those with alpha gal allergies or who avoid animal products - but Pure Encapsulations has a vegan Calcium-D-Glucarate that is a good alternative option. Tofu is also an excellent vegan source of calcium and p lants high in calcium include black-eyed peas and dark leafy greens.

So as always, these are general recommendations and we welcome any questions and can offer virtual consults if needed to address your specific concerns. Be sure to review any changes in your supplements with your doctor.

This flu season is giving everyone a lot to worry about. In addition to the usual concerns over the flu, there is that other virus flaring...yup, you know the one. The good news is the same protective measures apply for both viruses, and in fact, other viral bugs as well.

First and foremost, be vigilant about washing your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds and drying them using a towel whenever possible. Try to avoid touching your eyes or mouth unless your hands have been recently washed. Cover coughs with a tissue and dispose of it immediately. Hand sanitizers are not nearly as effective as soap and water - so do not exclusively rely on them for protection.

For those of you that have access to good quality herbal products like those we carry in house, including Mediherb, Gaia, and our Chinese medicine suppliers, there are some herbal remedies that may help build resistance to viruses. For children or those with more sensitive constitutions, Elderberry syrup is a good place to start.

For prevention, I recommend elderberry OR echinacea OR andrographis complex (better if you have ragweed allergies than echinacea). NOTE: if taking Andrographis, be sure to supplement zinc as well. Mediherb has an outstanding Echinacea extract which works very well when taken daily before you get sick. They also carry Andrographis Complex with a combination of immune boosting herbs. Yu Ping Feng San (aka Jade Windscreen Decoction) can be very helpful for those that have weak immune systems. Herbal formulas like Microgard which regulate the microbiome in the gut may help improve immune function as well.

These formulas are available in our online store, as well as in-office.

For those who don't have access to quality herbs or if you want to add an extra layer of protection you can also include Vitamin C, D and zinc. Foods like hibiscus and rose hips can be helpful as sources of vitamin C. I also recommend Lysine to boost the immune system against viruses. Lysine can also be very effective at shortening the duration of cold sores that may emerge this time of year. Supplemental vitamin D can be helpful and we recommend a liquid form from Metagenics that's easy to take and readily absorbed by the body. If you are sick, you definitely need to be sure you are supplementing C, D, and zinc to replace what your body is using.

***If you take any prescription medications, it is important to check with your healthcare provider before adding any herbal remedies or supplements to your routine.***

My preferred protocol if I’m feeling under the weather or think I’ve been exposed is:

  • Liquid Zinc from Pure Encapsulations (15mcg/day)
  • Cataplex C, Cataplex F and Calcium Lactate from Standard Process (taken as directed on the bottle)
  • Metagenic Liquid D - 2 drops (2000 IU) 2x per day
  • Lysine (1000mg) 2x per day
  • Plus the appropriate herbal formula - Gan Mao Ling Wan, V- Defense 2 or Release Pearls are all good general anti-viral blends, but, if you don’t see relief within 24 hrs of taking it, contact the office for a more precise herbal formulation for your needs. It is ok to take a 1 ½ times the recommended dose for severe symptoms.

Lastly, nasal rinsing with buffered saline solution can rinse out any viruses before they have a chance to pass through the mucous membranes (remember NEVER use plain tap water to rinse nasal cavities). This is also a helpful practice during allergy season to keep pollen and dust out of your nasal passages. We recommend the Nasopure bottles for ease of use and safety.

In Summary:

For Prevention: Echinacea (it should make your tongue tingle or it’s not the real stuff) ORElderberry ORAndrographis ComplexPlus: Vitamin C, D and zinc

If Actively Sick:

  1. Stop the echinacea or elderberry or andrographis complex and
  2. add Gan Mao Ling Wan OR Release Pearls OR V-Defense 2 at 1 1/2 x the recommended dose. Contact us if you have not improved within 24 hrs.
  3. Optional: Add calcium lactate, Cataplex F and Lysine to inhibit viral reproduction.

***With Chinese herbal formulas, it's important to check with an experienced herbalist before taking them. ***

We offer free 15 min consults to help make sure you get the most appropriate formula for your needs. Book an appointment today!

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