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Natural Options for the Flu Season

Background on the Coronavirus

Flu season is in full swing and with the Corona Virus (similar to SARS and MERS) reaching the United States, many are looking for natural options to stay healthy.  As of Monday morning, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported five confirmed US case of the flu-like coronavirus originating from the Wuhan Provence, China.   Since December 31, 2019, over 1000 cases of coronavirus have been identified worldwide with 80 deaths. Although the CDC currently believes that the US public is at low risk, we want to share some natural options to prevent and treat the virus.

How to avoid catching the flu.

Wash hands to avoid the flu

The first line of any defense is prevention.  According to the CDC, the most effective ways to prevent contracting any virus, corona included:

  1. Wash your hands often using soap and water for 20 seconds.  
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  3. Avoid contact with people who are sick

Recommendations to keep your immune system strong.

  1. Getting enough sleep
  2. Eating a healthy diet
  3. Exercising regularly
  4. Managing Stress
  5. Getting Adjusted 

What to do if you start to feel flu symptoms.

If you do happen to get sick with a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever, it is important to:

  1. Stay home from work and school
  2. Avoid close contact with others
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask or tissue, especially when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterward
  4. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  5. Get plenty of rest.

Natural Remedies for the Flu

The following are two natural remedies that have been shown to reduce the intensity and duration of flu and/or coronavirus symptoms.  If you are immune-compromised, pregnant or taking medication, consult your doctor before using these remedies.

Vitamin C

Mega dosing with Vitamin C was shown in a 1999 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics to provide an 85% decrease in cold and flu symptoms compared to the control group. Those demonstrating flu-like symptoms took 1000 mg of Vitamin C hourly for the first 6 hours followed by 3 times daily thereafter. Those not exhibiting symptoms took 1000 mg of Vitamin C 3 times daily. Signs that you have taken too much Vitamin C include diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, flushing, headache, and insomnia. If you experience any of these side effects, stop the protocol. If the side effects last longer than 48 hours, consult a doctor. The study referenced above was conducted on adult subjects. A 2014 study from the Cochrane database of Systematic Reviews found that 1000-2000mg/day of Vitamin C was effective in reducing symptoms 18% in children.


Elderberry has been shown to be an effective deterrent for viruses by limiting the virus’ ability to replicate (BMC Vet Research Jan 2014). A 2004 study in the Journal of International Medical Research showed that patients receiving 15 ml (1 T) of Elderberry syrup 4 times per day for 5 days, noticed symptom relief 4 days earlier on average with significantly less use of rescue medication. Elderberry is most effective when taken within 24 hours of symptom onset.

As good as it is to know that there are natural options, please be diligent to seek a medical opinion if symptoms worsen or last longer than a few days.

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