Naturopathic Health Care
The word influenza comes from the Italian word meaning to influence.  People used to think the flu was caused by a bad influence from the heavens. 

Today we know a little more about viruses, and with November marking the beginning of cold and flu season it’s time for immune system tune-ups.  The goal is to minimize stress on your immune system and enhance its function. 

Lifestyle habits are the place to start
How is your diet, your level of exercise, stress level and quality of sleep?  These all play an important role in the health of your immune system.  
November 2006
Dr. Jon Dunn, Licensed Naturopathic Physician
You can be immune to Fall Flu!
                      Dr. Dunn's 
    Natural Health News
Holiday time is often sugar time, and a good dose of sugar as found in pastry, alcohol products or confections will drop the functioning of your immune system for about 4-6 hours.  This drop allows viral guests ample opportunity to replicate and set up shop inside your nose, throat, lungs and intestinal tract.  Excess toxins can distract your immune system from fighting virus and bacteria.

Dr. Dunn's dietary maxim

Eat a variety of food in as close to its natural state as possible. 
My Dietary Maxim:
Eat a variety of food in as close to its natural state as possible. 

Emphasize grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, good quality protein and lots of water (about half your body weight in ounces each day).  You’ll benefit from antioxidant rich vegetables and fruits giving vitamin C. Nuts and grains such as rice, quinoa and millet supply zinc. Vitamin C and zinc are two crucial nutrients essential for healthy immune function.  Fiber found in fruits and vegetables especially cilantro helps to remove immuno-compromising heavy metals like mercury from the body.  This dietary approach will keep your body more alkaline creating an environment resistant to unwanted microbes.
A healthy diet will supply glutathione and n-acetyl cystiene. These are two key liver detoxifying compounds found in ocean going fish, eggs, tomatoes, oranges, tangerines, avocados, asparagus, squash, okra, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.  Other foods to assist liver function in general include artichokes, radishes and beets.  

Deep fried oils and commercial red meat products promote inflammatory compounds which, like sugar, destabilize immune function.  Healthy oil like Flax, hemp or fish oil supplements promote anti-inflammatory hormone-like compounds to support your immune system.

Regular exercise is another way to eliminate body toxins that inhibit immune function and stimulate the production of those good feeling (legal) endorphin and cannabinoid neurotransmitters in the brain.

Our immune system functions most efficiently when we are asleep. Studies show that even mild sleep deprivation depletes our resistance to virus and bacteria.  If sleep is a key ingredient to recover from illness, it’s easy to imagine the benefits of adequate sleep for the prevention of illness.

Immune Support Program
I think of the following as my Teacher’s Immune Support Program as teachers have often sought my assistance with a supplement program to make it through the winter disease free.  I use adaptogenic herbs as part of the program to support adrenal glands, thyroid and general metabolism with an emphasis on immune support.  Note: If you are pregnant or suffering from an auto-immune disorder do not do this program without consulting with me.

Take these supplements Monday through Friday and not on the weekend unless you’re feeling extra stressed.
Vitamin C: 500 – 1,000 mg twice a day (The only side effect of too much vitamin C is loose stools, so if this occurs reduce the amount a little)
Multiple Vitamin: Ultrapreventive D at 1-2 twice a day in the middle of a meal (supplying approximately 30 mg of most of the B vitamins)
Adaptogenic herbs: Astragalus or Rhodiola about 200 mg daily.
Larix: ½ tsp. in liquid 1-2 times a day
Original 7 (mushroom mix): 1, twice a day

The preventive regimen should keep you going strong, however should any symptoms of respiratory illness occur, immediately (even if in the middle of the night) begin the following:
Dr. Dunn’s Viral KO -  a tincture of Echinacea, Hydrastis, Baptisia, Phytolacca, Calendula, Thyme, Osha, Lomatia, Cayenne providing the following properties: Antiviral, antibacterial, immune stimulant, lymph support, anti-inflammatory, decongestant.

Dose: ½ - 1 tsp. 3-4 times a day in liquid will stop a cold in its tracks as long as you begin it within 6 -8 hours of symptom onset. You can make up one day’s worth of this tincture in the morning and sip on it all day long for best results. Take this until all symptoms resolve.  Also, avoid all milk products and sugar (including fruit juice) during this time due to their mucous producing effect.

Here are a few other tips to help make this winter an enjoyable one.

Wash hands often, avoid crowded, confined spaces, laugh often
Soap is deadly for virus and bacteria that can live for up to 8 hours on tables and doorknobs
Coughs expel particles at 100 mph up to 5-6 feet 
Sneezes shoot out at 150 mph up to 9 feet
Laughter enhances the function of the immune system

Throat soothing anti-microbial mix.  Mix together and gargle several times a day to ease and heal a sore throat.
Juice from ½ lemon
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. honey
1 oz. water
Cayenne (red pepper) to tolerance

Let me know if you have any questions about this newsletter.  Happy Thanksgiving.

In Health,
Jon Dunn, ND