When I’d get sick all the time, I used to actually plan what I’d be dealing with according to the time of year. There’s cold-and-flu season, (what we’re entering into right now), allergy season, (Spring for me), summer cold season, etc. I know I’m not alone. I get e-mails from viewers around the country that clearly live this merry-go-round-of-illness lifestyle, and it’s time we get off the ride.
Cold and flu season was my most active time of year to be sick. On average, I’d easily take at least three rounds of antibiotics from September to February, as well as constant antihistamines, cough medicines, and throat sprays in between. This was long before I knew about the fungus link to disease, or the tendency for antibiotics to immediately suppress the immune system, and set a person up for things like cancer later in life. You’d never know how potentially dangerous chronic antibiotic use can be, given how commonly they’re prescribed. The worrisome effects of antibiotic use was only one thing I knew nothing about. I also knew nothing about the importance of eating well. To listen to the mainstream health advice, diet is nothing more than a way to get enough calories for growth, development, and energy. Experts would say that “vegetables are good for you”, but they made it seem like a platitude instead of a world-class strategy for incredible health. “Smile a lot, tuck in your shirt, don’t slouch, and eat your vegetables.” When I’d ask our family doc, Dr. Yates, why I got sick so often, he’d take a few puffs of his pipe and say, “It’s that time of year.” I’d say that it’s “that time of year” for all my friends, but they’re never as sick as I am. No response, just a prescription. I’d ask about why I had asthma. A few more puffs of the pipe… ”Some people just have asthma.”
Well, I don’t have asthma anymore. I don’t get chronic infections anymore. I don’t worry about allergy season, or summer cold season, or depression, or psoriasis, or any of the laundry list of things I used to deal with, anymore. And it’s not because I’ve moved to warmer climates. It’s not because we don’t have winter where I live. It’s not because I take allergy shots. I believe it’s because I now Know The Cause.
The first thing you should know about getting off the antibiotic merry-go-round is that it can be a gradual process. In the early 90’s, I read a natural health book and decided to use things like Echinacea and goldenseal for my coughs and colds. In the beginning, they didn’t work. And when I avoided taking antibiotics for my symptoms, I initially remained sick for a couple of weeks instead of a few days. I suspect this was because my immune system had been taking a break for most of my life.
I experimented with vitamins, zinc lozenges, Kombucha tea, high-dose vitamin c, energy boosters – you name it, I took it. At times, I felt like I was inching closer to the bulls eye, but still missing something.
Then I found Doug. Honestly, I liked Doug, himself, more than I liked the idea of changing my diet. Changing a diet is harder than swallowing pills. But I read the studies he talked about, and I thought that this was a guy who didn’t sell “miracle pills”. I trusted him. So, I was willing to forgo the donut breakfasts, pizza buffet lunches, and hamburger-and-fries dinners for a while to see if any changes happened. I resolved to learn what a “salad” was. (Only halfway joking about that. I admit to never eating a salad before I was 30-years old.) Big changes were needed.
A funny thing happened on the way to my recovery. I found that when the diet was cleaned up, all of the supplements I used to take finally started really kicking in. The energy that was promised from B-12 and spirulina was finally realized. I began discovering that supplements really were supposed to be a “supplement” to one’s diet, not something to mask the effects of a bad diet. Gradually, the puzzle pieces of health started to fall into place.
Fast forward to 2012. Nowadays, it’s hard for me to recommend supplements for cold and flu season apart from Doug’s Phase One Diet. I realize that there are powerful supplements available at any health food store, but that they have limited effectiveness if your diet is propelling you to sickness. Plan for the supplements below to bring HUGE results when the diet is in place; plan for them to be hit and miss if the diet is absent.
So, Phase One is first.
Here are a few things I keep in the “non-medicine medicine cabinet” year round, in addition to a multi-nutrient formula, probiotics, and fish oil. I begin with immune modulators, such as NSC’s beta glucans, Bioactive Nutrients’ Beyond Colostrum, and a product called IP6. On a physical level, the immune system is the only way to stave off the bugs that we’re constantly exposed to. The germs, themselves, are with us all the time. Our ability to fight them off is the issue. Keeping the immune system primed is of crucial importance.
Another everyday product is Vitamin D3. A mountain of research has emerged over the years pointing to Americans’ Vitamin D3 deficiency, and D3’s importance; immune support is but one benefit. My wife and I take around 5000 IUs each day, and my son takes 400-1000 IUs.
So what happens if I’m overworked, stressed, under-nourished, burning the candle at both ends, and feeling a tickle in my throat? It happens from time to time, but I’m ready.
If I could have only one product in my arsenal, it would be oregano oil. This stuff is serious. It may be the most powerful single antimicrobial botanical I’ve ever come across. If we’re traveling on planes, breathing that re-circulated air, you better believe that we have the oregano oil. I keep a couple of bottles at home at all times, plus a bottle in my overnight bag. Bioactive Nutrients has a concentrated oregano oil that also combines anti-fungal capric and caprlyic acids from coconut oil for a triple-punch. Love it.
For my son, oregano oil tastes too strong. No problem. I’ll rub oregano oil on the soles of his feet, and up and down his spine if he ever needs it. I began with just a little to see if his skin tolerated it well. This has been a great strategy for parents I’ve counseled with over the years.
Something that kids and adults both tend to do well with is olive leaf extract. Seagate has several formulas with olive leaf, including a throat spray, ear-drops, and capsules. These all taste good, feel good, and work really well.