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What Are You Doing About The Flu?

Picara Vassallo

What are you doing about the flu?

This flu epidemic appears to be the hot topic at the moment and for good reason - lots of people are getting sick.  And worst of all, many of those getting the flu are those who went and got the flu shot.  Flu shots don't always have the strains that hit our town or the strain has already mutated by the time it's reached us.  So, you need to find another way to defend yourself and one of the best ways is to strengthen you immune system.

Here are my 5 tips for boosting your system and avoiding the flu:

  1. Rest - I keep hearing from my clients "I'm sleeping a lot" and my response is, "Good!"  We underestimate how much rest we need at this time of year so if you are tired, go to bed.  Sleep in on weekends as much as possible.  Take naps if that's available to you.  Your body recovers and repairs itself when you sleep and it will help your immune system stay strong
  2. Warm, easy to digest foods - I keep my crock pot running almost non stop this time of year.  I make lots of stock by following this simple recipe.  I then add in whatever I want in the morning and have dinner ready when I get home.  I then warm the leftovers as needed through out the next day.  This way I have warm and easy to digest foods available without much work.   You can always leave out the meat but make sure you add as many veggies as possible as they are rich in vitamins and minerals that you need to stay strong.
  3. Wash your hands- Washing your hands is the simplest and easiest way to prevent catching anything.  Do it often throughout the day.  Wipe down door handles, light switches, and other spots that get a lot of traffic as well.
  4. Keep warm - I can't express how important it is to stay warm. Keep your scarf on you as much as possible and make sure you don't let yourself get chilled.  Even if we have a warm day, keep that scarf on!
  5. Herbs - I swear by a few herbal supplements.  These include:

Gan Mao Ling - this Chinese herbal formula is in my purse at all times and I've given it away many many times to friends in need.  If I'm around a lot of sick people on the subway or the train, I take a dose.  I leave bottles of it at my family's homes so when they call and say "I feel like I'm coming down with something" I can say to them "take the gan mao ling!"  These little black pills have saved me more times than I can tell you.

Elderberry extract I take right away when I'm feeling run down or been around sick people. It has been used since the 5th century to give the immune system a boost when it needs it.  I take this product when I want Elderberry extract and the power of mushrooms (see below)  I take this with Gan Mao Ling when everyone around me is sick.  Between those two products, I usually manage to get through the whole winter flu season in good shape.

Huang Qi can be purchased through your herbalist or at a chinese herbal shop.  It's an amazing herb that looks like a tongue depressor when sold raw and I throw it right into that stock I was mentioned above.  It helps helps to protect the exterior of your body from colds and flus.  It also tastes delicious boiled as a tea with goji berries.  I take this throughout the fall and winter months as a preventative. If you do get the stomach flu and are losing fluids, stop taking it.  Otherwise, drink up!

Medicinal mushrooms.  You can eat these by themselves, in a soup or in capsules in concentrated form.  I ingest a variety of mushrooms such as cordyceps and shiitakes on a regularly basis and I've taken Immune Defense which has maitake, cordyceps and reishi, some of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms.  I increase the dose this time of year but mushrooms are best eaten year round for maximum health as their medicinal properties are gentle but wonderful for overall vitality.

Stay healthy, friends!  And contact me to get your hands on any of these herbs!