Building Your Fall Medicine Cabinet By Stephanie Dalton, NutritionistIn the same way that your fall wardrobe adds layers of warmth, your medicine cabinet can layer in levels of protection now too! I'm a firm believer in using safe and toxin free products for the most common ailments so here are a few of my favorite things for keeping you and your kids' immune system strong through fall and winter. Start on them now and you may find you are one of the lucky few who stay well this year! Turmeric/Curcumin – 1-2 capsules per day Studies show that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, plays an important role in various aspects of strengthening the immune system. It’s anti-viral, anti-fungal and can help protect against cancer. Inflammation is the cause of many chronic diseases that cause health to deteriorate, so turmeric is your anti-inflammatory superhero! Vitamin D3 – 4-5000 IU per day
This power vitamin (really, it’s a hormone precursor) can often reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place when taken properly. Only a blood test can help you figure out exactly how much you need to take, but for most adults, the daily dose is above 5,000 IU. The best way to get Vitamin D is from the sun, but in the winter, vitamin D levels plummet, and the immune system along with it. Vitamin D3 plays a critical role in the killer T cell response, and is therefore a major regulator of a healthy immune response.
Kids: A maintenance dose for children is 35 IU per bound of body weight.Zinc – up to 40mg per day
Zinc is my first choice for defense against the viruses that cause the common cold and garden-variety seasonal influenza (btw, this is one mineral most of us are deficient in). It’s an immune boosting mineral that’s found in beef, lamb, oysters and (in smaller amounts) pumpkin seeds, cashews, and beans. It’s been found to reduce the likelihood of infections.
A respected medical clearinghouse for medical studies from England shows that common cold sufferers have a better option than chicken soup!
Kids – given as a lozenge or a liquid (good for younger children):
- 4-8 yrs, 5 mg/day
- 9-13 yrs, 8-10 mg/day
- 14-18 yrs, 10-15 mg/day
Another powerhouse, Vitamin C packs a powerful punch against illness. There are even cases of people dying from influenza who made complete recoveries with high enough I.V. doses of Vitamin C. It is water soluble, and much more difficult to overdose on than Vitamin D. We keep Vitamin C around at all times.
Kids – the form and dose are “buffered ascorbic acid,” 250-500 milligrams 3 times a day, given with meals.Essential Oils
Many EO’s (essential oils) have anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antitumor, antiparasitic, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. Picking a high quality brand that is a certified therapeutic grade is important so you can be sure it's pure.
Oregano Oil is anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and works wonders for respiratory support. We use this if someone gets sick in our house, a few drops in supplement form a few times a day usually stops it dead in its tracks.
OnGuard from doTerra is a protective blend. It supports healthy immune function and contains cleansing properties. It can be used on the bottom of feet daily as a preventative measure or it can be ingested or applied during an illness. It is also safe to use on counter tops, as a non-toxic way to cleanse surfaces, or to purify the atmosphere by diffusing.
Kids: I use the OnGuard Roller and swipe it onto the bottom of their feet every day. Do this before bed or in the morning before school.Elderberry Syrup This age old traditional remedy is packed with antioxidants, supports and strengthens the immune system and is known to shorten the duration of colds and flu. The flower and the berries are also known to relieve nasal congestion is also used by herbalists to soothe upset tummies and relieve gas. It has diuretic and detoxifying attributes and finally, it’s high in Vitamin A and C and bioflavonoids, and can be taken as an immune tonic.
Kids: great for children (read the label on the bottle for dosage)Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids The “good fat” that supports brain health. Be sure to find one that suits your needs: Fish Oil is suitable for omnivores, and must be of high quality. Algae Omega comes from algae and is the choice of vegans and vegetarians. And for your kiddos, the Swirl-To-Go from Barleans is a great way to get the kids on board. Many mom’s swear by it to keep their kids balanced and happy. Probiotics A super smart choice right now that will boost healthy bacteria to your digestive track and strengthen your immunity, preparing you for the busy fall and holiday season that’s on its way. Don’t miss out on this one, for you, your partner, and your kids. It's important to invest in a good quality supplement with enough
Kids – you can give this to all ages, babies – 18 yrs!
Dosage will differ depending on the brand, but one example brand is Ther-Biotic. They make an infant formula, which you can give to babies (check with your child’s doctor first!).
- baby: 1⁄4 teaspoon 1-2 times a day (this goes into their milk or mixed in with their food)
- children 2 and older: chewable that you can give 1-2 tablets a day
- kids 12 and older can take an adult probiotic.