Natural ways to fight the flu
"I think people are becoming more aware of what we put into our body. We are seeing a bigger movement in people moving towards health and organic-type foods," explained Dr. Kimberly Sanders with the University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine.
The over-the-counter natural pharmacy is open to everyone.
With the flu season underway, there all kinds of remedies available.
"We don't want to stop at just the general recommendations: The flu shot, washing our hands, not being in contact with someone who is sick. But why stop there? Our approach is 'let's do more to really be more aggressive and be on top of this,'" she explained.
Dr. Sanders prescribes effective herbs and supplements to help boost the immune system. Studies, she says, support that. For instance -- a daily dose of Vitamin C.
"It helps your white blood cells that are your fighters against flus and colds to go up in count. We like this one for prevention," she stated.
This includes the benefit of Vitamin D.
"Our immune cells have actually parts where Vitamin D binds. And we're thinking that when that happens, it helps our immune system to be stronger. So, what we are seeing are people who are lower in Vitamin D have more severe flu, more likely to get colds and flus," she said.
Also included, surprisingly, are probiotics.
"The better we have these friendly bacteria in our gut, the stronger our immune system is. And there are studies showing that probiotics can help with flu prevention and shorten duration of the flu," she added.
Feeling like you're coming down with the flu? Dr. Sanders recommends what she calls "heavy-hitters" to knock it out.
First up is Elderberry.
"[It's] great for kids because it's safe for children and it tastes so good. You don't have to fight to get it into them. It's also shown to reduce the severity of the flu once you get it so you can take about a teaspoon every day" she said.
There's also the herb, echinacea.
"You can take it in capsule form, you can drink it as a tea if you'd like, or take a liquid version," she added.