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12 Best Immune Boosters & Cold Fighters

Buy, Bye Colds & Flu!
The 12 Best Immune Builders are here!

About this time every fall, the kids go back to school (hello germs) and the pumpkin spice lattes come out (with 50 whopping grams of sugar!!), then it's time for trick-or-treating (more sugar) and then holiday cookies, cakes, and pies. Do you see where I'm going with this? Sugar lowers your immune system, being indoors in dry heat dries out your nasal passages. All of this is a perfect storm for lowering your body's ability to fight viruses and bacteria.  You can keep your immune system strong with keeping the sugar intake to a dull roar, keeping active (even if it's just a 20 minute walk), getting good sleep, frequent hand-washing, and eating lots of leafy greens, veggies, and antioxidants. Now, if one of those nasty bugs makes it way in and you start to feel achy or sniffly - get on these tips right away! These tips and tricks are things I normally share in private classes and with clients, but I really felt like I needed to share this publicly because too many people rely on OTC remedies that just suppress symptoms and don't actually help them get well.
12 Best Immune Boosters& Cold Fighters_copy

Immune Boosters:

1. Hydrogen peroxide in your ears - even the kids can handle this one. Put a few drops in each ear and let it bubble. 2 times per day.
2. Crush 2 cloves of garlic in a small glass of water and drink it. If that's too harsh, add raw honey to taste.
3. Vitamin D3 - optimizing your vitamin D is crucial. If you don't know your numbers, get tested. Over 30 is considered normal, but 50-80 is considered OPTIMAL by functional medicine doctors. If you get sick a lot, consider amping up your intake. Try Cod Liver Oil or a sublingual D drop (this bypasses the gut and gets right into blood stream!). I love and use Biotics Research Bio-D Mulsion Forte. 
4. Elderberry Juice/Gummies/syrup - Recipes abound on the internet to make your own and I would advise doing so. Buying a premade syrup from the store isn't the same potency as making it yourself. You just need to buy the best berries and make a decoction. I'll be sharing a video on my Facebook page soon.
5. IAG - This is a supplement in powder form from Biotics. I pretend it stands for "I Ain't Getting It!" This is a natural activator of the immune system and it enhances natural killer cells. It's also a prebiotic. Safe for kids too.
6. Liposomal Vitamin C - best for bioavailability. I like Quicksilver.
7. NAC - N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine - this is a precursor to glutathione - a powerful antioxidant. From Biotics.
8. Medicinal Mushrooms - Chaga, Reishi, turkey tail, maitake - take in powder form in a tea or capsule. These are powerful immune modulators. Along with ginger, garlic, turmeric and fresh herbs.
9. Zinc - fights viruses, also helps to heal wounds (like from a recent surgery)
10. Calcium citrate (not carbonate) - helps feed a healthy fever, mitigates allergic reactions
11. B12 - sublingual from Biotics
12. Essential oils - OnGuard, Oregano - diffused and put on your feet (I used this combo when my daughter got the flu last year and she was well in 4 days!)

I hope you'll try these tips this fall to help you fight those germs. These are my family's tried and true remedies - because they work. If you're interested in purchasing supplements like the ones I mentioned, hop on over to Fullscript and check out my recommendations, plus you get a discount!
If you need Nutritional Therapy support to help you improve your health, let's chat over a free consultation.

One last note...the influenza vaccine is not going to build your immune system. Instead, the adjuvants (25 mcg of Thimerasol/mercury) will only wear down your body's ability to fight infection, thus making you susceptible to the over 100 other respiratory viruses that are out there.
Additionally, after a 2-year hiatus, the CDC has brought back the nasal FluMist vaccine. They took it off the market because it's a LIVE vaccine and it sheds for 28 days. If you have a compromised immune system and you're around someone who recently received the nasal mist and they sneeze or cough or you drink after them, you can get sick.
If you have to get a flu shot for work, please ask for the Thimerasol-free version to avoid this dangerous toxin. Then, detox with a sauna, lots of Vitamin C and water.

P.S. No vaccine has ever been tested for safety or is even approved for use in pregnant women. Not approved - ok, so please decline if you are pregnant. In fact, it says on the label of a Thimerasol bottle that it is "mutagenic to developing embryos" - that means it causes cancer or cell death.
Let's go on to learn more about the flu vaccine. do you need a flu shot_copy

The Influenza Vaccine:

Each year health officials inoculate this year’s virus into chickens.  Then, they take the created viral strains to use as the antigen - the agent which elicits an immune reaction in the human body so you create your own antibodies against that stain of flu. But creating antibodies is not the same as protection against a disease.

It takes about two weeks after you are vaccinated for your body to create these antibodies. We assume scientists match the vaccine to the exact flu strain going around.  It’s an educated guess essentially and the efficacy of the vaccine lies in our ability to match the two correctly. The CDC states the rates of efficacy are 0% to 52% in any given year. Yes, that’s right, 0%.

You can still get the flu if you have been vaccinated if the strain you caught doesn’t match that which was in your vaccine.  And you can still get the flu even if the strains were properly matched but your immune system is not functioning properly!

What’s In a Flu Shot?

  • Egg proteins: Including avian contaminant viruses
  • Formaldehyde: Known carcinogen, in amounts of 5-25 mcg
  • Thimerosal: Mercury-based preservative (only in multi-dose vials), 25 mcg
  • Other heavy metals such as aluminum: Known neurotoxin
  • Sugar: The essence of all inflammatory disease
  • Triton X100: A detergent, 50-250 mcg, varies by specific brands
  • Neomycin, an antibiotic
  • Polysorbate 20 and 80, known to cross the blood-brain barrier, opens tight junctions, causes infertility in mice
  • Other additives known to cause allergic reactions

Influenza (Afluria)

beta-propiolactone, thimerosol (multi-dose vials only), monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphate, monobasic potassium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium taurodeoxycholate, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, egg protein, sucrose

December 2013

Influenza (Agriflu)

egg proteins, formaldehyde, polysorbate 80, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, neomycin sulfate, kanamycin, barium


Influenza (Fluarix) Trivalent and Quadrivalent

octoxynol-10 (Triton X- Į-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), hydrocortisone, gentamicin sulfate, ovalbumin, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, sucrose, phosphate buffer

June 2014

Influenza (Flublok)

monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphate, polysorbate 20, baculovirus and host cell proteins, baculovirus and cellular DNA, Triton X-100, lipids, vitamins, amino acids, mineral salts

March 2014

Influenza (Flucelvax)

Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell protein, MDCK cell DNA,

Cetyltrimethlyammonium Bromide, b-propiolactone, phosphate buffer

March 2014

Influenza (Fluvirin)

nonylphenol ethoxylate, thimerosal (multidose vial–trace only in prefilled syringe), polymyxin, neomycin, beta-propiolactone, egg proteins, phosphate buffer

February 2014

Influenza (Flulaval) Trivalent and Quadrivalent

thimerosal, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, egg proteins, phosphate buffer

February 2013

Influenza (Fluzone: Standard (Trivalent and Quadrivalent), High-Dose, & Intradermal)

formaldehyde, octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), gelatin (standard trivalent formulation only), thimerosal (multi-dose vial only) , egg protein, phosphate buffers, sucrose


Ingredients in Vaccines, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, B-10

The biggest controversy about the ingredients in the shot surrounds the use of the preservative Thimerosal.  Thimerosal contains mercury.  Exposure to mercury leads to systemic health problems running the gamut from neurological dysfunction (memory loss, confusion, inability to concentrate) to depression, renal failure, skin troubles and gastrointestinal disturbances.

But aren’t Flu Vaccines recommended for pregnant women?

Yes, they are. But none of the 24 flu vaccines on the market have been tested for safety in pregnancy. In fact, none are FDA approved for use in pregnancy. Last year, a  study found a 7.7 fold increase in miscarriage and flu vaccines. This is probably due to the Thimerosal (my summation). Thimerosal is mutagenic for developing embryos. It actually says this very fact on the label of the box – “Causes mutation in mammal germ cells” - otherwise known as developing embryos.

Pregnant women and infants are often advised to opt for the single dose mercury-free vaccines as once mercury is in the body it can enter the fetus via the placenta.  Studies have also reported that children can become symptomatic from mercury toxicity from as little exposure as 10 mcg/kg/day.

Many flu vaccines contain up to 25 mcg of mercury per dose so this is one area where I will state how important it is to look for a mercury-free vaccines.  Some may argue that this isn’t very much, but consider this fact: 25 mcg in a .5 ml shot = 50,000 PPB. Two PPB is the FDA limit for drinking water and 200 PPB is considered toxic and requires a hazard label. That’s 250x the allowable limit in a flu vaccine. By comparison, the average can of tuna contains120 PPB.

Here are some options to ask your doctor about:

Types of Vaccines Available:

  • Single-dose vaccines such as Fluzone: Contains an inert virus that is incapable of causing infection and tends to be free of mercury.
  • Some pre-filled syringes such as Afluria are mercury-free.
  • Multi-dose vaccines tend to contain the most mercury.

If mercury is such a problem, then why are we even using it?  Mercury is part of the preservative necessary when using multi-dose vaccines. The single-dose vaccine doesn’t require the preservative which is why this vaccine is preferred. It is also the least cost-effective for manufacturers to produce so until this changes.  YOU, the consumer, need to advocate for yourself.

How Safe is the Flu Vaccine?

While the CDC reports that safety is always being monitored to ensure risk from the vaccine is negligible, certain serious complications have been reported:

  • Allergic reactions (anaphylactic)
  • Fever (dangerous for pregnant women)
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome (can be fatal)
  • Neurological disorders

Always contact your local physician if you suspect any serious complications post injection.

A study by Cochrane Review states the evidence is poor and provides no guidance regarding the safety, efficacy and effectiveness of flu vaccine for those 65 and older. In another study by Dr. Ben Cowling, of 100 vaccinated with the flu vaccine, they were found to have 4-5 times higher incidence of non-flu viral infections than those unvaccinated. In 2016, there were 108 cases of severe injury and death due to the influenza vaccine. It has the highest rates of adverse events of any vaccine, according to the Vaccine Adverse Events website or VAERS.

Why Do We Get Sick?

I find it interesting that “flu-season” coincides with the start of sugar season - Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies and holiday treats, coupled with dry indoor air, a lack of sunshine and decreased activity. This is why we get sick!

Why confuse ourselves about the pros and cons of a vaccine’s worth, safety, and strain availability when we have so much in our medicinal arsenal to fight the flu’s onset?

Preventing the flu depends on improving the quality of our lifestyles to include more pleasure and relaxation, increasing access to fresh, nutrient-dense food, and limiting sugary and processed junk food in our lives.

Taking care of the way we eat, keeping fit, getting enough sleep and taking a few nutritional supplements including a multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D can prevent most from ever getting sick in the first place. Don’t forget about frequent hand-washing too!

The influenza virus can be very uncomfortable and cause a major disruption in our busy lives.  It is important to remember that most healthy people will suffer a mere 3-5 days.

While the fever/chills, sore throat, headache, and fatigue are definitely not fun, they usually come and go without much major harm caused to the body.

In fact, most deaths are only associated with the flu via contraction of pneumonia and its influence on existing medical conditions.  The CDC reported 500 deaths in 2010 from flu, most were elderly with co-infections, like pneumonia. The flu’s mortality rate itself is much less common-in fact, more people die each year from malnutrition than from the flu!

Are your supplements safe?


Supplementation is a billion dollar industry! Done correctly, taking supplements can help improve vitamin and mineral levels, correct digestive problems, improve hormone balance and so much more. Done incorrectly, they can actually cause harm or just be a huge waste of money.

It's not enough to eat a healthy diet anymore. We are bombarded with 88,000 untested chemicals that are endocrine disrupting (that means it's messing with our hormones), causing cancer and debilitating diseases like asthma and autoimmune disease. The supplementation industry is largely unregulated and complicated if you don't know what you need and how to use it. The purpose of supplementation is to correct a deficiency. Unfortunately these days, we can not get everything we need from our diets. The food grown today is grown in nutrient-depleted soil that lacks the rich minerals that give us life. This is why we are seeing people with annoying, yet easily correctable nutritional deficiencies.

We need to get our vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from the foods we eat, but when that's not possible, supplementation can help. Additionally, with 70% of the US population on a pharmaceutical drug, you know we are going to have unintended consequences - like nutrient depletion. Yes, taking certain medications can deplete your stores of vitamins and minerals!

For example, birth control pills deplete B vitamins and interfere with selenium and zinc (which the thyroid needs). Synthetic estradiols like Prevarin cause magnesium absorption problems and increase bowel transit time (where nutrient absorption takes place). Antacids disturb calcium and magnesium uptake. Zantac depletes zinc - which is needed for healing and immune function. Diuretics flush potassium which is an important part of the sodium/potassium pump in the body - regulating cardiac cell balance for one! Every drug interferes with some metabolic pathway in the body, so if you're on a medication, you have to look at supplementation to help support that insufficiency.

Now, the next important thing to consider is the TYPE of actual vitamin or mineral in a given supplement. Some are so cheaply sourced, using poorly absorbable forms, that you are basically wasting your money. For example, calcium carbonate is the LEAST absorbable form of calcium. Magnesium oxide is the cheapest and least absorbable form of magnesium. And, folic acid can be downright dangerous to supplement if you carry the MTHFR gene variant (which 30% of the population does and most don't know if you haven't been tested). You want to see the "methyl" form of folate. It will typically say methylfolate on the label. So much to learn, right?

Then, you need to review the "other ingredients." Some supplements can have binders, fillers, gluten, yeast, sugar, artificial colors and preservatives like sodium benzoate - known to specifically attack the mitochondria of DNA.

If you're curious about your supplements, reach out to me and ask. I'd love to help. I personally use
Biotics Research, Innate Response and a few other brands that I know are 3rd-party tested for purity and safety. I also started building my 
Fullscript dispensary of supplements I recommend.  This is a website where you can order top of the line supplements at a discount with my personal recommendations.

If you are local to me in Northern VA, I urge you to make time to attend my Supplement Masterclass on Saturday, August 25, from 11:00 am - 1:30 pm, in Gainesville, VA.

Here's what I'm covering:
  • Detailed profiles of major nutritional supplements.
  • Nutritional supplementation protocols for those on restrictive dietary programs.
  • The health conditions each supplement and food can improve and/or heal and contraindications of herbs and drugs. We'll chat about multi's, probiotics, magnesium, B's, enzyme therapy, adaptogens, herbs, mushrooms and blood sugar support.
  • Protocols will include recommendations for usage and dosage, interrelationships and interactions with other nutrients, and prescription drug-contraindications.
  • Participants will learn which drugs can deplete the body’s essential nutrients, which supplements can reduce drug side effects

BONUS: I'll chat about boosting your immunity with natural foods, like Elderberry Juice and Fire Cider and supplements to prevent winter colds and flu!

Sign up