Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flu fighting kit

With flu season upon us I thought I would write about our flu fighting strategies. This works really well here at the House of B. We are on the whole very healthy year round, rarely sick (no mean feat since Little B started preschool this year and most parents send sick kids along), and if we do get sick, this keeps the worst of it at bay.

As soon as we are sick we start taking olive leaf extract, Sambucol (elderberry extract) and Flustop. If the Flustop doesn’t stop it in its tracks, then the olive leaf and elderberry extract either stop the bug or minimise its symptoms.

I also brew a big batch of chicken soup, full of lovely organic vegies, garlic and ginger, home-made chicken stock and of course organic chicken J and we all indulge heavily. I immediately change the bed linen on all our beds and start airing our house (even if its cold). These last two steps were recommended to me by a homeopath and I think they actually make a difference.

As an everyday preventative, we all take Vitamin D. But not the run of the mill tablets you can buy at the chemist. After much reading and discussions with Little B’s paed gastro, I discovered that normal Vitamin D tablets are only aimed at basic bone health. It’s not high enough to assist in immune health in any way. So Mr B and I take 6000mg a day and Little B takes 1600mg a day.

When sick, we increase this dose to between 8,000 and 10,000mg for the adults only. Olive leaf extract is the key thing that works for Little B, along with the elderberry extract, which also has Echinacea in it.

To overdose on Vitamin D, adults would need to consume close to 50,000 units. I get my levels tested every year and in March had great levels as if “I lived in Queensland and worked outside all day”. To give this perspective prior to taking 6000mg, I took normal tablets and my levels were 20 – the minimum amount for bone health alone should be 80. I’m now 176 and to overdose your levels would have to be over 300. My gp says it’s almost impossible to get to 50,000 iu, so I am comfortable with the amounts we are taking. For children, you should not exceed 2,000mg a day.

Our other preventative is to take one dose of Flustop a week during flu season. Though I have used it successfully with Little B since he started preschool and I noticed all the kids dropping off like flies week in, week out with the dreaded lurgies. Since doing so, he has only been sick once (and of course that was the week I forgot to give it to him – most probably a coincidence).

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