Combating the Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season is upon us again and making news. Here are some guidelines from Benedictine Healing Products for patients and friends.

First, remember to use COMMON SENSE regarding the cold and flu season.  Here are a few necessary suggestions that can help.

  1. REST:  It’s a verb and means taking charge of time and planning for it just as you plan to exercise or go out to dinner and a movie… Going to bed a few minutes earlier, sitting once or twice a day with your feet up and eyes closed -–even for 5 minutes—does make a difference. Taking a nap or staying in bed with a good book or DVD is healthy.
  2. CONSUME WARM FLUIDS: Drinking warm herb teas and making more delicious soups with onions, garlic, and veggies in bone soup or strong veggie broth hits the spot.
  3. VITAMIN C:  This no longer controversial as it once was when Linus Pauling first suggested it nearly 45 years ago. There are several delivery systems to choose from. My favorites, depending upon the need, are fresh fruits and veggies, and a special form of degraded C that bypasses the intestinal system and stays in the intestinal tract a couple of days instead of the usual 4 hours before being eliminated. [Metagenics Ultra Potent C]
  4. GENTLE MOVEMENT and JOINT ARTICULATION:  A short walk, a few minutes of yoga stretching or chi gung breathing, even splashing in a hot tub for movement of the joints and articulation of the body. There is a belief in Chinese thought that “evil” (read: virus and bacteria) lurk near the joints so gentle movement allows them to be thrust from their hiding places where the blood constituents can eliminate them efficiently.
  5. A hot SHOWER or hot salt BATH:  Magnesium Epsom can help “relieve the surface”, induce sweating, and reduce toxic lymphatic waste.
  6. Increase the use of intestinal FLORA products such as lactobacillis acidolphilus. to enhance the body’s ability to cleanse the intestine. I recommend 15-450 billion per dose.
  7. HERBAL RECOMMENDATIONS. General herbal recommendations include stocking up on gan mao ling, BHP Chinese Cold & Flu, and BHP Anti-X. Keep on hand using very early in the cycle if the symptoms are present in the throat or head. If an individual has a pattern of lung weakness, include BHP Deep Lung as well.

THE PROGRESSION OF COLDS AND FLU

These attacks on our immune system are conceptualized as occurring in three stages.  In STAGE 1, the cold enters the body via the upper respiratory tracts as a virus. (In Chinese thought you need to protect the back of the head, neck, and chest for “wind”) Symptoms include achy muscles, stuffy head and nose or headache, sore throat, low grade fever, cough, and clear or colored phlegm and a possible change in bowel activity. This is obviously the best stage to arrest its development with home remedies and herbs. If the cold progresses to STAGE 2 it has progressed to include a bacterial response to the initial viral invasion (the really sick stage).  If you’re inclined to use western medicine, this is the stage to use it.  The symptoms become worse and more interior, such as really sore throat with swollen glands, ear ache, movement into the bronchi or lungs with lots of highly colored mucous from sinuses and chest. STAGE 3 is the final stage of infection where the virus returns to the sinuses before resolving and completing its cycle.

USEFUL BHP PRODUCTS

  1. DEEP LUNG 3 IN 1:  A blend of 40% ANTI-X, 35% CHINESE COLD & FLU, and 25% DEEP LUNG.  Keep on hand to cover the family. Add additional amounts of component formulas as necessary.
  2. ANTI-X: All herbs are antiviral and some are additionally antibacterial.  It is useful in stage 1,2, and 3. It is amazing!
  3. CHINESE COLD & FLU: This formula is especially useful for sore throat, lymph, and to keep the liver open in dealing with infection.  I’ve added Evodia to slightly warm the stomach as the other three herbs are considered very cold and would compromise the digestive system. Adding this fourth herb allows the formula to be used with more confidence by the young, pregnant and nursing mothers,as well as the elderly, and infirm.
  4. DEEP LUNG:  This formula is most useful in stage 2 after 18 hours when the infection may have descended into the bronchi or lower or have changed into the bacterial stage. It is very effective.
  5. ELDERBERRY PLUS:  This formula contains no sugar, but relies on a thick concentration of the berries themselves is useful for COUGH as well as a tonic for the lungs, and immunity.  It is well received by young children.
  6. ASTRAGALUS: This is best applied in stage 3 and in the re-cooperative stages until the natural energy (chi) has returned. It is especially useful in cold and wet lung conditions.  Do not use for a dry lung condition or if it appears to increase coughing.
  7. IMMUNE PLUS:  A comprehensive herbal immune tonic best used for 3 weeks before exposure to infection or throughout the entire season by susceptible patients.
  8. OLIVE:  This is a strong anti-microbial, especially anti-viral that many find useful when experiencing viral eruptions, such as herpes.
  9. USNEA:  This is another strong anti-microbial many find useful when experiencing respiratory and urinary infections.
  10. CHINESE EAR OIL:  This is an effective topical application for ear pain.  NOTE: It stains clothing and needs to be stored in the refrigerator except for the time needed for an active infection.
  11. MULLEIN EAR OIL:  This topical oil is useful after the active ear infection if over, but it is necessary to use something to continue addressing the ear for another week.
  12. LYMPH OIL:  This topical oil is applied in lymph rich areas such as the neck or groin area to facilitate the movement of overburdened lymph glands in the removal of infection waste material. I use it extensively with children (and adults) with ear aches, and swollen throat glands. It has been helpful for children with chronic ear infections.
  13. ECHINACEA:  This is a mild lymph mover useful in fighting infection.
  14. PHYTOLACCA:  This is a strong lymph mover useful in fighting sore throats and infection.  CAUTION: DO NOT EXCEED DOSE RECOMMENDATIONS!
  15. BREATHE EASIER:  This is phenolated (anti-microbial) Irish moss used topically to soothe and shrink swollen membranes of nose and throat. It stings.

We also have a line of products designed especially with children in mind and we have the same effective adult products in child form including Immune for Kids and Sniffles for Kids.

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS

Herbs to induce sweating are especially good for the first stage of infection. These include peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, and chamomile. Add a pinch of cayenne to enhance therapeutic value.

Any hot beverages and foods are useful such as chicken bone broth or egg drop soup, consume or miso.  Hold them in your hands and inhale the hot aromas.

For a cough, slippery elm with honey, or lemon with fresh berry puree and honey (and ½ tsp. brandy) is appealing.

I encourage the use of fresh, organic, non-GMO (gene modified organism) produce and free range grass and organic feed fed cattle and chickens for meat and eggs.

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