Dr Brooke Cold & Flu Remedies

July 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

Just last week I was feeling like myself again in the gym. It’s been 7 months since my hamstring tear and last week I did a glut-ham raise without pain and 3 sets of hip extensions with a 25lb sand bag across my hips – I was back in business! Or so I thought…

Over the weekend I started feeling a little run down and by Sunday night I had a horrible sore throat. Ignoring the Dr Brooke advice to start a few key supplements at the first sign of cold or flu symptoms, I simply headed to bed.  So as often happens when I’m on top of my game with my workouts and eating right, something big rises up to challenge me – sound familiar?? Today I woke up stuffy, sore throat, headache, achy and generally feeling like garbage…and wanting a muffin.

While I’m going to be out of the gym for a day or two recovering (I’m notorious for training while I’m sick and stretching out a few days into several weeks), this time I’m simply sticking to my nutrition plan and resting. I’ve come so close to my body fat goal, but have yet to quite reach it, so sick or not I’m determined to push through.

When we’re sick we often crave starchy “comfort” foods – usually those with wheat and dairy. Food allergens like wheat/gluten and dairy will ramp up one side of the  immune system, when it’s actually the other side (the side with the germ fighting power) that we want ramped up. So a “comfort grilled cheese” or the like is not a good idea! So it’s chicken soup sans noodles, coconut water, peppermint tea (both hot and iced) and some simple steamed greens dressed in lemon juice.  And of course some Ultimate You Cocoa http://bit.ly/abYeX0 (cocoa contains theobromide which is good for a cough).

Cold or Flu Busting Regimen When started at the first signs or symptoms of a cold or if you’ve been in close contact with someone sick, 9 times out of 10 prevents getting sick in the first place.  If you blow it like I did, simply take this regimen for 7-10 days once you are feeling sick.

Zinc 150mg per day divided up into 3 or 4 doses (usually 30-50mg is all someone’s stomach can take).  Zinc can make you really nauseous, so take with food.  This high dose is safe for short periods (long term high dose zinc can create other mineral deficiencies such as copper deficiency).  This is excellent prevention so if you tend to get sick when you travel or when family members are sick, have zinc on hand.

Vitamin C 1000mg every 2 hours or to bowel tolerance.  Your body has a limited capacity to absorb vitamin C, when you hit it you’ll start getting some lower abdominal cramps, loose stools or diarrhea.  When this happens, you’ve hit bowel tolerance. Simple back of by 500-1000mg and then that’s your dose.  Many people can get up to nearly 10g per day without any intestinal issues.  So find your dose and then stick with that until you’re feeling better.

Elderberry is an antiviral herb that’s become very popular – and it’s easy to see why! It works and it tastes great.  I prefer the liquid form, so I usually buy 1 large bottle (I like Sambuguard 6oz bottle – tastes good and has Echinacea as well) and then take 1 large sip (or 1 tbsp) every hour. If started at the first signs of a virus, this “one bottle” throughout the day regimen really helps stave off infection.

Allicillin is a potent garlic extract that’s over 40X the potency of a clove of garlic in one capsule. Nothing I’ve tried over the counter works as well as this stabilized form (www.designsforhealth.com). I start taking 3 capsules every 3-4 hours for prevention and for treatment. It smells like pizza but it’s amazing! I recommend always having a bottle on hand (email me at drbrooke@betterbydrbrooke.com if you need some).

Yin Ciao is a Chinese Formula that has several anti-bacterial herbs in it and it’s one of my favs for fighting colds/flus that start with a sore throat.  Take 6 capsules at first sign of a sore throat, then 4 capsules every 4 hours therafter.  This can cause some digestive upset as these herbs are bitter and cold – but it’s worth it to kill whatever germ is growing in your throat. Also don’t be surprised if after one day on this formula your sore throat turns quickly into a very runny nose. This is normal and shows the progression of clearing out the virus is well ahead of schedule.

NAC (n-acetyl-cystine) is an amino acid that can thin mucous, so this is a good addition to add to the mix if you do come down with a cold and congestion is a problem.  Take 300mg every 4 hours while sick. 300mg per day seems to aid in prevention (particularly of flu).

Be well!

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