Tips for Colds & Flu

by Nanci


When was the last time you suffered from cold or flu symptoms? Some people contract a flu virus every year or multiple times a year. From a sore throat or a sinus infection to bronchitis or pneumonia, a flu virus can trigger a host of unwanted and even life-threatening symptoms and conditions. Today you will learn about the different flu varieties, the shifting flu “season”, ways to prevent flu viruses from wreaking havoc, and the supplements, foods, and measures you can take to heal from the flu.


The rhinoviruses that caused the common cold have been superseded by flu viruses that are much stronger. Now, it is likely that someone experiencing cold-like symptoms actually has a mild flu variety. Another reason you may experience cold-like symptoms is because your body is doing an incredible job of fighting off whatever virus maybe trying to infiltrate your system. If you’re sneezing, sniffling, or complaining of a ticklish throat, you’re most likely dealing with a strain of the flu.

Flu Season

You may think of flu season as limited to the fall and winter months, but this is no longer the case. Although flus may be most rampant during the wintertime, there are now waves of flus occurring all year round. Even in the summer it is important to take protective measures because flus can abound during June, July, and August as well. During these warm months, people still find themselves dealing with sinus infections, stomach flus, bronchitis, and more.

One reason for this never-ending flu season is the rise in international travel. For example, when it is winter in Australia and flus are rampant, countless people hop on planes and travel from Australia to places experiencing summertime, such as the United States. In these instances, many people carry various flu strains along with them. This is also true when it is wintertime in the U.S. and people travel abroad to Australia and other countries, knowing or unknowingly bringing flu viruses along for the ride.

Instead of thinking in terms of seasons, try to begin thinking in terms of cycles. Typically every six weeks, there is a new flu on the horizon. Some people can catch a flu every three months, while other people catch one with each new cycle (six weeks). The timeline for each individual looks different and depends on an array of factors.

Flu Varieties

Everyone reacts to the flu differently. Some people come down with very high fevers and delirium, while others run low-grade fevers and go about their lives with little disruption to their usual activities. One reason for these varied responses may be the numerous flu varieties people can contract.

There are a number of flu strains that all appear different in shape and size. Some flus can result in bad fevers, while other strains only trigger sinus issues. Some of the varieties provoke stomach issues while others stir up both stomach and sinus problems.

Frequently people will mistake the sizable mucus buildup in their systems for the stomach flu. In these instances, people are often suffering from a flu that is mostly sinus-related and their stomach issues are due to the large quantity of mucus they have swallowed. In a case like this, a person may experience severe bloating, loss of appetite, and/or mucus-related coughing or vomiting.

Mucus, Bronchitis, and Pneumonia

In many cases, flu viruses create mucus. The mucus that’s created drains most heavily during the night. Depending on the strain of flu you contract, you may not have a cough initially. But, as the mucus drains into the chest and builds up in the lungs, there is a significant chance you will begin to develop one. After a few days, the mucus may either begin to break up, or additional sinus issues may arise and cause even more mucus to drain into the chest.

Bronchitis can arise from this mucus resting in the chest. If the mucus remains in the chest for too long, bacteria can begin to grow and proliferate as well. You might be told this bacteria is pneumonia bacteria, but this isn’t true. Pneumonia bacteria is simply the label medical communities have given the condition. Medical science believes there are 90 varieties of pneumonia bacteria, but this bacteria is still a mystery to medical communities. It’s really one or more of the dozens of varieties of undiscovered streptococcus or chlamydia bacteria that cause the symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia. Streptococcus and chlamydia are two of the bacterias (among others) that are not yet fully understood or identified by medical science and research. If the person’s system is already severely rundown, these bacteria can take hold and someone may end up with a pneumonia diagnosis.

Everybody has different varieties of pneumonia bacteria in their system, which is actually different varieties of streptococcus, chlamydia, and other bacteria. Chlamydia bacteria is usually harmless, but can cause issues if you are severely zinc deficient, consistently make poor food choices, cease practicing self-care, dealing with a lot of stress, and relentlessly wear your body down. In this situation, there is a higher likelihood that the bacteria begins to proliferate and cause problems.

Sinus Infections

It is important to know that not all sinus infections are related to a flu virus. Oftentimes chronic sinus infections are connected to chronic, low-grade streptococcus infections. If a person who has this kind of streptococcus infection contracts a flu virus, he or she may see his or her sinuses severely worsen for a period of time before returning to the usual level of affliction. This increase in sinus-related issues will likely occur every time the person catches a flu virus.

Sore Throats

Similar to sinus infections, sore throats are not always flu-related. Sore throats can also be due to chronic, low-grade streptococcus. Unfortunately, a throat culture is not always able to accurately determine if a sore throat is strep-related. A child or young adult with a really severe case of streptococcus may have white spots on the back of the throat or tonsils that can be swabbed and accurately identified as streptococcus, but oftentimes, once streptococcus moves out of its early stages, swabbing for a culture does not accurately determine if someone has the bacteria. If streptococcus does not show up in someone’s culture, it does not mean streptococcus is not present in the body. Frequently, chronic streptococcus can get into the lymphatic system and trigger a sore throat. In this case, taking a throat culture would most likely not reveal an accurate assessment of the person’s streptococcus. You can learn more about streptococcus in my radio show.

You can also suffer from an Epstein-Barr virus related sore throat. If you have Epstein-Barr in your body, it has the ability to move through the lymphatic system and arise in the throat. This is especially possible if someone lets his or her body get rundown. People can experience this type of chronic mono at different times throughout their lives. The virus can cause redness and soreness that typically emerges on only one side of the throat, but can appear on both sides in certain instances. Although the throat can be incredibly sore, you will not develop a cough, fever, mucus, or sinusitis. You can learn more about Epstein-Barr virus in my book Medical Medium. In my upcoming book Thyroid Healing, I share more in-depth essential information on this virus than ever before.

Preventative Steps

When it comes to flu viruses, you may be wondering how to avoid catching something in the first place. Fortunately, there are many preventative steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones from catching a flu bug.

If you do feel like a flu virus is starting to cause trouble in your system, quickly implementing some of these steps can help knock out the virus early before it has the chance to hit you hard.

* One important and more obvious step is to not let yourself get too run down. If you’re noticing yourself becoming more tired, frazzled, or stressed out, try to ramp up your self-care practices, including getting adequate sleep.

* Having a bottle of high-quality liquid zinc sulfate on hand at all times is essential. If you have the slightest inkling you might be starting to feel flu symptoms, squirting zinc directly into your throat and letting it coat the area can be a powerful defensive measure. If you are very sensitive to zinc, try using just a few drops. Even this can make a difference.

* Be mindful of your hands and try to wash them regularly as you go throughout your day. From shaking other’s hands, to pushing shopping carts, to opening doors, there are countless ways your hands can come into contact with unwanted germs and flu viruses. If you then proceed to rub your eyes, there is a high likelihood you will catch a bug. For this reason, keep your fingers and hands away from your eyes and face whenever possible.

* Carry handi-wipes (you can use alcohol based or alcohol-free wipes) with you when you are out and about. If you visit a restaurant, take out a handi-wipe and use it before you begin your meal. Take handi-wipes when traveling as well. Airplanes are typically filled with people fighting off various flus and viruses, and handi-wipes can help keep you protected. When on a flight, wipe down your seat and armrest with a handi-wipe, try to keep your hands clean, and avoid rubbing or touching your eyes. Anytime flu viruses seem more rampant than usual, opting to wear a face mask on the plane can be a valuable precaution as well.

* You never know if a cook working in the kitchen or a waiter delivering your meal is suffering from flu-related symptoms, so it is best to order piping hot dishes when dining out. The heat from an incredibly hot dish can help kill off a flu virus that might have contaminated your food. In a restaurant setting, it is best to stay away from raw dishes, such as salads, for numerous reasons, one of which is to avoid catching a flu.

These are just a few things you can do to protect yourself, and all of these simple preventative steps can work together to make a huge difference for your overall health. These measures aren’t meant to make you obsessively fearful, instead, I hope they bring about awareness and empowerment as you work to stay flu-free.

The Flu & Food

Another preventative step involves the foods you choose to include in your diet. You maybe surprised to learn that flu viruses, like other viruses, love to eat. Even many medical professionals still do not know that viruses feed off certain food sources. Instead, these professionals believe that viruses grow and reproduce through host cells, but this information is incorrect. The truth is, viruses are hungry and can proliferate when fueled by certain foods. Eventually, medical research and medical science will discover that food entering a virus is one way a virus grows and reproduces. Because of this, it is important to eliminate certain foods when are you are trying to avoid catching a flu.

Which Foods Feed the Flu?

It is important to understand that the foods you put into your body can either help prevent viruses or help feed and support viruses. Connecting with this concept and starting to make some dietary changes can help you begin to protect yourself.

Dairy products, which I discuss in both Medical Medium and Life-Changing Foods, are one group of foods that can feed and strengthen viruses. You may feel fine after eating a piece of cheese or drinking a glass of milk, but these dairy products can silently create chaos in your body by feeding any virus, whether it be a flu virus, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, HHV-6, HHV-1 or HHV-2 (you can learn more about the herpes viruses here), bacteria, such as E. coli or MRSA, and parasites or worms. If you’re looking to avoid certain health issues, including a flu virus, eliminate milk, cheese, butter, kefir, yogurt, ghee, and any other dairy product from your diet. If you already have the flu, keeping these products out of your diet can help reduce mucus buildup and may result in fewer and milder symptoms overall.

Eggs are another food to remove from your diet when you want to avoid catching a flu or you want to lessen the severity of a flu you may be fighting off. If you are unwilling to give up your traditional eggs and toast breakfast, at least bring a hearty amount of raw garlic into the meal. Even though the eggs will feed the flu virus, the raw garlic will work hard to combat the bug.

Removing chicken from your diet is another incredibly beneficial step. You maybe wondering— what is wrong with chicken? To better understand the answer to this question, you first need to learn about avian influenza.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Flu viruses have the ability to feed off birds, and they especially love to feed off chicken. Bird flu viruses tend to feed off the bird’s adrenal glands and flesh cells and can often lead to dangerous and damaging outcomes including flesh deterioration.

You do not have to cut chicken out of your diet if you really enjoy eating it, do not struggle with any health issues, and incorporate an abundance of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables alongside the poultry, but if you are doing everything possible to avoid catching a flu, removing chicken from your diet can be advantageous. Eliminating this food can be especially beneficial if you’re hoping to avoid a stomach flu. If you wish, you can add it back in when you feel like you’re in a safe zone where you’re not seeing a lot of people developing the flu.

The Cons of Chicken Soup

If chicken feeds flu viruses, should you be eating the go-to cold and flu meal— chicken soup? The answer is unfortunately, no. You don’t have to scrap the soup altogether though! Try removing the chicken and fill the soup with a hearty amount of antiviral and anti-flu foods like onion, garlic, herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano, and mineral rich veggies like celery, cabbage, bell peppers, and mushrooms! Or, if you really want to keep the chicken in the soup, be sure to add even more of the onion, garlic, herbs, and vegetables to boost the nutritional and antiviral value of the soup.

Have you ever made chicken soup and left it in the fridge overnight? The next time you went to reheat the soup, you may have noticed a thick film of coagulated fat on top of the soup. This fat can draw oxygen out of the blood, slow down the liver, prevent oxygen from reaching the immune system, liver, and heart, and can work against the immune system as it tries to beat back whatever virus or bacteria the body is fighting off.

The chicken in chicken soup is also likely to feed the flu virus. That being said, many of the other components that make up chicken soup can be wonderful support for someone trying to fight off a flu. Garlic and onion are two components that can be especially beneficial. Other foods you may want to consider adding to a healing soup include celery, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, and any other veggies you wish. A fantastic mineral-rich Healing Broth recipe can be found here.

You maybe convinced that the chicken soup you ate the last time you were battling a flu was the reason you were able to fight off the virus so quickly. Parts of the chicken soup— namely any vegetable or herb you used— most likely provided you with the hydration and mineral salts that contributed to your healing. In contrast, the chicken in the soup actually fights against your healing by feeding whatever virus you are suffering from. If you or a loved one seem to come down with a sinus infection, stomach bug or flu multiple times a year, definitely consider swapping out chicken for other nutrient dense foods.

Zinc Shock Therapy

Around five or six years ago, I was traveling during the height of flu season. Countless people were suffering from coughs, fevers, sinus issues, and more. I was worn out from constant travel and inadequate sleep, and was feeling run down. During this time, I remember noticing a tiny tickle arise in my throat. I realized that I was coming down with a flu, and Spirit instructed me to do “zinc shock therapy.” I immediately squirted 4 dropperfuls of liquid zinc sulfate directly into my throat. I let the zinc sit in my throat and administered another dose two hours later. Just a few hours after that, I administered even more. The next morning I woke up and the subtle signs of an emerging sickness were completely gone! Because I had caught the signs early enough, I was able to fight off the virus with the help of Spirit’s instruction and the power of liquid zinc sulfate. This dosage may be too much for you but you can bare it in mind as a tool to consider or consult with your health practitioner or doctor.

Preventing a flu from arising is always ideal, but if you end up catching a virus, know that there are plenty of things you can do to help combat the bug and protect yourself from any future flus you may come up against.

Healing Herbs & Supplements

There are a variety of powerful supplements you can use as weapons against a flu virus. Try to keep zinc and some of these other supplements readily available for you and your loved ones. That way if flu symptoms do appear out of nowhere, you will have the tools to take it on right away!

Olive leaf maybe a great daily supplement for anyone fighting off an Epstein-Barr-related symptom or condition, but it can also be great for anyone who is starting to feel sick and noticing flu-like symptoms. In this instance, upping the dose of olive leaf can be beneficial.

Echinacea and goldenseal are two other supplements to incorporate when you are fighting a flu. If you are battling streptococcus, strep throat, tonsillitis, or strep-related sinus infections you may also benefit from incorporating these two healing supplements periodically.

Elderberry syrup is another incredible flu-fighting supplement. Lomatium root is a wonderful support and has been known to help with flu symptoms, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus problems, fever, and more. Not only is eyebright a beautiful herb, it is also amazing at knocking down flus and streptococcus in the system. If you are suffering with a cough, consider bringing cherry bark into your protocol. Mullein leaf, which is incredible for shingles-related symptoms and conditions, is also great for fighting the flu, sinus infections, bronchitis, and lung issues.

Propolis can be a powerful immune system support and can be a great supplement to take if you start to feel the beginnings of a flu arise. Taking a daily dose of Ester-C or liposomal C is a great practice. And, if you are starting to feel sick or are battling a flu, increasing the amount can be highly beneficial. Red root can be another helpful supplement to incorporate. When purchasing these supplements, try to find high-quality capsules or alcohol-free tinctures. You can check out the Medical Medium preferred supplements page for specific recommendations.

All different kinds of teas can provide benefits for someone suffering with flu symptoms. For even more healing-might in each mug try squeezing lemon into your teas. Steeping a deep red glass of rose hips tea and adding in ample lemon juice can be particularly powerful and incredible for sore throats.

If you are a mom trying to help keep your kiddos flu-free, try using some of the healing supplements in smaller dosages. Working with a practitioner to figure out the perfect amount for your unique child may be best.

Healing Foods

The healing broth recipe available here is a great one to incorporate into your meals if you are working to fight off a flu. And even if you don’t have a bug, the healing broth can be nourishing, supportive, and help keep you from picking up any unwanted virus.

If you have a copy of Life-Changing Foods, check out the recipe for turmeric-ginger shots as well. This immune-boosting tonic can be powerful, but may be too strong for some people. If this shot is too intense for you, try making turmeric-ginger tea by steeping chunks of ginger and turmeric in boiling water. Drinking this soothing liquid throughout the day can shorten the length of your flu and help protect you from developing bronchitis or pneumonia.

Moving Forward

You probably plug in and charge up your phone, computer, or tablet on a daily basis. Next time you plug in one of your favorite electronics, ask yourself how can you regularly charge up your immune system as well? Hopefully this article has given you a few ideas that you can begin to implement. The more you can strengthen your immune system, the more likely you are to avoid getting the next nasty flu that cycles through your area.

If you are already suffering with a chronic illness, battling the elements of a flu can be unbelievably miserable. Even if you are a relatively healthy person, fighting off the flu can be a frustrating challenge. Hopefully the knowledge you’ve learned here as well as the tips, tricks, and recommended supplements and foods detailed can help provide you with the tools needed to protect yourself and your loved ones. Practice self-care, try to take preventive steps when possible, and know that your body has the ability to heal from whatever nasty bug may come your way.

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