Six healing nutrients to take at the first signs of the flu

If, like many of our readers, you’re relieved that the end of one of the worst flu seasons in recent decades is in sight, an announcement by the CDC will come as an unwelcome surprise. The agency has warned that a second wave of flu has already begun and is likely to most severely affect young children.

Fox 2 Now recently reported that though the number of patients with the A-strain H3N2 flu virus has continued to steadily decline, there has been a steady uptick in the number of diagnoses of people with B-strain viruses. Though these strains are not as severe as the A-strains, they can still make you very ill and tend to be more severe in little kids.

While the medical community is already using this as yet another opportunity to pitch the merits of the toxic (and ineffective) flu vaccine, there are other, safer ways to boost immunity and get your family ready to beat the flu.

As Lifezette’s Jonny Bowden Ph.D., CNS, notes, it makes sense to “work with the body to shore up its natural defenses before reaching for pharmaceutical treatments. If your immune system is well-nourished and healthy, it will withstand challenges a lot better.”

Bowden is a board-certified nutritionist and the best-selling author of 15 natural health books. He recommends six natural immune boosters that are effective and don’t cause harmful side effects, and which should be taken at the very first signs of a cold or the flu.

Healthline reports that these signs include:

  • Fatigue
  • Body pain
  • A cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Gastrointestinal issues

In the case of children, also look out for fever accompanied by a rash; low fluid intake; difficulty urinating; crying without tears; lack of appetite; an inability to wake up or a lack of interaction.

Of course, if symptoms persist or worsen it may be worth taking your child to see their pediatrician.

Immune boosters provided by nature

Echinacea: This herb can prevent the flu or lessen its effects, and Bowden suggests taking between 300 and 500 mg three times per day. A study published in the journal Current Therapeutic Research in 2015, found that echinacea is just as effective as the antiviral drug Tamiflu at speeding recovery from the flu.

Zinc: Bowden recommends taking 15 mg of this important mineral every day and increasing the dose to 50 mg a day at the first signs of illness. He notes that zinc is essential to the development of white blood cells, which play a vital role in determining the strength of your immune system.

Berries: Cherries and other berries contain compounds called anthocyanins which fight inflammation, making them powerful disease fighters. Try to incorporate one or two servings of berries in your daily meal planning, especially during flu season.

Black elderberry extract: This powerful immune booster is sold at pharmacies under the name “Sambucol.” Bowden recommends taking one or two capfuls a day during flu season, increasing to three caps at the first signs of flu or other illness. He notes:

One Israeli study took a group of people who were “coming down with something” and gave half of them Sambucol and half a placebo. The Sambucol group were back in action almost four full days before their placebo counterparts. Black elderberry is good to take even if you’re not sick, as it helps charge up your complex immune system.

Vitamin C: This well-researched vitamin is a powerful antioxidant proven to protect against free radicals. Bowden recommends taking 1,000 mg a day during flu season, as well as increasing consumption of foods high in vitamin C, including citrus fruits, yellow bell peppers, kale, and guavas.

Garlic: Garlic has a long and illustrious career as a natural way to ward off disease. It was known as the Russian penicillin during World War II because the government issued it as a disease treatment when its troops ran out of antibiotics. Garlic should be eaten fresh or chopped up finely and added to food near the end of cooking time.

Incorporate these supplements and foods into your family’s daily regimen and you will be rewarded with a healthier, stronger family, fully equipped to fight off the flu. (Related: Discover more of nature’s healing secrets at

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