Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2016
Written by 

Fighting colds and flu

Last month I wrote about preventing colds and flu. This month I will discuss how to reduce the symptoms of cold and flu and getting over them faster. Nobody likes to be sick, and no one likes to be around sick people so it is in our best interest not to get sick. But even the healthiest of us gets sick on occasion. Others are getting a cold frequently during the winter.

It seemed I used to get a cold every two months until I figured out what works for me. And now I keep an arsenal of nutrition products on hand as part of my natural medicine chest. I have learned from experience a couple of key lessons that have shaped my experience:

The first sign of a cold or flu comes at an inconvenient time. For me it is often it the middle of the night. I will sense it in my nose or throat or some other small sign. The key to this lesson is that if I get up at the first sign and take my supplements, I will most always stop it in its track. If I wait until I get up in the morning, it will be harder to overcome and take longer. Do not be tempted to delay beginning your treatment. Time is of the essence.

Keep your supplies stocked so you have what you need at the first sign. It is no fun to have to go shopping when you are getting sick. Plus the time delay is going to push back your recovery. So get your products and keep them on hand, and take them at the first sign of sickness.

Learn from experience what works for you. Everyone is unique and you need to determine what to have on hand and use when the time comes. There are many products you can use, but you don’t need them all. What follows is my go-to list of products. I have all of these in my natural medicine chest. They are like nutritional insurance. I hope I don’t need them and if I never need to use them then I am fortunate. But if I need them, then I am grateful to have them.

For colds:

  • My very first dose is a teaspoon of powdered vitamin C. This gives 5,000 mg of fast acting C. I find this will often stop a cold in its tracks if I take it right away.
  • Sovereign silver, both as a gargle and nose spray. Silver kills microbes on contact and lowers your bacterial and viral load.
  • Nature’s Way Rapi-Defense. This causes a rapid increase in your natural defense cell activity.
  • An immune or wellness booster. I use Wellness Formula by Source Naturals as the most complete wellness complex that I know of.
  • Homeopathic formulas for my specific needs. Homeopathic formulas can be used for cough, colds, runny nose, etc. Homeopathic formulas are gentle, safe for children and when you find the right one for you, can be amazingly effective.
  • Nature’s Way Umcka for coughs and bronchial involvement.

For flu (in addition to the above):

  • Occillococinum is a time tested and well-known homeopathic medicine that can shorten the duration and severity of flu.
  • Black elderberry syrup. I use Sambucus by Nature’s Way. Elderberry is known to shorten duration and severity of flu.

Other possibilities

There are many other products to consider. Experiment until you are successful. The supplements I use are simply what I have discovered works for me. There are many other good products from good companies. It is your process of discovery to find the ones that work best for you.

Olive leaf extract, coconut oil, oregano oil, golden seal herb, echinacea and garlic are some of the most well-known and researched for their immune support benefits and antiviral properties.

It is also important to remember that in all of this you are trying to support your own immune function. The best products can’t help you if you don’t have them on hand. They can’t work as well and as fast if you don’t take them as soon as possible. They can’t do as much for you if you don’t usually take care of yourself with diet and lifestyle. Feel free to experiment to discover what works best for you.

Steve Lankford

Steve studied and practiced natural health and healing for three years way back in the early 1970s. In 1976, he and his wife Debbie opened Family Nutrition Center, a health food store in Green Bay. Family Nutrition Center is located at 850-A Lombardi Ave. in Green Bay. Family Nutrition Center can help you discover a nutritional program that works. For more information, visit or call 920-432-6886.

Steve is also the host of, dedicated to nutrition and your good health. The mission of the podcast is to explore the science of good nutrition and good health, and to share that with listeners and customers.

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