There are many ways to get a head start on cold & flu prevention including personal hygiene, humidifiers, preventative medicinal mushrooms, nutritional vitamin supplements and herbal supplements. I have included the best and most effective tips that I have discovered in my 14 years as a Nutritionist and Herbalist.

Hygiene Tips:

Moisture: As the seasons change from warm to cooler, we start using our heaters. This dry air causes the moisture in the air to dissipate. This can leave our delicate sinus membranes vulnerable because they dry out and crack open, due to the lack of moisture in the air we breathe. One of the best ways to prevent this drying of our protective mucus membranes is to put several humidifiers throughout your home and office. Decorative water fountains can help too. These will provide the proper amount of moisture for your sinuses and keep the mucus membranes undamaged and more resilient to germs. This is our first line of defense in preventing colds & flu, which many people over look. Be sure to drink more water when the air is dryer too.

Hygiene: It is said that more germs “hitch-hike” than “fly”, which means that generally, more people catch colds & flu from hand contact than from breathing in airborne germs. It seems like common sense to wash your hands with soap & water before bringing them to your mouth. What many don’t realize is that touching the membranes in your eyes, nose or mouth can expose you to germs, viruses and bacteria from your hands. So, simply scratching your eye can pass germs into the body and possibly get you sick. It takes a lot mindfulness to wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially before touching any part of your face.

Advanced Hygiene: I also suggest investing in a nail-brush to scrub under the nails. We also offer the natural "Clenzology hand and body soap", which makes it possible to put your fingernails in the soft soap container to clean under the nails. The "Clenzology" Advanced Hygiene kit by Garden of Life offers an advanced hygiene program, including facial solutions that rinse out the eyes and nose cavities, natural soft soap for cleaning hands and nails, a facial sponge, tooth & gum formula for oral hygiene and ear drops to protect the ears.

I think just about everyone knows this next suggestion (but just in case): When exiting a public restroom after washing your hands, use a paper towel to open the bathroom door. There is nothing worse than washing your hands and then opening a contaminated door knob or handle. Eventually (hopefully), public restrooms will put their trash containers by the door, so you can drop the paper towel in the waste can after opening the bathroom door.

Preventative health products including vitamins, herbs and medicinal mushrooms are recommended to help keep our immune system strong, so that we are less vulnerable to catching colds & flu. It is recommended that preventative products be taken daily, on an ongoing basis for best results. It is not effective to start taking massive amounts at the first symptoms of cold or flu.

Preventative Medicinal Mushrooms: To keep the immune system in top condition, I recommend a natural, medicinal mushroom based, immune formula containing a wide variety of medicinal mushrooms. These formulas contain a multitude of medicinal mushrooms that modulate and nourish the immune system. They are safe to take even with auto-immune disorders, because they modulate and balance the immune system, rather than stimulating it. These type of formulas are recommended to be taken daily, to support overall immune health.

Suggestions for Medicinal Mushroom formulas include:

RM-10 by Garden of Life
RM-10 Ultra by Garden of Life
Host Defense Caps by New Chapter
Host Defense Tincture by New Chapter
Host Defense (Life Shield) Throat Spray by New Chapter
MycoMedicinals Book by Paul Stamets - provides great information on the immune benefits of medicinal mushrooms

Preventative Herbs: Can also help protect us from catching colds & flu. The new Immunity Take Care by New Chapter are tasty lozenges made from an herb called Elderberry, which is known for its immune support abilities. The unique feature and action of Immunity Take Care is that it targets and surrounds envelope viruses and blocks them from entering human cells instead of stimulating the immune system. Due to its unique formulation, the Immunity Take Care elderberry lozenge begins working in minutes, not hours.

To learn more on how Elderberry works, please review the following articles:

Elderberry Primer: An Answer to Support the Body’s Healthy Viral Defenses

Protect Yourself from Cold & Flu Viruses Naturally with Elderberry Extract

New Generation of Herbal Therapeutic for Blocking Viruses - The Immunity Take Care Story

Gingerforce Supercritical Therapy by New Chapter helps to increase the bioavailability and activity of other nutrients, herbs and mushrooms. I highly recommend adding Gingerforce to your daily supplement routine because of its ability to enhance the effectiveness of other supplements.

Nutritional Supplements for prevention help to nourish and strengthen our immune system by providing the proper nutrients that make us less susceptible to getting sick. For example, a whole-food, predigested Vitamin C formula is recommended to take every day. The whole-food, predigested forms of Vitamin C provide not only a natural form of Vitamin C that the body recognizes and utilizes easily, it also provides all the bioflavonoids, co-nutrients, phytonutrients and synergistic polyphenols that support and enhance the action of the Vitamin C.

Whole Food Nutritional Supplements for Cold & Flu Prevention include:

Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin C by Garden of Life
Living Multi Vitamin C by Garden of Life
Vitamin C Food Complex by New Chapter
Zinc Food Complex by New Chapter
Probiotic Immune Support by New Chapter
Garlicforce by New Chapter
DefendAir by Trace Minerals

Stress: It is important to note that a great deal of people get sick because they are physically, mentally and emotionally stressed out. This makes our immune systems more vulnerable to colds & flu. Be sure to get adequate rest, regular exercise and some type of calming and stress reduction activity such as yoga, tai chi, prayer or meditation, as these activities very helpful in reducing stress levels.

Stress Reducing Herbs and Nutritional Supplements Include:

Stress Support Multi by New Chapter - The Stress Support whole food multi vitamin by New Chapter also provides a complete, whole-food nutritional strategy for a healthy response to stress.

Supercritical Holy Basil by New Chapter - When stress levels are left unchecked, it can increase cortisol levels in the body, which can weaken the immune system. For cortisol and stress reduction, I suggest Supercritical Holy Basil by New Chapter. It helps to support normal cortisol, blood sugar and insulin metabolism and encourages a positive stress response in the body. I call it “Meditation in a Bottle”.

"Supercritical Stress Advantage" by New Chapter - an herbal formula to help master everyday stress. It contains powerful adaptogens from Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, and Russian traditional medical systems. It Strengthens cardiovascular, adrenal and immune system response to stress.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance: So make your action plan now to be healthy this cold & flu season. If you do end up fighting off cold & flu and need some suggestions to minimize its affects, I would suggest reading my article "Protect Yourself During Cold & Flu Season".

Author's Bio: 

Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH is a Nutritionist, Herbalist, Author of “The "Cleanse Cookbook" and President & Founder of Christine's Cleanse Corner, Inc., (a nutritional company that specializes in nutritional & health education & Whole Food Vitamin Supplements. Christine is the Editor & Publisher of the free, online "Transform Your Health" Nutrition and Health E-Newsletter. She is also a Health/Nutritional Speaker & Teacher, & a Nutritional, Diet & Internal Cleanse Consultant, and a Live Beyond Organic Mission Marketer.

Christine is also the Official Self Growth Guide for Dietary Supplements. For more information about New Chapter, Garden of Life or Vitamin Code and other Whole Food Vitamin supplements and herbs, visit Christine on the web at: or call Christine's office at 858-673-0224.