Best Cold & Flu Remedies

Natural Remedies, Vitamin & Supplement Truthon January 13, 20102 Comments

Alternative medicineI often  have patients and friends ask me what I do for my family when they are starting to come down with a cold or flu. Here are some remedies that I use in my home.

1.    3 parts apple cider vinegar (ex 3 Tbs)

1 part local honey                 (ex. 1 Tbs)

filtered water to dilute          ( 1/3 cup)

  • mix and drink hot or cold.
  • The ACV thins the mucus and helps keep the body’s fluids acidic  to help reduce  bacteria growth in the fluids
  • The honey works as a natural antibiotic.
  • I usually mix up a quart jar and sip on it all day. Bragg’s is my favorite ACV to use.

2. Herbal Fever Remedy:

Mix elder,  peppermint, and yarrow in equal parts

  • Steep 1 to 2 tsp of the mixture in 1c hot water.
  • Take it hot to bed and this will induce a sweat and the cold in caught early enough it may stop it all together. The tea will help the body handle fever and reduce achenes and inflammation.
  • You can add:
  • bit of honey or
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne or
  • 1 cinnamon stick or
  • fresh piece of ginger

3. Goldenseal help clear mucus for the the throat.

4.Berberine contains natural antibiotic properties to help prevent bacterial infections that often follow a cold.

5. Good old fashion Chicken Noodle Soup made from the whole chicken. Make sure to add onions, garlic, parley and celery which keep the liver healthy and are rich in sulfur. See the recipe under “Healthy Bites”

6 Ginger Tea in both ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, ginger is considered the best remedy for colds. Drink a cup of ginger tea at least 3 times a day.


Healthy Living, Vitamin & Supplement Truthon January 7, 20102 Comments

There is a lot of BUZZ about Vitamin D, especially in the winter.  It is also know as the “sunshine” vitamin. It is the only vitamin that humans produce by the body in response to sunlight.   Several diseases and health problems are symptoms of a poor supply of Vitamin D. The most familiar symptoms of inadequate Vitamin D are soft bone disorders. Called rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults, and osteoporosis in seniors, soft bone disorders indicate an inadequate supply of calcium to strengthen bones, which is usually a direct result of inadequate Vitamin D sources.

Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Depression, including seasonal affective disorder
  • Type I diabetes
  • Periodontal disease
  • Low blood calcium levels
  • Chronic bone, muscle, or joint pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Bowed limbs
  • Knock-kneed appearance
  • Tuberculosis
  • High Blood pressure
    • Rickets
    • Lack of proper bone formation
    • Osteoporosis
    • Prostate cancer
    • Breast cancer

    Vitamin D also helps to improve immunity and reduce inflammation and more.

    To learn more read: Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

First, Dr.  Heather, I love your web page..

Now my problem, I recently had foot surgery and was no very mobile for six weeks… mostly spent 1/2 day in the recliner and the other half in bed. Did not leave my house for the entire time except for two doctor appointments.
I feel as if my foot is doing fine now except a little tenderness, but my body got so tired and depressed by the inactivity. (My surgery was Oct 26, 2009 and today is New Year’s Eve.) I went to my GP for a checkup last week and asked him to check my thyroid to see if the level was ampule. As soon as the labs were back his nurse called and said I needed to come in immediately. I did and was told my thyroid was fine, but my Vitamin D level was 9. So what he prescribed was 200,000 iu once a week for four weeks and then I was to go back for a checkup. When I asked what I could eat that would help, he said Raw Fish! Ewh! I am lactose intolerant and don’t like too many fishes. After reseaching the internet for hours, I still haven’t come up with too many good sugestions. I do like yogurt…
can you help me find foods that would boost my vit. D? I certainly would appreciate your help. Mynan H. in Duncan, OK.

Dear Mynan,

Your GP is absolutely doing the correct treatment with the large dose of Vit D. But once this treatment regime is over and your levels are normal, you  will need  to take a dietary supplement at a much lower dose and consume food rich in Vit D so that you body does not get depleted again. I usually recommend a pharmaceutical grade liquid Vit D because it is highly absorbable.

First and foremost, you NEED to consume Vit D rich foods in your diet to maintain proper levels.This may sound harsh but all of the research is correct. YOU need to eat the very foods that you do not like.  (and what did a fish ever do to you??? HAHA) The foods highest in Vit D are listed below.   I have posted  more fish recipes on my blog  that you are sure to like. If I can get my kids (and my mother) to eat fish , I am confident that you can too. “Try it ,you just may like it ” :) Your body is lactose intolerant, not fish intolerant :) Try adding mushrooms to you favorite recipe for a little added Vit D.
Hope this helps and I can’t wait to hear which fish recipe you like the best!
Dr Heather

Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon 1,360 340
Salmon (sockeye), cooked, 3 ounces 794 199
Mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light to increase vitamin D, 3 ounces (not yet commonly available) 400 100
Mackerel, cooked, 3 ounces 388 97
Tuna fish, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces 154 39
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup 115-124 29-31
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies) 100 25
Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, 6 ounces (more heavily fortified yogurts provide more of the DV) 80 20
Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon 60 15
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines 46 12
Liver, beef, cooked, 3.5 ounces 46 12
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV) 40 10
Egg, 1 whole (vitamin D is found in yolk) 25 6
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 6 2
*IUs = International Units.

The Supplements I Take and Why

Vitamin & Supplement Truthon December 22, 2009Leave a Comment

I frequently get asked, “What vitamin supplements should I be taking”?

Those of us living in the United States and other industrialized nations are dying from chronic degenerative/inflammatory diseases, and drugs don’t cure degenerative diseases.  Degenerative diseases are driven by inappropriate lifestyles, which are typically associated with poor dietary habits and inadequate levels of exercise.  All our patients should endeavor to eat properly and exercise everyday; and there are several appropriate supplements that support this effort.

We suggest taking a multivitamin/mineral, magnesium/calcium, EPA/DHA, coenzyme Q10, anti-inflammatory herbs (ginger, turmeric, etc.), vitamin D, acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, glucosamine/chondroitin, and probiotics.  A brief explanation for why we recommend taking these follows in the remaining paragraphs.

Multivitamins are recommended by researchers at Harvard University (Fletcher and Willet), as well as Dr. Bruce Ames (famous toxicologist), and this is because they are thought to help prevent the development of degenerative disease.  Multivitamin/mineral supplements typically contain all the key nutrients that we get from food.

Magnesium is required for over 300 metabolic reactions.  Researchers suggest that, when we become deficient in magnesium, we destabilize the immune and nervous systems, which can lead to inflammation and nervous system hyper-excitability.  Numerous diseases have been associated with magnesium deficiency, such as heart disease, syndrome X, type 2 diabetes, and migraine headaches.  Take 400-1000 mg, in addition to what is in a multi.

EPA/DHA from fish oil reduces inflammation and is thought to help prevent and treat numerous disease, such as cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and inflammatory joint disease.  Supplementation has been shown to reduce the levels of inflammatory mediators, such as prostaglandin’s, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, growth factors, and cytokines.  Take 1-3 grams per day.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has become very popular in recent years. CoQ10 functions primarily to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), reduce free radicals, and to regulate skeletal muscle gene expression.  Nearly every disease studied has been shown to be associated with a reduction in ATP and an increase in free radicals, so take at least 100 mg per day.

Ginger, turmeric, and other botanicals/herbs/spices function like natural versions of drugs like Advil and Celebrex, without any of the side effects.  Spices have been shown to reduce NF-kB, cyclooxygenase, and lipoxygenase, which help to reduce inflammation.  Take 1-2 grams per day.

Garlic is perhaps the most well-known herb for reducing inflammation.  It is most noted for its heart benefits; and what readers should know is that these benefits are due to garlic’s anti-inflammatory activities.  Supplement with garlic to achieve at least 5 mg of allicin per day.

Vitamin D has become the subject of much research in recent years, as it is known to have important cell-signaling functions.  Numerous diseases are thought to be promoted by a deficiency in vitamin D, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer.  Even musculoskeletal pain can be cause by a deficiency in vitamin D.  Take 1000-4000 IU of vitamin D per day.

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) have become popular supplements due to the work of Dr. Bruce Ames.  He and his colleagues have demonstrated that aging can be slowed or reversed in laboratory animals with these supplements.  Ames suggests that humans take 1000 mg of ALCAR and 400 mg of ALA per day, in divided does.  The combination of these substances promotes ATP syntheses and reduces free radicals which in term will produce more energy and slow aging.

Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are known to help with osteoarthritis.  Their primary effect is to help maintain proteoglycans integrity.  Take1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 mg of chondroitin per day.

Probiotic supplements typically include lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium, which have been shown to improve gut health and function.  I cycle the use of probiotics during the year.  I take probiotics 3-6 months per year.

In addition to eating an anti-inflammatory diet.

The intriguing aspect to anti-inflammatory eating and supplementation is that, no matter if you are symptom-free or sick, the same approach should be taken.  Deflaming is the goal, and those with chronic degenerative/inflammatory diseases need to be especially vigilant and committed in their efforts.