You know how it goes.  You wake up, head is heavy, and something feels a little off. You take a swallow and the prickles of pain run down your throat.  YOU ARE SICK.  However, you also have a family, a deadline and a very important meeting in a few days.

Let’s face it -there is never a good time to get sick, and being sick can suck up a lot of time. If you don’t get better quick, there is time off work, cancellation of important events and scheduling a trip to the clinic. If you want to recover from your flu or head cold quicker, read on and learn to rely on minerals, plants and bugs!

Zinc: The research on the mineral zinc’s effect on pathogens is a bit inconsistent, but many studies show a strong protective effect. A 2011 analysis of clinical trials found that oral zinc helps to reduce the length and severity of colds when taken within 24 hours after symptoms start. The Cochrane Review found that zinc reduced both the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold. And using zinc helped prevent colds, leading to fewer school absences and less antibiotic use by children.  Look for zinc in lozenges, syrups or capsules.

Elderberry: For centuries, elderberry has been one of the top natural remedies for flu and cold symptoms.  In fact, in 1995, elderberry juice treated the flu epidemic in Panama. It also contains immune-fighting nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of International Medical Research in 2004, elderberry extract proved to be an effective, safe and cost-effective natural flu treatment. For the study, 60 Norwegian patients suffering from flu-like symptoms for 48 hours or less received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times daily for a five-day period. Elderberry extract significantly reduced flu symptoms four days earlier compared to those receiving the placebo.

Probiotics: There are thought to be trillions of microorganisms living in the intestines and digestive tract. It comprises up to 90% of the immune system. Many substances destroy the good bacteria in your digestive tract, including antibiotic use, birth control pills, steroidal and hormonal drugs, heavy exposure to chlorine and fluoride, carbonated beverages, coffee, radiation, stress, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, additives and preservatives. That being said, probiotics are good bacteria that can effectively boost your immune system, which can prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms.

In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition earlier this year, University of Florida researchers found that probiotic supplementation, especially bifidobacteria, will decrease the incidence of the flu during the fall and winter months. The study included 581 students and found that there were significantly fewer flu infections over a six-week period. Students taking bifidobacteria also had less-severe flus when they did get the virus.

IF you do happen to fall to the flu or a head cold, be prepared!   I recommend having a flu and cold first aid kit so you can use these all-natural ingredients immediately at the sign of sickness and get back into your normal schedule ASAP!


Langkamp-Henken B, Rowe CC, Ford AL, Christman MC, Nieves C Jr, Khouri L, Specht GJ, Girard SA, Spaiser SJ, Dahl WJ. Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071 results in a greater proportion of healthy days and a lower percentage of academically stressed students reporting a day of cold/flu: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Br J Nutr. 2015 Feb 14;113(3):426-34. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514003997.

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN serves as the President of California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Lucille works at the Los Angeles Free Clinic providing health education, promotion and prevention. Dr. Lucille serves as a Naturopathic physician, an expert on women’s health issues. In her private practice, Healing from Within Healthcare in Los Angeles, California, she specializes in Women’s Wellness. She has extensive education in various modalities, including homeopathy, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, body and energy work and mind body and lifestyle counseling. She serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of PhytoPharmica Inc. She serves as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at EuroPharma, Inc. She serves as a Member of Medical Advisory Board at Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. She served as Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. She serves as Member of Naturopathic Scientific Advisory Committee at Kamedis Bio Herbal Skincare. She is the recipient of the 2004 Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Legacy Award recognizing her incredible service and contributions to the naturopathic medical community. She is a Registered Nurse. Dr. Lucille has Doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received the ‘Daphne Blayden’ award for her ‘Commitment to Naturopathic Medicine.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.