Stock up on flu season immune system boosters

Patti Carlyle, Classical Homeopath at Heights Family Health

The leaves have fallen. The kids are sneezing. Flu season is just around the corner. A few minutes of pantry, fridge and medicine cabinet preparation and you’ll have nothing to fear.

Try kale. It is high in fiber, vitamin A and calcium. Braise it in some broth or white wine, add it to a smoothie, or make some kale chips. Not a fan? Try Brussels sprouts, which are rich in protein and vitamin C. Check the Internet for some fantastic Thanksgiving recipes.

Garlic is an antiviral immune powerhouse. Garlic tablets and gelcaps demand  breath mints, but without the taste worthiness of a delicious meal. Raid your Garlic Fest stockpile or head out to your favorite Italian restaurant.

The lycopene and vitamin C in pink grapefruit boost immunity. Grapefruit also keeps skin looking smooth and vital while we sit in dry, overheated rooms.

Oh, how we miss that sun. Once winter hits Cleveland, vitamin D hits the road. Fortified milk won’t cut it, folks. Dr. Michael Roizen, of the Cleveland Clinic, recommends vitamin D as part of flu prevention. An adult maintenance dose is at least 2,000 IU daily, 1,000 IU for kids.

Overall health starts with our gut, where up to 80 percent of our immune system lives and works . . . or doesn’t. Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces boulardii are the most effective for intestinal upsets. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations.

You’re feeling feverish and achy. You are officially getting the flu. Quick, try some Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic alternative medicine. It is most effective when symptoms, such as headache, chills and fatigue, begin. Oscillo is available at Whole Foods.

A few last words: Avoid sugar, stress and antibacterial soap. Sugar and stress, sure, but why the germ-killing soap? Check out the complete article at, along with more suggestions for relieving coughs, colds and other winter illnesses.

Patti Carlyle

Patti Carlyle is a homeopathic practitioner offering treatment and classes at Heights Family Health in Cleveland Heights. She lives in University Heights with her husband and daughter.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 1:13 PM, 10.31.2012