Natural Cold & Flu Prevention Tips

Its that time of year again....

The cold and flu season is looming upon us, and has already started for some. But instead of feeling like a sitting duck – instead, why not go on the offensive with some natural ways to boost immunity. As the expression goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Here are some tips to help you stay a step ahead of colds & flu this year.

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Do you get several colds every year? That could be an indication that your vitamin D levels are too low. Perhaps one of the most important things we can do to prevent colds and flu – is to optimize our vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, but a pre-hormone produced in the skin after exposure to the sun’s UVB rays. So vitamin D levels typically drop in the Fall/Winter months when we get less sun exposure.

A study published in 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that 70% – 97% of Americans have insufficient blood levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known for it’s role in building strong bones, but it also plays a significant role in our immunity – in fact, our immune system requires vitamin D in order to properly function.

Some research shows that vitamin D is more effective in preventing the flu than a flu shot. To get ready for cold and flu season – the Fall/Winter is a good time to supplement with vitamin D3. Low levels of vitamin D not only raise our risk of colds and flu, but also increases our risk for breast cancer, fractures, depression, heart disease, Alzheimers disease, and more.

Ideally, you should have your levels checked twice yearly to know if you are supplementing at the right dose. Optimal blood levels of vitamin D should be between 40 ng/dL – 60 ng/dL. Getting your vitamin D in the optimal range could literally save your life – as low vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of cancer and other diseases.

Vitamin D is critical for all aspects of our immune system - experts say that 70% of breast cancers could be prevented by optimal blood levels of vitamin D.

One additional thing to consider with vitamin D, magnesium is needed in order for it to be converted into the active hormone form. With an estimated 70% of the population deficient in magnesium, I always recommend taking vitamin D with magnesium – because it is needed for the conversion to the active form.


Our bodies are teeming with bacteria, in fact, according to scientists, we have 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells! And it is important for us to remember that some of those bacteria are the “good guys,” which are important not only for our digestion, but also for our immune system, and even our mental health.

Studies show that probiotics are a very powerful tool in the fight against infection. So if you want to boost your immune system, increase the good bacteria in your gut by eating probiotic rich foods, and/or taking a probiotic supplement.

According to this article, “a healthy lower intestine should contain at least 85% friendly bacteria to prevent the over-colonization of microorganisms like E. coli and salmonella." Replenishing the healthy bacteria in our gut is especially important after a course of antibiotics – critical really – because they wipe out ALL the bacteria – good and bad. So although antibiotics can help to get rid of an infection like strep throat, they can leave your immune system vulnerable to future infections.


Whenever you put a bunch of kids together in a room, you increase the chances that viruses and bacteria can spread.

One of the best ways to prevent germs spreading around is to simply wash them off! One of the simplest things our kids can do to prevent getting sick is to simply wash their hands. Because viruses can live for up to 48 hours on a surface, so remind your kids to make sure to wash their hands before they eat, or when they come into the home from being out in public places touching surfaces. Also remind your kids to not put their hands (or toys) in their mouths, and to not share water bottles or spoons.

Do your kids do the ‘quick rinse’ in the sink without soap? I know a lot of kids do – they are far too busy to wash with soap. But a quick rinse with water might not get all the germs off. So hands should be washed with soap and water after using the bathroom, before eating, and after handling things in public places (ie: playground, museums, grocery stores, health clubs).

But just say no to the antibacterial soaps! Studies show that use of the anti-bacterial agent Tricolsan (found in many antibacterial soaps, gels, and wipes) could be creating resistant strains of bacteria. So don’t forget to wash hands, but stick with regular soap.

My favorite hand soap that we use in our house all year long is doTERRA’s On Guard hand soap. It contains essential oils that help to remove bacteria, but does not create resistance.


Ever since Nobel prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling wrote the book 'Vitamin C and the Common Cold' in 1970, the debate about whether or not it can help prevent the common cold has raged on. But research does shows that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can support a healthy immune system. So during the cold and flu season – load up on the citrus fruits, strawberries, and red peppers. It is also a good idea to supplement with vitamin C as well. Take vitamin C with food if you have a sensitive stomach or it gives you loose stools, or consider liposomal (or lipospheric) vitamin C. Liposomal C is a very powerful form of vitamin C that acts like IV vitamin C.

Read: Was Linus Pauling Right About Vitamin C’s Curative Powers After All?