By Dr. Molly Brown, PhD, D.N.M
It’s right about this time of year when people flock in to GLOW for immune support. In fact, right around December 21, the shortest day of the year, everyone in our town seems to be sick. Amusingly, the locals blame it on the tourists, and the tourists on the locals. Our immunity tends to be lower going into winter, but there’s no one to blame. Travel, holiday stress, short dark days, and weakened immune systems get the best of people. Thankfully, there are simple short-term and long-term ways to prepare for “cold and flu season” to banish sinus and lung infections, colds, and flus. Many of my long-term clients who have seasonal bronchitis, sinus infections, strep throat or even pneumonia, have been free for years of their annual illnesses with these positive lifestyle changes, and effective immune support as needed. Here are practical ways to build your immunity for the best gift of all, health.
First, the basics: sleep, exercise, and Vitamin D. Going into the winter season our days are naturally shorter. When night time comes, go to bed! Tuning into the seasonal circadian rhythms will support a healthy hormone balance, brain health, and immune system. Getting more sleep, nourishing the kidneys, staying warm, and consuming warming spices and foods will all support increased immunity. Other basic reminders to support our immune system include healthy Vitamin D levels. I like to see blood serum levels at 50 or higher. Healthy Vitamin D levels are shown to play a key role in cancer prevention and immune support, specifically supporting the mucous membranes. Movement and exercise supports the lymphatic system, which is key to clearing toxins out of the body. Staying warm with tonic herbs, elixirs, and teas is a delicious way to stay healthy. Favorites from our “hot drinks menu” at GLOW are the sweet and delicious Golden Milk Latte – warm coconut milk with turmeric, ginger, black pepper. Our Golden Milk Latte is an elixir containing curcumin-rich turmeric to balance inflammation, maca to provide energy and hormone balance, and ginger and cardamom to support digestion. An honorable mention goes to our Hot Cocoa Reishi Elixir.
Consume anti-inflammatory foods and support intestinal health. Taking care of our digestive tract and flora integrity is the foundation of everything from immune integrity, nutrient absorption, and serotonin production. By now, most have probably heard that our overall health lies in the health of our colon. And it is true. But beyond taking a probiotic, we can also specifically clear certain foods out of our diet. Renowned heart surgeon Dr. Gundry spoke at our Sun Valley Wellness Festival about the benefits of a “lectin free diet.” In my experience, it works. I like the diet because it encompasses everyone’s personal preference (ketogenic, paleo, meat-eating, or plant-based) in dietary choices while emphasizing a move towards a plant-based diet, including a diet rich in leafy greens, small amounts of protein, beneficial fats, while avoiding potatoes, tomatoes, nightshades, corn, and gluten. He points out that while most plant based foods heal us, some will harm us, as the lectins in these foods can create a leaky gut situation, thereby labeling his work the “Plant Paradox.” This is pretty adaptable to almost any diet quite easily I’ve found, with simple modifications. He also promotes intestinal restore products that heal leaky gut situations (which create inflammatory conditions and pain throughout the body). I have had clients see high success with the lectin-free diet, losing weight, clearing up skin conditions, pain, and leaving behind bloating. In fact, nearly all health and inflammatory conditions clear up with target immune support and this diet. I’ve shifted our GLOW cleanses to “lectin-free plant-based cleanses, “ and they offer amazing results.
A diet high in antioxidants and polyphenols is anti-inflammatory and will support mood, energy, immunity, and feelings of well being, along with radiant skin and eyes. Included in these foods are all our favorites: dark chocolate, green tea extract, berries, and cherries, Acai powder, beans (cooking in a pressure cooker will destroy nearly all lectins according to Gundry), nuts including almonds, walnuts, macadamias, and pistachios, all green vegetables especially herbs and leafy greens, and more. In fact, there are sometimes so many nutrient-rich foods to eat, it leaves little room for anything else. When you shift to eating foods that give you high energy, it’s almost guaranteed that you never will turn back. That remains my approach and philosophy, and it tends to be contagious. No pun intended.
My secret weapon for immune support is brain-based wellness. All immune disorders, pain, lack of sleep, and other dysfunction in the body can be balanced through the brain, using a neurological technique called QNRT, Neurotherapy reset. Acute viral, bacterial, and fungal activity can be cleared often in one day. It’s amazing! Kids come in sick, and are outside playing later in the afternoon. I often hear that QNRT is “the best doctor’s appointment ever.” QNRT can clear strep, colds, and flus quickly, efficiently, and simply through the balancing of the brain, adreals, and nervous system. There is no greater stress on the system than emotional stress or overload, and the QNRT system handles it like no other.
If you’ve done everything right to line yourself up for optimal health and still need a boost for airline travel, busy days, or are just feeling worn down, here is a list of my go-to supplements and most effective immune remedies to help you avoid sickness all together, or significantly shorten it. These remedies are powerful, potent, and efficient for you and your family and best of all can heal and balance you naturally. These are all available at GLOW.
C&F spray: This product works, even for strep throat! Suitable for kids and adults, take 3 sprays at the very onset of a sore throat or stuffy nose. 3 sprays 1-3x/day seem to dead stop the sickness.
Liposomal Vitamin C: Highly bioavailable, this liquid Vitamin C can be mixed in juice or water. A couple tsp. When feeling low will help right away. We’ve even seen this product clear up nasty bacterial infections in high doasages.
Throat Spray: Eases the discomfort of a sore, dry throat and cough.
Nucleoimmune: Always a favorite, 2 doses 3x/day or more will typically stop a cold or flu.
SEAXYM: a prescription-strength enzyme in Japan, seaxym works to dissolve biofilms in the sinuses and blader. This is a great product for people who get chronic, deep seated, yearly sinus infections, or recurring bladder infections.
Smart Silver: A smaller molecule than colloidal silver, I add ¼ tsp. to my kids’ water bottle daily. The research on this product is amazing for clearing viral, bacterial, and fungal activity. Can be used topically or consumed.
Let’s keep ourselves and our town healthier than ever this year building into the winter with these steps. We all are too busy to go down, and armed with these tools, we will be sure not to miss a beat.
Dr. Molly Brown, PhD, D.N.M has a health and wellness practice in Ketchum, Idaho. Molly opened GLOW in 2008 to provide a space for positive lifestyle and health in the community.
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