Vitamin Junkeys

How to prevent and treat a cold or flu Ep 28


Preventing Colds and the Flu
Vitamin Junkeys Episode #28 (running time 9:56)
Date: December 1, 2008
Podsafe Music: Ice Cream by Christopher Dale Courtesy of the Podshow Music Network
Show hosts: Jennifer Lyall & Dr. Jean Jacques (Dr. JJ) Dugoua, ND HBSc PhD (Cand.)

This episode examines:
What is the difference between a cold and a flu?

Should you get the flu shot?

How can I prevent a cold or flu?

How can I treat a cold or flu?

Natural, Canada's guide to complimentary and alternative healthcare.

What's Dr. JJ taking today:  

Immune Combo:  This is a mix of different herbs and supplements that help support your immune system when you try to fight an infection.  Dr. JJ works at 2 hospitals and sees a lot of patients, so he's exposed to a lot if illnesses.  Dr.JJ takes an immune combo every 2 weeks or so to help prevent getting any colds.

Jennifer typically takes echinacea and astragalus in a drop format (herbal tincture) to help fight colds and infections.  Dr. JJ doesn't often prescribe tinctures because the taste is prohibitive, so he gives it to patients in a capsule format instead.

What is the difference between a cold and a flu?
A flu is a viral infection with symptoms that will include:

a fever (1-2 degrees Celsius above normal)

Malaise (a general feeling of discomfort)

Joint pain and muscle pain

You will usually be incapacitated


A cold is a viral infection, but with different symptoms, in a milder form:

There is rarely a fever in a cold, although there could be a slight fever

Runny nose/Congestion

You don't typically feel as bad as you would with a flu.

Should you get the flu shot?

The flu shot is routinely given to staff at the hospital.  Dr. JJ doesn't personally take the flu shot because he doesn't view himself as part of the population at risk.  They recommend that the elderly should get the flu shot.  It is also recommended for children, however, that is controversial debate, so he feels it is up to the parents to make that decision.  You would have to look at each case to determine if the flu shot is something appropriate for that person.

Jennifer's family takes a homeopathic version of the flu shot, she asked Dr. JJ if this is just as effective as the "traditional" flu shot?  Dr. JJ replied that some people have used it, but Dr. JJ's personal approach is to treat his immune system as a whole to keep himself healthy.  Homeopathy is a controversial form of alternative medicine.  Some studies have claimed that it is a placebo and others have shown that they is a benefit to this form of therapy.  Some people swear by this form of treatment.

How can I prevent a cold or flu?

1. Wash your hands frequently.  Always make sure you wash your hands before eating and before rubbing your eyes.

2. Sneeze into your elbow crease, not your hands.  It is a better way of trapping the airborne particles when you sneeze

3. Take Vitamin C although the studies have been mixed as to the effectiveness of Vitamin C, Dr. JJ has takes it and sees great results.

How can I treat a cold or flu?

1. Take extra natural products AS SOON AS YOU SEE/FEEL SYMPTOMS.  If you wait until the cold/flu is full blown, it takes a lot longer for your body to recover.  What does Dr. JJ take:


American or Korean Ginseng to help stimulate the immune system



Baptista (good for lung infections)


Vitamin C

Dr. JJ doesn't usually take one of these in isolation, he likes the whole ensemble to help support his immune system.

When Jennifer's family gets sick and it turns into a full blown cold (none of the other approaches have worked, or she can't get them all into her family!), she will see her naturopath and who then creates a plan that often combines botanicals, homeopathic remedies, vitamins and supplements to help support the immune system.

2. Adjust your diet and avoid mucous forming foods like wheat and dairy.

3. Avoid sugar, as it depresses your immune system

4. Avoid Alcohol

5. Drink lots of water

6. Consider a neti pot (which uses salt water) to help clear your sinuses

Chicken soup is also good, it tastes good, provides you with some electrolytes and nutrition when you are sick.  It's also a good comfort food.

Those are all of our great tips to stay healthy during the cold and flu season!

Happy Holidays from the Vitamin Junkeys crew!

You can find a naturopath in your community through the Find a Practitioner link on our website

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Join Jennifer Lyall and Naturopath, Dr. JJ Dugoua as they have fun exploring alternative therapies and healthy living. Weekly episodes are released every Tuesday.

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