Volume 2, Number 10
Focus On Health: Supplementation for an Immune Boost
Written by: Correne Omland
The arrival of autumn can often coincide with a fall cold or flu, especially if you have children heading back to school. Here are a few tips and supplementation suggestions that will help boost your family’s immune system.
Regardless of time of year everyone should be on a high quality multi-vitamin. Due to the depletion of nutrients in our soil we are not getting the same nutritional benefit from our food as we did years ago. A multi-vitamin will help provide your body with the necessary elements it needs to function properly.
This vitamin increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies. It is also an excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. One of the best things about vitamin C is that you can easily obtain it from fruits and vegetables (in about 6 servings). If you choose to supplement vitamin C, you should take 200-600mg daily and it is best to space it out throughout the day.
This is also another important antioxidant and immune booster. It helps to stimulate the production of natural killer cells, which seek out and destroy foreign invaders (germs and cancer cells). There are also studies that suggest that supplementing with vitamin E may reverse some of the decline in the immune system that comes with aging. Supplement 400 IU daily, preferably in the form of mixed tocopherols.
Zinc has been shown to reduce the occurrence of cold and flu symptoms if ingested within 24 hours of the first symptoms. This mineral also helps to increase the production of white blood cells, therefore helping to fight infection. Zinc is most easily obtained through food with sources such as oysters, zinc-fortified cereals, crab, beef, turkey (dark meat) and beans. If you choose to supplement do not take more than 25 mg daily and ingest on a full stomach.
This fantastic food is a powerful short-term immune booster with the added benefit of being anti-microbial. Garlic also has the benefit of being versatile; you can cook with it or supplement using garlic capsules. Garlic should be taken at the first sign of illness for the best effects.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Named appropriated, essential fatty acids (also known as Omegas) are essential to the functioning of the human body. This supplement benefits the immune system by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that destroy bacteria. They also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection, such as very high fevers. EFAs can be taken in the form of fish or flax oil.
Here are some other helpful tips to boost your immune system.
- Restore the balance of your nervous system with regular chiropractic adjustments!
- Get adequate sleep – for most people this is 7-8 hours daily (9+ hours for children)
- Reduce or eliminate sugar consumption
- Deal with your stress
- Participate in regular, moderate exercise (a minimum of 30 minutes 3x per week)
- Drink plenty of water
Natural Treatments for Head Lice
Written by: Correne Omland
With the start of school just around the corner, the issue of head lice in schools is a real concern. The first step to a natural treatment of head lice is prevention. One of the most common ways for lice to be transmitted is by the sharing of items such as hats, scarves, combs, hair ribbons, pillows, brushes and helmets. Keep in mind your child can also get head lice just by having close contact with another child’s head, which can occur during roughhousing and playing sports. By knowing the transmission methods, you can educate your child about not sharing their head accessories. Other tips for prevention:
- Wash all of your clothes after a haircut
- Do not try on hats or other headgear while in a shop/store
- If you hear of a lice outbreak at your child’s school consider trimming their hair
- Less than 1 cm as the lice cannot find a suitable environment in short hair
Another key factor in natural head lice treatment is detection. Here are some common symptoms of head lice.
- Itchy scalp
- Red bumps or sores on your child’s scalp and neck
- Seeing (or feeling) lice moving around your child’s head
- They are difficult to see but lice are 1-2mm long and greyish brown in colour
- Commonly found around ears, forehead and nape of neck
- Finding nits (lice eggs which are tiny white oval shaped specks) attached to the sides of hairs
The final step in treating head lice naturally is the treatment itself. If you are wary about using chemicals on your child’s head, give these treatments a try. However, if you find that these treatments are not working, you should consider visiting your local pharmacist and/or doctor.
The most effective treatment that doesn’t involve the use of any products at all involves the removing of nits and lice using a lice comb and/or tweezers. It can be time consuming and you may have to repeat the procedure for several days to ensure that you got all of them. Even if you decide to use anti-lice shampoo you will still have to use a lice comb to comb out all the nits as the shampoo doesn’t kill the eggs. If you don’t, the eggs will hatch and your problem will start all over again!
The Smother Technique
Most other natural techniques involve putting something on your child’s head to ‘smother’ the lice. The most commonly used items are mayonnaise, olive oil and Vaseline. The products are left in the child’s hair overnight and removed in the morning. Most advocates of this method state that it works because you remove the lice and nits while removing the product out of the hair. Please note that this method is not 100% and is quite messy.
Essential Oils – Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil and other essentials oils (which will be listed here) can help naturally kill lice and nits. Essential oils can be used in a few different ways.
In Olive Oil
In 75 ml of olive oil add a total of 60 drops of essential oil. The following oils can be used, but keep in mind you should use at least 20 drops of tea tree and 20 drops of eucalyptus.
- Tea tree
Essential oils can be added directly to shampoo as a method of administration. Use the 60 drops to 75ml as your guide to how much to add. Another alternative is to purchase a natural tea tree oil shampoo. A great option is Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Shampoo for Dandruff, which can be found in most natural health food stores. Thursday Plantation also makes a Head Lice Gel which works very well. Check out their website for more details on their products: http://www.thursdayplantation.com/products/Thursday-Plantation/Hair-Care#Tea-Tree-Head-Lice-Gel
Recipe: Zucchini Apple Bread
Recipe from allrecipes.com
- 4 cups of all purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup canola or sunflower oil
- 1-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 cup peeled and grated apple
- ½ cup chopped pecans
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the oil, applesauce, sugars and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir into dried ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the zucchini, apples and pecans.
Transfer to three 8-inch x 4-inch x 2-inch loaf pans coated with butter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Did You Know?
Did you know that sailors once believed that wearing a gold earring would improve their eyesight?