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Expert Tips to Protect Yourself from Cold and Flu Season

Reviewed by Kristen Reynolds, MD of Forum Health Mequon and Brookfield


Don’t let cold and flu season bring you down! By boosting your immune system, practicing good hygiene, and making smart lifestyle choices, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from illness.  


Discover practical tips and effective strategies from our functional medicine expert, Kristen Reynolds, MD, to keep you healthy and resilient all season long in our latest blog. Say goodbye to cold and flu misery and hello to a healthier, happier you! 

Expert Tips

At the first sign of onset of a cold (scratchy throat, sneezing) or flu (sore throat, body aches, fever, chills, sweats) – start these supplements and treatments as soon as possible. 


Vitamin D: Take 50,000 – 100,000 international units daily up to 3 days max (20,000-50,000 international units daily for children). While vitamin D toxicity is rare, it’s wise to check your baseline levels and periodically test if you are taking high doses for extended periods. 


  • A superior source of Vitamin D is sublingual (under the tongue) using 10,000 international units daily. 


  • For ongoing vitamin D supplementation, take one Ortho Molecular K-force Vit D/K2 5,000/180 by mouth with food daily.  


Vitamin C: Take 1,000 mg every 4 hours, if your stomach can tolerate it. 


  • 1000 mg per tsp of Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Vitamin C. Hold under your tongue for 30-60 seconds then swallow. 
  • Use 3-4 times daily for acute illness, once daily for general immune support. 


Zinc: Take 30-60 mg daily for a week. 


  • Take Quicksilver Scientific Immune Active Zinc Ionophore, which contains quercetin to help drive zinc intracellularly where it is needed for immune support.  


Vitamin A: Take 30,000-100,000 IU sublingual daily for 3 days. 


  • Use Genestra brand “A-mulsion.” One drop = 3,000 IU, so take 30 drops (90,000 units) under the tongue daily for 3 days. 


Nasal Washing: This is a safe, inexpensive and non-invasive way to prevent viral infections with many options including: 

  • Saline – Research supports the effectiveness of basic nasal irrigation using saline (salt water), which can be administered using a Neti Pot or bulb syringe. There are numerous online resources providing guidance on this practice. Add a pinch of baking soda to the saline solution to helpreduce any potential discomfort from the irrigation. 


  • Povidone-iodine nasal spraysShown to effectively decrease viral load.  


  • Xclear – Combines Xylitol (inhibits viruses from adhering to the mucosal lining of the nose) and Grapefruitseed (GSE) Extract, which is a known antimicrobial. 


  • Dosing – For all nasal sprays, use one squirt in each nostril twice daily (more often with known exposure or high-risk settings). 


Argentyn-23 Throat Spray + Nasal Spray: Follow instructions on the bottle and spray to the back of the throat and gargle with it.

  • This is colloidal silver which kills EVERYTHING and is a must-have at home during cold and flu season. 

  •  One squirt in each nostril twice daily. 


Biocidin liquid: Essential if you develop a viral infection in the lungs or if you have a home nebulizer.  

  • Nebulize 1cc of normal saline with 10 drops of Biocidin liquid or ½ cc of normal saline and ½ cc of food grade hydrogen peroxide. 


Andrographis (optional): Known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immune-boosting effects, take 60 mg (which is three times the normal dose) of andrographis extract capsules three times per day.  


Elderberry (optional): This can reduce the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms. Try DaVinci liposomal Elderberry extract 2 mL daily (hold under the tongue for 30-60 seconds then swallow. 


Oscillococcinum: A homeopathic supplement by Boiron used at the first sign you suspect influenza (especially if it’s going around, or folks at home, school or workplace have had it). 


Cold Calm: This homeopathic supplement by Boiron is perfect if you suspect the common cold. Other homeopathic treatments are Meteoric Iron Prunus Immune Support Pellets by Uriel Pharmacy. 


Essential Oils: Try “Thieves” by Young Living or “On Guard” by doTerra. Both oils are known for their disinfectant and immune-boosting properties. Diffuse the house with these regularly to purify the air in your home. 


Disinfectant: Try making your own, chemical-free disinfectant at home. 

  • Get a 12-ounce brown spray bottle from Amazon and fill it ¾ with reverse osmosis or distilled water and ¼ with vinegar.  

  • Leave a little space and add 1-2 drops of liquid dishwashing detergent and about 30 drops of Thieves essential oil or On Guard by doTerra.  

  • Use this mixture to spray down doorknobs, fridge/freezer handles, faucets, and any surfaces frequently touched to help eliminate germs. 

Fire Cider: This is a traditional tonic made from spicy and pungent ingredients steeped in vinegar.  

  • You can find recipes online or purchase at a health food store; however, I steep a combo of apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne. 


Remember, staying informed about the latest health recommendations and adjusting your habits accordingly can make a substantial difference in staying healthy throughout the season. By prioritizing these strategies, you empower yourself to navigate the season with greater resilience and well-being. Here’s to a healthy and flu-free season ahead! 

Need help boosting immunity and staying healthy? Schedule a consultation now with an expert health advisor. 



  1. From JAMA Otolaryngology: “Benefits and Safety of Nasal Saline Irrigations in a Pandemic—Washing COVID-19 Away” 
  2. From JAMA Otoloaryngology, Povidone-iodine nasal antiseptic solutions inactivate SARS-CoV-2: “In Vitro Efficacy of a Povidone-Iodine Nasal Antiseptic for Rapid Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2” 
  3. Compilation of studies on nasal washes, Xylitol, Grapefruit seed extract 
  4. Comprehensive Literature Review of Intranasal Therapy Against SARS-CoV-2 – Jan. 2021 
  6. • *Oscillococcinum® o Oscillococcinum® (Anas barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum 200CK HPUS) is a patented homeopathic preparation manufactured by a French-based company (Boiron Laboratories), marketed and widely used for the treatment and prevention of influenza symptoms. In clinical trials, Oscillococcinum® has been shown to reduce the severity and shorten the duration of influenza symptoms within a few days (Br Homeopath J, 1998;87:69-76, Br.J Clin.Pharmacol, 1989;27(3):329-335).  o Despite modest positive findings for treatment, additional studies are needed to evaluate its effectiveness in preventing influenza.