by Crystal Lauer
Health Impact News

As a majority of us pull our boots and sweaters out of storage, sprinkle copious amounts of pumpkin spice on every hot drink and embrace the season of simmering stews and crackling fires with excitement, the changing of the seasons from summer to fall is also met with the reminder that flu season is right around the corner.  

That reminder will not be a subtle one as the propaganda machine whines into a full roar from every doctor’s office, news channel, drugstore, grocery store, online advertising etc. with the warning that the flu shot is all that is standing between you and certain unavoidable infection. 

But it simply isn’t true.

Influenza is a contagious illness that targets the respiratory system and leaves its victim vulnerable to secondary infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, and other serious diseases which can lead to complications and even death.  

Anyone can contract the Influenza virus, with young children, older people, pregnant women and immune compromised individuals at greater risk for complications as a result of the flu.

Symptoms of the flu largely affect the respiratory system, come on suddenly and include fever, cough, runny or congested nose, chills, headache and body aches, sore throat and fatigue. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) an average of 8% of the U.S. population gets ill from the influenza virus each year, with a range of 11% to 3% depending on which season is being evaluated. The same study found that children are the most likely to get sick and those over 65 years of age the least likely. 

While the conventional treatment for the flu is the Influenza vaccine, there are many who are rightly concerned with its ingredients and questionable efficacy. Moreover, the heavy-handed way the flu vaccine has been touted as an imperative to avoiding the flu virus, while being backed by high levels of propaganda rather than real science or trials, has left many individuals confused and fearful. 

To read more on the topic of the tactics used to push the billion dollar flu vaccine and drug market, see:

Retired Medical Doctor Exposes Deceptive Statistics Used to Justify Billion Dollar Flu Vaccine and Drug Market

The reality is that there are many excellent holistic modalities which can strengthen your immune system and naturally prepare you for the flu season, some of which confer a higher percentage of protection from the virus than does the widely-pushed flu vaccine. 

Many studies have been done which have drawn a link between vitamin D deficiency and the influenza virus. While many people understand the critical relationship between bone and muscle health and vitamin D, there are some who are still not aware that vitamin D is also essential for the bodies defense against acute respiratory infections.  

The Harvard Gazette reports that several observational studies associated below average vitamin D levels with a higher vulnerability to acute respiratory infections, and daily or weekly supplementation provided the greatest protection for those with existing low levels, in most cases cutting the risk by half.

According to Dr. Mercola, in an article entitled Vitamin D is More Effective Than Flu Vaccine, Study Says, 

“To prevent influenza in one person, 40 people must receive the flu vaccine whereas one case of flu can be prevented for every 33 people taking vitamin D.  If you are severely vitamin deficient, vitamin D supplementation is 10 times more effective than the flu vaccine.” 

In his research findings, published in ISRN Infectious Diseases, Anthony R. Mawson notes that resistance and susceptibility to influenza depend upon the vitamin D to Vitamin A ratio in an individual. 

While vitamin A plays an important part in resisting disease, it is also quite capable of becoming a villain if Vitamin D is deficient. 

Vitamin D deficiency increases the availability and toxic potential of retinoids and allows for over-expression of vitamin A. He hypothesizes that the seasonal recurrence of the ever-present influenza virus is spurred into action by an individual’s decline in vitamin D and the resulting retinoid accumulation.  

As winter approaches, the days grow shorter, and chilly weather drives individuals who have spent months in sleeveless shirts and shorts while soaking in the summer sun to cover up, bundle up and stay indoors. 

This decrease in solar exposure, through which much of our vitamin D is derived, could very possibly be contributing to our susceptibility to opportunistic viral strains making their way through the population during the winter months.

With this in mind, optimizing your vitamin D levels may be your best defense against the influenza virus as well as other respiratory illnesses.

Develop Better Sleeping Patterns

Along with the optimization of your vitamin D levels, evaluating and refining sleep patterns can make the difference in infection-proofing your immune system.

Many of us living fast-paced lives filled with conveniences, have long pushed the boundaries on healthy sleep patterns to provide for these lives. 

For some of us, the boundaries ceased to exist, practically from childhood, when buses arrived at the crack of dawn to shuttle us to school and homework and activities ate up our evenings and nights.

As adults, our patterns have proceeded to worsen as we wake early and work or play late into the night surrounded by unnatural light, technology, high stress and very little attention paid to the time. 

There never seems to be enough time and sadly sleep is the loser in the flurry of industry, establishing a lifetime pattern of sleep deprivation, which leaves us vulnerable to decreased immune response along with a host of other chronic issues.  

While you sleep, protective proteins called cytokines are released by your immune system to help you sleep while others are released to fight off infection, inflammation and help mitigate damage done by stress.

Research shows that even as little as a partial night’s sleep causes a disruption in immune function and reduces natural T-cell cytokine production.

To add insult to injury, all that lack of sleep is also increasing inflammation, which is a contributing factor in many chronic illnesses including heart disease. 

If you want to increase your resistance to sickness and lower your inflammation, sleep is an element that cannot be overlooked. For adults, an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep are optimal, with children needing considerably more at 10 to 13 hours.

Eat Nourishing Foods

Before you rush off to bed and attempt to catch up on decades of lost sleep, it may interest you to know that how you eat and what you drink will also contribute to how well your immune system responds to a perceived threat. Nourishing foods such as bone broths and soups made from pastured organic chickens or grass-fed organic beef, vegetables, raw dairy, eggs from organic pastured chickens, omega rich fish and seafood, and herbs are an excellent base for a healing and infection-protective diet. 

Removing excess sugar and carbohydrates will keep blood sugars stable and reduce the stress response. Keeping your stress response low allows the immune system to function properly and attend to its primary job of defending you from invading viruses, bacteria and toxins. Remaining well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water will also reduce physical stress and help remove circulating toxins.

While diet, sleep and optimizing vitamin D are all important steps in strengthening your immune system, there is also the practical advice of making sure to wash your hands frequently, avoid being in crowded spaces, keep your hands away from your face and disinfect and clean surfaces regularly. 

Herbs and Spices

Several herbs and spices are also known for their anti-viral and immune boosting superpowers.

Elderberry tops the list with its impressive compounds that inhibit the influenza virus from entering and replicating in human cells. 

By blocking key proteins that allow for viral attachment to cells, elderberry is able to inhibit the viral cycle at several stages. 

Researchers also found the elderberry solution stimulated the release of certain cytokines in the body which facilitated a more “efficient response against the invading pathogen.” The study out of the University of Sydney suggests that elderberry can both help to inhibit and reduce the symptoms of the influenza virus.

In our home we do all the above as well as preparing fresh ginger root tea, simmered with cinnamon, clove, and sometimes throwing in a few culinary juniper berries, all of it working to strengthen respiratory and immune health, all the while improving circulation and blood sugar response. 

If the tea needs sweetening, we use either stevia leaf or honey, the latter of which is well known for its antiviral and respiratory supporting properties. 

A chicken bone broth is also frequently simmered with fresh thyme and nettle for added antiviral and immune boosting benefits. Thyme breaks up mucus and helps support respiratory health, as well as having anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Nettle is both mineral rich and immune boosting as it has the ability to facilitate detoxification.

Essential Oils

Just to make sure everyone in our household has the odds in their favor when it comes to facing the flu season, oregano essential oil, clove essential oil and thyme essential oil is applied in varying amounts, dependent on ages and sizes, to the bottom of the feet, before bed and in the mornings. Boswellia oil and resin combination is also taken at the first signs of respiratory infection. There are many other essential oils that can be combined to benefit the natural immune response, but these are just a few of our preferences.   

So, while you’re getting down your boots and sweaters from storage and prepping your fireplace for the first logs to be lit, remember to get ahead of the coming flu season and have a strategy for keeping both you and your loved ones healthy and strong through the holidays and all throughout winter.  


Gary G. Kohls, MD (last). “Retired Medical Doctor Exposes Deceptive Statistics Used to Justify Billion Dollar Flu Vaccine and Drug Market.” Health Impact News, n.d.

Irwin M (last), McClintick J, Costlow C, Fortner M, White J, and Gillin JC. “Partial Night Sleep Deprivation Reduces Natural Killer and Cellular Immune Responses in Humans.” FASEB J. 10, no. 5 (April 1996): 643–53.

“Key Facts About Influenza (Flu).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.

Mawson, Anthony R. “Role of Fat-Soluble Vitamins A and D in the Pathogenesis of Influenza: A New Perspective.” ISRN Infectious Diseases 2013, no. 246737 (n.d.): 26.

Sue McGreevey and Mike Morrison. “Study Confirms Vitamin D Protects against Colds and Flu.” The Harvard Gazette, February 15, 2017.

University of Sydney. “Elderberry Compounds Could Help Minimize Flu Symptoms, Study Suggests.” Science Daily, April 23, 2019.

“Vitamin D Is More Effective Than Flu Vaccine, Study Says.” Mercola Take Control of Your Health, n.d.