Natural Ways to Prevent and Treat Colds & Flu

August 31, 2015


There are about 1 billion colds in the US every year, with every child catching it 6-10 times a year, resulting in 22 million school days being lost every year!

When it comes to cold and flu season, prevention really is the first line of defense. To keep your body’s defense system–the immune system–in peak condition, follow our immunity-boosting tips to help your body fight off the bugs looking for a host. And, for times when you are feeling ill, the second set of tips can help ease your symptoms and support a quick recovery.

Cold & Flu Prevention Tips

Your immune system is at work 24/7! The best approach to supporting immune function is a healthy lifestyle that includes stress management, exercise, whole foods, nutritional supplementation, and the use of plant-based medicines. On a daily basis, you can take the following steps to help your immune system keep you healthy:

  • Wash your hands regularly to help prevent transfer of bacteria.
  • Stay clear of people sneezing or coughing. Avoid shaking hands or other close contact with anyone whom you know to be sick.
  • Make sure your home and work space are well-ventilated. Even on a cold day, open a window for a few minutes to clear out stale air.
  • Follow a consistent sleep/wake schedule so the immune system can repair and recover.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of organic (when possible) fruits and veggies, which contain antioxidants that help the body neutralize cellular damage.
    Healing Tips
  • Rest. Sometimes the body’s only way of getting your attention is to force you to slow down by getting sick. Don’t push through fatigue. Honor your body and sleep/rest as needed to promote healing. Reduce activity at home and at work as much as possible.
  • Increase fluid intake to include water, diluted vegetable juices, soups, and herbal and green teas.
  • Eat light meals and eat more soup. Whether you choose a vegetarian broth or a heartier bone-broth, soups for healing should be loaded with a variety of herbs and veggies.
  • Manage stress. Even just 10 minutes of meditation a day has positive effects on the immune system and promotes a positive mindset.
  • Laugh–it truly is good medicine. Patch Adams was onto something when he brought humor to his patients’ bedsides. Read a funny book. Watch stand-up comedy. Share jokes with a friend or your kids. Laughter lowers the stress hormones and elevates your mood–both are good for healing.

Vitamin, Mineral, and Botanical Support for the Immune System

There’s no panacea, but a growing body of research has shown that certain vitamins, minerals, and plant-based supplements can help prevent/curtail the symptoms of colds and flu. Some that you may want to include are listed below.

These are best tailored to your specific needs and health status, with guidance from your doctor.

  • Multivitamin and mineral formula
  • Vitamin C
  • Bioflavonoids, 1000 mg/day
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D, 2000 IU/day
  • Zinc, 30 mg/day
  • Echinacea, elderberry, and astragalus (tea, capsule, or liquid extract) help prevent common cold and viral infections. Physicians and scientists continue to study the immune-enhancing effects of these and other botanical remedies.

Food for Thought. . .
“He who cures a disease may be the skillfullest, but he that prevents it is the safest physician.”
– Thomas Fuller

In health,

Dr. Gina

FDA Essentially Bans Trans Fats

June 18, 2015

small_food_packageNaturopathic Physicians have been educating the public and their patients on the dangers of trans fats (also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils) for 30 plus years based on studies from the 1970’s showing a link between these artificial fats and heart disease.

Finally, the FDA, in an effort to prevent heart attacks and deaths, finalized its determination that the main sources of artificial trans fat are not safe. FDA gave food manufacturers until June 2018 to remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from their products after concluding that the oils are not so-called GRAS, or generally recognized as safe.

It’s hopeful that our government is finally taking action and acknowledging the SIGNIFICANT impact that our food supply has on the state of health of our citizens, and the major economic burden the US shoulders to manage chronic illnesses that can easily be prevented by removing artificial chemicals, excess sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and the like from our food supply.

Research identified a relationship between folic acid deficiencies and birth defects as early as 1965. It was not until 1992 that the United States Public Health Service shared this critical knowledge with the country and recommended that all women of childbearing age, capable of becoming pregnant, consume 400mcg of folic acid per day. It took the scientific community almost 30 years to accept that a nutrient deficiency might cause a gross distortion in human neuronal development and to recommend supplementation. Tens of thousands of children were born during this time with preventable birth defects.

Let’s use common sense, and consider listening to the doctors who pay attention to the research as it comes available rather then waiting 30 years to act on it, and who are tirelessly working to educate the public on the importance of quality food and the power of nutritional medicine to prevent and treat disease.

In health,
Dr. Gina

It’s not all in your head — it’s in your gut, too

June 10, 2015

a new way to heal stress and anxietyA new study finds decreased social anxiety among young adults who eat fermented foods. Further evidence of the connection between the gut and mood disorders, and hope for a better alternative to addictive benzodiazepenes.

In health,
Dr. Gina

Please Watch This

September 9, 2014

This trailer is worth watching. Let’s pray for leadership in this country that gets this.  Changing the way America eats, methodically removing refined sugar,  hydrogenated oils, pesticide laden and GMO products, and over-processed high gluten flour from our food supply will make massive changes over the next century in our country in terms of healthcare (particularly chronic diseases and mental health disorders) and the economy.   It will take a courageous leader or leadership group to see past the billions of dollars at stake by doing this, with a simple, long term, do-able plan of action, to realize the the return of healthier,  happier people and a more robust self-sustaining economy in our country.

In health,

Dr. Gina

ADHD Linked to Allergies and Asthma in Boys

September 25, 2013

autismBoys diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely also to have asthma, allergies and skin infections than youngsters without ADHD, a new study finds, suggesting a possible link between these conditions. Of those in the study, boys newly diagnosed with ADHD were 40 percent more likely to have asthma, 50 percent more likely to have needed a prescription for allergy medicine and 50 percent more likely to have had a bacterial skin infection than other boys. “Our study provides additional evidence to support the hypothesis that atopic disorders, such as asthma and food allergies increase the risk of developing ADHD,” the authors wrote, adding that further research is necessary to determine just how these conditions might be connected. Their results were published in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Read more here.

Naturopathic Medical Doctors have seen this connection for a long time. Inflammatory conditions such as asthma and allergies trigger behavioral disorders.  To successfully treat ADHD we must address allergies, and additional underlying factors that cause inflammation.

In health,

Dr. Gina

Orange Juice and Cancer Prevention

September 23, 2013

OrangeSurgeonGeneralWarningIn a forthcoming review article from Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal, a publication of Routledge, researchers review available evidence that links orange juice with cancer chemoprevention. The review article, “Orange Juice and Cancer Chemoprevention” discusses the putative mechanisms involved in the process, the potential toxicity of orange juice, and the available data in terms of evidence-based medicine.

Orange juice has many potential positive effects when it comes to cancer, particularly because it is high in antioxidants from flavonoids such as hesperitin and naringinin. Evidence from previous in vitro studies has indicated that orange juice can reduce the risk of leukemia in children, as well as aid in chemoprevention against mammary, hepatic, and colon cancers. Biological effects of orange juice in vitro are largely influenced by the juice’s composition, which is dependent on physiological conditions of the oranges such as climate, soil, fruit maturation, and storage methods post-harvest.  Read more by clicking here.

Oranges grown organically have higher levels of antioxidants and nutrients that help the body to fight off cancer.  The more the oranges are processed (e.g. pasteurized, “10% juice”), the lower the levels of cancer fighting chemicals.  Fresh squeezed orange juice or whole organic oranges are best.

In health,

Dr. Gina

Protect the Hawaiian Islands. Take Action and Support Bill 2491 TODAY!

July 30, 2013
Kilauea Lighthouse

Lighthouse on the Island of Kauai

Below is an urgent call to action by the good folks at Food Democracy Now! regarding the unprecedented “Right to Know” Bill 2491 that will prohibit open air testing of experimental pesticides and experimental GMO’s while publicly disclosing pesticide use on the Hawaiian islands.   Please watch the quick video from international surfing champion Kelly Slater who says it simply and clearly.

What is happening in Hawaii needs to be addressed immediately.  I have lived on Kauai, my daughter was born there, and I am considering a  second medical office on the island. Clearly there is a great need there for purification…too much of a need!  Kauai is a beautiful place that, like all of the Hawaiian islands, serves as a glaring reminder of the importance of respecting and living in harmony with nature.  Nature freely shares its  vibrant colors, nourishing foods and healing capabilities. It has sustained us since the beginning of time, and has the ability to nourish all, yet is being abused in many, many inhumane ways.  The island and its children should not be used as a testbed for toxic chemicals that taint the air and water supply.

Please read below and take action today.

In health,

Dr. Gina


You may have spent your honeymoon or a childhood vacation in Hawaii, or just dreamed of someday walking on the islands’ beautiful beaches, but chances are, whatever your experience of Hawaii, it likely doesn’t include the harsh reality of it being the agri-chemical testing ground that it’s become in recent years.

Right now a major battle is heating up on the islands regarding pesticides and experimental GMOs that could impact our collective future and we need your help.

In the past four months, GMO activists in Hawaii have held the largest protests and marches to stop Monsanto in the history of the islands. While widely known as a beloved tourist destination to millions of vacationers worldwide, in reality Hawaii has a dark side that Monsanto and the giant chemical and biotech companies don’t want you to know about.

For over 20 years, the Hawaiian Islands have become ground zero for open air field trials of the biotech industry’s toxic chemicals and experimental GMO crops. Tests have shown that the biotech industry’s harmful chemicals are contaminating local air and water sources that expose island residents and vacationers alike.

Even worse, at least 10 schools on Hawaii are only 100 yards away from GMO chemical fields, potentially endangering Hawaii’s school children’s health for the sake of profits for the chemical and biotech companies.

But the Hawaiian people have had enough and want the right to know if they and their children are being exposed to toxic pesticides.

This Wednesday, July 31, a public hearing is being held by the Kauai City Council regarding a common sense “Right to Know” bill – Bill 2491 – that puts public health ahead of biotech profits by limiting Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). It prohibits open air testing of experimental pesticides and experimental GMO’s while publicly disclosing pesticide use on the islands. This bill is unprecedented and necessary but needs your help to pass.

Tell the leaders of Hawaii it’s time to stop poisoning paradise and start protecting the islands’ biodiversity, its people and tourists or you’ll take your next vacation elsewhere! As long as they poison paradise, you’re boycotting Hawaii for good! Every voice counts!

Each year, tourists spend more than $14 billion on Hawaii’s islands to experience the paradise of sandy beaches and soak in the sun, not the chemical and biotech industry’s toxic pesticides and experimental GMO pollen. Last year, more than 8 million tourists visited the tropical paradise that employs more than 167,000 island residents who make a living supporting tourism.

Currently citizens of Kauai have no legal right to know what toxic chemicals are being sprayed in their communities, but passing Bill 2491 could change that.

Toxic Pesticide Drift Impacts Local Schools and Children

Tests have confirmed that at least 3 Restricted Use Pesticides contaminated a local school on the Garden Island of Kauai, such as the toxic herbicide Atrazine, which has been banned in Europe since 2004 due to serious health problems, including cancer, birth defects and reproductive issues.

In 2005, Atrazine, manufactured by Syngenta, was found in Kauai’s drinking water and in 2006 and 2008 children and teachers at a school in Waimea were sickened on several occasions, including one incident where at least 10 children were rushed to the local hospital.

This doesn’t sound like the island paradise that is promoted by the Hawaiian tourism industry, does it?

Yes on Bill 2491 – A Reasonable Public Disclosure Bill About Pesticides and GMOs!

Bill 2491 specifically applies only to large industrial agricultural operations that use large amounts of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP’s). 99% of these very toxic substances are used by just 5 companies on Kauai – Syngenta, BASF, Pioneer DuPont and Dow, who occupy nearly all of the leased agricultural lands in west Kauai – over 15,000 acres in close proximity to schools, residences, churches, and hospitals.

According to University of Hawaii Professor Dr. Hector Valenzuela, every year, giant biotech chemical corporations spray at least 99 different pesticides on Hawaii.  On Kauai, they dump over 36,000 pounds of 22 different types of Restricted Use Pesticides and an additional estimated 160,000 pounds of General Use Pesticides (glyphosate, Round Up and other).

Tell the leaders of Hawaii as long as they poison paradise, you’re boycotting Hawaii for good! Every voice counts!

What happens in Hawaii, doesn’t stay in Hawaii! Please use your voice today to tell Hawaii’s leaders that you’re paying attention and expect them to support the people, not Monsanto and Syngenta!

Surfing Legend Kelly Slater on The Current Threat to Hawaii

For more about what’s going on in the Hawaiian Islands and why they need to be protected, take a look at this short film with surfing legend and 11 time ASP surfing champion Kelly Slater,

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team

To follow the ongoing efforts to stop experimental pesticides and GMOs and the battle to save Hawaii, visit Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition and Food Democracy Now! on Facebook.

PS * If you live on Kauai, the public hearing is on Bill 2491. Please show your support by attending this important hearing.

Because of the intense public debate that has taken place in the past year in Hawaii, public officials are expecting record attendance. As a result, the location of the public hearing has been moved from its original venue.

When: 1:30pm -Wednesday, July 31, 2013 (arrive early)

Where: Kauai Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Highway in Lihue facility


1. “Attorney: Pesticides at WCMS Violates Federal Law”, The Garden Island, July 14, 2013.

2. “The Truth About Bill 2491 Relating to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms”, Gary Hoosier’s Blog, July 20, 2013.

3. “GMO Debate: Kauai’s Struggle for Health and the Environment”, Honolulu Civil Beat, July 17, 2013

4. “GMO & Pesticide Experiments in Hawaii: The Poisoning of Paradise”, Huffington Post, July 2, 2013.

5. “GMO & Pesticide Experiments in Hawaii: Part 2, Kauai’s Right to Know”, Huffington Post, July 25, 2013


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