My Bag of Tricks

The tools I use to support our immune system during cold and flu season.

(I am not prescribing medical advice. Back in the day, before we could type our symptoms into the computer, we used to share this information with each other and much of our knowledge was passed down from our parents and grandparents to us. Here I am sharing what works for my family.)

It is safe to say, I have thought more about our immune system’s ability to fight viruses in the last two years than I have in my previous 50 years. I try to arm my family with the tools they need to support their immune systems when a cold or virus comes our way. I will share three of my tried-and-true protocols, one protocol I’ve had in my back pocket since March 2020, a new protocol for prevention, and how despite all these, recently pharmaceuticals were still a necessity.

I don’t take supplements daily. I do try to get sunshine, exercise and a variety of whole foods that provide my body with the nutrients it needs. But there are times I feel a cold coming on. It could be a soreness in the back of my throat, feeling fatigued or a little fuzzy, or perhaps another member of the household has a cold. That is when I pull out my bag of tricks.

My Three Tried-and-Trues


Vitamin D3 – 1,000-3,000 IU/day

Vitamin C – 500-1,000 mg 2 x daily

Quercetin – 250mg/day

Zinc – 30-40 mg/day

At the onset of symptoms, this combination is what I reach for first. If I am feeling a little “off” or another family member is sick these prove to be effective for me. In most cases I am able resolve the issue before it can develop further. You can find this protocol on the FLCCC website HERE. I now make sure I always have these on hand.

Hot Tea:

As a child, I learned to treat my colds with hot tea, lemon, and honey. These proved to relieve my symptoms, but I had no idea at the time how they aided my immune system. I have move past just the lemon and honey and have added more tools to my toolbelt. You can certainly add the tea of your choice, but my latest trend is just hot water with different immune supports added in.

The basic drink:

Fresh ginger – anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant

Lemon slices – Vitamin C

For an extra boost add:

Tumeric (1/2 tsp or to taste) – anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial

Raw Honey (to taste) – anti-bacterial and anti-fungal

Vitamin C crystals – for an extra Vitamin C boost throughout the day.

In addition to the immune support, drinking tea throughout the day will sooth the throat and keep you hydrated. Win-win.

Thieves Oil:

I have been intrigued with Thieves Oil for a while. Bloggers on the internet sing its praises for fighting off a cold or flu. I finally gave it a try when I found this DIY recipe HERE by Small Footprint Family.

Since making my own blend I have added it to our hand soap, diffused it in a pot of hot water, and mixed it with coconut oil to apply to the throat, chest and back as needed. While I would not call it miraculous, I do believe it helps my body naturally fight off viruses and bacteria.

Something I Had in My Back Pocket

Clearing the Lungs

My oldest son and his bride have been visiting for the past week. During this time he developed a low grade fever and a bit of a sore throat, but nothing debilitating. We gave him vitamins and he was still able to help outside on the farm. But the fever wasn’t going away, and slight congestion was added to it. So, I started plying him with the ginger/lemon hot drink in addition to the vitamins. A few mornings later he woke us saying he was having trouble taking a deep breath.

You do not want to hear those words these days.

I immediately got out of bed, had him lay on his stomach and Mr. J applied firm but gentle thumps to his lungs. I had learned of this technique in March 2020. It is a protocol nurses use to prevent pneumonia. Laying on one’s stomach and tapping the back loosens any mucus that has settled there.

It worked!

My son immediately felt relief and was able to breathe more freely. He started having productive coughs. The mucus was coming up and out. We continued having him lay on his stomach throughout the day, thumping on his back. By days end, his breathing was much improved.

With this further development in his illness, we added turmeric and honey to his hot water, started applying the coconut and Thieves oil to his back and pulled out a new trick.

A New Preventive Protocol

1% Povidone/Iodine Nasal Spray

Povidone-iodine as a 10% solution is readily available at your local pharmacy. To make it a 1% solution I mixed 1 Tablespoon iodine and 9 Tablespoons distilled water in a clean glass container, then poured it into a clean cosmetic spray bottle. This can be used as a nasal spray or mouthwash. Find more information HERE. Just don’t swallow.

I began hearing of this protocol at the end of last year. This spray, used twice daily, will kill off the viruses that develop in your sinuses. So, 4 squirts in each nostril morning and night, will effectively stop that virus in its tracks. This is my kind of strategy. So, before Christmas I picked up what I needed from the grocery store, just in case.

Now, with my oldest son getting worse, it was time to give it a try. He applied the spray several times a day (to stop replication of a virus) and the rest of the family used it twice a day (as a prevention).

I can say that the rest of us are still healthy and symptom free. So, in that way it was effective. However, despite everything I threw at it my son’s fever and sore throat continued to get worse.

The next day, I come back to the homestead from errands in town to find out that he looked at his tonsils in the mirror. They are white and spotty. Tonsilitis. Ugh.

It’s not a virus, it’s an infection.

So, this morning, we head into town. Thankfully the clinic was able to see him right away. He was correct. Tonsilitis.

The nurse declares that his are the worse tonsils she has ever seen.

Friends, what a mom failure.

Mind you, this is the son that, at the age of eight, had the worst ear infection the doctor had ever seen. The boy must have a high pain tolerance! It never occurred to me to check his tonsils. My kids’ colds never developed that way. Until now. And in a big way. So, while I failed today, I will add that information to my toolbox going forward. Look at tonsils when there is a sore throat.

Thankfully, my oldest son typed his symptoms into the computer and was able to identify his ailment.

Thankfully, the nurses were able to provide him with the pharmaceuticals he needs to gain relief and overcome this infection.

But I made sure to tell him that after the antibiotics have destroyed his gut biome, he needs to be sure to get yogurt to build it back up. Afterall, we have got to support our immune system.

What tools do you use during cold and flu season? What is in your bag of tricks?

One thought on “My Bag of Tricks

  1. Garlic (anti-viral/bacterial/fungal), probiotics, and elderberry are also super helpful in building the immune system. I use them often.
    The nutritionist I’ve trained with recommends a probiotic regimen after using antibiotics. It takes quite a bit of time and good bacteria to restore the gut.

    Liked by 1 person

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