health brief


Vitamin C and Other Remedies To Help With Colds and Flu

by Nedra Downing


Viral infections, such as flu and Coronavirus, are highly contagious and can be picked up from an unchecked sneeze seven feet away. Most discussion has been about prevention: washing hands, catching a cough or sneeze with a tissue, avoiding groups, not traveling, not spitting. These are important and necessary.

A strong immune system is our best defense against Coronavirus or other viral infections. Since there are similarities between flu virus and Coronavirus, the homeopathic remedy Influenzinum can be helpful. Influenzinum has been used for years for flu prevention and symptom treatment. And because having a cold can reduce the ability of the immune system to fight other infections, Oscillococcinum, another homeopathic remedy, can be effective stopping a cold.

The herb Echinacea boosts antibodies made by the immune system to attack whatever is challenging the body. Echinacea is a good choice before travel, being in a group of people or even going to the grocery store.

A time-honored therapy for viruses of all kinds is Vitamin C given intravenously (IV). A century of Vitamin C research is available with evidence that Vitamin C is safe and nontoxic, even in very high doses. Some people cannot take high doses of Vitamin C due to genetic changes in an enzyme, so a blood test is necessary before having IV Vitamin C to check for this enzyme.

IV Vitamin C must be given in the proper form and in high enough doses for a long enough period of time to be effective. Oral Vitamin C does not achieve the high intracellular doses needed against acute viral infection.

Suggested protocols for high-dose Vitamin C IV can range from 2000 mg to 25,000 mg after exposure to a virus, administered by your health professional. This is followed by a good-quality buffered Vitamin C oral dose of 1000 mg every two hours while awake. If diarrhea occurs, the oral dose of Vitamin C should be reduced. Vitamin C IV may be repeated daily, or two or three times weekly.

Nedra Downing, D.O., M.S. Human Nutrition, B.S. Pharmacy, is the founder of the Downing Clinic in Clarkston, MI. For more information call 248-625-6677 or visit

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