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Tips to survive cold, flu season

Pharmacist says natural remedies do work

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POSTED: January 26, 2014 8:00 p.m.
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HybridRemedies cofounder Dr. Jason DuBois, a clinical pharmacist from the Northeast, gave a lecture on boosting immunity with natural remedies, supplements and herbs last Thursday at Farmer’s Natural Foods in Hinesville.

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It’s common this time of year. First come the sniffles, maybe a slight throat tickle and then ... a sneeze! Denial is pointless. Break out the tissues, cough drops and humidifier.
The realization a cold has set in is enough to trigger panic in any otherwise healthy individual. Rather than spend a few days in a cloud of misery, many people seek out medicine to ward off or shorten the illness. Some are even willing to try natural remedies, which is what Dr. Jason DuBois focused on last Thursday during his lecture at Farmer’s Natural Foods in Hinesville.
HybridRemedies co-founder DuBois spoke for an hour on natural immune-boosting herbs and supplements, drawing a sizable crowd to the health-and-wellness retailer, which is coordinating an ongoing series of nighttime educational programs. Store owners said they invited DuBois from Jacksonville to talk about cold-and-flu season due to his knowledge and expertise in the field of immunology.
DuBois, who has 18 years of experience as a clinical pharmacist for a health facility in the Northeast, shared immune-system information, including little-known facts about the common cold and ways to help prevent illness. Previously a natural-remedy skeptic, he said he now is an advocate.
“Everyone would ask me my professional opinion of the ‘Airborne’ supplement, and I would give them a fairly biased answer — I didn’t believe in natural supplements,” he said. “I had to challenge myself to research if there were any ingredients in the product that would actually help with the severity and duration of a cold, t’s common this time of year. First come the sniffles, maybe a slight throat tickle and then ... a sneeze! Denial is pointless. Break out the tissues, cough drops and humidifier.
The realization a cold has set in is enough to trigger panic in any otherwise healthy individual. Rather than spend a few days in a cloud of misery, many people seek out medicine to ward off or shorten the illness. Some are even willing to try natural remedies, which is what Dr. Jason DuBois focused on last Thursday during his lecture at Farmer’s Natural Foods in Hinesville.
HybridRemedies co-founder DuBois spoke for an hour on natural immune-boosting herbs and supplements, drawing a sizable crowd to the health-and-wellness retailer, which is coordinating an ongoing series of nighttime educational programs. Store owners said they invited DuBois from Jacksonville to talk about cold-and-flu season due to his knowledge and expertise in the field of immunology.
DuBois, who has 18 years of experience as a clinical pharmacist for a health facility in the Northeast, shared immune-system information, including little-known facts about the common cold and ways to help prevent illness. Previously a natural-remedy skeptic, he said he now is an advocate.
“Everyone would ask me my professional opinion of the ‘Airborne’ supplement, and I would give them a fairly biased answer — I didn’t believe in natural supplements,” he said. “I had to challenge myself to research if there were any ingredients in the product that would actually help with the severity and duration of a cold, and that’s where my journey began.”
A weekend research project morphed into a newfound passion that prompted a two-year journey ending in the development of HybridCR, a rapid immune-defense supplement that has been on the market for about a year.
“When I really researched it, the more I learned that there are herbs out there that have good clinical data — that do work. … There are also herbs out there that don’t work. Part of my drive was to come up with a better product that was more evidence and research based,” DuBois said.
Although winter is prime cold-and-flu season, DuBois said colds can be caught at any time of the year. About 70 percent of people worldwide experience at least one cold per year, which adds up to billions of colds annually. Winter months bring cold air that dries out the skin, causing cracks that allow viruses to enter the body, which is why illnesses spike  in December, January and February.
There are more than 200 cold virus strains in existence, according to DuBois, and they can be picked up in one of three ways — hand-to-hand contact, hand -to-surface contact and by inhaling or coming into contact with airborne droplets from an infected person’s cough or a sneeze.
The flu virus can live on stainless-steel countertops for up to 48 hours and on our hands for up to 15 minutes. In addition, statistics that show the average human touches his or her face more than 16 times an hour, including eight lip touches.
Since a typical cold can last anywhere from seven to 10 days, it’s important to take action as soon as signs of illness appear, DuBois said. He touted the benefits of many clinically proven botanical herbs and plants that research shows will help boost the immune system, which, if taken at the onset of symptoms, can shorten the duration of a cold and ease symptoms.
According to DuBois’ research, the herbs echinacea purpura, panax ginseng, andrographis panculteta, elderberry and larch arabinoglactanare are effective. When seeking out these remedies, DuBois urges consumers to look for standardized-formula supplements that contain a high ingredient. Also, the best part of botanicals often is found in the plant root, so be sure to read labels to learn where the active component was derived from.
The pharmacist noted that due to the way the immune system works, no single product will do the trick; it takes a combination of different natural remedies to maximize results. Additionally, herbs such as panax ginseng are costly to produce, therefore consumers should be wary of cheap varieties they find on the  market.
Hinesville resident Linda Barbee attended DuBois’ lecture because she said she’s interested in the topic. After seeing a flier in Farmer’s Natural Foods, she and her mother, Anna, decided to go, and they both said they enjoyed the presentation.
“We wanted to learn more about the immune system and this was very informative,” Barbee said. “It was great to hear the things to avoid and what to do to stay healthy, like good hand-washing and avoiding stress. They are things that we already knew but that we don’t always pay attention to.”

 

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