by Carrie Laymon

We are approaching the time of year when we are extra vulnerable to the annual flu season. Holiday travel, guests, and the tendency to push ourselves beyond the norm can tax our bodies and immune systems.

Prevention is always the first and best defense for staying healthy. This means reducing stress and caring for ourselves in equal measure with the care we extend to others.

Both the physical and energetic parts of our Being are strongly tied to the natural rhythms of the Earth and Moon. The Moon waxes and wanes; the tides move in and out, following their natural rhythms and cycles.

Our bodies also live within natural rhythms and cycles. There are periods when our bodies need activity and periods when they need to rest and regroup. Often, it is when we push ourselves into action, refusing to slow down and honor the body’s need for its appropriate cycles of rest, that we get sick. This is the body’s way of forcing us to slow down and honor its needs.

Learn to be conscious of what your body is telling you, and work to set boundaries that allow you the time you need for yourself. Much of our stress is self-induced. We worry that there is never enough time, but when we slow down to breathe and regroup, even for just five minutes, we become much more efficient. Our tasks merge into an easy flow of life rather than into struggles.

Boosting the immune system is another good preventive measure. Extra Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, and garlic are all good immune boosters to take regularly throughout the flu season. This is especially important during the holidays when we find it more difficult to maintain healthy eating patterns.

The Perelandra Center for Nature Research also is a great place to turn for preventive measures. Perelandra develops a specific new flu season balancing solution each year as part of its line of Microbial Balancing Solutions. These come in large bottles and should last the entire season. This solution, combined with the Perelandra MBP Immune System Balancing Solution and the MBP Lymphatic System Balancing Solution could be just what you need.

If you feel drawn to these, order them now and take them daily. Don’t wait until you are sick! Although they can help at that time, they work most effectively by keeping you in a healthy balance to prevent illness. You can order these and view the entire line of Perelandra flower essences and microbial balancing solutions at

What if, despite all your best efforts, you still get sick? I have consistently found that the most important thing is to not allow the oncoming infection to take hold. This means paying attention to your body and recognizing the time when you first feel like you might be coming down with something. At the very first sign of a scratchy throat, sneezing, muscle fatigue or aches, stop what you are doing and load up on preventive supplies.

I have managed to prevent a full-blown illness many, many times by not waiting even just a few hours to begin taking what I need to regain balance. By that time it is too late.

Good products for knocking out infection at the onset include mega-doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin B-12, garlic, and zinc lozenges. Echinacea also is a good herb to combine with the vitamin supplements.

Essential oils of peppermint, tea tree, lemon, and eucalyptus also are good antimicrobials. The vitamins and herbs should be taken consistently every few hours until you feel that the illness is gone.

I also have had amazing results with Chinese herbs in warding off the onset of a cold, flu or respiratory infection. One of my favorites is Initial Defense by Kan Herbals, which you can buy in Austin at AOMA Herbal Medicine Store.

If you still end up coming down with a full-blown cold or flu, the above preventive measures also will help you to recuperate much faster.