How to Prevent Colds and Flus Naturally | Chris Kresser

How to Prevent Colds and Flus Naturally

by Chris Kresser

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How to cure cold and flu naturally

Since cold and flu season is now upon us (at least in the U.S.), I figured I’d take the opportunity to share my favorite tips for natural prevention and treatment.


  • A nutrient-dense, toxin-free diet: avoid the foods that tend to weaken the immune system, such as sugar, unprepared grains, industrial seed oils and processed and refined foods.
  • Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil: if there’s only one superfood/supplement you take through the winter, this should be it. It’s rich with fat-soluble vitamins that regulate and support the immune system, and fatty acids like EPA and DHA that reduce inflammation. It also seems to have some kind of synergistic quality above and beyond the individual nutrients it contains that powerfully boosts immunity. I rarely get colds and flus when I’m taking it. I now recommend Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil from Rosita as my preferred cod liver oil product. For more information, read this article. You can purchase EVCLO hereDosage: 1 tsp/d or 2 caps per day.
  • Liver. Liver is nature’s multivitamin. It’s the most nutrient-dense food on the planet, as I explained here. I recommend eating 3 ounces a week if you’re taking EVCLO.
  • Bone broth. Grandma knew best! Homemade bone broth is rich with easily absorbable minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and trace minerals difficult to obtain elsewhere. Check out the Weston A. Price article “Broth is Beautiful” for recipes and more information.
  • Fermented foods and/or probiotics: 70-80% of our immune system is in our gut. If you have intestinal dysbiosis or poor gut flora, you’ll be more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections (and colds and flus).
  • Vitamin C: I don’t supplement with vitamin C at all times during the year, but when cold and flu season rolls around, I’ll often take 1 g/d as a precaution.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a powerful immunoregulatory role. For most people, the EVCLO should be enough to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. However, some people require higher doses of vitamin D to keep their 25D levels in the desired range of 35-60 ng/mL. This is especially true of those with obesity or inflammation, because these conditions impair the conversion of sunlight to vitamin D. Dosage: 2,000 – 4,000 IU/d depending on beginning level and amount of EVCLO you’re taking.
  • Jade Windscreen Formula. Jade Windscreen (or Yu Ping Feng San in Pinyin Chinese) is an immune system tonic made up of botanicals that enhance the immune system and have anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. The traditional formula contains Astragalus, Actractylodes and Ledebouriella, but modern preparations also add cinnamon, siler root, Chinese yam rhizome, and white peony root. You can often buy Jade Windscreen at a health food store or natural pharmacy. You can also buy it online. I like the Kan Herbs tincture. Dosage: 10-20 drops 2-3x/daily (check with your medical provider if you are pregnant or nursing or have an autoimmune condition)
  • Sleep and rest. Getting adequate sleep and rest is perhaps the most important thing you can do to optimize your immune function. Just a few nights of not sleeping well can elevate inflammatory markers and reduce the protective capability of your immune system. That’s why it’s a good idea to go to bed earlier, sleep longer and rest more in the winter season.


Sometimes despite our best efforts, a virus slips through our defenses and our immune system is called into action. Here are a few things in addition to the above that you can to do fight off the cold or flu and shorten its lifespan.

  • More EVCLO: double or even triple your dose to get more immune-boosting fat-soluble vitamins into your system.
  • Ginger honey-lemon tea with optional additions: ginger has anti-microbial and can help with nasea and G.I. upset that comes with certain strains of flu. Lemon is a good natural source of vitamin C, and has a soothing quality on a sore throat – especially when combined with honey. Honey is a time-honored cough remedy, and recent research suggests that it may be an effective cough suppressant. (Important note: never give honey to kids under 1-year of age.) Optional additions to this tea could include fresh garlic (anti-microbial), a pinch of cayenne pepper (to help break up mucous) and other warming herbs like cinnamon and clove. One of my favorite brands of raw honey is Beekeeper’s Natural.
  • Sweat: in Chinese medicine, sweating is recommended at the early stages of a cold. The best way to do this is to take a very hot bath. I also recommend adding herbs and essential oils that promote sweating, such as wintergreen, eucalyptus, rosemary and thyme. Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath is a powder containing these ingredients that you can add to your bath. It’s available at Whole Foods and other health food stores, and also online.
  • Increase probiotic intake. I find beet kvaas and kombucha to be particularly helpful at the early stages of a cold.
  • Rest, rest, rest. Again, there’s no better remedy for a cold or flu than rest.
  • Zinc. Research suggests that zinc can reduce the duration and severity of a cold – but only if it’s started early on.

Now I’d like to hear from you? What are your favorite natural remedies to prevent and treat colds and flus? What do you do during cold and flu season to protect yourself?


Join the conversation

  1. Thank you for your great article on immunity. I have a food allergy to dairy, hence butter. What do you recommend to replace FCLO/BO?
    With appreciation,

  2. Chris—I’m in my 40’s and suffered with GERD for the past 10 years. I was always getting sick. My viral infections sometimes lasted for months. Sick of being sick, I decided to do something about it. I started out by detoxing (no sugar or molds in ANY form) for 6 weeks. I then successfully healed my GI lining & incorporated probiotics & other natural oils, antifungals, etc. into my diet. As my last measure, I began taking Betaine Hydrochloride with EVERY meal. My GERD is GONE. No more heartburn EVER. I cannot stress this enough to all of you: Heal the gut FIRST, then start taking Betaine HCL w/Pepsin with ALL of your meals and your problems will go away. Stomach acid kills most viruses & bacterium. I haven’t been sick since! The stomach is the center of the immune system. Fix your gut & your gut will keep you healthy.

  3. Can you heat the ginger juice or will that deactivate whatever properties are responsible for the antimicrobial activity? I’m concerned that heating it may denature some important enzymes, but I’d like to if I can, it’s yummy hot!

  4. I have a question. What does one do for a dry cough? One that has been going on for a week.
    Not sure if it is an infection, and if I can get by without anti-biotics. Advice?
    I have heard of several suggestions, like cayenne, with ground ginger, honey and apple cider vinegar.
    Or 7 almonds, soaked then crushed with 2 TBSP butter and sugar….anyhow, I am just trying not to take an antibiotic.

  5. Using a humidifier in the winter seems to help prevent secondary infections in our home.

    Very warm bath, or very warm corn bean-bag (microwaved 🙂 held on the infected area, usually works really well if one of us gets an infection.

    Gargling with warm/hot salty also seems to work well to keep a cold from taking root.

    But we have one child who has consistently gotten a severe sinus infection every time we have moved, even if relatively low-stress. Maybe this will not happen in the future as we improve our health, but it seems like some things you can’t help! (or avoid- germs and stress 🙂

    We have also gotten a lot less stomach flu (rotavirus) since we are on well-water (versus chlorinated city!), but that one is not fool-proof, either! I am sure if we used probiotics more regularly, that would help, also.

  6. Would you recommend a product like desiccated beef liver for those who don’t have the budget to eat grass fed beef liver 3x/week? I found a brand called radiantlife…their beef liver comes from undefatted argentine grass fed cows (jeez that’s a mouthful, lol)

    Also, do you take the fclo/bo blend on days you eat liver? I take the blend myself, wanted to incorporate desiccated liver for its folate and b12 content but am concerned about vitamin A overload.

  7. Chris, I currently supplement with Vitamin A and D. From your post you are saying that this is not the best approach and to instead use Cod Liver Oil. Do you know the IU dose of vitamin D and A in a 5ml dose?

  8. Just thought I’d chime in with a prevention tip that I think bears repeating: Wash Your Freakin’ Hands!! That, and please cover your mouth and nose when you cough/sneeze/expel virus in another manner. No need to be the crazy person with an econo-pack Purell and surgical mask, but these are such simple ways to prevent spreading the virus that it’s maddening to see people not doing them!

  9. I just found this – seems quite new – and it made me so angry I wanted to tell Chris because you’re one of the few we can trust – I suspect the food lobby is trying to counteract honest, well-researched analysis with disinformation and abuse. Which, if true, is shocking. But several people challenge them, in the comments. Still, some people might be convinced by it. Really, if it is disinformation, surely there is a law against it?

  10. Do you have any other brand of FCLO that you would recommend? Just this week (10/7/12), Green Pastures put a very offensive and just plain unprofessional political post on their site. It’s so disappointing that I don’t even want to buy their products anymore.

  11. I’ve always relied on Elderberry extract (taken early like zinc) + my netty pot but tried something new this past weekend. I took an extremely hot bath so as to raise my internal body temp enough that it would kill off the virus. It worked! I would consult with your MD or ND to find out how long, how hot, etc. but as my ND pointed out when teaching me this nifty trick, fever reducers are bad in many cases b/c that is your body’s way of killing off the illness!

  12. I eat a low pufa diet with sardines and salmon for added omega 3 and take vitamin d and vitamin a from cod liver oil, and lef’s super k2. This has worked great for me for keeping illness away and is much more cost effective than 60 dollars for a little bottle of cod liver oil. I think the price is just ridiculous. If there were more competitors maybe it wouldn’t be so outrageously priced. I also think there may be validity to what Paul jaminet and ray peat have to say about the damaging effects of a lot of saturated fatty acids. Vilhaljmur (spelling?) Steffanson noted how rapidly inuits age. Could this have been from the large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids and lipid peroxides in the fermented fish they ate?

  13. chris,
    do i need to take the fclo/bo blend (blue ice) with food like other supplements or can i just take it by itself?

    is 5ml or 2 caps of the fclo/bo blend (blue ice) sufficient to provide the daily requirements of vitamins a, d, and k2?


  14. Chris,

    Highly respect your work, esp wrt the gut.

    Hand sanitizers vs the common cold virus – hand washing and Purell did nothing – surprised me. See the Mar 2010 paper in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy “Effectiveness of Hand Sanitizers with and without Organic Acids for Removal of Rhinovirus from Hands”. They had six treatment protocols to get cold viruses off their finger tips. 70% Ethanol with 2% of citric and 2% malic acid worked and had a 4 hour residual virus killing.

    Had to mix my own. Could not find it ready made even though the research was funded by Johnson and Johnson, Dial, and Proctor and Gamble back in 2009. Pure citric acid is available in cake shops. Malic acid at Nuts Online. Mixes well into Purell (though that is not only ethanol, it was my best choice).

    Trying to give back to one who has given so much.

  15. Here my method for taking the Green Pastures Fermented CLO without gagging or burning my throat:

    Generate a mouthful of saliva

    Shoot the CLO into front of mouth with syringe and work mouth and tongue to mix it around so it is throughly blended with saliva.


    • when i first got it i shot some into the back of my mouth with the syringe and it actually hurt. (didn’t know how bad it would taste either)

      i discovered, just hold your breath, swallow a teaspoon, keep holding your breath, drink several gulps of water, then breathe. there will be just a slight aftertaste, very tolerable to me. easy to do.

  16. Pam, can I ask you; do you know about any other manufacturers of cod liver oil and/or butter oil that produce good quality products?

    Best regards,

    • Hi, Orjan,
      I’m looking for other possibilities, too. I think I’ll go to my local health food store or just Whole Foods and see what they have. The big issue with retail is how fresh the items are, as well as the inherent quality. If you find something great, let us know.

      • Thanks for the reply, Pam!

        Whole foods organic is always the preferred … However, do you know anything about Carlson Labs? They claim to sell products of good quality, but I have not found any independent authority that verifies their products.


  17. While FCLO is healthy stuff, I’d recommend against buying from Green Pastures if you gag easily. Unfortunately, even if you get an unusually strong batch that literally makes you gag, they will not accept any responsibility. I’ll be looking for milder options and producers who stand by their customers as well as their products.

  18. We use large doses of vitamin c and elderberry extract, early on it will keep the cold away. If I do get sick I have found Avgolemono soup made with just homemade chicken broth, eggs, and lemon juice to be a staple. If it’s a nasty flu-like cold I do a vitamin c flush. Peppermint tea works great for a stuffy nose and mentholatum on your feet.

  19. Great post! Any thoughts on other cod liver oils? It’s way too expensive to get in Canada. I understand some brands add no synthentic vitamins A or D (such as Sonne’s and possibly Twinlabs). These synthetic vitamins, at least to my knowledge, are the main problem with most commercial cod liver oils. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  20. I agree with sinus rinse. If I can’t use the neti pot then I at least do a quick rinse with water from the sink from my hand. I wonder if the chlorine in the water contributes to the beneficial effects.

    Also if I do get sick I’ll add a bit of whiskey to the lemon water for my throat (or to put another way, I add a bit of lemon to the whiskey when I’m sick, otherwise I’ll just drink the whiskey straight). I’m not advising anyone to do that obviously.

  21. Can you please give me the source material you used for your recommendations that include the mechanism of action for these suggestions. With your first suggestion, couldn’t you have just said “don’t eat junk food”? As for the recommendation to avoid sugar, since I don’t know anyone who simply pours refined sugar down their throats, wouldn’t that be covered under “don’t eat junk food” too? And can you explain how adding sugar to coffee or tea or other things is inherently bad, considering that insulin is a major nutrient transport system, and for many athletes and physically active people adding sugar at the right time can be quite beneficial to their exercise goals and nutrient uptake. And at the right time, there are hundreds of peer reviewed studies that prove that brain function is improved with properly timed sugar intake. I’m not trying to be flippant. I want to see the science behind the recommendations, since I leave faith to the snake oil salespeople.

  22. In our house, at the first sign of a cold you are given a teaspoon of raw honey mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, which is usually enough to stop a cold within 5 hours. If it is more persistent, we take another dose in evening and therefore twice a day for up to 3 days. This wipes out 9 out of 10 colds. I also made my own thyme tincture and lemonbalm tincture, both good for colds.
    Garlic, aloe, ginger, astragalus, cayenne, elderberry, oregano oil, vitamin D3, and onions, all used in various ways for cold treatments and all good. Any lung congestion gets an old fashioned onion poultice which works like a charm.
    Honey, garlic, and cayenne for strep (look on Dr. Christopher’s site for this recipe, and yes, we’ve used this successfully), and honey mixed with freshly reamed lemon juice for coughs. Onion syrup made from onions and sugar (though I want to try this with honey) will also work wonders on coughs
    There is no reason to fall victim to a cold.

  23. This is a powerfully anti-inflammatory diet. My daughter has used this regimen – minus the herbs and vitamin supplements – to heal from a severe, crippling rheumatoid arthritis. I guess one more thing she does is drink 1/2 gallon of raw milk every day, with raw egg yolk thrown in once in a while. Oh, and lots of raw butter.

  24. I know avoiding toxins is important, but can undereating weaken the immune system, too? Feel like I’m always just on the verge of a cold or something … sore throat, tired, a little sneezy and sniffly, appetite off, which kind of creates a vicious cycle of not eating properly. Work and life have been so incredibly, stupidly busy the last little while, and I haven’t been able to eat regularly or enough. I think? Hard to tell because the days just fly by, and I really don’t even know if I’m hungry or not the past few months. The stress likely doesn’t help either. I do try to bring healthy foods to the office, there’s just very little time to eat them.

    • The zinc discussion above reminds me… low zinc status can affect appetite, meaning you will lack appetite. If you’re always on the verge of a cold, you might be low in zinc, among other things.

  25. Hi Chris

    I’m a big fan of your blogs and just wanted to say a big thank you for all the advice!

    I wondered if you could help me out? I have a food intolerance to white fish and salmon so fish oils upset my stomach…I have been trying out vegan DHA that’s from algae but this seems to be upsetting my stomach too….I wondered if you have any advice on how to get more of the essential omegas etc?
    I follow a Paleo diet so no grains/dairy already.
    Thanks in advance!

    • There are only two sources of DHA: fish, and algae. If these both upset your stomach, I’d suggest addressing your digestive issues so you can assimilate these foods. Try ox bile to help you break down the CLO.

  26. Blend equal parts fresh onion, jalepeno or cayenne, horseradish ( fresh or bottled), fresh garlic, fresh ginger with apple cider vinegar. Sip slowly throughout the day if getting sick.

  27. I bought 120 capsules of FCLO from Green Pastures September time and started taking 1 capsule a day in October. I stepped it up to 2 capsules a day some time in November & will take them till they run out. I take them in the morning with my breakfast of grilled sausage & bacon (from pastured pigs) with local (back garden) free range eggs (fried in butter). I also have a few spoonfuls of Sauerkraut or some other fermented veggies to feed my gut flora & fauna. In the evening I gnaw on Polish smoked sausage or some other Polish meat on Polish bread (sourdough) with butter.

    The result has been that I have had no colds or flus this year.

    Most of what Chris says above makes complete sense to me.

    Thank you Chris for your very informative web site & podcasts from someone in the UK who has taken notice of what you have to say plus Mark Sisson, Barry Groves (Trick and Treat:
    How ‘healthy eating’ is making us ill – what a brilliant book) & the Weston A Price Foundation.

  28. That is one excellent article! Thanks. However I would add GREENS. Greens, greens, greens. And more greens. And little to no food if actually sick already. Seaweeds too, miso soup for nourishment at that time in one’s bone broth. Gaia Quick Defense is my indispensable supplement.

  29. Wow. Reading through these recommendations was like reading the menu from where I work: Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley. We specialize in nutrient dense food, sell bone broths and the Fermented Cod Liver Oil. I am the brewmeister there and I make Beet Kvass and Kombucha! Very cool to see our mission being so directly supported in this way! Kudos to good health and real food!

  30. For me, 1000mg Vit C every 2-3hrs usually stops a cold in its tracks. As of yet, no bowel issues either from high Vit C consumption 😉

  31. Chris, do you know anything about Cod Liver Oil by Carlson Labs. Is this good quality oil?
    (Carlson Labs, Norwegian Cod Liver Oil, Lemon Flavor)

    Thank you for an excellent information!

  32. What’s worked best for me as a treatment is simply having one clove of raw garlic with a teaspoon of raw honey several times a day. Chew it and swallow it. (The honey makes it palatable.)

    For prevention, I like doing a shot of “master tonic” each morning (garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne, horseradish in an apple cider vinegar solution — google the recipe).

    • Apparently there is no detectable casein or lactose in butter oil or ghee, but if someone has a true allergy to casein they may react to it.

  33. Fish oil does interfere with clotting, but everyone is different as to how much is too much. I’m not sure about bleeding risk in young, healthy individuals, but I have seen hindered clotting in elderly using fish oil. Trouble getting a nose bleed to stop or GI bleed are worst case scenarios.
    A drop of peppermint essential oil completely hides the taste of cod liver oil, but not in burps afterwards.

  34. Your recommendations for prevention is what I’m currently eating for pregnancy (except the Jade Windscreen Formula). I eat a tsp of raw salmon roe a day for the Vitamin D + FCLO/BO mix.

    For anyone who isn’t too fond of eating liver, dessicated liver is pretty easy to take. I make my own, but you can purchase it online.

  35. I’d like to know the answer to the very first comment above. Is cod liver oil plus salmon or krill oil overdosing or do they serve different purposes and can both be taken? I am asking because I can’t stand the taste of fish and salmon oil is the only way I can get the benefits from it, but would like to try this, too. Thanks 🙂

    • If you’re not eating any fish and your overall intake of PUFA is very low, then salmon oil + CLO is probably fine.

  36. I like to throw an astragalus root slice in stews and soups during the winter. I noticed Ecinacea was not mentioned. Is its action overrated?

  37. I would argue that zinc status needs to be optimal year-round, not just for cold and flu prevention/ease. If one keeps their zinc status optimal all the time, there will be no issue with possibly starting to take it too late when a virus hits. Zinc is required for something like 200+ different metabolic reactions in the body so it is a powerhouse nutrient. Picolinate is the form of choice. Since I got my zinc and D levels optimal, nothing has touched me for 6 months which is unheard of for me.

      • No worries – just be careful of dosing safely. It is toxic if too much is taken. I take higher than most because I have pyroluria. My GP (the MD version in Oz) tests my levels of that, copper and ceruloplasmin regularly so I know I won’t end up with toxicity.

    • Good point, Allison. Many people are deficient in zinc and have too much copper. I see it all the time in my practice.

      • Bingo! I’m one of those people – my copper is double my zinc 🙁 But in my case that is due to pyroluria, which is not recognised by conventional medicine. But I think there are likely plenty of people without pyroluria walking around with a zinc:copper imbalance which has so many implications. Have you heard of pyroluria Chris? Interested to know if you have since you’re aware of the zinc:copper imbalance.

  38. I recommend adding fresh turmeric to the ginger tea. usually about a 2 inch piece sliced thinly, steeped and strained. Works like a charm

    • Where do you find fresh turmeric? I checked the high end grocers, and the only Asian grocery in town and got blank stares on all fronts. There is a Whole Foods about an hour away that I could try on my rare visits to that town. Any other ideas out there?

  39. Great post! I add extra epsom salts to a mustard soak (either Dr. Singh’s or just plain mustard seed and ginger from the cupboard). Also swear by saline nasal irrigation. There’s an over the counter product that you can usually find behind the pharmacy counter here called Alkalol; it’s an herbal mucous solvent that is sooooo soothing when added to the saline for nasal irrigation. Also homeopathic pulsatilla 30c if nasal drainage gets thick and dark and nasty.

    Both of my kids will ask for epsom salt baths and “to have their nose cleaned” (nasal irrigation) when they are feeling down, which says alot to me about how effective those remedies are. My 3 year old son had a stuffy nose hang on for a month an a half and pulsatilla is what finally got rid of it.

  40. Hi Chris. How would you respond to Paul Jaminet’s position on FCLO?

    “I’m a skeptic on fermented cod liver oil. The underlying biology is discussed here: Basically, fish oil + vitamin A + oxidative stress is a highly toxic combination. Cod liver oil has the first two, so you’d better eat it fresh or not at all. Fermenting is great for vegetables but for cod liver oil I would avoid it.”

    Thanks. Ben.

    • I don’t agree. It has a long history of successful use and I’ve had great experience with it myself and with my patients.

      • I take cod liver oil regularly, but I have a couple of questions here. I have discussed this topic with a few people who state that buying fermented cod liver oil is hype and a waste of money, because it’s not possible to ferment oil anyway. Think about it. I’ve never heard of anyone fermenting any other oil, so, why would it work? What are the probiotics that would grow on it anyway, and what do they do for people? I’ve never seen any of this information any where, so I just buy regular CLO and don’t spend my money on the fermented stuff, because there are enough things that I know I need. If anyone has information on this please reply, because I’m all for taking better supplements, but not interested in wasting my money.

  41. Once I know I’m coming down with the flu, I take oscillococcinum and I find it dramatically reduces the duration and severity of the flu for me. In fact, I carry it with me all flu season. I also take Southern Ban Lan Gen Chong Ji tea which I get from my acupuncturist. In the past I’ve had bad gut dysbiosis, so am excited to see if I fare better this season now that I’m healthier in the gut. I’m taking a probiotic that works for me (so many didn’t) and immunoglobulins. I make my own bone broths and just ordered the FCLO/BO capsules from Green Pasture after reading about it’s benefit for skin. Good to know it will support my immune system too!

  42. Does fermented codliver oil spoil or go rancid? If I opened a jar a year ago, kept it in my refrigerator, using it occasionally, is is still good? The use-by date is still a year away, but I am wondering if opening it up and exposing it to oxygen speeds up the process by which it will go bad.


  43. I’ve heard on the Mercola website that using putting hydrogen peroxide in your ears at the very early stages of a cold or flu you can eliminate it quicker or completely stop it from manifesting. I’ve done it on mulitple occasions will little positive results fwiw. However I didn’t apply the remedy asap. Maybe it is more benficial the faster you do it.

    • I have also tried the peroxide in my ears several times. I do think it shortened my cold considerably at least twice that I can pinpoint. With all the bubbling it sure *sounds* like something is being eradicated! My husband thinks it’s just reacting with ear wax.

      • If I get an earache, I’ll pour hydrogen peroxide 3% solution into my ears. It definitely helps them get back to normal. The tingling is annoying, but it feels like it’s working!

      • I’ve been using H2O2 for a decade or so in relation to colds/ear-problems. It is not just earwax bobbling; it is sterile and thus does not react with the H2O2 unless some other bacteria is present. An easy way to verify this yourself is to simply use the H2O2 when not ill – I only have the faintest/if-any bobbling when not ill. That being said of course it is a last resort, better not get ill to begin with by having a strong immune-system.

    • Me too! And they (YLEO) have this capsule called inner defense that has thieves mixed with oregano and a couple of other things, it is great!

  44. If I may add a note about Jade Windscreen — thanks for mentioning that it should be used cautiously with autoimmune conditions. It is a powerful formula but Huang Qi/Astragalus can “lock the thief in the house” so to speak if there is a chronic infection going on, and make it more difficult to treat later.

  45. I use a Neti Pot. You are supposed to do it daily…

    Also, my pediatrician recommended Umcka for cutting the severity of a cold/flu, but I think like zinc you have to take it early on. They have an alcohol free one for the kids.

    It depends on what flavor you get. We like cinnamon tingle and oslo orange around these parts.

    I hope they offered you at least an exchange? I buy mine from the GAPS store and their customer service is great. One bottle came broken and they replaced it no questions asked. Maybe try the FCLO & Butter Oil blend?


    • They offered for me to ship the bottle back and for them to test it, but given their attitude that it wasn’t possibly rancid, and that I didn’t know what I was talking about, I didn’t trust them to be objective, and didn’t want to spend the extra bucks to ship it back. Maybe if I bought it through a distributor instead of directly from Green Pasture, that would help. Thanks for the tip!

      • Well the stuff tastes and smells pretty bad so I can see how you would think it was rancid even if it was not. Given that it is fermented, can it be rancid? Isn’t fermented stuff already “rotting” I guess?

      • Sara –

        I’d definitely buy through a distributor. I get mine off Amazon. I had originally bought the ginger flavor for my kids and when it arrived it was mostly goop and hardly any liquid. I contacted the seller and they refunded me the difference between that flavor and capsules. We now just take the capsules. My kids and hubby take 2 FCLO/BO a day and I take 4.

  46. Ginger tea is fantastic! I got it when I was in Japan a year ago. It’s called shougayu/shoga yu, and is really just boiled water with fresh grated ginger and a sweetener. A added a little potato starch to give it a little texture, just because I like it; I get the feeling it lubricates a little.

  47. Has anyone had trouble with the Green Pasture butter oil being rancid? I bought both FCLO and butter oil from them: the FCLO was great, but the butter oil was distinctly rancid. A subsequent email correspondence with the company made me hesitant to buy their products again. At over $60 per bottle including shipping, I can’t justify buying it if it may be inedible. If it’s a rare occurrence, then I might reconsider. I’m interested in other people’s experiences with the Green Pastures butter oil or FCLO/BO blend.

    • As a nutritionist, I buy it wholesale and sell it. The local farm around me stopped selling it for the same reason. I haven’t had the problem yet. They aren’t very good to deal with when you want to return their product.

    • We have just the fclo and it’s fine. I know others that use it and haven’t heard anything bad. Maybe call the company, I am sure they want you to try their product and may send you out a new bottle,

      • When I first received my FCLO, I put it in the refrigerator and used it the next day – so it was cold when I used it in a power shake. I had the worst heartburn ever. Then I put it in a dark cabinet overnight (so it was room temp) and then shook the bottle before putting it into a power shake. This time – no heartburn.

        I think there may be some separation in the oil when refrigerated and whatever was at the top was very heartburn inducing – hence the reason for storing it at room temp and shaking it up before using.

        I also typically take mine with raw milk and banana blended up. The first dose I tried that gave me heartburn was .5 ml. Now I take 2.5 ml at a time and zero heartburn.

        Anyway, hope this helps!

  48. Wonderful and perfect timing! I actually came to your site and did a search trying to see if you had any older post on this very topic. I’m just getting over a very intense case of the flu and any tips I can get that will help with recover is most helpful. Thank you Chris!

  49. These are great tips. For a cough, I make a “shot” of 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon raw honey, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. It completely clears out any chest congestion.

  50. I’m assuming one shouldn’t take normal Fish Oil while doing the Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil to avoid overdosing. Is the CLO/BO better in winter and Fish Oil better in summer? Or CLO/BO > FO?

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