9 Natural Remedies to Boost Your Immune System against Cold, Flu & COVID-19

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Oregano oil

Oregano oil

Given the ever-increasing measures that are in place to keep us safe from COVID-19, are you wondering:

  • Do I have sufficient protection for myself and my loved ones?
  • What else can I do to better protect us?
  • Is there anything that provides the ultimate protection against this highly contagious yet invisible virus?

As I’ve been following the spread of COVID-19 from Wuhan across the globe, one thing I learned from the experts is that the last line of defense is your immune system.

That’s right. The strength of your immune system is your ultimate protection.

There are various things that can help boost your immune system: exercise, diet, energy movements, comedy, and natural remedies.

Here is a list of natural remedies that you may already have in your panty that can help you better safeguard your family. I’ve been using all of them before the outbreak of this pandemic.

If you don’t have these on hand, many of them are still available through Amazon or other health food sites (Vitacost.com is one such example).

  1. Baking soda: Baking soda mixed with water balances the acid in your body. Viruses don’t do well in a body that’s alkalized; they thrive in an acidic environment. Mix a pinch of baking soda with water and drink between meals. Don’t do so if you have high blood pressure.
  2. Apple cider vinegar: It is antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral. It supports the microbiome and immune balance of the body. Mix apple cider vinegar with water and drink first thing in the morning.
  3. Lemon juice: It has benefits like apple cider vinegar. Squeeze lemon juice into warm water and drink with a meal.
  4. Sea salt: A sea salt solution can help clear out bacteria and viruses from your mouth. Gargle it in the morning.
  5. Oregano oil: Research has shown that oregano oil is antiviral and antioxidant. It’s a popular alternative remedy for cold & flu symptoms. Mix a few drops in a glass of water and drink up to 3 times a day. Only ingest oils made for internal consumption.
  6. Grape seed extract: According to a research paper by the National Institute of Health, grape seed extract has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Mix a few drops with water and drink.
  7. Colloidal silver solution: Its antibacterial and antiviral properties have been known through the ages. Spray into your throat/mouth and hold under your tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing.
  8. Bach Rescue Remedy: It is a popular type of Bach flower remedy. It helps calm the nervous system, therefore stopping emotions that might weaken your immune system. It comes in a liquid and candy format. Use as directed.
  9. White sage leaves: The smoke of white sage leaves has been scientifically proven to clean air. What’s more, the smoke gets inhaled into the your respiratory system. It weakens whatever viruses and bacteria have lodged there. Burn the leaves inside a cast iron, urn or a ceramic container. Use with caution.

Please do your own research before ingesting any of these natural remedies.

What do you already have in your pantry? What do you want to add? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Dr. Dan Zhou9 Natural Remedies to Boost Your Immune System against Cold, Flu & COVID-19
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How to make a difference to someone in grief


Are you at a loss for words when someone you know loses a parent, a spouse, or even a child? Do you want to show them how much you care but you don’t know how? Do you want to make someone feel deeply supported and loved?

I didn’t know what to say or do when my friends lost their parents, one by one, over the last two years. I watched other people comment on social media. I learned to say, “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

After that, I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing.

Then, the tables turned. Three months ago, my father passed away suddenly from an accident. I bought a one-way ticket to China and got on a plane the same day. Forty-eight hours later, my sister picked me up from the airport and took me home to my mourning mom.

Over the two weeks I was in China, many friends in the States texted me that they were “sorry for my loss,” and “their thoughts were with me.” People sent prayers, sometimes healing light. I always sent back a ‘thank-you’ or a heart symbol.

I was grateful to everyone who reached out to me; many are friends, while some are acquaintances who learned about my loss through the grapevine.

After I returned to the States, I got hugs and people asking how my family was doing, especially my mom. I told them that we were adjusting well. My father had just turned 79, so it didn’t feel like his life was cut short. He died instantly, so he didn’t suffer from long, lingering pain in or on the way to the hospital. Also, my mom had told him that it would be better for both of them if he went first, because she’d always been the caretaker in their marriage. It happened in the order she wanted.

Whenever someone told me in person “I’m so sorry for your loss,” I simply looked them in the eye and replied, “Thank you.” I didn’t know how else to respond.

A couple of people stood out in the aftermath of my father’s passing. They taught me what to do to make someone feel deeply supported and loved.

A girlfriend from my Buddhist group texted me every day for a week: “You are in my thoughts. Hope your day is filled with joy.” After a few days, I understood that she wanted me to know that she was always here for me. It felt reassuring to know she was there.

A colleague in the same personal development program as me called after I came back from China. I thought he wanted to share his progress. He said, “No, I called to see how you’re doing.” That simple statement made me feel how much he cared. For the following month, he texted me every few days, “Hi Dan. How are you?”

Nobody made me feel as supported as he did; someone I’ve not met in person, someone whose face I don’t know.

And his words were so simple.

What made the biggest difference to me was his consistency. When everyone had stopped texting me, when people had stopped asking how I was doing, he continued.

So, here’s a simple recipe to show someone how much you care after a loss or any type of life event. Text them every few days, “Hi, how are you?”. You can put it on your calendar as the first thing to do in the morning, a repeating task. It takes about 30 seconds each time. The impact is long lasting. You’ll have a special place in their hearts forever.

I followed that recipe myself after my friend Jane’s daughter got sick. Jane said, a few weeks later, “I so appreciate you checking on me all the time. I wouldn’t have thought of reaching out to you at all, given how much is going on. You made a big difference for me!”

Try it with someone in need. Let me know how it works for you.

Dr. Dan ZhouHow to make a difference to someone in grief
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How to Stay Away from Anxiousness This Summer


Did you know that the heat in summer could cause more anxiousness than normal?

Too much heat entering the body can make you more irritable and less energetic. Worse yet, it makes you more susceptible to lightheadedness and a rapid pulse. That can make you anxious.

According to Chinese Medicine, there are five elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Summer is the season for fire. Water controls fire.

To prevent fire from getting out of control, we can either strengthen the water element in our bodies or prevent heat from entering our bodies.

Here are some tips to avoid anxiousness this summer:

  1. Drink high-quality water.
    This will help strengthen the water element in your body. I love adding a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to my water, so that my body can replenish its minerals.
  2. Choose what colors you wear carefully.
    If you have an issue with your heart, do NOT wear red. Light blue, which shares the vibration of water, helps dampen fire and heat.
  3. Massage key acupressure points on your body.
    The body has specific spots, which are called wind gates, that are more open to environmental influences. They are like screen doors that keep the mosquitoes out and allow the breeze in.Here are several ways to help your body’s screen doors keep the heat out:

    • Massage your shouldersPlace your hands on your opposite shoulder, and give yourself a nice shoulder rub. Better yet, swap a shoulder rub with a friend.There are big wind gates on the tops of our shoulders. When our shoulders are tense, these points are mostly responsible for the problem.
    • Massage the top of your headWith one palm, make counter-clockwise circles on your crown for a couple of minutes. End with a few clockwise circles.The acupressure point Bai Hui sits on the top of your crown. It’s a big wind gate. It’s also the meeting point of all the yang meridians in your body. Keeping it healthy will go a long way to help you stay centered and grounded.
    • Massage your temples
      Cup your ears by placing your finger pads on your temples, and your thumbs on the bones behind your ears. Massage your temples. You can also massage on the tip off the bones behind the bottom of your ears.This’ll dampen the fire in your body. It’s a soothing exercise. You’ll love it.

I recommend you spend a few minutes every day doing these exercises, especially if you are prone to anxiousness or have a known heart condition.

Let me know which one makes you feel the best by leaving me a comment below. That’s the one you need the most.

Enjoy your summer!

Dr. Dan ZhouHow to Stay Away from Anxiousness This Summer
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Want to Have a Head Start on Your New Year’s Resolution?

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Each year, around this time, we make a New Year’s resolution. We re-sign up for the gym. We recommit to improving a relationship.

We’re so hopeful that this time around, it’s going to stick. It’s that wonderful New Year’s bug.

If the only thing that has changed from the year before is our sincerity and earnest, we may want to get additional support to actually have a chance of making a difference this year.

You see, when you make a New Year’s resolution, you bring your whole self to this new vision, this new commitment. You bring your habits, your tendencies, your doubts, your emotions, as well as your discipline (or lack thereof). It’s like if I told you that I wanted my old Chevy to have better gas mileage without changing anything.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” you’d say.

What if, however, I told you that I’d deep cleaned the whole combustion system, cleared out all the filters, and changed all the sparks? Then, that would make sense to you; I installed a transmission system, and now, you’ll believe me.

On Jan 4, 2018, I went to a fire burning ceremony at the local Unity Church. It’s a yearly ritual at the beginning the year to release everything unwanted from the year before, so we have a clean house for the New Year.

Here’s what you can do to clear out your internal filters and pipes:

  1. Mark on your calendar 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. You can get your spouse or a friend to do it with you.
  2. Grab a pen and a piece of paper for each person.
  3. Set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer’s up, you can extend it for a couple more minutes if that feels right to you.
  4. Write down what you want to release:
    • People: your boss or your ex-boyfriend
    • Places: the old house that you moved out of
    • Events: Liz’s birthday party
    • Institutions: the government, the church, or the company
    • Guilt: for lying about what happened
    • Resentments: that you didn’t get the promotion
    • Regrets: that you didn’t ask for what you wanted
    • Blame: your mom for being so controlling
    • Disappointments: wishing you could’ve gone to Italy on vacation
  5. Bless the items on your list and lovingly release them. They were a part of your year, regardless of how displeased or disgusted they made you feel. Ask God, the Divine, or the Universe to take them and make light from them.
  6. Bonus: Burn the piece of paper.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?  Share with me below.

Best wishes for 2018!

Dr. Dan ZhouWant to Have a Head Start on Your New Year’s Resolution?
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3 Tips for a Smooth Thanksgiving Meal

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Does all the preparation make you physically tired and you’d love to have more energy?
Are you concerned about digesting all that food in your stomach?
Lastly, do people’s bad manner irritates you?  Or do they simply drain you?

Here are 3 tips to make your Thanksgiving meal go more smoothly.

Share with me what helps your the most: tip for worry, for digestion, for energy, or for irritation?

May you be abundantly blessed with peace, love and joy!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Dan Zhou3 Tips for a Smooth Thanksgiving Meal
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How to cope with totally exhaustion

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What do you do when you’re totally exhausted?

Do you simply push yourself through the next task & the next one & the next one?

If you’re like me, you have more items on your to-do list than there are hours in the day. Most of the time, we simply move from one thing to another without taking any breaks at all, let alone any restful breaks to recharge.

And we rarely stop & check on how we feel.

We just do what’s expected of us.

Shortly after Hurricane Irma, I felt a lot more tired than usual. There were just more things to take care of.

By and large, I used every technique that I knew of to help maintain my energy level & positive attitude.

The other night, I was on the phone with a friend and I was quite tired. We had scheduled the call to plan an event & I wanted to honor my commitment.

When I told her that I was too tired to think clearly, she said plainly: “You can change that.”

She meant that I could use my mind, like a positive affirmation, to lift my exhaustion.

Normally, I would have done just that. However, at that moment, I was too tired to care. I just wanted to be. I didn’t want to do anything else.

Sometimes, we have no choice but to push ourselves to get the job done, like putting up all of the shutters even when you have no juice left. We do whatever it takes.

Other times, using an affirmation feels pushy, mean, and unkind to ourselves.

Those are the times that we need to simply respect our bodies. To be kind, caring, and gentle.

So, I told her that I wanted to honor that feeling of exhaustion. And we hung up.

A funny thing happened afterwards.

I simply walked very slowly inside the house, noticing how exhausted I was. I even leaned against the kitchen sink for a few minutes, feeling that sense of heaviness in my bones.

Then, I moved around some more, all while saying to myself: “I. AM. So. Exhausted.”

I didn’t fight it.
I didn’t manipulate it.
I didn’t try to change a thing.

I simply noticed it, accepted it, & felt it in my flesh & bone.

After a while, that sensation of total exhaustion dissipated.

Then, I sat down & leaned my head against the back of the chair. I placed one hand on my solar plexus & the other over the collarbone. And I closed my eyes.

That felt good. That gentle energy exercise helped me recharge.

What do you do when you are super tired? How often do you give yourself the space to feel it, to be it, & to allow it to move through by itself?

Dr. Dan ZhouHow to cope with totally exhaustion
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How to stop panic in its tracks

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I’m a pretty level-headed person, generally calm and composed. However, I panicked this summer on a road trip after losing GPS signal.

I had just finished walking in the mountains, two hours away from the airport. My flight was in four hours. I needed to return the rental car.

It was a beautiful day. I gave myself plenty of time.

After I keyed in the destination & pressed the ‘Directions’ button, the app simply circled with the word ‘loading …’. After a while, it came back & said: ‘the server appears to be offline’.

I restarted my phone & tried again. Same message.
I hopped onto another navigation app. Same message.
I restarted the phone one more time & tried again. Same message.

Now, I started panicking … … I was so prepared, but I didn’t expect the GPS to stop working. I almost cried.

We all panic from time to time. Even the best, prepared & most composed of us will encounter something unexpected. And we panic.

It’s only human.

The thing is, when we panic, our physiology mandates that fight & flight response to take over. Blood rushes from our fore-brain to our limbs so we can run or fight.

Physical prowess takes over. Mental ability takes a back seat. After all, our ancestors didn’t think their way out of approaching tigers.

Except, today’s world is a lot more complicated. The disasters that we encounter require a lot clearer thinking than when things are going well.

We need more blood in our brain, not less.

A simple way to bring more blood to the fore-brain is to place one hand over your forehead. Breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders & elbows.

Doctors have discovered that there are points on the head that help bring more blood to internal organs & muscles. They’re called neurovascular points. The bumps on your forehead above the eyebrows are some of those points.

Hold that position for several minutes. You’ll find the blood coming back to your forehead. You’ll find yourself less panicky and calmer.

And then, you can figure a way out of the mess you find yourself in.

Now you know this simple yet powerful tool. And it’s not enough that you know it. You won’t remember it when you panic, unless you take time to train yourself and get into the habit of using it.

To train yourself, set aside five minutes each day for two weeks. Sit comfortably. Recall a situation that made you panic or feel upset. Place one hand over your forehead and hold. Remember to relax & breathe deeply.

Once you build this muscle memory in your brain, you’ll remember to use this tool when you need it!

What made you panic in the last 3 months? What’s your experience when you place your hand over your fore-head while recalling this situation? Share with me in the comment box below.

Dr. Dan ZhouHow to stop panic in its tracks
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