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5 Tips to Survive Cold and Flu Season

  • November 1, 2016 9:52 AM EDT

    • 149 posts
    November 14, 2016 10:12 AM EST

    Marie - Thanks for this helpful information.

    I was unaware of the recommended dosages you mentioned - in particular for Vitamin D.  

    In concert with some recent VetVine initiatives to present the studies and evidence supporting the use of various "natural" remedies in animals (ie our recent specialty updates on the effects of lavender and seabuckthorn), I have become a student and have been personally exploring the applications of essential oils in wellness and as an adjunct to management of veterinary patients with various maladies.  

    I was interested in some literature I came across regarding the use of essential oils in the agrofood industry as well as by holistic practitioners for their antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. I discovered an essential oil blend that is touted to be an alternative to alcohol-based hand sanitizers (which I personally have never liked).  It's called "Thieves" and is a blend of essential oils with antiseptic properties (antiviral and antibacterial) containing clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary.  As you can imagine, it also smells delicious!  :)


  • November 14, 2016 11:59 AM EST

    Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your expertise!  Essential oils and other natural products are not within my current knowledge base, but certainly something I enjoy learning about!

    The literature regarding vitamin D deficiency and appropriate supplementation remains quite controversial.  Most health organizations (e.g., WHO, Mayo Clinic, NIH) recommend doses between 60-2000 IU for adults, which is quite a broad range!  Others (e.g., Vitamin D Council) recommend doses as high as 4000-6000 IU per day.  Higher doses are generally recommended for people further from the equator, with darker skin, or of older age, since they are less likely to maintain adequate vitamin D concentrations from sun exposure (especially in the winter).  Ideally, vitamin D would be supplemented in amounts sufficient to maintain normal vitamin D concentrations measured in the lab.  This can be done with the help of your physician or natural medicine doctor.

    Regarding the alcohol-based hand sanitizer, I agree that it can be very hard on the skin of the hands!  I am aware of non-GMO/organic ethanol-based products, as well as products similar to the one you describe that do not contain alcohol.  I am not sure how the products compare to traditional alcohol-based hand sanitizers in terms of their efficacy, but they are likely better than nothing if the traditional sanitizers are not tolerated.  

    Thanks again for your comments :)

    Sincerely, Marie