Dr. Meaghan Datema, ND

5 ways to boost your immune system this fall

Are you tired of getting every cold that goes around each winter? Are you fed up with the stuffy nose, the fever, and all the coughing? 

The average adult will get 2-3 colds per year. Any more than this may be a sign of a weakened immune system. Now there are a number of natural remedies that can boost your immune system during this cold and flu season. These remedies help to decrease the number of colds and flus and decrease the duration of the cold. I have listed my top 5 supplements that I go to when I feel a cold coming on.

Note that none of these will replace the flu shot, but may work together with the flu shot to make it more effective.

Vitamin D

Over two-thirds of the Canadian population was found to be vitamin D deficient in a survey published in 2015. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that plays a large role in the health and reactivity of your immune system. Daily or even weekly dosing of vitamin D has been shown to be protective against the common cold in adults and in children!

Vitamin C

This is a vitamin that most people have heard about a take during the winter months. Regular supplementation with vitamin C has been shown to decrease the duration and severity of colds by boosting the immune system. It is also great for your skin and keeping your bowels regular.


This is another common cold and flu remedy and one of my favourites. It is an herb that grows around Ontario and is also called the Purple coneflower and is a member of the daisy plant family. Echinacea supports the flu vaccine in preventing the flu . It also helps fight colds when taken at the start of any symptoms. It is effective against both the common cold and the flu (and not just the 24-hour flu)! If you have daisy or pollen allergies as you doctor about using echinacea before taking it.


This is a classic. Elderberry syrup has been used for colds and flus for hundreds of years! It is full of antioxidants and vitamins that fuel the body and the immune system. It is great to take when you first notice signs of a cold because it stops the cold and flu from getting any worse. It will also help to decrease the severity of the symptoms. And it is more tasty than some of the other cold and flu remedies

Glycyrrhiza glabra (aka licorice)

This is probably my favourite of all the remedies I have listed because it tastes like black licorice (and warms my Dutch heart😍). Not only will it protect you from the flu, but it also boosts and controls your immune system telling it to attack. This herb is most effective against the flu, but may be also be beneficial when fighting a cold. 


Other remedies that may also help include: probiotics, zinc, and mushrooms (i.e. reishi, shiitake, and chaga)

If you are found this information helpful share it with a friend. If you are suspecting that your immune system is not at it’s best, book an appointment with me to go over some options to best equip you for this cold and flu season.

Yours in health,


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
  2. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-624-x/2013001/article/11727-eng.htm 
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28202713
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28074891

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