By Lisa Profera 

If you think that getting sick 3-4 times a year is normal, think again. Another school year is upon us, and as you may have experienced in the past, kids start getting sick around mid-September. As the weather changes, germs circulate in the classroom. Teachers and students get sick, and they bring it home to the entire household. Seems inevitable, right? Wrong.  

Why wait until you or your child gets sick? Be proactive this year! Boost health and immunity now with probiotics and high-quality essential oils, and reduce the risk of contracting diseases when out in public with proper hand-sanitizing practices. 

Give yourself and your family a head start to better health with lifestyle changes and supplementation now.  

We all know the importance of self-care, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and stress reduction. Sometimes our immune system can use a little boost with high-quality bioavailable supplements and probiotics. You can choose store-bought products, but many of the things you will find on the shelf may not be as effective as their labels claim. Some vitamin and mineral complexes are just not very easy to absorb. Many probiotics may contain dead bacteria due to improper packaging and storage.   

We know that 70% of our immune system lies in our gut. The optimal balance of good bacteria in the GI tract varies with age. Research on the gut microbiome has shown that different strains of bacteria are important for optimal gut health at different stages of life. Babies, children, adults, and the elderly should have different types and strains of bacteria in their system. Effective probiotics should either be refrigerated or double-encapsulated to ensure the delivery and survival of beneficial bacteria past the stomach acid as it is delivered to the small intestines (where it is most beneficial). A product that also includes a prebiotic is even better since this is the “food” that the good bacteria like to eat.  

Proactive disease prevention can be taken one step further with the right essential oils. Some essential oils are produced by plants to protect them from invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and molds. The antimicrobial power of oils such as cinnamon, clove, frankincense, myrrh, melaleuca, and oregano are well known. Way before the pharmaceutical industry took hold, plants had been used as medicine for centuries. This is still the case in many parts of the world. We know that melaleuca can dissolve the sticky protective coating around microbes known as the biofilm. The carvacrol in oregano can then bind to the protective peptidoglycans on the surface of bacteria, which produces a hole in the wall, causing the microbe to lyse and die. Harvard- and MIT-trained physician Dr. Dave Steuer illustrates this well in the video* “Dr. Dave R Steuer on Killing Bacteria with Essential Oils.” 

I am not aware of any prescription medicine that has the ability to combat all kinds of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeast. I have been amazed at the many benefits of high-quality CPTG® essential oils for preventative medicine as well as treatment of acute and chronic infectious issues. Research in this field is exploding, and the double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are being done in partnership with many prestigious medical institutions. In fact, essential oils may be the new antibiotics** as we face the ever-increasing threat of bacteria that have developed resistance to all conventional antibiotics. When I first heard Johns Hopkins researcher Dr. Nicole Parrish speak about using essential oils to kill superbugs at the doTERRA Global Convention in 2016, I knew that this was something that I should look into. 

We all know that covering a cough and good handwashing helps prevent illness. 80% of disease is contracted by contact with hands. Touching things that other people touch (like gas pump handles, objects in stores, and other fomites) is sometimes unavoidable. Proper handwashing or use of a good hand sanitizer can help stop the spread of disease. We have an excellent weapon to help combat germs called doTERRA OnGuard Hand Sanitizer. Thisproduct contains powerful antimicrobial oils such as clove, cinnamon, rosemary, eucalyptus and wild orange. It has been proven in clinical trials to kill 99.9% of bacteria, including those found in a hospital setting. Even after seven days, surfaces sprayed with OnGuard were culture negative for any pathogens. This fall, doTERRA OnGuard (Protective Blend) oil and products are definitely a must-have. Daily use of OnGuard soft gels or beadlets (safe for ingestion) is a great preventative measure, especially throughout the school year. Diffusing OnGuard in the home and in the classroom can provide additional protection. 

How many times have you gone to the doctor and have been told that you’ve got a virus and you’ll just have to wait it out? As a physician, I have said this to patients numerous times in my 26-year career. Both doctor and patient may feel helpless; the best that we can do is manage the symptoms. Ever had a bad stomach flu? It’s pretty miserable for a parent to experience, and it’s even harder for a parent to watch a child suffer. Essential oils may be helpful. For example, ginger is great for stomach upset and nausea. Carvacrol and thymol (found in oregano and thyme) are anti-viral.***  

As I have stated in previous articles (see May issue of BRICK), not all brands of essential oils are safe for internal use. If it doesn’t have a Supplements Facts label on it (required for all packaged foods since 1990), do not ingest it. Some oils like oregano, cinnamon, and clove are “too hot” to drop directly into the mouth and are best diluted, taken in a veggie cap, or taken in softgel form. There are certain combinations of oils that can help a variety of conditions. Taking quick action at the first sign of illness, as advised by an experienced essential oils practitioner, can be quite effective. In this circumstance, having the right ingredients readily available is key. There are certain oils that I will always have on hand, some for prevention and some for treatment. I am happy to guide people toward natural solutions for better health.  

Now I have more tools in my “medical toolbox” and I can help more people stay healthier in a safe and natural way. As a traditionally-trained physician and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, I am happy to be able to offer better options for my patients by combining the best of both worlds. Let me know how I can help you and your family have a healthier school year. Choose the path to less-frequent illness or skip sickness altogether! 


*YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28igkFxGUbM&list=PLcJ10NW0kDBtAUsYHlogsbGeCuvW-p4Kq&t=13s&index=2 

**Journal of Infectious Diseases and Preventative Medicine, “Essential Oils and Future Antibiotics: New Weapons against Emerging ‘Superbugs’?: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/essential-oils-and-future-antibiotics-new-weapons-against-emerging-superbugs-2329-8731.1000105.php?aid=14230 

*** Here is a good study on PubMed on the action of carvacrol on Norovirus: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24779581 

Lisa Profera, M.D.
Lisa Profera, M.D. Author

Lisa Profera MD | Owner and Founder of PROJUVU MD Aesthetics and Lifestyle Medicine

Originally from New York, Dr. Profera received both a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and an MD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. After completing residency at the University of Michigan, she worked as a primary care pediatrician in Ann Arbor for twenty-three years.She is passionate about integrating the best practices of Aesthetics and Rejuvenative Medicine to help patients look better and feel better. She believes in “projuvenation”; being proactive about rejuvenation and defying the aging process both inside and out. Dr. Profera and her husband live in downtown Ann Arbor and they have two daughters in college. Projuvu on facebook 

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