College Survival Kit: Natural Support for Health in College
Let’s face it; students aren’t always looking out for their health in college. They get caught up in the fun and the demands of their studies and health takes a back seat. Send them off with the right support for first aid, stress management, attention and focus, and overall wellness. Keep in mind that many of these things are provided by a good multivitamin, so if you just want to send one thing, send that! Read on for suggestions of the best supplements to take along:
Arnica—A must, both 200ck and 30C. Great for any kind of fall, injury, dental work, bruises, muscle pain, or inflammation. Take the 200ck for an acute issue and the 30C for something more chronic.
Calendula—Great for burns, rashes, cuts, and scrapes. Also great for your girls who wax and want to calm the skin afterward.
Wellness Formula—A bit of a horse pill, but will kill just about any bug they get. This was a favorite of my kids and their friends in college. It works for colds, the flu, and other viruses. Despite its name, we don’t recommend it for everyday use, but rather to take in larger doses when you fee l something coming on. It will be hard to use if there are stomach symptoms because it has strong herbs in it, so use the homeopathic version in this case.
Oscillococinum—Great for kicking the flu, especially if taken right when you feel it coming on. It can also be used for flu prevention if taken once per week (1 dose per week, 4 weeks on and 1 week off).
Throat lozenges—For the obvious, sore throats or loss of voice.
Hangover aids—Not that I want to encourage the need for these, but the truth is many students drink to excess in college at least once in a while. For quick recovery the next day, send them with an electrolyte formula and homeopathic Nux Vomica 9C. EmergenC packets are also great for this purpose.
Stress is inevitable in college. Teach your child how to manage stress so that it doesn’t get to the level where it affects performance or requires medication. The supplements below can be used alongside most medications, with the exception of the last ones noted. If you have a specific question relative to your own child please ask!
Rescue Remedy-A very gentle combination of five flower essences designed to calm momentary panic and take the edge off. Use for rising stress over having too much to do, test anxiety, or a stressful social situation.
Magnesium—A calming mineral that over 50% of Americans are deficient in, according to the USDA. It calms the nerves & muscles, helps with blood sugar management, is involved in energy production, and will help keep them regular. It can be taken in a powdered drink form, as a pill, or a liquid. The citrate form can be somewhat laxative, so if this is a problem, go with the glycinate form.
B vitamins—Improve the response to stress, aid in digestion, support the health of the nervous system, fortify the adrenal glands, used for making neurotransmitters, and boost skin health. Lots of bang for the buck with the B vitamins.
Fear-Less—Another flower essences combo formula that can help students that are apprehensive about going off to college and the new experiences it will bring. Single flower essences can be for any emotional issue related to the adjustment to college; separation, procrastination, fear of failure, exhaustion, etc.
GABA, L-Theanine, or Glycine-For kids with higher anxiety, one or a combination of these nutrients will act as calming agents in the body. They may not be compatible with medications, so please ask us if they are appropriate for your child.
Attention and Focus
We all struggle with this at times, and students have extra demands on their attention. Whether or not your child has ADD/ADHD, there are tools that can improve memory and focus:
Phosphatidylserine and Omega-3 Fats—Structurally, the brain is composed primarily of healthy fats. Healthy fats are vital to the health of the cell membrane and hence to nerve transmission, signaling, the import and export of nutrients to the cell, immune response and more. Fish oil provides the essential omega-3’s that our body cannot make and are not typically plentiful in a college student’s diet. Phosphatidylserine is also a natural component of cell membranes. It maintains fluidity and supports cell-to-cell communication, which is important to cognition, attentiveness and mental performance.
Lemon Balm—This gentle, calming herb is great for settling down without becoming drowsy. It is available in a liquid or a pill. I like the liquid as you can adjust the dose to what works best for your student.
Easy Learning, Cognis, or Mind-Full—These flower essence combinations are essential for any child that is trying to improve focus. They are gentle and can be taken alongside any medication and are great way to increase learning capacity.
Yarrow Environmental Solution or Electro—An often forgotten area of stress on the body is from the electromagnetic exposure resulting from excessive screen time. This can have real effects on one’s ability to concentrate. These two formulas work to neutralize that stress. Getting up every hour or so to look far away and let the eyes rest is important too!
For nutritional support for those with ADD/ADHD, please see our recent blog on the subject.
Adequate Vitamin D—Higher vitamin D levels have been associated with lower incidence of many diseases. It improves and modulates the immune response, thus protecting the body from colds and the flu, and modulating allergies. It is also protects from many chronic diseases that can develop later in life.
A Multivitamin—If you can only get your child to do one thing, have them take a multivitamin. Rainbow Light has a great Teen vitamin that can provide many of the nutrients we discussed above including a good amount of the B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D, and all of the other essential vitamins and minerals. I consider it cheap health insurance and it will, to some degree, address each of the issues we have discussed.
Immunity—For the young adult that experiences frequent immune illness, a wellness formula may be the best support. Stamet’s 7, a combination of 7 tonic mushrooms, is a great way to fight viruses and bacterial illness from manifesting. Daily vitamin C is also a good bet—either EmergenC or a supplement in pill form works well.
Maintaining health in college doesn’t need to be difficult. While the typical college student’s diet is not going to satisfy their energy needs, a few supplements can make a difference. Students will inevitably burn the candle at both ends, so send them with the support they need to stay healthy and happy. Stop in and let us help you pick out your student’s health arsenal today!