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No one likes the discomfort and interruption of getting a cold or flu, but when winter respiratory illnesses arrive in the middle of a pandemic, guarding our health is more important than ever. (1) Holistic healthcare focuses on prevention or “guarding”—keeping the host (our bodies) robust so that microbes can’t gain a foothold.

Our bodies have a unique first line of defense in the lining of the mouth, nasal passages, sinuses, and throat known as our mucosal immune system. (2) Silently and steadily, this system, operating separately from the body’s other immune processes, does double duty every day. It not only maintains the delicate balance needed for normal body functions, but it also interfaces with the external environment to keep antigens and pathogens (allergy- and infection-causing agents) in check.  

When you’re under stress, when illness is “going around,” or when you just can’t afford to get sick, it makes sense to give the mucosal immune system frequent boosts. That’s why Global Wellness Lab has developed our Self-Care Pockets—two curated sets of natural therapeutics with anti-viral properties–designed to help prevent harmful microbes from entering your cells.

With this to-go kit of vitamins, minerals, and herbs, you’ll be able to give an emergency jump-start to that first line of defense at the slightest hint of exposure to harmful viruses in your environment. Instead of worrying about unseen microscopic invaders, you can take action to support your body’s natural mucosal immunity.

Choose the Self-Care Pocket that appeals to you.

Buy a fun carrying case to house it, and take it with you to work, to school, and on shopping trips or other outings. Whenever you feel the need, pause for a self-care break. Relax for a few moments while you bolster your immune system before jumping back into your busy day.

If you want to learn more about the four stages of viral illness and how scientifically supported natural therapies can help at each stage, be sure to request our free e-book, The Antiviral Toolbox. For now, here are our recommendations for the most important items to carry with you as you seek to protect yourself from getting sick this winter.

“No-Prob-Llama” Self-Care Pocket

A note from our llama: “Take it from a mountain-climbing pack animal: bringing the right provisions is half the battle.”

If you’re excited to check out these No-Prob-Llama self-care formulas, click on the product links above. Any purchase you make will support the educational mission of the Global Wellness Lab!

“Slow Down Sloth” Self-Care Pocket

A message from our sloth: “Let’s. Be. Real. If I waited till I got home to take care of myself, I would never get any care.”

If you’re excited to check out these Slow-Down-Sloth self-care formulas, click on the product links above. Any purchase you make will support the educational mission of the Global Wellness Lab!

Of course, you can create your own customized Self-Care Pocket by mixing and matching the items we recommend; we’ve given you the convenience of one-stop shopping when you click on the links in each pocket. You can ask your holistic healthcare practitioner or primary care physician for other suggestions based on your specific needs. This is a great way to practice self-advocacy.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Other things you may want to equip your pocket with include lip balm, eye drops, and travel-size hand sanitizer. For storing your zinc lozenges, we recommend a pill pod. As for the carrying pouch itself, have fun shopping for one that brings a smile to your face and makes your shoulders relax. We (obviously) recommend make-up bags or carrying pouches with llamas and sloths . . . animals that inspire us to prepare for emergencies and prioritize our sanity. 

When and Where to Use Your Self-Care Pocket

In the past, you may have felt yourself coming down with something while at work or in the middle of your school day. You may have wished you could teleport your vitamin C or herbal tea from your at-home Care Cupboard to your desk, but instead, you toughed it out—and you may have missed a crucial opportunity to knock out those bacteria or viruses before they knocked you down.

Equipped with your self-care pocket, you can get your body the health it needs exactly when it needs it. For example:

Will this guarantee that you won’t get sick? Obviously, no. But being proactive by taking evidence-based natural therapies can certainly help reduce your risk.

Advocate for Yourself

One thing is certain: You can’t control how others act. Depending on broad public health policies isn’t enough to keep you safe. You can’t make others stay home when sick, wash their hands, or keep their distance. Focusing on what others aren’t doing can only increase your stress and frustration. But taking informed and wise action for your own health is empowering. Your health isn’t held hostage to whether others observe public health guidance about how to behave during a pandemic. (6)

Carrying your Self-Care Pocket reminds you that you have a say in your own health and can act to protect it—whenever and wherever you go.


Rebecca Hope. Rebecca has been a health and wellness writer for over 30 years. She also founded and managed a holistic health care clinic for more than 20 years. She’s passionate about bringing self-empowerment and health literacy to the chronic illness community and the wider world of wellness seekers.

A Reminder

Though we’ve selected these products based on their safety, efficacy, and portability, the Global Wellness lab provides holistic health education only. The Global Wellness lab team does not diagnose or prescribe. Please speak to your own physician when starting new formulas or wellness plans.


1 CDC. Common colds: Protect yourself and others. 2020 Oct. rhinoviruses/index.html 

2 Colbey C, Cox AJ, Pyne DB, Zhang P, Cripps AW, West NP. Upper respiratory symptoms, gut health and mucosal immunity in athletes. Sports Med. 2018;48(Suppl 1):65-77. doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0846-4 

3 Hemilä H. Zinc lozenges and the common cold: A meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage. JRSM Open. 2017;8(5):2054270417694291. doi:10.1177/2054270417694291 

4 Somerville VS, Braakhuis AJ, Hopkins WG. Effect of flavonoids on Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and immune function: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Adv Nutr. 2016;7(3):488-497. doi:10.3945/an.115.010538

5 Sadlon AE, Lamson DW. Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Apr;15(1):33-47. PMID: 20359267.

6 CDC. Coronavirus disease: How to protect yourself & others. 2020 Nov. 

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