Beat the flu without a vaccine
Dear Humorous Herbalist, Every time I turn around, the media is talking about the flu shot and scaring the heck out of me. I’ve never gotten the shot and consider myself a healthy woman. Yet, my friends are lining up for the vaccine and pressuring me to get it. I feel conflicted. I’d rather stock up on natural medicines that effectively counteract the flu. Can you offer your opinion and suggestions? – Grace (via e-mail) Dear Grace, I’ve never received a flu shot, nor will I ever. I believe that the media’s annual fall flu shot hype is an egregious form of manipulation that creates unnecessary mass hysteria. I’ve always been very suspicious of people or organizations using fear to motivate others. This includes those in the alternative health-care field who use scare tactics to get you to buy their products. Fear corrupts, limits and holds one hostage. Fear allows one to forget that they have power over their lives. The statistics of “flu-related deaths” are difficult to calculate since many of those individuals were already compromised by chronic health problems or burdened by other drugs and/or dietary lifestyles that weakened their immune response.I’ve researched but never been able to locate statistics that show the percentage of people with compromised immune systems who were given the flu shot and ended up dying. Might be an interesting statistic, but you probably wouldn’t see that story making the front page. Frankly, I’d like to know when the modern day flu became such a harrowing experience. (All you naysayers out there, please don’t send me e-mails quoting the death roll from the 1918 flu epidemic.) I’ve caught the bug on occasion, always when I was run-down, stressed beyond my limit, eating poorly and/or not getting sufficient sleep. The flu was always a signal to me that I had pushed myself too far and needed to nourish my body and cleanse my system. Using herbal and homeopathic remedies, that’s exactly what I did. My recovery was quick and not worthy of media attention. What the public seems to forget is that the human system (and I include the triad of body, mind and spirit in that system) is resilient beyond measure when it is well-nourished on all levels and not pushed beyond its capacity. Natural medicine is based on a single fundamental idea: Our bodies have an innate wisdom that continually strives for balance. Nutritious foods, herbs and certain supplements are recognized by the body as supportive and nourishing and, therefore, help to maintain that healthy balance. Factors that inhibit the body’s natural balance include stress, trauma, genetic disorders, hormonal changes, environmental toxins (including pesticides, chemicals and like), drugs (recreational and prescription) and vaccinations. Vaccines, of all kinds, by virtue of their chemical imprint, work against the body’s natural defense mechanism, putting a heavy toll on the liver to metabolize the vaccine poison and the bloodstream to carry out that poison. The jury is still out on the long-term toll today’s vaccines will have on human DNA and inherited genetic immune disorders. As for natural solutions to colds and flu, there are a bevy to choose from. The most common and effective is vitamin C. I always suggest to my clients that they take a powdered form of ester-C with bioflavonoids. This is easily dissolved in water. Instead of consuming mega amounts of ester-C, it is more effective to take 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams up to six times a day. If diarrhea occurs (a sign that you have exceeded your body’s capacity for vitamin C), simply reduce your dose the following day. Echinacea is a tried and true remedy that can vastly improve your odds of beating the bug. I’ve beat many a cold and flu bug by taking one teaspoon of echinacea tincture in warm water every one to two hours at the first sign of flu. Fresh garlic, chopped up and mixed with a little honey (to cut the taste) is another excellent natural antibiotic. There is an herb that has been gaining tremendous word-of-mouth popularity for combating the flu. It’s called Andrographis paniculata. For centuries, it has been used in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) therapies and traditional Chinese medicine to treat everything from isolated cases of the sniffles to full-blown outbreaks of influenza. In fact, Andrographis was credited with halting the spread of the 1919 Indian flu epidemic. I’ve never tried Andrographis but the stats on it look promising. Kare-N-Herbs Brand puts out a standardized version of Andrographis called Kold Kare. Andrographis should only be taken for a maximum of 10 consecutive days for optimal benefit. Email your questions to the Humorous Herbalist at firstname.lastname@example.org. The information in this column is not meant to take the place of your physician, nor is it intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe. Pregnant or nursing women should consult their doctor before using herbal therapy.The information in this column is not meant to take the place of your physician, nor is it intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe. Pregnant or nursing women should consult their doctor before using herbal therapy.
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