Do you remember the swine flu?
The bird flu?
Remember the panic the news media created around each “outbreak,” even though there were fewer than a dozen cases of each in the US?
Most “epidemics” are overstated to create a sense of fear and drive vaccine sales. Every year, the CDC announces that there is going to be another killer flu epidemic. People obediently line up for their flu shots, because they’ve been led to fear the flu, and many get sick anyway. Every year, people die from the flu shot, trying to protect themselves.
I’m sure there are cases where an individual didn’t die from the flu because they got the shot, but there are too many people dying because of the shot. Oh, and when you get an active vaccine, you are contagious for a few hours or a few days thereafter, so there’s that.
Don’t get me wrong, the flu is awful and people do get it every year. But you don’t have to get it, and you don’t have to accept the mantra that you must get a flu shot. There are some preventative measures and natural remedies you can take to keep the flu at bay through the winter.
The best thing you can do to fight the flu is to keep your body’s own immune system strong and ready for battle. Remember, the flu is a virus, not a bacteria, so antibiotics hvae no effect. In fact, the virus itself can’t do any real damage to your until your immune system breaks down and lets the virus in. As we’ve been exploring for weeks on “Wellness Wednesday,” the bacterial colony that resides in your gut is your first line of defense to protect you from viral infections. To keep it healthy, make sure your daily regimen includes a strong probiotic or a natural prebiotic like kefir, kumbacha, or sauerkraut.
- Get plenty of dietary fiber from celery, broccoli, and other great plant sources.
- Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C are two of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal.
- Drink plenty of pure water.
- A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (use Bragg’s with “the mother” – a SCOBY!!) with a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and 6 ounces of warm water is a powerful decongestant.
- Get plenty of sleep. Stress and fatigue are immune suppressants.
- Exercise stimulates your immune system as well. Not strenuous exercise – try the “Move Right Monday” series.
Dr. Joseph Mercola offers a list of immune-boosting foods that are easy to get and easy to take:
Raw, grass-fed organic milk, and/or high-quality whey protein
Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, etc.
Raw, organic eggs from free-ranging chickens
Coconuts and coconut oil
Locally grown fruits and vegetables, appropriate for your nutritional type
Mushrooms, especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake, which contain beta glucans (which have immune-enhancing properties)
Garlic, a potent antimicrobial that kills bacteria, viruses AND fungi
Herbs and spices with high ORAC scores: Turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, cloves (for more on ORAC, visitwww.oracvalues.com)
Most important, limit your sugar intake this winter. A teaspoon of white sugar suppresses your immune system function by up to fifty percent for hours. A can of Coke contains about 15 teaspoons of sugar. Do the math. It’s OK to celebrate and enjoy life, but be mindful of your sugar intake.
Side note: Have you ever noticed that flu season correlates directly with the season from October to April, which contains all of the holidays where candy and sweets are central to the celebration (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc.)? Food for thought.
If you’re going to be out in the cold, dress properly. Wear a hat if it gets below about 50 degrees. Use good sense.
Fighting Back After the Invasion
Sometimes, no matter what we do to protect ourselves, colds and flu can still get past our defenses. Maybe you’ve slacked off on your prevention for a few days, or you haven’t been sleeping, or you took a flight to Boston in January (never a great idea). Sometimes, the flu gets in and we have to be ready to fight back.
- As always, crank up the Vitamin C and D3. You can’t overdose on either.
- Get plenty of rest and water. Don’t go to work. That’s rude.
- The apple cider vinegar drink I mentioned above is also a great way to fight.
- Fresh air and sunshine sounds like a cliche, but they are actually very helpful.
- Most natural-living types extol the virtues of echinacea, but the jury is still out. I think it has a place in your defense system, but it’s just a part, not the whole strategy.
Dr. Mercola describes a flu-fighting tea you might try: “made from a combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger; drink it hot and often for combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which is helpful for eradicating a virus from your system.”
Oregano Oil is one of the most powerful anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-biotic essential oils you can get. You don’t want to get it directly on your skin, but if you blend it with almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil, and rub it on the souls of your feet, the oregano oil will saturate into your blood stream and start kicking out virus cells.
If you want to go the essential oil route, a blend of oregano oil, eucalyptus oil, lemon oil, and lavender is amazingly strong. It’s worth doing a little research, because it is a fast-growing market and some unethical companies have released some real garbage. It’s like vitamin supplements – some are great and some are just worthless. Choose carefully.
Again, it comes down to maintaining a healthy immune system, so all of the “Wellness Wednesday” articles about gut health and immune health pertain to fighting off the flu.
Here’s to a strong, vibrant, flu-free winter.
There’s so much misinformation about the flu, viruses, and flu shots, I don’t have room to address them all here. But if you have questions, I’d be glad to answer them on Facebook. Post your questions in the comments and I’d be glad to talk about them. And if you know someone who is worrying about the flu season, this might be a good article to share with them. It only takes a few seconds and it might change their whole winter.
“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING. At the end of your principles is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas