Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cold and Flu Season

I saw on the news yesterday that the first doses of the swine flu vaccine were being given. I haven't gotten into the swine flu debate much up to this point for several reasons.

  • For one thing, I really don't know and neither does anyone else whether this virus will really sweep the nation this fall and winter or if it will be a minor blip on the sickness radar. I work in a hospital so I know that last spring there were quite a few serious cases and some deaths attributed to the swine flu. However, there are many deaths yearly from the regular flu.

  • Even if the swine flu does sweep the nation, I don't know for certain that a new, as yet untested vaccine will stop the progression. I also don't know what kind of harm the vaccination will cause. Or, is this vaccination really a life-saver? I really don't know the answer and really none of us will until after it's over.

I'm choosing to prepare for this flu season by improving my health and stocking up on a few of my favorite natural remedies. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Eat a whole foods diet with 50 to 60% raw food. There is nothing like real food to strengthen your body and immune system to help it fight off bacterial or viral invaders. Search our recipes section for great ideas on whole foods or how to modify favorite foods to get more nutrition in.

  • Juice! Raw juice is so full of nutrients and enzymes. Enzymes are important in helping digest your food, but did you know if they aren't used up in the digestion process they actually head over and join the immune system task force? Conversely, if you eat only cooked and processed food, your body must produce all the digestive enzymes and some of those are stolen from your immune system leaving you wide open for attack. Click here, here, and here for great posts with juicing info and ideas.
  • Purchase some Colloidal Silver and take at the first sign of sickness. Colloidal silver is a broad spectrum product that will kill more than 650 disease producing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Read more about it in this post.

  • My new favorite product is Oscillococcinum. This is a homeopathic that you take at the first signs of flu or when you get that run down feeling. It lessens the impact of the flu and shortens the duration of sickness. I can tell you that it works too! One of the kids brought something home from school the very first week and it spread to both kids and my husband. My daughter and husband only needed one dose of O and they were feeling better the next day. The little guy needed another round but was feeling much better soon after. I was impressed. For more interesting reading on other great homeopathics read these posts.

  • Olive Leaf is another potent antiviral that I plan to keep around the house this winter. Mountain Rose sells it in capsule form or in leaf form. Of course the capsule form is sold out (everyone is stocking up), but the leaf form is available. You can add it to a tea, smoothie, or make a nice tincture of it to keep on hand.

  • One last thing I would recommend is making sure you are getting enough Vitamin D. Although it's not in a published study, there has been some sort of link identified between low vitamin D levels and more severe cases of the flu. Low vitamin D levels can impact your health on many fronts though so it will benefit you to keep a healthy level, especially going into the winter season with less sun exposure. If you are like me and you don't really like to take supplements without knowing if you are deficient, ask your health provider at your next visit to test your vitamin D level. I was surprised to find this August that mine was low. I'm outside all summer and tan very well, but still mine was low. With the combination of pregnancy and winter on it's way, I'm taking extra vitamin D this winter.

These are just a few of my favorite ways to prevent and treat the flu. The natural remedy world is thankfully rich in ways we can protect and heal our bodies. Most every herb has some sort of anti-microbial properties in addition to healing properties. Feel free to share in the comments section if you have another favorite remedy for our readers to prepare for this cold and flu season.



Living A Whole Life said...

Excellent post Karla. Very informative. I think we are all a little nervous about the swine flu and the vaccine. Nice to know how we can help ourselves naturally.

Hanlie said...

Mmm, I'm also not jumping on the vaccine bandwagon. A healthy immune system will handle swine flu and any other flu. Thanks for the tips!

Mooreganics said...

Great article. Thank you for sharing all your tips. Our family is taking Sambucol Black Elderberry Extract to help boost our immune system as well.

Girl on Raw said...

Such a great and timely post! Thanks so much Karla :)

Evelyn Parham said...

This is good information and tips. My husband takes colloidal silver and I don't. After reading your post, I grabbed the colloidal silver bottle and took some. :) I'll also check into your other recommendations as well.

Evelyn Parham said...

I have something for you on my blog. :-)

Living A Whole Life said...

Thanks to you all for your lovely comments. I know we are all a bit nervous about this particular flu season, but I have to believe that with all of our healthy eating and great natural remedies we are in better shape than most.

Thanks Mooreganics for the great tip on Black Elderberry extract for immune boosting. I've read about Elderberry, but haven't yet tried it. Thanks.

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