Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Natural Remedies for the Flu
This article goes into the history behind past flu outbreaks and then suggests some possible alternative remedies to try. It might be good to have a variety of things to choose from, since everyone's body reacts differently to things.
This was posted at NaturalNews.com in 2008 at the height of the Bird Flu scare. The information about taking care of the flu by natural means is important even if we are not dealing with the “Bird Flu”. Just because he talks over and over about the Bird Flu doesn’t mean we can’t take his information about how to deal with the flu and upcoming plagues. Since we know that plagues are coming as prophesied in the scriptures, the information provided here would be good to incorporate into our family medical skills. Remember I’m not a health care professional, I’m only passing along information that I find of worth to my family. I don’t pass along any of this information to frighten or alarm you, but to simply provide you with information you can use if you so desire. I know it’s not flu season, but it always jumps up upon us quicker than we think, so we should be prepared for it when it does come.
This is a LONG article!
Now onto the article as posted in 2008 at www.NaturalNews.com:
Are you worried about the possible outbreak of the Avian Flu among humans? Perhaps you should be! I hope that all of the publicity about the Bird Flu proves to be a false alarm, as well as the theories that it may be a deliberately engineered flu, but I have to tell you that from what I have learned so far about the Avian Flu, regardless of where it may originate from, I think that the worst thing any of us could do is to ignore it and hope it goes away, because it may not and I shudder to think about it ever mutating to where it can be spread from human to human. Let's take a look at what we know so far about the Avian Flu:
First of all, the Avian Flu has not yet mutated and there is no need for panic, but there certainly is plenty of reasons for concern and a need to be vigilant, because the flu could easily mutate to one that is spread by humans -- and it is the very nature of viruses to mutate. We should also be mindful of the fact that the world is due for another outbreak of a widespread and dangerous influenza epidemic of the kind that appear to occur on a regular basis about every 30 years.
If the Avian Flu does mutate to a human flu and is even partially as deadly as some predict, the resulting worldwide pandemic could be an epic modern day plague that changes the world as we know it and makes HIV, 9/11, the great Tsunami and the destruction of New Orleans seem mild by comparison -- and there would likely be very little the world can do to prevent it. We can only hope that the next big worldwide influenza outbreak does not involve the current Avian Flu, or any other avian flu, because such flu would be a type that humans have not been exposed to and thus have no built-in resistance to. Owing to this lack of built in resistance, such an outbreak involving that kind of flu could prove to be uniquely horrific.
In a normal outbreak of influenza, the most vulnerable are usually the elderly, the very young, and those who are already ill or otherwise in a weakened state -- in other words, those whose immune systems are not strong enough to successfully ward off and fight illness. While a human version of the Avian Flu is likely to be every bit as deadly or more so for those who are the usual flu victims, unlike the usual varieties of influenza, the Avian Flu would actually be even more deadly for the group that is usually least affected by flu outbreaks: the most robust and healthy among us, the adults in the prime of life. That is because an avian flu like the Avian Flu turns the body's own immune system against itself and a strong immune system can become a deadly instrument of death as it over-reacts to a threat it has never been exposed to and releases a torrent of chemicals to combat the new threat which end up literally filling and eating up the lungs, suffocating what had been a strong and vigorous individual.
Such was exactly the case in a previous outbreak of another avian flu, one very similar to the Avian Flu. The Spanish Flu of 1918-19 was the most deadly epidemic in recorded history, killing 30 to 40 million or more people in one year –- more than were killed in any war including the Great World War, more than were killed in the 4 terrifying years of the Plague of Black Death (the Bubonic Plague) of 1347-1351, and more than were killed by HIV-AIDS in its first 25 years of existence. In the United States it infected 28% of all Americans, caused the deaths of at least 675,000 and in a single year was responsible for a 10 year drop in the life expectancy rate. In 1918, the death rate for influenza and pneumonia for 15 to 35 year olds was 20 times higher than in previous years.
Many authorities fear that if the modern day Avian Flu mutates to one that can be spread by humans, it could be an even more deadly flu than the one in 1918-19. Indeed, where humans have been exposed to infected birds and contracted the Avian Flu so far, the death rate appears to be significantly higher than it was for the deadly Spanish Flu.
The picture becomes truly staggering when you add to the expected high death rate the fact that the world population is now 2 1/2 times greater than it was in 1918-19 and not only is the population much larger, it is also much more concentrated with much more human interaction. And then you have the fact that, unlike the horse and buggy days of 1918-19, modern travel brings humans almost instantly to and from all points of the globe.
In all likelihood, only an immediate worldwide quarantine and shutdown of all travel would have a chance at stopping the spread of a worldwide pandemic, and that is something that is both unachievable and, at this point, unthinkable (although if the pandemic were to turn out to be as dire as some predict, such measures would probably be attempted out of desperation but would surely prove far too late to stop the spread of the disease). Given the woeful response to the destruction of New Orleans, and the shortage of flu shots caused by the loss of a single facility only last year, perhaps one can more easily understand the estimates of many authorities and scientific figures that forecast staggering death tolls, some as high as 300 million or more worldwide.
The world has largely forgotten the horrible death tolls of the Spanish Flu, as well as the plague-like conditions that led to quarantines, death wagons, corpses lying abandoned in public streets, and breakdowns of social order and lawlessness that broke out in many places around the world. For those of us who would like a reminder, I suggest a trip to an old cemetery and take a look at the tombstones and grave markers for the years 1918-19, see how many there are compared to other years and how many times you will find multiple deaths in the same family for those years. It was a horrible time, now largely forgotten and to a great deal overshadowed by the end of World War I, but it is a lesson for us all if only we will open our eyes and see.
Perhaps the nightmare scenario I have painted is merely the stuff of dreams, and I certainly hope that proves to be the case. But I strongly suggest that we all take steps to prepare for the worst, just in case. Better that than be like the old fellow on the side of Mount Saint Helens who ignored all the warning signs, disbelieved all the scientists and scoffed at the idea of a deadly eruption right up to the point that he was incinerated.
While there may be little the world's governments may be able to do to stop the spread of a truly horrible influenza pandemic, there are things that we all can do to help avoid catching such a flu and to fight it off if we do catch it. Common sense tells us to practice very good hygiene and to avoid exposure to those who are infected. If a vaccine is available, it is probably a better idea to take it than not - even though vaccines are likely to be in short supply, will likely be mere guesswork since the virus has yet to mutate to a form that can be spread by humans and is likely to continue to mutate once it does, and is likely to contain mercury due to the probable use of an agent called thimerosal that is used to sterilize flu vaccines.
Beyond those obvious measures, I have also compiled the following information for anyone who wishes to avoid and combat influenza:
Avoiding the Flu:
The good news is that you can take steps to help you avoid the Bird Flu or any other flu when it comes, and to survive it if you happen to catch it. Included in these steps are the things that you should do to protect yourself from virtually all diseases and illnesses: get plenty of rest, exercise, quit smoking, eat a nutritious diet, avoid stress and, above all, to make your body's natural first line of defense -- your immune system -- strong and robust.
Some of the very best immune boosters are:
* Pau d'arco
* Medicinal mushrooms
* Beta glucans
* Aloe vera
* Bovine colostrums
The next thing you should do is to also take one or more good natural anti-viral agents, especially if the Bird Flu does mutate and begin to spread from human to human because unlike other illnesses or flues, the Bird Flu will use your own immune system to attack you. This is because we have never been exposed to a strain of flu like the Bird Flu and it is likely that biochemical cascade of immune cells and immune system bio-chemicals such as interferon, interlukin, momkines, and cytokins will literally pour into the lungs and eat your lungs up. With the Bird Flu, it is essential to also include good natural anti-viral supplements along with immune boosters.
Among the very best natural pathogen destroyers are:
* Olive leaf extract
* Oil of wild mountain oregano
* Grapefruit seed extract
* Colloidal Silver
A third thing to do would be to take regular preventative doses of a natural remedy known as "Oleander Soup", which can be made at home according to the instructions in the e-book "Cancer's Natural Enemy" (written by the author of this article).
Oleander extract has been proven in clinical trials, decades of medical practice and literally centuries of use as a folk remedy to be a very strong immune booster and disease and illness preventer. It has also demonstrated strong anti-viral abilities in the way that it attacks and kills cancer cells, as well as its effectiveness against hepatitis-C and HIV.
The fourth thing you should do is endeavor to stop the spread of airborne viruses during the flu season:
* Protect yourself from others by gargling daily with 1 drop each of the essential oils of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and lemon in a glass of warm water; stir well before each mouthful. Do not swallow.
* Mix a blend of essential oils to use in your diffuser or for use in steam inhalation.
1) ravensare - 3 parts
2) naiouli or eucalyptus - 1 part
3) lemon - 1 part
4) rosewood - 1 part
5) lavender - 1 part
Ravensare and naiouli have antiviral properties, while the other essential oils in the blend act as antiseptics while at the same time providing a wonderful aroma.
Diffuser Application - Add about 50 drops of the above blend to your diffuser at a time. Fumigate the house with oils to help prevent the spread of flu. Put 2-3 drops on a radiator to evaporate or add 10 drops of essential oils to a small plant spray filled with water. Spray the room frequently.
Natural Measures to Consider Should You Get the Flu
Hydrotherapy for Flu:
* Promote sweating by taking hot baths, hot foot-baths and other heat therapies. Keep the feet warm at all times during sickness and as a preventive measure. Low body temperature decreases resistance to viruses and bacteria, while heat burns up and destroys the virus.
* To warm feet, soak them for five to ten minutes in a hot mustard bath. Dissolve I tbsp. mustard powder in 4 cups of hot water.
* A hot bath followed by a cold mitten friction rub, two to four times a day, loosens congestion, improves circulation and strengthens the immune system, speeding healing from the flu.
* To do a cold mitten friction rub, proceed as follows: Dip a small towel or washcloth into cold (50° to 60°F) water. Curl one hand into a fist and wrap the cloth around it. Use your fist to rub your other arm in a vigorous circular motion, beginning with the fingers and finishing at the shoulder. Dip the cloth in the cold water again and repeat. Your skin should be pink. Dry your arm with a towel using the same vigorous circular movement. Repeat the process on your other arm and on your legs, feet, chest and abdomen.
Juice Therapy for Flu:
* Apple and dark grape juices are often recommended for those fighting the flu. They have properties that work against congestion and runny nose. Dark grape juice is rich in tannins, substances that have been shown to kill viruses under laboratory conditions.
* Dilute the juices if they are too sweet. Drink them at room temperature. Pear, cranberry and, especially, pomegranate juices are also helpful for combating flu.
Naturopathy for Flu:
* Hot Bath
* Add 30-60 ml (2-4 tbsp) of Epsom Salts to hot water and take a hot bath. After the bath, go straight to bed.
* Vitamins - As soon as the symptoms of flu start, take high levels of Vitamin C to boost the immune system, around 3,000-4,000 mg to start with, reducing over 3-4 days to 500 mg until you feel completely better.
* Diet - Drink fruit juices until the fever has passed.
* Now eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
* Cold Compress - If very hot and sweaty, try applying a cool compress to the chest and trunk.
Aromatherapy for Flu/Colds:
* Steam Inhalation - Mix a blend of essential oils to use in your diffuser or for use in steam inhalation.
1) ravensare - 3 parts
2) naiouli or eucalyptus - 1 part
3) lemon - 1 part
4) rosewood - 1 part
5) lavender - 1 part
Add six to eight drops of the above blend to a bowl of just-boiled water. Place a towel over your head and inhale. Repeat this treatment two or three times a day, if necessary.
Several oils have considerable anti-viral activity, and help to boost the immune system. For maximum effectiveness, it is important that you use them at the earliest sign of influenza or in some cases before contracting cold/flu to boost your immune system as a preventative.
Essential oils of basil, eucalyptus, peppermint, and pine help to ease nasal congestion. Choose one to three of these oils and use them as inhalants or in steam inhalation treatments. For chest congestion, a steam inhalation treatment made with basil, pine, and/ or tea tree oil can help to clear mucus and ease breathing. Rubbing a massage oil prepared with these oils over the chest may also be helpful.
An aromatherapy bath prepared with elemi, myrrh, pine, and/ or tea tree oil can help to soothe achy feelings all over your body that accompany flu. Use a lukewarm bath for fever, a hot bath for chills.
* For chills:
1) Add 3 drops of rosemary and 3 drops of ginger or black pepper essential oils to your bath.
2) Mix 5 drops of ravensare and 15 drops of rosewood in ½ ounce of carrier oil such as olive or almond. This makes an energizing massage oil blend.
Other Essential Oils Useful for Flu:
* Tea Tree oil
* Eucalyptus oil
* Lemon oil
* Lavender oil
If you come down with the flu, add 10 to 20 drops of tea tree to hot water and take a hot bath. This may help your immune system fight the viral infection and ease your symptoms. Use a pure, unadulterated form of tea tree oil; adulterated forms can be irritating to the skin.
To help alleviate and disinfect dry air passages, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of hot water or vaporizer and leave in your bedroom overnight. A small handkerchief sprinkled with a few drops of the oil and left under the pillow may help as well.
Caution: Do Not Overdo it! Prolonged inhalation of essential oils can cause an enlarged liver.
If you have a congested nose or chest, add a few drops of essential oils of eucalyptus globulus (E. globulus) or peppermint (Mentha piperita) to a steam vaporizer.
Caution: If you are asthmatic, be cautious the first time you try this; if you have not been exposed to essential oils before, inhaling the vapor may actually precipitate an attack.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Flu
Ayurvedic practitioners recommend the following strategies to combat flu:
* At the first sign of the flu, switch to a bland diet. Eat soft-cooked rice (rice that has a very soft, moist texture created by a longer cooking time with more water) with a pinch of cumin, ginger powder and turmeric for seasoning. In India, broken rice is used for this purpose with generous amounts of water so you can sweat out Toxins. Turmeric has antibiotic and antiseptic qualities. You can also add a few cloves of garlic cut into small pieces to the mixture as garlic is very good for the flu.
* To ease the congestion that can accompany the flu:
1) ½ teaspoon sitopaladi powder
2) ½ teaspoon sudarshan
3) ½ teaspoon of honey
Mix the ingredients well. Take a teaspoonful of this mixture every few hours. Your symptoms will disappear quickly.
* For Severe Flu Symptoms - Take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic coughs, colds, and clear the sinuses. A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.
* Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases.
Herbal remedies cannot cure a cold or flu. But they can bring relief of symptoms, stimulate the immune system and speed recovery. Here are several herbal remedies useful for colds and flu.
* Corn starch, water and lemon. Mix together in a cup. One cup should be enough.
* Water, lemons, cinnamon sticks and honey. Put a gallon of water in a large pot on the stove. Add four lemons, cut in quarters, and two sticks of cinnamon. Bring water to a full boil and then let steep for five or more minutes. Drink one cup several times a day if you are able to stay home and rest and one or two cups at night, otherwise just drink at night. Best taken at the beginning of flu symptoms. This remedy should help you sweat out the flu, help ease any sore throat you may have and also keep you hydrated.
* One garlic clove and a sharp knife. Cut raw garlic as thin as possible and put the garlic slices on your tongue. Do not chew, just place on the tongue and then swallow. Best when taken at the first signs of flu symptoms.
* Eucalyptus, burnt sugar, lemon and water. Boil the water and add eucalyptus, burnt sugar, lemon juice and/or lemon rind, and continue to boil for five minutes. Drink the tea hot, preferably just before going to bed.
* Colloidal silver. A half teaspoon of colloidal silver for children and a teaspoon for adults can be swallowed to ease or eliminate flu symptoms. If you take colloidal silver regularly, you may never get the flu.
* At the first sign of a flu, put a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide into each ear, one ear at a time. Keep the solution in for 10 minutes or until the bubbling stops. Your temperature should start dropping within minutes, and your flu should be gone within 12 to 14 hours.
* Goldenseal tea. Use goldenseal tea bags (not pills or capsules) to make tea. Drink a cup before bed (sweeten with honey or Stevia if desired).
* Herbal Fever Remedy
1) 1 ounce dried Elder Flowers
2) 1 ounce dried Peppermint Leaves
3) ½ pint distilled water
Mix the herbs. Place in a quart saucepan. Pour 1/2 pints of distilled boiling water over it. Cover and allow to steep in a hot place for 10 to 15 minutes (do not boil). When ready, strain into another saucepan. Sweeten with honey if desired. This remedy drops high temperature associated with flu quite effectively. In some cases, the temperature has been reduced from 104 to 99 degrees within two hours! According to Dr. Edward E. Shook, well known herbalist, "there is no remedy for colds and fevers of any description equal to this simple life-saving formula."
* Psyllium - Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) Flu Remedy: This remedy is useful for flu as well as for backaches and headaches.
* Peppermint-Rosemary-Elder Flu Remedy: This remedy is good for colds with flu Symptoms.
* Echinacea and goldenseal stimulate the immune system. Goldenseal also helps to soothe mucous membranes. Add 10-15 drops of a combination of echinacea and goldenseal to herbal teas at the first sign of a sniffle to boost the immune system. Take one dose of an echinacea and goldenseal combination remedy supplying 250 to 500 milligrams of echinacea and 150 to 300 milligrams of goldenseal three times daily for five days.
* An infusion of boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) may relieve aches and fever and clear congestion:
Simmer 1 cup boiling water with 2 tsp of the herb for 10 to 15 minutes; drink a cupful every hour, as hot as you can stand it.
* A comforting herbal tea may be made from an infusion of equal measures of elderflowers, peppermint and hyssop. Caution: Take only small doses of hyssop (no more than 1-2g three times daily).
* To combat chills, try taking 30 drops of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) or elder (Sambucus nigra) flower tincture every four hours until your chills are gone.
* Use a warming tea made of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Cayenne (Capsicum minimum) and ground Ginger (Zingiber officinalis).
* To help yourself rest and relax, take a cup of chamomile tea twice a day.
* Use inhalations of chamomile, eucalyptus or thyme. These help loosen mucus and heal the throat, nasal passages and bronchial tubes.
* Horsetail inhalations reduce swelling of mucous membranes.
* At the first sign of th e flu, begin taking the Chinese botanical formula Yin Qiao (this remedy usually is not helpful after the third day of symptoms). Take two or three tablets three times a day, up to twelve tablets in a twenty four hour period, during the acute phase of the flu. After the symptoms start to ease, reduce the dosage to one tablet three times daily for one week.
* In a 1995 Israeli study, elderberry extract was found to reduce both the severity of symptoms and the duration of flu (two to three days in the treated group versus six days in the placebo group). Choose an extract standardized to contain 5 percent total flavonoids and take 500 milligrams twice daily.
* Garlic helps to detoxify the body. Take 500 milligrams (or one clove) three times a day for up to five days.
* Take ginger tea. Ginger tea is antiviral and helps break up the mucus and congestion. Ginger tea is excellent if the stomach is affected. To make the tea, boil 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes. Take a cup as needed.
* Onion or nasturtium inhalations disinfect.
* Ginkgo biloba leaf inhalations kill bacteria and heal the cells of the damaged mucous membranes almost immediately.
* Inhale steam for fifteen minutes three times daily in acute stage. When the condition is improving, inhale steam in the evening before retiring for a week or so to help heal the bronchial passages.
* When feeling more feverish, induce sweating by taking infusions of Catmint (Nepeta cataria) and/or Elderflower (Sambucus nigra).
* To help alleviate and disinfect dry air passages, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of hot water or vaporizer and leave in bedroom overnight. A small handkerchief sprinkled with a few drops of the oil and left under the pillow may help as well.
* At the onset of a flu, drink lindenflower tea with 2 drops of lemon balm oil, thyme tea with honey, rose hip tea or acerola juice. When you start to sweat, quickly go to bed and continue sweating for one hour. Change clothes, rub body dry and try to steep. This therapy often stops the flu before it becomes full blown.
* Gargle regularly with sage tea to disinfect mouth, and use sage inhalations to reduce inflammation.
* Wash body with an infusion of thyme or juniper needles.
* If you are suffering from muscular aching, use an infusion of Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) alone, or in combination with Catmint (Nepeta cataria) and/or Elderflower (Sambucus nigra).
* Chinese Herbal Formula for Flu - Gan Mao Dan (Common Cold and Flu Pills). This remedy expels Wind-Heat, reduces fever, relieves chest congestion, and stops cough.
This formulas is good for these symptoms:
Cough, Fatigue, Fever with slight chills, Headache, Nausea, Red eyes, Runny nose, Skin rash, Sore throat
Ingredients: Lonicera Flower (Flos Lonicerae), Forsythia Fruit (Fructus Forsythiae), Gardenia Fruit (Fructus Gardeniae), Phragmites Rhizome (Rhi-zoma Phragmites), Red Peony Root (Radix Paeonia Rubra), Wooly Grass Rhizome (Rhizoma Imperatae Cylindricae), Soja Seed (Semen Sojae Praeparatum), Mentha Herb (Herba Menthae), Morus Leaf (Herba Mori), Schizonepeta Herb (Herba Schizonepetae), Aster Root (Radix Asteris Tatarici), Platycodon Root (Radix Platycodi), Citrus Peel (pericarpium Citri Reticulatae)
Dosage: 20 pills twice a day.
Important Herbs for Flu:
* Echinacea - Echinacea has been a traditional favorite for colds and flu. Double bli nd studies in Germany have shown that infections with flu-like symptoms clear more rapidly when taking echinacea. Echinacea appears to work by stimulating the immune system. Taking 3–5 ml of tincture or 300 mg of dried root powder three times per day is usually recommended.
* Elderberry - Elderberry is another herb that has been used in treating flu. This herb contains two compounds that are active against flu viruses. It also prevents the virus from invading respiratory tract cells. A patented Israeli drug (Sambucol) that contains elderberry is active against various strains of viruses. In a clinical trial testing Sambucol, twenty percent of flu sufferers who used it showed significant relief of fever, muscle aches and other symptoms within 24 hours, and another 73 percent felt better after the second day. In three days, 90 percent were reported completely cured. In a similar group that received an inactive treatment (a placebo), only 26 percent were improved in two days, and it took most of them six days to feel well again. Sambucol also stimulates the immune system and has shown some activity in preliminary trials against other viruses, such as Epstein-Barr, herpes and even HIV. In a small double blind trial, patients with influenza were found to recover three times faster when they took one capsule of elderberry extract four times daily compared to patients taking placebo.
You can take the medication or take the herb by making a tea from the herb: Make elderberry-flower tea by steeping 3 to 5 g of dried flowers in one cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Take 1 cup of this tea 3 times daily. Elderberry flower is generally regarded as safe. Side effects are rare and consist primarily of occasional mild gastrointestinal distress or allergic reactions. Its safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not established.
* Astragalus - Astragalus root has been used to enhance immunity for thousands of years in China. This herb is considered by herbal practitioners to be a tonic that strengthens the body's resistance to disease. Astragalus can stimulate practically all of the processes of your immune system. It increases the number of stem cells in bone marrow and speeds their growth into active immune cells. Astragalus also may help boost levels of interferon, one of your body's potent fighters against viruses. This, in turn, can help prevent or shorten the duration of colds and flu. Astragalus also boosts the production of white blood cells called macrophages, whose function is to destroy invading viruses and bacteria. As soon as you discover the flu, take one 500- milligram capsule of astragalus four times a day until symptoms disappear. Then take one capsule twice a day for seven days to prevent a relapse.
* Garlic - Garlic is known to kill influenza virus in test tubes. It also stimulates the immune system and wards off complications such as bronchitis. Garlic contains several helpful compounds, including allicin, one of the plant kingdom's most potent, broad-spectrum antibiotics. This herb's aromatic compounds are readily released from the lungs and respiratory tract, putting garlic's active ingredients right where they can be most effective against cold viruses. Holistic practitioners often recommend taking several cloves of raw garlic per day during an infection. You can also take aged garlic extract, or consume products such as hot garlic bread or toast.
* Asian ginseng (eleuthero) - Asian ginseng has immune-enhancing properties, which play a potential role in preventing infection with influenza. Boneset has been shown in test tube and other studies to stimulate immune cell function. This may explain boneset's traditional use to help fight off minor viral infections, such as the flu.
* Wild Indigo - Wild indigo contains polysaccharides and proteins that are believed to stimulate the immune system. It is used traditionally to fight the flu in combination with herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, or thuja.
* Forsythia and honeysuckle - These herbs are used by Oriental Medicine practitioners to treat colds, flu and other viruses. They have real antiviral benefits. At the inception of cold or flu, mix honeysuckle and forsythia with lemon balm tea (lemon balm also has antiviral properties.) Take this tea before going to bed.
* Mullein - A tea made with mullein flowers provides throat-soothing mucilage and also has an expectorant effect. Herbalists think that this plant contains compounds that inhibit flu viruses. You can also make a tea with mullein leaf.
* Lemon balm
* Oregon grape
Nutrition for Flu:
* If you don't feel like eating, do not force yourself. For a day or two, consume only liquids -- water, juices, teas, and soups. Digesting liquids require a lot less energy than digesting foods. This means that your body has more energy to fight the flu.
* Consume easily digested foods such as juices, lemonade (hot or cold), herbal teas, applesauce, and lots of nourishing broth and homemade soups. Miso and chicken soup are good choices.
* Take mushroom soup. Mushrooms of choice include shiitake, maitake, and reish mushrooms. They are shown in studies to boost the body's immune response.
* Getting plenty of fluids, including soups, is particularly important. Drink at least six to eight glasses of liquid daily. Fluids help to thin secretions, making it easier for the body to clear them, and also help to prevent constipation and flush toxins from the body.
* Sick People Soup - Here is a great soup to take when you are down with cold and flu. It comes from Rosita Arvigo, author of "Rainforest Home Remedies."
1) 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
2) 1 onion, chopped
3) 1 head garlic, chopped
4) 3 carrots, sliced
5) 3 pieces celery, diced
6) 6 Tbsp ginger, grated
7) ¼ c miso (soybean paste)
8) 2 qts water
9) juice of 1 lemon or lime
Boil the vegetables in the water until tender (about thirty minutes), then add ginger and garlic and allow to boil another five minutes. Remove from heat. Take a bit of the hot soup from the pot and mix with the miso to form a thick liquid. Add to the soup and serve. Squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice into the bowl. For added health boosts, add
sliced agaricus, reishi, shiitake, or maitake mushrooms to the boiling vegetables and sprinkle crushed garlic on the soup before serving
* When there is fever, take liquids only.
* Recommended liquids: Warm broth, vegetable juices and herb teas.
* Avoid dairy products and sugar. They increase and thicken mucus. Avoid a milky drink at night if you have chest problems, since this can contribute to congestion of the chest by morning.
* Red beet juice makes the flu virus inactive.
* Condensed grape juice strengthens the heart muscles.
* Parsley, celery, watercress, garlic, lemon, carrot and coconut juices are nourishing and help to cleanse and promote healing.
* Drink fruit juices after diluting. Limit the intake of sugars.
* Increase the proportion of vitamin C-rich foods in the diet, such as tomatoes, raw green peppers, carrots, strawberries and citrus fruit. This vitamin is easily destroyed by the process of oxidation, so do not leave peeled, chopped fruit or vegetables to stand for a long time before eating. Overcooking also leads to loss of vitamin C, especially if fruit or vegetables are boiled. Vegetables and fruit are best eaten raw and if vegetables must be cooked, steam them, which preserves essential nutrients.
* Eat fresh, raw fruit and vegetables, whole grains, garlic, pulses, beans, small helpings of fish, nuts and seeds. These foods appear to increase resistance to infection and improve vitality.
* Use unrefined, cold-pressed flax seed oil as a salad dressing. Flax seed oil is an excellent source of the omega-3 essential fatty acid and also contains the omega-6 essential fatty acid. These fats help strengthen cell membranes, thereby speeding healing and strengthening resistance to infection. In the body.
* Eat sea plants or algae. These can re-mineralize the body after overexposure to processed foods. Spirulina, alfalfa, chlorella or seaweeds can be added to soups or juices in powder or capsule form.
* Garlic can also help ward off a cold by inhibiting the growth of staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria.
* Avoid food and drinks that put extra strain on the liver. The liver is responsible for efficient detoxification of the body. The foods to avoid include convenience foods containing substantial amounts of chemicals such as colorings and preservatives, and alcohol, which also depletes the body of vitamin C.
* Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Bioflavonoids - Vitamin C is well-known for treating and preventing colds. Studies show that vitamin C can shorten the duration of common colds and flu and even prevent them. Taken in large enough doses, vitamin C can boost your immune system by pumping enough fuel into white blood cells to destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C increases interferon levels and has interferon-like properties itself. It acts as a natural antihistamine that helps dry up watery eyes and reduce nasal and chest congestion. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent the damage that your body endures when viruses or bacteria attack your immune system. Dockworkers given 100 mg of vitamin C each day for ten months caught influenza 28% less than their coworkers not taking vitamins. Moreover, the average infection was 10% shorter in those taking vitamin C. Other studies have reported that vitamin C in high doses (2 grams every hour for twelve hours) can lead to rapid improvement of influenza infections.
* At the first sign of cold or flu symptoms, take 500 milligrams of vitamin C with bioflavonoids or rose hips four to six times a day. The bioflavonoids and rose hips strengthen the vitamin C's infection-fighting power by 35 percent, according to experts. Start taking Vitamin C as soon as you can. There are no adverse effects from taking high dosages of vitamin C. If you experience diarrhea, reduce the dosage of Vitamin C. Use bioflavonoids along with vitamin C for their synergistic effect.
* Vitamin A is a nutrient vital to the mucous membranes throughout the respiratory system during a cold or flu. It is known as the anti-infection vitamin. It battles viruses and bacteria in two ways. By keeping the cells healthy all along your respiratory tract, it provides a barrier that resists microorganisms. If some invading microorganisms manage to breach the barrier, you want to have antibodies and lymphocytes ready to destroy them. Vitamin A helps your body provide those reinforcements.
As soon as you notice cold or flu symptoms, take 100,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A daily for three days, then reduce the dosage to 25,000 IU for one week or until symptoms disappear.
Caution: These are very high doses, please check with your doctor before taking this much.
* Beta-carotene, Vitamin A's precursor, is rich in antioxidant power and antiviral properties. It bolsters immunity and protects the thymus gland. It also protects you from viruses by enhancing mucous membrane secretions. By producing the secretions, the beta-carotene prevents the virus from invading your body. If you feel a cold or flu coming on, take 100,000 IU of beta-carotene for 10 to 14 days, then cut the dosage to 50,000 IU a day to prevent future respiratory infections.
* Zinc - Zinc supplementation is recommended for immune system support. Zinc lozenges soothe a sore throat and help fend off a cold before it takes hold. Zinc stimulates the immune system by generating new white blood cells and whipping them into shape to battle viruses. If you have too little zinc, your production of white blood cells may drop, and that can increase your risk of catching a cold, flu, or other upper respiratory infection. In one study, children who got 10 milligrams of zinc daily for 60 days were much less likely to get respiratory infections than children getting less. In fact, the children who got enough zinc were 70 percent less likely to have fevers, 48 percent less likely to have coughs, and 28 percent less likely to have mucus buildup.
* Take 5 to 10 milligrams of zinc five times daily for five days to one week. Take zinc with food to prevent stomach upset. Be careful not to consume too much zinc. Doctors recommend taking no more than 15 milligrams of zinc a day. Zinc gluconate in lozenge form has been found to shorten the duration of cold symptoms. In a study, participants who sucked on one zinc gluconate lozenge (containing about 13 milligrams of zinc) every two hours while awake got rid of their coughs, nasal congestion, sore throat, and headaches three to four days sooner than those who didn't get any supplementation. Don't take them for longer than one week, because they can weaken your immune system.
* Garlic - Garlic is very beneficial especially at the beginning of a cold of flu. It warms the body and acts as an antiviral and antibacterial.
* Thymus glandular extract boosts immune function by increasing the number and activity of infection-fighting white blood cells. Take 250 to 500 milligrams twice a day. This is especially important for people over forty, as thymus function declines with age.
- Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg every few hours throughout the day, up to bowel tolerance
- Zinc lozenges, with 3 mg copper, every few hours, up to 70 mg daily during a cold and 30 mg daily as a preventive.
- Garlic, 2 capsules three times daily
- Vitamin A, 25,000 IU daily (avoid during pregnancy)
(Excerpted from the author's book "Collected Remedies".)
About the author
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including “ Cancer’s Natural Enemy” and “Collected Remedies” as well as song lyrics and humorous anecdotal stories. Mr. Isaacs also has The Best Years in Life website for baby boomers and others wishing to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. He is currently residing in the scenic Texas hill country near Utopia, Texas where he serves as a consultant to the Utopia Silver colloidal silver and supplement company and where he is working on a major book project due for publication later this year. Mr. Isaacs also hosts the CureZone “Ask Tony Isaacs” forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group “Oleander Soup”