CONTROLLING OUR HEALTH
Taking care of ourselves is easier when we feel in control. Here is a message that can help you be in control of your health during this swine flu scare.
The Flu Virus… Lessening its Fury
The news headlines are full of warnings once again; a rather vicious flu has shown up in Mexico, New York and California, and may be headed our way. This is a new mutated flu strain called the A/H1N1 swine flu and any vaccines you got a few months back will be ineffective in protecting you from it. If you want to protect yourself against this flu, what you really need is a “natural vaccine” called a strong immune system.
A powerful flu is a serious problem, the virus doesn’t respond to medications so we can’t run to the doctor in hope of a cure. The solution lies in your immune system; this is your sword and shield against invading bacteria and viruses. The absolute best way to fight and conquer the flu is to build your immune strength before you are exposed to the virus. If you found yourself coming down with frequent colds this past winter and you suffer from spring allergies, then your immune system needs to be built up. I recently attended a lecture on Chinese medicine from a well respected herbalist. He mentioned that the average time it takes for a person to reverse their health concerns and rebuild their health and vitality is five years. That may seem strangely long to you, but he is talking about overcoming health issues not just controlling or covering them up. So in talking about strengthening our immune system, a diligent effort is needed if you want to build some level of protection in a short period of time.
So what steps can you take to make an immediate impact on improving your immune system’s strength? To begin with cut back on sugar intake. Sugar consumption can depress immune system function by 50%. Alcohol and white flour all convert quickly to sugar so be aware of their consumption as well. High sugar also depletes calcium and B-vitamins needed to keep the immune system and adrenal glands healthy. Your adrenal glands are your stress fighters; if they become weak your immune system weakens as well. This means that now more than ever, you need to take time to find ways to counteract the stress in your life. Take simple steps to de-stress your life on a regular basis. For instance, forego watching an action packed high stress show on T.V. Instead drink a cup of chamomile tea on the front porch on a cool spring evening. Chat with an old friend, relax or read a book, take time to do some stretches, they really help release stress from the body.
Drink 2 quarts of water daily. If you don’t drink enough water your elimination channels become congested (kidneys, liver, colon, lungs, and skin). This results in mucus buildup, which congests the lymphatic system and makes you more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. There’s much to be said about hot chicken soup, make up a big pot and then freeze it in portions, so you can pull it out when anyone starts to get run down. The key is to put in lots of vegetables; carrots, beans, tomatoes, okra, celery, etc. pack the soup full of nutrients. Don’t forget to add several cloves of garlic it is a great immune protector in the body. Get plenty of rest; don’t push yourself until you’re run down. Your immune system is most active when you are sleeping. If you have trouble falling asleep, a natural sleep aid like valerian, kava kava, melatonin or Chinese Nervous Fatigue formula may be a good choice. Talk to the girls down at Nature’s Remedy to figure out which one of these remedies is best for you.
There are several supplements that are particularly effective at building resistance to the flu, as well as lessening the intensity and duration should you come in contact with it. You need adequate supplies of the vitamins A, C, E and the mineral zinc. These are antioxidants that build the immune system. Although your multiple vitamin formula will provide these, the average person needs additional supplementation to build a weakened immune system. The formula Defense Maintenance supplies all of these in a base of vegetables as well. Vitamin D3 is incredibly important to a healthy immune system. Intakes of at least 4000 iu per day of vitamin D3 are recommended. Elderberry Defense is a great formula to build protection against the flu. Elderberries have a mild diuretic and laxative function which helps to clear toxins from the system. This action helps to prevent the common cold by changing the environment of your body. Elderberry contains two active ingredients that actually help prevent the flu from taking hold in your body, by inhibiting the enzyme that the influenza virus uses to penetrate into your cells. Astragalus is another herb which is known to build resistance to the flu virus. The Chinese recognized the importance of this herb. They regularly add astragalus to the pot of stew on the stove during cold season, so everyone could get their daily immune boost. Both Elderberry Defense and Astragalus should be taken on a daily basis well in advance of exposure to the flu. With news of the flu spreading quickly I plan to take 2 elderberry defense and 2 astragalus twice daily for the next month. I’ll give our boys age 10 and 13 one of each daily. For younger children we have elderberry defense in a chewable form. We don’t have the astragalus in liquid or chewable but it is a sweet herb that could be stirred into a little yogurt once a day. An alternative would be to use 5-7 drops of Ultimate Echinacea daily to help boost the immune system.
For those of you who have a weak immune system but are also under high stress you may want to consider taking the formula SUMA Combination for a month or so. This formula combines the immune builders echinacea and astragalus, with two herbs which help you adapt to stressful situations: eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) and suma (sometimes called Brazilian ginseng). In addition the formula also contains gingko and gotu kola to help your brain and memory function better under stress. If I were using this formula I would take 3 capsules 2-3 times daily along with a couple Elderberry Defense for extra flu protection.
One last formula I’d like to mention is called HCP-X which stands for herbal composition powder. This combination of herbs was originally made in the 1800’s by American herbalist, Samuel Thompson. During the 1900’s it became a very popular formula for fighting colds, fever, hoarseness and flu. HCP-X combines very hot and spicy herbs: bayberry, ginger, white pine, capsicum, and cloves. It is a good remedy to use when you first come down with a cold or flu. The hot spicy nature of this formula helps to push the virus out of your system before it can take a good hold. So when you feel the first symptoms of a cold or flu coming on start taking a 2-3 capsules of HCP-X every couple hours. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Last but not least, make sure you have some Silver Shield on hand should anyone get ill. Silver Shield is simply the most powerful natural antibiotic/antiviral available. It is virtually nontoxic and can be taken by children, babies, and pregnant women. Silver attacks pathogens differently than synthetic antibiotics. It reacts with the bacteria’s cell wall inhibiting oxygen transfer into the cell which then suffocates the bacteria or virus and kills it. Because of this mechanism there is virtually no way for the pathogen to develop a resistance to the silver. Silver shield is effective for fighting the flu virus. Since this supplement is a liquid and the dose is small, it is a good choice when you have nausea and vomiting. You can take 2 tsp. every couple hours if needed. Don’t forget to order some Silver Shield Gel. You can rub this gel on your hands and it will kill viruses and bacteria on contact for 3-4 hours!
I hope these ideas help you to point you in the right direction to build a healthier stronger immune system that can fight even the strongest flu.
Certified Herbalist, Natural Health Consultant
Disclaimer: This information is intended for educational purposes. Please consult a licensed health professional should the need be indicated.
Copyright2009 Herbal Answers for Heath