O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. Psalm 30:2
Have you seen the news? Influenza is “epidemic” this year.
We can blame the faulty vaccine, lack of sunshine, high levels of sugar during the holidays, or the sick kid at church…
But the truth is, even the healthiest of us can contract influenza. There are plenty of things we can do to prevent it, and plenty of natural options for dealing with it by shortening the length of the infection and effectively addressing the symptoms.
Dr. Roberson’s Notes:
What is the “flu”?
The “flu” is from influenza, a viral illness. Viral illnesses do not respond to antibiotics. There are many different strains of the influenza virus, but they are one of three types: A, B, or C. Our most common influenza strain is A . For instance, the H1N1 is a type of Influenza A.
The normal onset of flu is a high fever, muscle aches and pains, and a non productive cough. They also can include nasal congestion, sore throat , headache, fatigue and sometimes vomiting- but stomach problems are rarely associated with influenza. Severe vomiting and diarrhea is often called the stomach “flu” but is not part of the influenza virus.
What are the actual dangers of contracting influenza?
The influenza virus will typically last about a week. Most people will handle the virus and recover on their own. The real danger is for patients who might be at higher risk for developing a worse infection or complication such as pneumonia. These include the elderly and those with chronic diseases or immune suppression. If you have trouble breathing, your fever and flu symptoms are worsening daily and not improving, or you believe your symptoms are severe, then you should call your doctor.
What is the medical approach to treating influenza?
In general it is not necessary to go to the doctor’s office. The worst is usually over in 48 hours . Many more people- including those at higher risk- can be exposed by going to the doctor or hospital unnecessarily. There is a medication that can shorten the duration of the flu by possibly half a day, but these medications should be reserved for those patients with other health problems who are at a high risk of complications and serious infections.
The best course of treatment for those in good health are to boost your immune system and stay home to allow your body to rest and heal and protect others from catching it. Many of the natural remedies listed below are effective and useful for most people.
Preventing the Flu
It is true that the lack of sunshine (Vitamin D) and the excess sugar and carbohydrate intake during the winter months are correlated with influenza outbreaks. You need fat-soluble vitamins like D and A to support the immune system and fight viruses. Sugar acts as an antagonist to the immune system, suppressing it and making us much more susceptible to contracting disease.
*Note for parents: In our house we explain to our young children that sugar is the “body bully”. A big bully will surely beat up a little guy, but a little bully won’t have success if the good guy is big. When we eat a lot of sugar then the “body bully” gets really big and can beat us up from the inside. But if we feed ourselves mostly healthy foods then the bully will stay small and can’t win. We always want to encourage children to understand why we make certain food choices instead of just telling them not to eat it. This will help them make healthy decisions when they are older.
When you’re exposed to disease, especially a highly contagious virus like influenza, your innate immune system responds to fight it off.
The innate immune system relies on nutrition! You CAN’T wait until you get the disease to get healthy.
To fight influenza- either by avoiding it or keeping it mild if you contract it- we suggest that you:
Medical research shows that the nutrients correlated with influenza prevention are: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Probiotics.
Guess what? You will find that the Cod Liver Oil we recommend is nature’s best source of naturally-occuring vitamin A and D. Juice Plus+ is an excellent source of Vitamin C. And probiotics are the third supplement on our list. So, again, there is a reason we recommend these 3 Supplements Everyone Should Take Every Day.
Fighting the Virus From The Start
The innate immune system is your first response, so that’s why we emphasize a nutrient-dense diet and our top 3 food supplements. When you know you’re coming down with an illness, you have to stick with the diet and we recommend you immediately double the dose of the supplements so you get higher amount of Vitamins A, D & C and probiotics.
As far as additional natural options to fight the virus, here’s what we recommend you start using right away:
- Elderberry- syrup, tea, tinctures, drops
Elderberry is a traditional remedy that is known to have anti-viral properties. You can purchase different forms of elderberry, so here is what we recommend:
- Pre-made Elderberry syrup concentrate
- Homemade Elderberry syrup
- Elderberry/Echinacea tea
- Raw Garlic
Raw, freshly cut garlic has anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities. We recommend cutting into small pieces and swallowing it like a pill. A clove every few hours is adequate.
Nourish & Hydrate
While your appetite is typically suppressed during an influenza infection, it is critical that you stay hydrated and only eat food that supports your body.
- Avoid sugary drinks and sugary, processed food.
- Drink water as often as possible
- Drink homemade electrolyte drinks like this one or lacto-fermented drinks like these
- Try these homemade gelatin gummies since they help hydrate and offer protein. Using the base recipe, consider making the gummies with the electrolyte or lacto-fermented/probiotic drinks, or even the elderberry-echinacea tea recommended above!
- The best possible food you could eat- regularly or during an illness- is homemade chicken and vegetable soup made with mineral-rich homemade bone broth. Click here for our famous recipe!
Our FAVORITE Natural Health Products…
We’d love to share more of our FAVORITE products to use when we are dealing with immune support. If you want to learn more about these favorite things, please Contact Us and ask!
*When talking about health care on this public website, we have to be careful that we don’t make any illegal health claims with certain products, but we can absolutely share these products with you via email and private communication. We look forward to hearing from you!