Here are 20 natural remedies for the flu that address the root cause of why someone “catches” the flu and not just the symptoms.
Interestingly cold and flu season comes alongside the holiday season. Did you ever wonder why?
At this time of year we have many social activities and celebrations. This leads to eating plenty of sugary sweets, not getting enough sleep and generally trying to keep up with all the extra activities that engage us this time of year.
This can be stressful even though it is fun. That is a prescription for an impaired immune system, making us susceptible to contracting viral and bacterial illnesses.
While holiday time is a fun time, for many there are just too many demands on their time and healthy eating is difficult to accomplish. Kids are schlepted around and stupted (aren’t those great Yiddish words?) with candy and chocolate everywhere they go.
Every activity has a snack. This would drive me crazy when my son was little. I would watch the kids going straight for the snack table at every event.
We are teaching our children that they need a sugary snack at every single event!
Do not get pressured into getting a flu shot. Think about it and research the risk vs. benefit profile. They are pressuring EVERYONE to get this. These toxic shots are available 24/7 at local pharmacies and even churches. They are enlisting clergy people to push the shot on everyone.
Remember the phrase a chicken in every pot? They are trying for a flu shot in every arm! Don’t fall for it! A yearly flu shot is VERY dangerous and it does not protect you. Do your research first and make an informed decision.
What’s in the Flu Shot
For the 2012-2013 flu season Novardis is offering FLUVIRIN® which is an influenza virus vaccine prepared from virus propagated in embryonated hens eggs which have been inoculated with a specific type of influenza virus suspension containing neomycin and polymyxin which are antibiotics.
Ingredients of Fluvirin:
Beta-Propiolactone, Egg Protein, Neomycin, Polymyxin B, Polyoxyethylene 9-10 Nonyl Phenol (Triton N-101, Octoxynol 9), Thimerosal (in the multidose containers), Thimerosal* (much smaller amounts in the single-dose syringes)
Hydrate yourself with warm liquids such as homemade nutrient dense bone broths and herbal teas. These liquids will help to hydrate your body which is especially important if you have a fever.
Soups made from bone broths with added vegetables and herbs are a must when you have a cold or flu. It is the best way to get easily digestible nutrients into a body that needs to use all its energy to support the immune system.
Coconut oil has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties so try to put some in your tea, on your food or take by the spoonful.
Raw milk from grassfed cows or raw yogurt or kefir made from that milk is extremely nourishing and the live immune factors in the raw milk will help you when you are sick. If you are drinking raw milk you probably will not get the flu in the first place.
Eggs from pastured chickens – soft boiled or raw if they are very fresh will supply lots of vitamin A and D.
Fermented foods such as homemade yogurt without added sugars and homemade sauerkraut juice would be easy to get down and provide beneficial probiootics.
Garlic is also a potent antimicrobial that kills bacteria, viruses and fungus. Try eating your food with garlic. This is also available as a supplement.
Do not eat sugary starchy foods when sick with the flu. The sugar feeds the microorganisms and this will work against getting better.
Take extra cod liver oil because this will give you additional vitamins A and D which are essential for a strong immune system. This is something you should be taking on a daily basis.
Extra vitamin C is also good for the immune system. A 1999 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics indicated that 1,000 mg of vitamin every hour for 6 hours and 1,000 mg three times daily afterward can effectively relieve or even prevent flu symptoms.
Zinc lozenges have been shown to sooth a sore throat. Be sure to take zinc with food. On an empty stomach it can cause nausea.
Lauricidin is a supplement of monolaurin which is lauric acid that is found in breast milk. This is very protective against bacteria and viruses and can be used with children.
Immune modulating herbals such as echinacea, golden root, andrographis and astragalus can be helpful.
Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years to strengthen the immune and respiratory systems and to fight the flu. Astragalus belongs to a class of herbs called adaptogens, which helps the body handle stress. Astragalus is also antibacterial and antiviral.
Olive leaf has been shown to be an excellent antibacterial. This herbal supplement fights bacterial and viral infections.
An extract of the black elderberries produces beneficial immune actions and helps fight influenza and other respiratory viruses. Two small studies have demonstrated rapid recovery from influenza with a proprietary elderberry extract called Sambucol, which is available in many natural food stores.
You also can make your own elderberry syrup.
Homeopathy for the Flu
One of the best remedies on the market is Oscillococcinum. If you can say this correctly three times fast, your flu will disappear! Just kidding. This is something you can have in your first aid closet. If you take it as soon as you start feeling sick it will work better. It is also good for the common cold as well as the flu.
Homeopathy also may be used for acute cold and flu symptoms. Get yourself a good starter book and a few remedies and learn all you can about it. It is a very individual therapy and each person may need different remedies for the flu.
Warm Detoxification Bath – Take a warm detoxification bath with 1 cup of Epsom salts or magnesium salts to relax aching muscles and relieve the chills.
Get Plenty of Sleep – When you are really sick in bed, of course you will be getting more sleep. To prevent colds and flu, get a good night’s sleep every day.
Naturally open the nasal passages with steam – If you have nasal congestion (more common when you have a cold) use steam to open the nasal passages. A steam shower is great for this. If you do not have one, bring a quart-size pot of water to a boil, remove it from the stove and place your face a comfortable distance from the steam taking care not to burn your skin. Cover your head with a towel. Inhale through your nose if you’re stuffy, or through your mouth for chest congestion.
Adding a drop or two of essential oils or herbs to the water, such as eucalyptus, will also aid in opening up the passages and thinning the mucous. Just be sure to close your eyes and never drink the water.
Some people like to use the neti pot for irrigation of sinuses.
Keep your immune system healthy – Importantly, keep yourself healthy by eating well, keeping to your exercise program, getting enough sleep and staying away from sweets. Studies have found that immediately after eating sugar, there is a drop in white blood cell function. According to WebMD,
Consuming too much sugar suppresses immune system cells responsible for attacking bacteria. Even consuming just 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about the same as in two 12-ounce sodas) reduces the ability of white blood cells to overpower and destroy bacteria. This effect is seen for at least a few hours after consuming a sugary drink.
Seek medical help if symptoms persist of if you develop a high fever. Please see my disclaimer.