My last blog post about the swine flu was about prevention through detoxification and immune system supportive actions. The flu which broke out in Mexico and found in the US is now being found in many other countries. Today’s post will cover additional things you can do to prevent catching the disease.
The traditional media and sources have a few guidelines for prevention which I will site here and then I will add a few of my own.
Once again, there is no need to panic. You are going to be seeing headlines spreading fear everywhere. There is no need to panic.
What can you do to protect yourself? Experts offer a a few suggestions:
1. Sanitize — i.e. Wash Your Hands Frequently. It may sound obvious, but hand-washing with soap and water for around 20 seconds is the single best thing you can do (if you’re going to go out into the world and interact with other human beings). The CDC estimates that 80 percent of all infections are spread by hands. If you can’t wash your hands regularly, try hand-sanitizers with 60 percent alcohol content.
2. Avoid — i.e. Engage in Social Distancing.” That’s the fancy term for staying away from other people if you’re sick or if you’re concerned that they may be infected. It may not be especially practical when you have to go to, say, work, but experts believe it’s worth repeating: Isolation and avoidance reduce your chances of getting infected or infecting others.
3. Be Alert — i.e. Recognize the Symptoms and Get Help. Swine flu symptoms are similar to regular flu: Fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you don’t feel well, seek medical attention. So far, it’s important to note, this swine flu is treatable (and absolutely survivable). It’s resistant to two of four antiviral drugs approved for combating the flu: Symmetrel and Flumadine. But two newer antivirals – Tamiflu and Relenza – appear to work.
Again I would like to state that I am not a fan of flu vaccinations but in some cases they are necessary.
Now that you’ve got the “official” prevention information here are preventative holistic measures you can take.
Start monitoring yourself. The flu has a 24-48 hour infection period.
- Start taking higher doses of vitamin C
- Take Zinc Lozenges
- Echinacea and Goldenseal
- Take 2 drops of Oregano essential oil in the AM and PM then take probiotics 2 hours after taking the oil. (the orgeano oil tastes nasty but it will kill most any virus)
- Should you have a few symptoms you can begin to take a homeopathic remedy.
Echinacea & Goldenseal Extract Organic
- Oscillococcinum, Gelsemium, Bryonia and Rhus Tox are over the counter homeopathics which you can take.
Boericke & Tafel Child Alpha Cold & Flu Tablets
I’ve included an excerpt from FLU: Alternative Treatments and Prevention by Randall Neustaedter OMD, North Atlantic Books, 2005 which describes research on homeopathy and past epidemics. It also describes which homeopathic remedy is most useful for the symptoms you have.
“Finding the right homeopathic medicine for the flu is usually straightforward because the symptoms tend to be dramatic and easily characterized.
Most flu seasons and epidemics fit a common homeopathic picture, so that the majority of people with the flu will benefit from the epidemic medicine.
Homeopaths are singularly confident about treating viral illness, including flu. There is a long history of successful management of serious acute infections with homeopathy, particularly the flu. Homeopathic medicine proved extremely effective in the management of the 1918 flu epidemic, and it will prove itself in any future flu pandemic, just as it does every winter in the treatment of that year’s flu cases. … A report to the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1921 documented the dramatic success of homeopathy in the worst flu pandemic in history. The death rate of 24,000 flu cases under conventional medical care in that study was 28.2 percent, while the death rate of 26,000 cases treated with homeopathy was a nearly miraculous 1.05 percent. Similarly, many homeopathic physicians each reported treating thousands of patients with very few deaths.
Homeopathic Flu Prevention
One specific homeopathic medicine used to treat the flu has been subjected to clinical trials. The medicine is a homeopathic preparation of the liver and heart of a Barbary duck (trade name Oscillococcinum). This medicine was first formulated in 1925. Its name arose from a spurious notion that the blood of flu victims in the 1918 pandemic contained bacteria composed of balls (cocci) that vibrated, or oscillated. Joseph Roy, a French physician at the time identified this supposed pathogen and found it in many animal species. He chose as the source of his homeopathic preparation a duck, possibly an extremely fortuitous accident because of the association between human flu epidemics and bird viruses.
Oscillococcinum was first studied in France during the 1987 flu epidemic caused by an H1N1 virus. This multi-center study examined the effect of Oscillococcinum (200C) on the early symptoms of flu. Results were published in the peer-reviewed British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. A group of 149 non-homeopathic physicians enlisted 487 patients in the study, each of whom had developed flu-like symptoms during the previous 24 hours. Symptoms met strict criteria for the level of fever and the presence of associated flu symptoms. This took place in the midst of a documented flu epidemic. A treatment group and control group were established and the medicine prescribed in 5 doses, once at the physician’s office and then twice a day for two days following. More patients in the treatment group recovered completely in the first 48 hours than the control group (17 percent of patients with active treatment compared to 10 percent of controls). This was deemed a statistically significant difference. More patients in the treatment group also judged the treatment as favorable compared to the placebo, 61 percent vs 49 percent (Ferley, 1989).
In 1990 German physicians replicated the French study of Oscillococcinum. They used the same criteria as the previous study and enrolled 372 patients. After 48 hours of treatment with Oscillococcinum the treatment group had significantly milder symptoms than the control group, and the number of patients with no symptoms from day two onward was significantly greater in the treatment group (17.4 percent) compared to the control group (6.6 percent) (Papp, 1998).
Both of these studies show a significant curative effect of a homeopathic medicine in the treatment of flu in carefully conducted, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. The two studies were done in different countries, each with many participating physicians, and during two different flu epidemics, presumably caused by different viruses. Conventional antiviral drugs reduce the duration of flu by about one day if taken within the first 48 hours of illness (Cooper, 2003). Comparing the results of these studies with the meager effect of conventional treatment shows that homeopathy carries the potential to make a dramatic difference in any flu epidemic without the risk of drug side effects.
Homeopathic Flu Medicines
The two most frequently indicated homeopathic flu medicines over the past 100 years have been Gelsemium and Bryonia. There are significant differences in the symptom pictures of these two medicines that make it easy to decide which is the better fit. They are not the only medicines used to treat the flu, but between them they will probably fit the majority of cases.
Bryonia and Gelsemium type flus both come on slowly over a 6-12 hour period. You begin to feel gradually worse over that time. By the second day you have aching muscles, feel pretty bad, and usually have a headache. Bryonia has more pain in the front of the head, which is definitely made worse by moving the head, or moving the eyes, and feels better from pressing the hand on the head. Gelsemium has pain in the back of the head with stiffness and aching in the neck and across the shoulders. Gelsemium does not want to move much either, and you may feel worse from moving around, but you avoid movement primarily because you are so tired. The characteristic state of Gelsemium is lethargy and fatigue. By contrast, Bryonia is tired but also restless. Bryonia discomfort is worse from motion, but at the same time you feel the urge to move about restlessly in the bed. No position seems comfortable. Bryonia is thirsty, Gelsemium is not. In fact Bryonia is generally warmer and drier. Bryonia wants air and cool temperatures to calm the heat. Gelsemium is chilly and sensitive to cold; cold shivers go down the spine. At the same time Gelsemium is clammy with the fever, and feelings of heat and cold may alternate. Bryonia has more coughing and chest symptoms, a painful cough that aggravates the sore throat. The Bryonia cough will also cause chest pains, and the inevitable reaction to this situation is to press the palm to the chest to minimize the movement caused by coughing.
Gelsemium does not have the energy to be emotional. Bryonia is irritable, worried, and fretful. Bryonia wants to be left alone, Gelsemium is too exhausted to respond.
The Rhus toxicodendron flu immediately distinguishes itself by its extreme restlessness. With all of the aching pains Rhus tox is better from moving. Constant motion, changing positions, and stretching provide the only relief. If you lie still with a Rhus tox flu you begin to ache, which forces you to move. Nighttime is the worst for Rhus tox because of the difficulty remaining in one position. You will toss and turn looking for relief. Mentally Rhus tox is anxious with a restless mind, and emotionally a sudden depression with crying is common. Like Gelsemium, Rhus tox is chilly and sweaty. Rhus tox is also sensitive to cold and better from warmth. The headache of both Rhus tox and Gelsemium has its focus in the back of the neck and head with aching across the shoulders. Rhus tox has a very dry mouth, but despite the dryness is not very thirsty.
Baptisia is a bad flu that comes on quickly with a high fever. Suddenly with a Baptisia flu you are very sick and going downhill fast. Mentally Baptisia is confused, stupidly dull, and even delirious, sleepy all the time and unable to even answer questions. The main characteristic is an offensive odor from the sweat, the mouth, and the stool, and Baptisia flus are accompanied by both diarrhea and vomiting. The tongue is coated yellow or brown, the throat intensely red, ulcers appear in the mouth, and the gums ooze blood.”
For more information about a Medical Intuitive approach to the flu visit Swine Flu – A Medical Intuitive Perspective.
Disclaimer: the herbs and remedies mentioned in this article enhance the body’s response to an acute infection; however, they are not a substitute for medical treatment. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, please contact your health care provider.
Added August 20th 2009: Swine flu is still making the headlines, it is still preferable to take a holistic approach to any flu. The fall is upon us and I would like to invite you to a Fall Detox/Cleansing. Please visit Fall Detox – Holistic Protection for Flu for details