So today I was with my galfriends at a great summer afternoon 'pool party' (why didn't we do this when it was 106* out?? Fairly cool today!) & talk around the snack table turned to wondering about the next flu vaccines. Several of the gals are teachers, & I recall a few years ago I was the only one (of 8, now 9) who wasn't getting a flu shot! Blagh!!
Never have, don't see the need to . . .
During the 'swine flu' frenzy last winter, I came across a lovely article written by an adjunct prof from Seattle's Naturopathic school, Bastyr, about the contrast in small percentage of deaths among homeopathy users during the 1918 flu epidemic. I mentioned this to my friends, & they asked me to send them the info.
Ah yes, here's my *disclaimer* - please don't take this as medical advice!! More as grist for your mental mill - & if in doubt - seek the aid of a trained medical professional - hopefully a Naturopath, Osteopath, or Accupuncturist!
I've used the over the counter homeopathics, & take things like emergen-C & drink Ginger teas, etc. when I'm exposed to stuff. I also keep charcoal caps on hand, & take those if I'm exposed to a flu or food poisoning.
Homeopathic remedies stimulate your body's own defenses, are taken under the tongue ~ 20 minutes away from any liquid or brushing your teeth. Brittan's royal family uses Homeopathy, & it's highly respected in most of Europe. Homeopathic remedies are available over the counter at Natural food stores, or directly from Naturopaths. You can get cute little blue box 'sets' - there are several options, inc. remedies for kids. The box holds 3 remedies, & is easily refillable with your personal 'favorites.' (they also come empty, but are often a bit less $ filled!)
The 'basic' all around flu remedy (take at the FIRST sign) is Occilocoxcinum. It comes in packs of 6 small tubes, & you can take 1/2 tube at a time, with doses ~ 6 hours apart. A patient of the Doc in my office buys several boxes each fall, & keeps them on her desk for ANYONE in her office to take at the first sign of a 'bug.' She says it really pays off in fewer 'sick' days for the whole staff. She also gets his nurtitional I-Vs periodically when exposed to bugs.
The good Doctor (an ND) also carries a remedy that is compounded from the current season's flu strains, which is taken for a few days (3?) at the same time each month throughout 'flu season.' I think it's Influenzinum. I've never taken this route, but several folks in our office do, inc. the Doctor.
Here's a great article that came out during the swine flu outbreak. The Author, Melaine Grimes, is an adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University (Seattle's Naturopathic college)
A stunning quotes from the article: "Ohio reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%" You can see by these figures that NDs & homeopaths were very popular, & effective, at that time. (MDs practice 'allopathy' - against the symptoms).
One could write a tretis (Suzanne Sommers has!) on how the pharmecutical companies & their 'backers' wanted more of the market, so managed to shift things like hospital priv. toward the MDs, & make the other docs less available.
For general prevention/health, Melanie Grimes suggests: "certain nutrients have been shown to help enhance the immune system, such as echinacea, vitamins C, E and beta carotene, zinc, and elderberries."
During that 1918 epidemic, the remedies most often used were Gelsemium and Bryonia.
Gelsemium is one of my personal favorites, & one I carry in my purse (along with Arnica & Hypericum). It's package 'blurb' suggests use for 'stage fright & anxiety.'
It's useful for headaches that begin in the neck/back of head, & may turn into stomach upset. I've used it for headaches (rare) since the mid to late 80s. Taken at the first beginning, it's even stopped my daughter's migraines a few times.
Each tube costs ~ $6, so it's pretty darn cheep preventative medicine!!
Occilicoxcinum is a bit more, since it's a pack of tubes! The 'small' box of Occilicoxcinum is ~ $12, & the double size ~ $22. It's well worth while to keep a box on hand! & tho an expiration date is printed on the tube, they are 'good' for much longer (USDA requirement)
Arnica is the remedy for the first 24 hours after an injury, or when you are going to do something out of the ordinary - a long bike ride, a hike, a full day in the garden. The midwives gave it to my dau-in law during labor, to help ease pain & speed recovery! You can take it along with something like Ibupofrin - just take the arnica WITHOUT water (& ~ 20 min after drinking or eating) & the Ibupf. with, a few hours later!
Hypericum (St John's Wort) is especially helpful for nerve pain; dental work, a smushed finger or toe (lots of nerve endings) & even things like Sciatica!
Both Arnica & Hypericum can be used externally as well, Arnica in a salve, & Hypericum in tincture, oil or salve.
A Naturopath or Homeopath can help fine tune what you need for something specific - say a cough (is it dry or moist? Deep in the chest . . . ) but the remedies I've mentioned are all available over the counter, & have WAY fewer negative side effects than 'drugs!'
Rarely will you keep taking something that's not working for you - if it isn't effective, you stop taking it! At times, your symptoms will seem to get worse, then you'll feel better. The philosophy isn't supressing symptoms, but going beneath them, to treat the cause! & triggering your own immune system to counteract the 'dis-ease.'
When my oldest granddaughter took an unknown quantity of her (homeopathic) teething tablets, Mary called Dr D & he just laughed! "nope - it won't hurt her!! She could be a tiny bit sleepy - but prob. not even that! . . . now if it were asprin, . . . "
USUALLY, you take the remedy several times, & stop taking it as soon as symptoms abate. Some of the flu remedies are best taken 'preventatively' - both at the first sign of symptoms, or if someone close to you is already beginning to get sick!! You can often fend something off, simply 'almost' feeling sick yourself!
This summer my dau. & I got 'food poisoning' - that knocked us out for a day.
We sent each other text messages as we spent the morning in & out of the bathroom. We took charcoal tabs, we drank water, about midday I pulled out a favorite herb book & made some yarrow tea for me, & later took some over to her . . . .& I think about that time took some occiloc. . . . & I began drinking my 'standard' (for upset tummy) vinegar & a bit of honey or agave nectar in water. By the next day it had passed, tho feeling a bit 'off' persisted for a few days.
Herbalists inc. Susun Weed suggest eating the tonic herbs daily, & using the heavier hitters only occasionally, when you really need them. Her Healing Wise is a great compendium of some of her favorite dailys. Lalitha Thomas '10 Essential Herbs' is another great story book that reminds us how simple health care can be. Isn't it about time to take back our power & touch into some of these simpler ways of caring for our bodies?