by Michele Carelse on October 19th, 2011 at 7:00 am
Each year a whole range of different influenza strains are produced worldwide. These changes make it difficult for our bodies to be protected as our immune system struggles to build up a natural defense against these new germs and viruses.
Although influenza (i.e. ‘flu) is generally not dangerous, it can cause serious complications and even death, especially in those with a compromised immune system such as those who are ill, elderly or very young. We all saw to what extent the H1N1 influenza virus affected populations around the globe in 2009. Logically, there can be little doubt that prevention really is the best cure giving those who are more vulnerable to the virus a better chance of fighting against it. So how can this be done in a natural and safe way? How can children, adults and the elderly protect themselves against the dangers of flu?
The immune system is similar to a car engine – keep it greased and in good condition, and no problems arise. The immune system needs to be kept in tip-top shape, through diet, exercise and adequate sleep. When it comes to influenza season, the immune system needs to build resistance over the preceding months for the best chance of staying healthy. By eating the correct food, and taking part in vigorous activity three times a week, you can help your immune system become stronger. Having said this, there is always the risk of flu, especially for young children, and the elderly.
The main goal of the conventional influenza vaccine is not to prevent the flu, but to prevent the complications associated with the flu. If the strains in the shot are a correct match to the virus you are exposed to, it can prevent disease in healthy adults with a healthy immune system. But when these shots are given to children, older people, or those with a weak immune system, it only works to reduce the severity of the symptoms and help prevent further complications of the flu. Added to this is the fact that the ‘flu vaccine’ is only effective for 8 – 12 months, means that vaccines have to be updated each season! There have even been emerging studies indicating how the positive effects of flu vaccinations have been grossly exaggerated. A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that in reality the conventional flu vaccine has little to no effect in reducing the number of hospital stays, time of work and death due to influenza and its complications.
So what is the answer when it comes to keeping you and your family in superb shape for the winter to come? From a naturopathic point of view, frequent conventional vaccination can weaken immune functioning and ultimately lead to ill health and more serious illnesses. Some people are also not able to have a conventional flu vaccination due to allergies or other conditions. (Flu vaccines are prepared on chicken embryos and are therefore not safe for those with egg and chicken allergies.) Whether or not you have yourself vaccinated, it is important to know that there are other choices that are equally effective without the side effects associated with conventional flu vaccines. Natural homeopathic vaccines are available to help the immune system build a defense against cold and flu viruses.
BaniFlu™ Homeopathic remedy protects against flu virus and germs – safe for all ages
FluGo™ Homeopathic remedy relieves influenza (flu) and cold symptoms – cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat and fatigue