by Michele Carelse on September 22nd, 2011 at 7:05 am
Which works best for you? The subject of flu vaccination has caused its fair share of debate in recent years. Should one use conventional means to support the immune system, or look to nature to provide protection? We look at the potential risks of allopathic flu vaccination and investigate the advantages of the natural approach…
Every year winter brings along with it a variety of influenza viruses that are constantly changing – stopping our body from building up a natural defense against it. In the United States, there has been a marked increase in flu vaccine recommendations – with children aged 6 months to 5 years being vaccinated against the flu.
Researchers question the alarming lack of evidence for promoting vaccinations for children under the age of two. In addition, papers published by the same researchers found that the conventional flu vaccine is only mildly effective in treating the portion of the population most urged to get a vaccination – the elderly. Overall, it was concluded, that influenza vaccines have little or no effect on many influenza campaign objectives, such as hospital stay, time off work, or death from influenza and its complications.
There are other problems and side effects associated with the conventional flu vaccine. Allopathic flu shots and oral vaccines contain live virus – that can cause mild flu-like symptoms and even severe allergic reactions and have also been associated with the development of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). It is always advisable to weigh up the benefits against the disadvantages when making the choice of whether or not to be vaccinated in a conventional manner.
Natural methods to help avoid the flu
So what is the alternative to the conventional flu vaccine? Often we find ourselves dealing with the symptoms of flu as they hit us mid-winter with a vengeance. But the best line of defense is prevention. Symptoms of cold and flu are anything but pleasant, so it makes sense to do as much as we can before the cold and flu season – giving us a better chance of escaping the sniffles and sneezes. Having said this, it is also never too late to help the immune system and provide protection against the current flu strain.
From a naturopathic point of view, frequent vaccination can weaken immune functioning and ultimately lead to ill health and more serious illnesses. Some people are not able to have a 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.
One option is a homeopathic preparation of the current flu virus as a flu vaccine – either together with the conventional vaccination for extra protection (and relief from the side effects of conventional vaccines) or as a standalone option.
Prevention is better than cure! Here are some tips to support your immune system:
Exercise: As little as half an hour a day of gentle exercise can help fight flu. Research suggests that moderate daily exercise can help fend off the common cold. A study found that walkers experienced half the number of ‘sick days’ of cold symptoms as non-exercisers.
Food for Fighting the Flu: The correct eating plan can greatly reduce the risk of colds and flu and has the added benefit of helping us stay in shape during winter months when we are tempted to overindulge. Foods to boost your immune system include: Oranges, grapefruit and tangerines (packed with protective nutrients such as vitamin C, bioflavonoids and anti-oxidants that help to ward off winter colds and flu), Butternut, pumpkins and squash (these are all great sources of beta-carotene, one of the most powerful antioxidants in our winter protection pack), yoghurt, fish, (a fantastic source of zinc and the omega-3 fatty acids), Oysters (a great source of zinc) and herbal tea (Chamomile tea in particular has been applauded for its strong antibacterial properties – explaining why the tea has long been attributed as a cold fighter).
BaniFlu™ Homeopathic remedy protects against flu virus and germs – safe for all ages