Lately, there has been a nasty little flu bug sweeping through our city, and apparently, the nation. There is also a lot of fear, tremendous fear over it. Unfortunately, tremendous fear also lowers the immune system response, which makes it an even larger whammy for some people. What to do, and how to treat it?
Well, first of all. I am not giving medical advice, I am giving herbalist advice, and it doesn’t stand in place of a proper consultation if you have a difficult personal situation with many factors to gather in to look at. In a general way, tho’ we will investigate some of what we can do, and maybe shouldn’t do!
1) Do not get the flu shot. While not everyone is immune (we haven’t had a flu bug in years), if you get the flu, you will develop immunity. Most people who get the flu shot get that strain of flu, and are weakened enough to also get other flu’s during the season. Our family got this latest one, but we do not usually get flu’s at all, and I am thankful that we didn’t get vaccines, nor received the lowered immune resistance that flu vaccines are notorious for giving. As visits to any local pharmacy will show, the number one question of pharmacists from people with flu is why did they get the flu now, after haven gotten the flu shot this year. As we know, viruses are not static and are constantly mutating, but we also know, there is no proof that the flu vaccines work, AT ALL. Filled with all kinds of good for you ingredients like thimersol, tin, aluminum, formaldehyde, artificial colors and preservatives, antibiotics, stray and foreign bio-film materials inherent in the imperfect process of formulation, RNA from other biological material, is it any wonder it kicks the immune system and the elimination organs hard? Keep yourself as healthy as you can, for your situation instead! Focus on nutrition and love during the year, not what you can buy to cheat and protect yourself from life…that attitude generally doesn’t work!
2) It’s winter, get enough rest. Rest when you feel you need it, and with the cycles of the weather. Not enough rest, and a high stressful lifestyle, is a perfect brew for winter sickness.
3) Get enough vitamin D…whether this is from playing and gardening in the sun in summer, taking a cod liver oil supplemental form, along with eating lots of mushrooms and some fish, and organ meats in winter, pastured raw milk and pastured eggs, find your forms and stay nourished!
4) Nourishing herbal infusions. Stay nourished with powerhouses of nutrition with Nettle,Dandelion Leaf and Oat Straw! Bone broths made from pastured animals with seaweed…yum!
5) Stay happy and read poems, listen to music, and make beautiful devotions around you!
6) If you do get sick, remember, this can be a GOOD thing. You are more likely to suffer from other diseases if your immune system doesn’t have something good to fight every once and awhile. Fighting a virus can also help clear other subtle infections or parasites one has been nursing unknowingly during the year. It is a positive time where the system flushes itself, a fever comes on, and you hopefully, get a bit of time off during this internal work. So, what to do?
Diaphoretic herbs may be called into use. Fevers are good, really good, they burn away the dross…BUT you want to open up those pores so the heat can dissipate. Otherwise, you run the danger of getting too hot, and then having to treat the too hot by itself, which lowers your immune system resistance and lets the virus and other friends (sub-clinical bacterial and fungal infections like to proliferate when the body is busy with a virus) all get out of hand. You frequently see people who treat symptoms instead of aligning their body with the fight, and it gets out of hand and lasts a very long time. Diaphoretic herbs help to open and dispel fevers by opening up the eccrine glands to cool the body (sweating).
When choosing an herb, you want to look for other properties (feelings and sensations) you are looking for help with. Some might be a little bit on the hot inducing side, revving up the engines and not appropriate for someone who needs sleep, or is very fussy. Others, will bring out a sweat in a cooler way, especially appropriate when someone is dealing with high heat and high dryness. Garlic, Elecampane, Catnip, Ginger, Elderflower/berry, Peppermint, Yarrow and Turmeric are some of my favorites. Usually, one is all is needed, best in infusion, tincture, bath or poultice. Capsules, generally, are not that effective, please stay away from them, they’re generally a waste of money!
Most of what I’ve spoken about here is not a “treatment” for flu, because there is no treatment. Your body holds the keys, and from a holistic perspective, we do not treat symptoms. Symptoms are simply expressions, and it is better to get to the root causes of healing than covering up. Some may disagree with this view, but those who cover up their illness simply breed them deeper in their bodies, and may be a cause for why flu’s in the US seem to be getting stronger and worse…they are not properly defeated by healthy and active immune systems. Instead, many go into public in active contagious states, in a place of fever suppression. The allopathic and corporate medicine model promote active, walking viral carriers. The old wisdom says to stay in bed and heal.
(c) 2013 Summer Michaelson