Natural Ways to Fight the Flu

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Adam's Apple, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    How anyone can gargle using oil of oregano without strangling themselves is beyond me. That stuff is 10 times hotter than tabasco sauce. My throat swells up even when I try to use Listerine. If you've never heard of castor oil packs, do a search for "Castor Oil Therapy", and it will tell you how to prepare and apply them.

    Natural Ways to Fight the Flu
    By Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star
    October 18, 2005

    Last year, when flu shots were scarce, you opted not to get one. And you were fine. But now it's full-blown flu season again and those nasty symptoms -- aches, chills, fever -- are taking hold. By the time you're sick, it's too late to get the flu shot. What if you're not a fan of prescription meds? What can you do?

    Go the alternative route:

    • Boost your immune system. Get adequate rest and sleep and take vitamin C.
    Immune system boosters such as astragalus and Asian mushrooms are available at health food stores. While neither of these has been studied specifically for flu, research has shown they both increase the number and effectiveness of white blood cells, key players in the immune response, says Dr. James Nicolai, director of the Franciscan Center for Integrative Health at St. Francis.

    Esberitox, a mix of echinacea and other herbs, also can help, says Charles Lindstrom, pharmacist and owner of Nora Apothecary & Alternative Therapies. He prefers a one-week-on, one-week-off schedule.

    Dr. Kevin Logan, a physician in private practice on the Northeastside, recommends his patients avoid sugar, soft drinks, processed foods and hydrogenated oils, which he believes all suppress the immune system.

    • Once the flu or cold hits, you need to assault the virus. During the first two days of symptoms, reach for some Sambucol (elderberry extract), Nicolai says. This remedy actually has science behind it. A 1995 Israeli study showed that 90 percent of the subjects who took daily doses of Sambucol were cured within two to three days, while those who did not take it suffered a few days longer.

    • Don't overlook what your mother told you. Chicken soup may actually be good for you -- especially if it's homemade, experts say. Not only does the soup often contain garlic, but animal-based broths also will improve your hydration, always an asset in battling the cold or flu, Nicolai says.

    • For a sore throat, squeeze juice from limes, gargle with it, and swallow, Logan recommends. Or gargle with a few drops of oil of oregano in fresh water.

    • Steam up your life with a castor oil pack, Logan adds. Apply a castor oil pack to your chest area and place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the pack for detoxification.

    • One traditional remedy that experts frown on: A hot toddy. Sure, it may help you get some rest in the short term, but in the long term, alcohol tends to depress the immune system and dehydrate you.

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