The Naturopathic Perspective on the Flu

By Dr. Michael Smith

More and more moms are tired of simply turning to medications when it comes to illnesses. They want natural solutions when it comes to their family’s health. They are finding the alternatives they seek at Carolinas Natural Health Center, which offers holistic healthcare for the entire family.

Dr. Michael Smith, one of the center’s naturopathic physicians, offers his advice and recommendations about the flu from a holistic approach.

There’s incredible hysteria about the flu. The Swine Flu story has unfortunately been blown out of proportion. The reality is that this strain of the flu is no worse than any other we have had and there is no need to panic or to rush out and get another shot! There is a lot of money to be made by the pharmaceutical companies who are pushing this agenda. My concern is that this new H1N1 vaccines has been rushed to market and has not been thoroughly tested for safety. Additionally, it continues to feed into the false notion that we need a pill or a vaccine to make us healthy.

When it comes to colds and flus, we need to simply focus on taking care of ourselves. By creating a healthy environment within us we lower our susceptibility of getting a cold or the flu. We focus too much on the bug itself instead of on what we can do to create a healthy individual. Too many people will get a flu shot and then feel that they are protected and. But flu shots don’t guarantee protection or improve your health!

Instead, I recommend this list of things to my patients to stay healthy from all the bugs out there, including the flu:

  • Don’t panic! Stress suppresses your ability to fight infections. You can literally worry yourself sick instead of finding a way to constructively process these very real feelings.
  • Nourish your body well. Fill up on fruits and vegetables – powerful antioxidants that can help keep up your defenses. This is by far the most important thing you can do to improve your health and immune system.
  • Get your zzz’s. Sleep helps strengthen the body’s defenses. While you sleep, you produce melatonin, which may be responsible for some of the immune-boosting effects of sleep.
  • Vitamin D, Vitamin D, Vitamin D. And I’ll say it again – I can’t stress enough the need for Vitamin D. Almost every single person needs a supplement; your daily vitamin is not providing adequate levels and our innate immune system (which is your first line of defense against viruses) won’t work without sufficient levels of Vitamin D.
  • Probiotics. You know the term – you see it in all types of new products at the grocery store. Activia is one example. They’re supposed to help keep you regular. And while these products are good, the levels of probiotics within are not high enough. Get adequate amounts through a supplement/pill formula to maintain normal, healthy gut flora. Most of your immune system is in your digestive system, which is why you need to help keep it regulated!
  • Swap out sweets. Studies indicate that consuming large amounts of carbohydrates and sugar can drastically lower the activity of neutrophils, which account for 50% to 70% of white blood cells and those that are the first responders when an infection is detected by the body.

What I most want to stress is that you don’t need to get a flu shot. If you choose to get one, ask for a list of ingredients. You’ll likely be surprised to see the list, which includes Thimerosal (a mercury derivative that has been associated with an increase in autism), immune stimulants, preservatives, etc. Make an informed decision if these are ingredients you want to put in your body.

In 1976, when the last outbreak of the Swine Flu was looming, more people died from getting the vaccine than did from the flu. It is my belief that no child, pregnant woman or even an elderly person should get the swine flu shot; there is has not been sufficient safety testing to justify it! And it most definitely does not guarantee protection.

 

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