Say Boo to the Flu!
Holistic & Herbal Approach to Colds & Flu
Lorraine Hughes, RH (AHG)
As the seasons are now in transition we arrive in the Chinese Five Element “season” of Metal.
This elemental change occurs in the Autumn during which the onset of colds and flu manifest.
The (Chinese) organ systems directly affected are the 2 major organs of elimination or letting go not only on the physical (body) but also on the mental and spiritual plane;
they are the Lung and Large Intestine.
Maintaining Order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom. To cure disease after it has appeared is like digging a well when one already feels thirsty, or forging weapons after the war has already begun……..
Nei Jing (medical classic) written in the second century B.C.
Therefore …… prevention is the key.
The lungs are most affected during this time of the year as they are the most sensitive to temperature, wind, dryness and moisture changes in the air that we breathe.
As this is the time of year that the windows are shut closed and the heat is turned on which brings dry heat to our lungs when we are inside and cold and dry or cold and damp in our outside environment. More people are congregating for longer time periods with each other and are only a sneeze away from sharing any given cold or flu virus that they are carrying.
When we go outside or are in drafty areas we should be wearing a scarf around our necks along with keeping our heads covered as this is where the cold will invade our protective chi (qi) or Wei Qi. Once this protective barrier is weakened, this weakens our respiratory resistance and challenges our immune integrity and ensuing response.
Symptoms of influenza, or flu, are similar to symptoms of the common cold, but flu symptoms are more severe with fever as a differential factor. Flu is typically spread between people indoors, and its symptoms come on suddenly. These symptoms include fever and chills, sore throat, dry cough, runny nose, frontal headache, muscle pain, coughing, fatigue and congestion.
Children and infants can have wheezing and asthma-like symptoms.
Incubation period is 1 to 6 days BEFORE onset of symptoms. Physicians may diagnose influenza by a throat culture or blood test, which may be important if you have a particularly strong flu, if your doctor suggests pneumonia or a bacterial infection. Biomedical (Allopathic) solutions include rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking analgesics or cough medicine.
PREVENTION / BUILDING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
These suggestions are just that and are NOT meant to replace medical treatment or help from your physician or health care workers. Please check with your Physician for drug interactions if you are taking prescription medications.
We trust that you will use your own discretion and intuitive wisdom as to which protocol you will adapt which may include herbs and supplements that will be appropriate to your individual needs.
1) Use your neti pot at least once (optimally twice) daily with a solution of water, pinch of baking soda, pinch of salt and a tiny drop of olive oil. If you do not have a neti pot, buy some of that saline solution that is very inexpensive and use it 3 or 4 times daily as a moistener for your nose. Please use boiled or distilled water as tap water may carry bacteria.
AFTER YOU USE YOUR NETI POT GARGLE WITH THE YELLOW LISTERINE FOR ONE FULL MINUTE , if this does not agree with you or is too intense use Yin Care Mouthwash or
2) Take your probiotics – keeping your gut flora balanced, as this is the best way to create and maintain a strong immune system. Probiotics should be purchased as a refrigerated item, please check with a holistic practitioner as to which brand is best to use; make certain that it contains bifido bacterium and take minimum of one daily.
3) Wash your hands and if you have been in public, try not to touch your eyes and face.
4) Spend some time outdoors every day, do some exercise (don’t overdo it or you will actually make yourself more susceptible).
5) Take your Vitamin D3, Fish oil and Vitamin C – they all help with prevention.
If you have an autoimmune disorder or have cancer this is even more important.
6) After you take a bath or shower, rinse in COLD water. This closes up your pores and keeps your defensive Qi strong. If you just wash your hair do the same thing.
7) Get rid of the sugar, dairy and the flour products (processed foods). They all weaken immune systems and make it easier for viruses and bacteria to grow
8) EAT YOUR LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES PLUS GARLIC, PREFERABLY COOKED, NOT RAW.
9) EAT LIKE A HUNTER-GATHERER – 35% plant, 65% animal proteins – for more information on this topic Visit: http://www.westonaprice.org/
……OR….Read : Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine: Improving Health and Longevity with Native Nutrition (9780892817351): Ronald F. Schmid ND
9) GET ADEQUATE SLEEP AND STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVE PEOPLE
10) Take these two herbal formulas: Jade Screen (Jade Windscreen) along with a small dose of either Isatis or Andrographis (Antiphlogistic Formula) daily as a PREVENTATIVE. Other good things to add into the mix: Reishi or any of the medicinal mushrooms. (I like Host Defense or JHS Mushrooms – Immune Builder) the beta-glucans in the medicinal mushrooms have actually been tested in pigs with swine flu and the pigs who received the beta glucans had less severe disease AND higher concentrations of disease fighting substances in their blood when tested during the flu.
11) Start a Stress-Reduction Program – Explore such activities: as Prayer & Meditation,
Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yoga, Mindful Walking in Nature, Journaling. Please remember to read your writings. Analyze and recognize your stress triggers in order to understand what changes you have to make to reduce the impact from this stressful society in which we live.
12) Make time for hobbies….. HAVE FUN!
13) Ask yourself if your thoughts, beliefs and actions are strengthening or weakening you.
14) Practice forgiveness & letting go.
15) Focus on your goals….Have a Mission in Life.
16) Take a Warming Bath, this promotes circulation and opens the exterior to release toxins: Pour 1-3 tsp. of powdered ginger into the bath water (as hot as you can tolerate). If you have sensitive skin, use fresh ginger by putting a 2-inch slice in an old sock or muslin bag. You can also add 5 cinnamon sticks. Soak 20 minutes.
You should break out into a sweat. Drink a cup of Fresh Ginger Tea while soaking (not powdered) Dry off well, and cover yourself in a blanket as soon as you get out of the bath.
Caution: Do not be in or near a drafty place.
17) Get a professional massage, foot reflexology or learn to practice self-message- starting with the feet and end with the head and spend a lot of time on your stomach, spine, shoulders, neck and forehead. P.S. you will need a little assistance with the spine, ask your partner or roll mindfully on a tennis ball.
18) Don’t do a colon cleanse or fast (they deplete you)
19) Stay away from crowds and little kids who go to daycare – no shaking hands, hugging, kissing unless you know where they have been.
20) Stay away from doctor’s offices and hospitals unless you REALLY need to go.
21) Sneeze or cough into the folds of your elbow (this will help others if you have the flu in the incubation stage).
Now … what to do if you get sick……..
Start as soon as you feel like you are getting sick – otherwise it will not work – you should have the following things on hand at home.
• STAY HOME FROM WORK – AND REST – both mandatory
• start taking Oscillococcinum (Boiron) as soon as you can and then do the rest below….
• Take Yin Chiao or Gan Mao Ling Formula every two hours at the maximum dose (will be noted on your bottle).
• Take Isatis or Andrographis (Antiphlogistic Formula) along with one of the above every two hours at the maximum dose (noted on the bottle)
• For copious mucus add Clear Phlegm – by Health Concerns (2-3 tablets three times a day)
• ONCE YOU ARE WELL YOU HAVE TO KEEP TAKING THE ABOVE THREE TIMES DAILY (NOT EVERY TWO HOURS) FOR 5-7 DAYS TO FINISH THE TREATMENT
• lots of liquids – herbal teas are good: green tea with chamomile, lemon balm, echinacea, – all combinations of those will help, if not using loose herbs double bag per cup of boiled water.
• for body aches: take 2 aspirin (not tylenol and not ibuprophen) with 6 ounces of water into which you have stirred 1/2 tsp of baking soda
• keep up the neti pot and the listerine gargle
• wipe yourself down with a cool, damp washcloth if you have a high fever
• Boneset tea will also help to break fever.
• soup would be the best foods
• keep up your probiotics
• keep up the reishi and other medicinal mushrooms
Take advantage of this “down” time: rest – rest – rest. Enjoy the quiet, slow pace of healing.