H1N1 and Flu
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Allen
Posted on: March 05, 2010

I’m currently learning about self healing with herbs on my own. But I’m interupted by all this swine-flu panic thing. I am reluctant for some reason to go along with the status quo and line up for the h1-n1 flu shot. I truly believe God has provided all we need for health and healing naturally. Am I being too naive at this point?

Thus far the statistics regarding the H1N1 flu appears to be demonstrating that it is less severe than the regular seasonal flu. Most people are home taking it easy and recovering perfectly fine. Some individuals are being admitted into hospital with secondary infections due to the weakening effect any virus can have on the immune system. And sadly, a few are being overwhelmed and are not recovering from the secondary infections.

Really early signs and symptoms are:
- unusual fatigue and irritability (often the day before other signs and symptoms occur)
- very mild signs of a sore throat - ranging from the feeling of the occasional little prickle to a slight tickle feeling or even no sore feeling but just enlarging of the lymph tissues in the neck (children are often not aware of these subtle signs)
- mild headache or mild pain sensations in the head
- lack of appetite

From what I have been seeing in my practice is that for those individuals who stop at the first signs and symptoms and begin to take immediate action, the flu signs and symptoms are very minor and they are recovering in 6 to 48hrs.

For those individuals who try to work and push through the early symptoms, one of three things are happening - they are either able to keep it a bay and recovering in 2 to 4 days, they are down and out for a few weeks before recovering or they are down and out for a few weeks and then succumb to a secondary infection such as sinusitis or pneumonia.

For those who are ignoring the early signs, and are taking over the counter meds to cover up signs and symptoms, one of two things are happening - they are having milder flu symptoms but it is dragging on for several weeks before completely clearing up, or they are dragging on until all their vital reserves are low and they are then getting the secondary infections as well.

I think the biggest lesson to be learned from this flu, and flu really, is to stop at the very first sign and symptoms and take immediate action and that is the largest determining factor as to how ones outcome is likely to play out.

For myself I’m going full bore naturally. But....I have a 1year old and a 5 year old girls. Am I putting them at risk? We are all healthy, and both girls were breast fed and have good immune systems.

Healthy to begin with is an excellent place to start. Prevention is always the best medicine, so well done for being responsible and keeping your children healthy in the first place. I know full well that this takes a lot of time and effort on any parents part.

The only time one may be putting themselves or a child at risk is by ignoring any early warning signs and symptoms. Most of the time the flu can be handled safely from home.

General flu management action plan:
1/ rest, rest and more rest
2/ hydration - drink lots as dehydration can increase ones risk for secondary factors and infections - water, herbal teas and natural juices as good examples
3/ a liquid diet will help to keep the digestion system from having to focus on digestion, thus allowing that vital energy to be focused on healing as well as prevent dehydration - soups, herbal teas and vegetable juices are examples
4/ wash hands frequently to avoid an echo effect and secondary infections
5/ more rest
6/ herbal teas (see below)

Warning signs requiring medical intervention:
1/ severe dehydration
2/ difficulty breathing
3/ high fever for longer than 3 days
4/ disorientation

I don’t have them on any regimen of herbs except for when my older girl has a fever. I have a list of approved child herbs from reading Frankie Avalon’s Herbs for Idiots... Is it true that elderberry can neutralize the spikes of the flu virus?

Yes, elderberries are an excellent anti-viral remedy so a great remedy to prevent the flu. Lemon balm and St.John’s wort are other anti- virals as well as being gentle nerve tonics and help to keep the stress hormones reduced. This is particularly important as research has shown that our stress hormones can actually help to fed various pathogens. Nutritive herbs such as nettles, alfalfa and oatstraw are also helpful because they help to keep the body nourished and and strong.

At the first sign of any symptoms, start taking immune supporting herbs which are widely available at most health food stores. For example, you may need:
- diaphoretics - to equalize circulation thus managing fevers and keeping the immune pathways open and clear; good examples are yarrow, boneset and catnip
- bitters - helps to equalize the blood flow through the liver thus a good fever managing tool; examples are boneset and yarrow, vervain, valerian root
- anti-microbials - these help to keep the amount of the virus invasion limited and manageable as well as helping to avoid secondary infections plus they are natural expectorants thus good for keeping the lungs clear; examples are volatile oil rich herbs - lemon balm, thyme, oregano, sage, mint, ginger, garlic, etc.
- pungents - helps to keep the circulatory system equalized and acts as a catalyst for the tea to get in and do its work; examples are cayenne, ginger
- nervines - adrenal or stress hormones are known to feed viruses and bacteria, plus it is important for one to feel calm for better immune function - examples are lemon balm, st. john’s wort, valerian, passion flower, catnip, etc.

So a sample tea, that needs to be drank hot, might look something like this:
yarrow 1 part
catnip 1 part
lemon balm 1 part
thyme 1 part
cayenne a pinch

Take one heaping teaspoon of herbs per cup of water. Drink tea hot. Adults can drink 4 to 5 cups per day. This is fine for children but smaller doses.

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