Natural Swine Flu Recommendations

Centers for Disease Control recommendations for preventing the spread of influenza include:

  1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners* are also effective.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  4. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  5. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
While there is no scientific evidence showing any natural therapies are effective against swine flu, there is good evidence for some therapies against influenza. I thought I would share the recommendations I make to family and friends for the upcoming flu season.
There are no medical studies looking specifically at swine flu and natural therapies because it is a relatively recent medical concern.  However, the natural therapies with the best medical research supporting their use for influenza are Andrographis, Echinacea, Elderberry, and Siberian Ginseng.  For Swine Flu prevention, I recommend:
  1. get your rest
  2. avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates (honey, maple syrup, white flour) as they reduce immune function
  3. humidify your environment – good research indicates that flu season occurs because of less humid air in winter.  However, humidifiers need to be clean to prevent mold problems.
  4. make sure your vitamin D status is optimal (at least 45ng/ml on a 25-OH vitamin D test).  This usually requires 2,500 to 5,000 IU per day, but you should get checked for safety
  5. take your multi-vitamin
Many more people are exposed to swine flu than you might think because their immune systems handle the infection well.  If you start to feel ill, I recommend:
  1. Andrographis and Echinacea are excellent immune stimulating herbs.  I recommend Andrographis Complex by MediHerb
  2. Echinacea, Elderberry, and Pelargonium Herbal Extract (a custom herbal formula I prepare for children and adults)
  3. Other herbs for your specific symptoms (cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, etc.)
  4. Sugar-free zinc lozenges – Zand makes a good product
Be Well,
Richard
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