WELLNESS | Build a Natural Medicine Kit for Flu Season
Flu season is here, and Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD, author of Flu: Alternative Treatments and Prevention just penned a new article about safe, holistic medicines to keep on hand this winter. He suggests stocking your medicine kit with a combination of nutritional supplements, herbs, and homeopathic cures to help stave off the virus, as well tips on how to treat it, for those already experiencing a bout of the sniffles.
Vitamin D is essential for immune function. Most adults need about 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 as a supplement per day. Others may need more if their vitamin D blood level is especially low. Children need about 2,000 IU per day.
Vitamin A is a potent antiviral supplement. Take about 20,000 IU per day during an illness.
Vitamin C treats viral illnesses. Take 6,000 to 20,000 mg per day.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) had been shown in several studies to shorten the duration and alleviate symptoms of the flu. Most health food stores sell elderberry extract in liquid form and capsules. Liquids are especially easy for children to take. Often elderberry is combined with Echinacea, which stimulates the body to fight off infections.
Chinese medicine has very effective antiviral formulas. Yin Chiao is an important Chinese herbal formula for the early stages of colds and flu. It expels pathogens and relieves congestion. The popular Airborne formula (and similar preparations) contain the main herbs of Yin Chiao in a fizzy tablet, but in a very dilute form. The primary herbs of this formula are Lonicera and Forsythia.
Gan Mao Ling is a more appropriate formula for stronger flu symptoms with aching muscles, headache, sore throat, and sinus congestion.
Both of these formulas (Yin Chiao and Gan Mao Ling) are available at health food stores and online sites. They are inexpensive and good to keep on hand in case someone you know needs them.
The two most commonly indicated homeopathic medicines for flu symptoms are Bryonia and Gelsemium. These two are easily distinguished by their symptoms. The indications for prescribing Bryonia are flu symptoms with a bad headache made much worse by moving. The patient feels warm, wants fresh air, and is very thirsty. By contrast Gelsemium corresponds to flu cases with lack of thirst and chills. The patient feels chilly and is extremely exhausted and lethargic.
Take 2 to 3 pills of the 12 or 30 strength homeopathic preparation every few hours during the illness. These are usually available at larger health food stores as well. And they are safe for children.