Flu Season: Don't Be Scared, Be Prepared
As the fall gets into full swing, doctors and pharmacies begin hanging up their flu shot signs (with huge rewards attached for getting yours!) What is the correct way for someone to respond to this season?
First of all, what makes a “flu season”? Within just a week of school starting we began hearing complaints of sniffles, coughs and sore throats and I read an article this morning that some schools have closed because of the flu and will remain closed for the next few days. I
am a little taken back at how soon the season of illness has begun. Have you ever wondered why we have a "flu season"? Why is that at some chosen point in the year the virus, we call the flu, suddenly rears its ugly head? I don’t believe in the flu season, I believe in “suboptimal immune system” season. This “season” is usually accompanied with high stress, less exercise, less cooking and more sugar. Follow the rates of when cases of the flu spike and you’ll find it is usually after many holidays where all of the above, especially more sugar, is often experienced.
Our bodies were created by God to defend ourselves against viruses that can take over the terrain of our body. As a matter of fact, the aggravating symptoms of cold and flu: cough, fever, sniffles, etc, are all evidence that the defenses of your body are doing what they need to do in order keep the viral invaders at bay. The public health officials and mainstream medical system would have you believe that the ultimate protection is the shot they have to offer. Personally, I believe this is a false sense of security for many people. Year after year the flu shot rarely peaks to 50% efficacy, meaning the majority of those who received the
shot still acquired the flu. It has been proven to be even less effective for the elderly, yet the elderly are often targeted as the group who needs it the most. For the 2019 season, it has already been said that it will not be effective due to wrong predictions about the particular strain. We will evade the topic of the probability that the flu shot, due to highly toxic and questionable ingredients can cause more long term trouble than the flu for this post.
So what’s a body to do? I would like to share with you some strategies to not only combat the possibility that you will be exposed to the flu, but how to keep your terrain in fighting order!
Avoid Sugar: Fall treats and pumpkin latte’s are everywhere right now, but sugar decreases your immune system sometimes up to 75%! Sugar has ZERO nutritional value and leaves your system devoid of the nutrients it needs for a functioning immune system. It is estimated that 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut, sugar causes mayhem during digestion because your body was simply not created to process sugar in the amounts we consume as an average American. Again, look for the peaks in the cases of flu right after Halloween, Christmas and Valentines Day. There are many, many other reasons to avoid sugar at all times, but alas, a topic for another day. If the though of cutting sugar out of your diet completely is overwhelming or you have failed at it previously, it may be time for you to consider our Reclaim Wellness Class. We now have this class online as well as in person. Learn more about sugar and the effect on your body here.
Eat Nourishing Food: Every process in your body is propelled by nutrients, including your immune system. Nutrients are needed in order for the body to maintain wellness at every level. Eat good meals especially during times of high stress and holidays. Avoid denatured processed foods and fast food drive-throughs! Choose foods like grass-fed or pastured organic bone broth and veggies. Add turmeric, garlic, mushrooms, peppers and cinnamon to any nutrient dense foods. All of these have been shown to build and maintain a healthy immune system. Take a look at this nourishing stew recipe.
Keep Your Gut Happy: Consuming probiotic rich foods every day is crucial to maintaining a health immune response. Again, 70-80% of your immune system is found there, so it makes sense to give your body what it needs to function properly and good bacteria has a strong influence on your overall gut health, and because of such, your immune system. Any high quality, well sourced, organic fermented or cultured foods will do, including sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt and Kimchi. Probiotics may me a good alternative for someone not willing to consume these foods, but you miss out on all the additional benefits of something like sauerkraut, which are simply supercharged veggies!
Move, Breathe and Sleep: If you have attended any of my workshops, then these two words are familiar to you. Sedentary lifestyles or high stress lifestyles suppress immune function. It may begin in the digestive system (mentioned above) as both of these also affect it. Light movement daily keeps the circulatory and lymphatic system moving. Deep breathing can help offset the effects of stress. When someone remains in a chronic stressed out state, the body will shut down the immune system and even digestion to compensate for the energy needed to cope with the stress. See my “5 Things You Can Do Today to Reclaim Your Wellness” free online workshop. Sleep is also important to allow the body to rest and strengthen.
Hygiene: Before the 1900’s infectious disease, such as the flu, was the leading cause of death. Little discoveries of things like hand washing went a big way against the fight of bacterial and viral infections. When it is hard to get a sufficient hand washing in try our all natural hand sanitizer which doesn’t contain the harsh and toxic ingredients of most commercial sanitizers.
6. Supplements: If you have spent any amount of time with me, you know that I take the definition of supplement literally: Something added to complete a thing or to strengthen the whole. I do not believe in magic pills outside of lifestyle (see items 1-4). A supplement is not THE thing, but rather a help to THE thing, which is your diet and lifestyle. I do, however recommend the following to come alongside the items we’ve talked about above:
Cod Liver Oil: The synergistic harmony of Vitamin A, Vitamin D and the Omega 3’s make this not only my favorite supplement, but the one I believe EVERYONE should be taking Cod Liver Oil at all times through out the year for healthy hearts, immune system, joints, brain function and so much more.
Elderberry: There are very few that will refute the power of elderberry standing against the flu. Although they still encourage you to get the shot, even the medical community acknowledges elderberry and its flu fighting powers. There is research behind these claims along with thousands of years of use Elderberry syrup is easy to make and this is economical, but there are also many brands of high quality elderberry syrup on the market. Although there are supplements for the elderberry, the syrup is made with honey which contributes its own elements to the immune building combination. I try to make sure my kids take this daily starting in the fall- but at any sign of a cold they are getting dosed hourly as much as possible.
Medicinal Mushrooms and Herbs: There is a fair amount of research on the ability of mushrooms to affect deep immunity. They are especially beneficial to those who are prone to getting sick or who have a chronic immune deficiency that need support. Psalm 104:14 says that God gave herbs for the service of man so coupled along with some strategic herbal support, garlic and colloidal silver, such as in our Immuno Well blend, mushrooms may be just the ticket for keeping your immune system on alert. We also have Immuno Well RX Liquid with the addition of eucalyptus and menthol to assist in clearing respiratory passages should it be necessary.
Vitamin C: While not always necessary for supplementation, I love to add whole food sources of Vitamin C to our diets. The superfood powders such as acerola cherry powder, camu powder and others are a fabulous way to get the needed support for your immune system and make it easy! Learn more about herbal medicine here.
Mineral Support: Poor immune function can be the result of a mineral deficiency. This is not hard to suffer from as our soils have become deleted, so even eating a healthy diet isn’t always sufficient. Magnesium and Zinc are important to flu prevention. Of course we recommend our magnesium cream (customer favorite) but 15 mg of zinc may not be a bad idea to supplement your diet. Some individuals can also consider supplementing iodine, selenium and iron. Learn more about magnesium deficiency here.
Faithfully doing everything written here will not guarantee that you will be flu-free this year, but embracing these healthy living tips and incorporating many principles as I teach in my online classes will not only increase the chance of you missing out completely, but if you
were to come down with the flu or cold, your body will be better prepared and recovery may be shortened. Remember, the “symptoms” of the flu are actually your body fighting against the infection. This is why we don’t suppress a fever or coughing at my house with pharmaceuticals, rather we give herbal support and we rest, hydrate and rest some more until we have recovered.
May this season of your life be blessed and may you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. Stay well my friends.
Regina Tyndall, NTC CCH
Nutritional Therapy Consultant
Certified Christian Herbalist
Educating and consulting on the benefits
of natural and traditional foods for optimal
wellness in an age of declining health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.