Flu Virus - Top 5 Natural Remedies for symptom management

This flu and cold season has been challenging and we are only half way though with hospitals filling up and using outpatient facilities to treat emergency room patients.  Please follow standard guidelines of prevention especially if you are immunocompromised in anyway.  In those who are less fortunate and have succumb to illness we would would like to share tips noted this season by Health Through Nature for a rapid and easy recovery. 

  1. Proper and clean diet.  Sugar, can suppress your immune system’s ability to ward off infection shortly after consumption up to a few hours.  Dairy is constitutionally thick and moist just like mucus secretions, it should be avoided as it can worsen you symptoms even without an allergy.  When an immune system is active digestion should be light, nutritious, and warm.  Think of foods like vegetable broth and soup.  With diarrhea a diet of Banana, rice, applesauce and toast (BRAT diet) should be followed as these foods tend to bind stool.  

  2. Rest.  It can take up to two weeks to recover from the flu.  It is easy to seek comfort and suppress your symptoms with over-the-counter agents.  I get it, you feel terrible yet, if suppress symptoms you may prolong the illness in duration.  You need to understand your symptoms are created by your immune system not the virus attacking you. Your immune system is acting to irritate the virus-stop the replication, fight it, and protect your body. It is also easy to get on with your life once you feel your over the worst phase of the illness.  Make sure your are better before you go back to work.  Often times people that become active to early get knocked back down or develop secondary infections.   Light movement and sunshine are excellent ways to help aide recovery.    

  3. Herbal Foods. Galangal, lemon Grass, thyme, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, rosemary, onion, oregano, clove, shiitake mushroom, Maitake mushroom all contain anti-microbial medicinal properties.  We categorize these as spices and flavor agents which is a great first step.  Second step is to realize you are adding these herbal agents to enhance the healing properties of your food.  Tom Gai Kai, a Thai soup is an excellent example of a healing soup as it contains constitutionally warming spices, galangal, lemon grass and other good herbs all infused into the broth making the properties easy to digest and assimilate.   
  4. Homeopathic Gelsemium and Arsenicum.  Classical homeopathy is recommended based off of characteristic aspects of a disease process.  With homeopathy, the diagnosis of the the flu is important and the characteristic symptoms of the individual are critical to prescribe the proper medicine.  For example, body aches are a symptom of the flu, body aches that are better with motion or by applying deep pressure are characteristic to the individual.  This year it has been common that patients have droopy heavy eyelids with sensitivity to light, desire to lie still and quiet, lack of thirst and a headache as if a tight band is around their head.  This is characteristic for homeopathic Gelsemium.  The stomach flu has commonly presented with cold and clammy skin, nausea and vomiting after eating and drinking, excessive exhaustion, thirst for cold drinks and worse from 12-3AM which is characteristic for homeopathic Arsenicum album.   
  5. Echinacea angustifolia & purpurea.  I’m a little embarrassed to put Echinacea in our top 5 list being one of the most commonly know natural remedies however I have to say, this season it is working exceptionally well.  One study I found showed an Echinacea parpurea water extract to be as effective as Oseltamivir, an Influenza pharmaceutical agent, in the early treatment of Influenza.  A customized formula of Echinacea tailored to your symptoms can yield more optimal effects.  Some common additional herbs being ginger, goldenseal, osha, mullein, and Wild black cherry bark.  See your Naturopath, or herbalist for more information.

These Statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  They are not intended to replace medical diagnosis or treatment.  If you or your family feel ill it is in your best interest to seek professional medical advice.