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Influenza, Bird Flu (H5N1), Swine Flu (H1N1)  

         With the outbreak of H1N1 throughout the world a few years ago, this topic is timely.   Most experts agree that this is a pandemic.   (An Epidemic is a small, localized, expected event like the “normal” flu that comes every winter, whereas a Pandemic is a global event with rapid spread of a virus from person to person.)   Fortunately at this point this infection is not very serious.  As of August, 2009, there have been 40,000 cases in the US and about 300 deaths, mostly in the age range of 6 to 50.   People over sixty are not being targeted for the vaccine because most of them have some immunity from previous swine flue exposure.   Less than 1% of the deaths so far are people over 60.

        Swine flu and bird flu are so named because pigs and birds are the usual hosts for these organisms.  The virus may spread to humans from these animals, but usually not from human to human.    When they mutate, to be able to spread human to human, then we have the ingredients for a pandemic.  You cannot get the Flu from eating poultry or pork.   So far the Bird Flu has been quite inactive.

         No one knows if this recent virus outbreak is the beginning of a serious, life-threatening pandemic or not.   If it is like some of the recent smaller pandemics like SARS, many will get sick, but most will survive.   If it is like the Spanish Flu of 1918 many thousands and perhaps millions of people will die.  We all hope it is the former and that the big boys at the CDC will have solutions, but who knows.

         H1N1 Flu is caused by a virus.  This virus is covered with spikes.  One kind of spike acts like a hook, Neuraminidase (this is where the N comes from) and attaches the virus to a cell in the nose or lungs.  The other kind, Hemagglutinin (the H) pierces the cell membrane and injects its viral code into the cell.   The cell’s DNA is then used to make more viral code, which is then used to make thousands of new viruses which then are released to invade more cells and reproduce more viruses.

 


Avian Influenza Virus

         It is our body’s own immune system that creates all the symptoms.  The mucous is used to protect cells and prevent hooking up and penetration by the virus.   The coughs and sneezes expel the virus from the body.   (This spreads them, via air, to others, so learn to cough and sneeze into your sleeve.)   The fever kills the virus.  (Most viruses cannot live over 100.5, so do not treat the fever unless it is over 102.  Take hot baths when ill.)   The body aches keep us in bed.  That is where you belong if you get this illness.  

        While good hand washing is important, these viruses are spread through the air, so the fanatic use of hand sanitizers is not necessary and may be detrimental since it kills the good bugs on our skin.  Use plain soap and water.  Do not become a nut about this. 

        Garge with warm salt water.   Saline (1/4 tsp salt in one cup water) nasal spray or rinse with a neti pot are excellent natural ways to kill the respiratory viruses that lodge in our nose and throat.

         It is my hope that people will educate themselves and perhaps be ready with some alternatives just in case the government programs turn out to be poorly coordinated and non-effective.  There are several things that we can do to be ready. 

Do not panic, just be prepared.  

Next we will share with you how to prepare.


 

 

There are two kinds of alternative treatment for patients who have Influenza, Herbal and Homeopathic.   The goal of Herbal Treatment is to strengthen the immune system to fight the virus.   The goal of Homeopathic Treatment is to accelerate the natural healing process so the illness lasts only a short time.  Both are beneficial for prevention.

 

Homeopathic Remedies are chosen based on the symptoms that are occurring in the patient at that time.   Therefore, across-the-board recommendations are not always successful.    At the time of an epidemic a few remedies will emerge as being the most beneficial to the patients.    These will be published at the time.   Homeopathic remedies have a shelf life of 4-5 years so the known medications can be purchased at any time.

 

When you are treating yourself or someone else, please read the remedy pictures carefully and select the one that seems to fit the picture of the individual for whom you are caring.

 

We recommend starting with 30C potencies, using 200C potencies for severely ill people, but whatever potency is available will have some benefit.  If someone is severely ill, give the dose frequently (every 1-2 hours), do not give more pills in the same dose.   With homeopathy giving 4 pills is the same as giving 1or 2.   In emergency situations conserving your medicine may be vital for later survival.

 

Extending your Remedies 

If you are running low on remedies and more are not readily available, you can conserve them by putting them in water.   Since homeopathy works on an energetic level rather than a material level, the remedy can be added to a few ounces of water and then all that water will carry the imprint of the original medicine.  So, for example, if you have a family of four, some of the remedy (3-5 pellets) can be added to four ounces of water.   Then teaspoon doses can be given out to all family members (or the neighbors) as prevention or treatment depending on the frequency.   Store it in a cool dark place.   If it is going to be stored for a few days or longer add a few drops of vodka or brandy to it (just a few drops now, we are not making mixed drinks) as a preservative.   In extreme cases additional dilutions of 1 to 100 can be made and each dose will have the same benefit as the original.   Yes, I know, it is counter intuitive to the way we usually think.   This is, in fact, how the potencies of remedies are increased and it does follow the priniciples of homeopathic prescribing.

 

One to three pellets constitute one dose.  Conserve if you have a limited supply.    It is best not touch pellets with your fingers.  Your skin oil can deactivate them.   Roll them into the cap and throw them into your mouth. Let them dissolve in your mouth.    They are sweet to taste.

 

Try not to eat or drink for approximately 10-15 minutes before and after each dose.

We recommend that only one homeopathic remedy be given at any one time.

Do not mix remedies together.

It is best to avoid coffee, mint, garlic, menthol, camphor, or other things with strong odors as they can antidote the remedy.

The doses can be repeated frequently in an acute illness, every one half to two hours for more severe symptoms and every three or four hours for less severe symptoms.

As soon as symptoms improve it is best to continue the remedy for 24-48 hours to prevent relapse.

If you select a remedy and take several doses but there is no improvement, review the symptoms and select another remedy that seems to fit the current picture.    If a remedy works for a while and then stops working it probably means that a higher  potency of the same remedy is needed. If you have a higher potency you should try the first, before changing the remedy.   If you have a kit, it may contain the most common flu remedies in two or three potencies, which should be adequate for most cases. You should start with the lowest potency first, and advance as needed.

If you or your family have sudden onset of severe symptoms you can start with the 200C remedies instead of the lower potencies.

 

If the higher potency strategy no longer works it is likely that another remedy may eventually be required to complete the healing process.

 

Several remedies may be required during the recovery process from an acute illness.   But do not give more in one remedy at the same time.   Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the natural healing mechanisms in your body.  If you took two remedies at the same time it would be like having two band directors, each giving different directions.

 

The following are common influenza remedies.    Read the description carefully before deciding what remedy to start with.    Use the one that most closely matches the illness.

 

 

Alternative treatment for patients who are ill with the Avian Flu

 

Arsenicum Album: Extremely restless, oversensitive, anxious and weak.

Baptisia: Looks drowsy and drunk. Flu with high fever and a feeling of being

Eupatorium perfoliatum:Flu with body pains so severe, that the bones feel

Gelsemium: Flu with chills and paralytic weakness. They feel as if run over

Nux Vomica: Flu with great irritability and over sensitivity. Easily offended

Pyrogenium: Septic States.

Phosphorus: The flu quickly affects the lungs, especially the base of the right

Oscillococcinum: a general preventative flu remedy that can also be used for treatment.   

This is the most widely used flu remedy worldwide, among all flu remedies (not just homeopathic). It is available in most pharmacies. The instructions are on the box. It is effective as prevention, by taking one dose per month until the flu is reported in your area, then one dose per week.

 

If there is a shortage of this remedy it can be extended by adding the pellets from one vial into four ounces of water.  This can be stirred gently until all the pellets are dissolved.   Then one teaspoon of this medicated water will be one dose of medicine.  

 

For prevention, if the flu is in your area use one teaspoon per week.   All family members can be treated with one vial this way.   

 

For treatment if you have the flu, mix the remedy in water in the same way, but you will need two to four doses per day for 3 to 4 days.   Again the whole family can be treated in this manner very economically. 

 

 


Herbal Remedies 

The following are herbal combinations which can be used as a general tonic to improve respiratory function and improve immune function as far as respiratory infections.   These can be used at the onset of an illness or taken daily.   If taken daily, performance improves if taken intermittently.   We usually recommend day 1-25 of each month with 5-6 days off.   This little vacation improves the effectiveness of the herbal medication.    The following are products made by Nature’s Sunshine Products.   Other companies may make similar herbal combinations.

 

Elderberry Defense This is an herbal blend that contains Elderberry extract, Echinacea purpurea, royal jelly, and olive leaf.   It is anti-viral and acts as a decongestant without raising blood pressure.  It improves immune function, supports the liver and stabilizes the respiratory mucosa.    Elderberry reduces the effectiveness of the Neuroaminidase to attach to cell membranes.

 

Bronchial Formula  This is an herbal blend of 18 herbs that work together for a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, decongestant, expectorant, and immune stimulator.   It supports the lungs and digestive tract.

VS-C (Herbal Virus and Bacterial Blend) This contains a blend of Chinese herbs primarily for the treatment of herpes virus.   It has general anti-viral properties as well.   Some influenza patients will develop severe herpes stomatitis (canker sores, cold sores).   VS-C and homeopathic Rhus Tox. can be used if no acyclovir is available.

 

 

 

Silver Shield

      

Colloidal and ionic silver are not recommended.  Use Silver Solution

This is a new recently patented solution of Silver which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.    In vitro studies have shown effectiveness against H5N1 flu virus as well as MRSA.    It can be taken orally, topically, in the eyes for pink eye and in the ear canal for otitis media.    It would be best if taken as a preventive for the H5N1 virus.

 

Prevention      Take one teaspoon once per day

 

Treatment       Take one or two teaspoons twice per day depending on severity of illness. May be given in a nebulizer for pneumonia (do not combine with normal saline or other nebulizer solutions).  Instill directly into the eyes for pink eye.  Use as nasal spray for sinusitis.  Three drops in the ear for ear pain

 

 

 

Preventive Measures for Avian Flu

Barrier                 Wear an N-95 Mask

 

 

Essential Oil      For additional protection add on drop of the essential oil Thieves per day to the fabric of the N-95 mask.    This oil has anti-viral effects.    Do not over use.   One drop is enough.

 

Homeopathy    Soon after the Avian Flu virus mutates to human to human transmission the Homeopathic Pharmaceutical manufacturers will bring to market remedies that have been made from the H5N1 virus.    These are similar to vaccines but are taken under the tongue and are taken once per week, or whatever the manufacturer recommends.   

 

From Your Kitchen

Keeping your body balanced as far as acidity is vitally important.  Baking soda is a very good way to do that.   Add 1/4 tsp baking soda to eight ounces of non chlorinated water, add organic lemon juice or 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon and drink that every morning (Hot or Cold).

 

One teaspoon of black strap Molasses in one cup hot water 2-3 times per day is also an excellent tonic to maintain alkaline pH and blood sugar, thereby building healthy terrain to fight off viral infections.

 

 

 

 

Oscillococcinum:  a general preventative flu remedy that can also be used for treatment.  

This is the most widely used flu remedy worldwide, among all flu remedies (not just homeopathic). It is available in most pharmacies. The instructions are on the box. It is effective as prevention, by taking one dose per month until the flu is reported in your area, then one dose per week.

 

If there is a shortage of this remedy it can be extended by adding the pellets from one vial into four ounces of water.  This can be stirred gently until all the pellets are dissolved.   Then one teaspoon of this medicated water will be one dose of medicine.  

 

For prevention, if the flu is in your area use one teaspoon per week.   All family members can be treated with one vial this way.   

 

For treatment if you have the flu, mix the remedy in water in the same way, but you will need two to four doses per day for 3 to 4 days.   Again the whole family can be treated in this manner very economically. 

 

 

Remember    Use NO Aspirin with any viral illness because of the risk of Reyes Syndrome.      If there is a lot of bleeding with the Avian Flu (such as coughing up blood, bloody stools, or bloody diarrhea) do not use Motrin, Ibuprofen, Alieve, Naprosyn, or other non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications since these will “thin” the blood and cause more bleeding.

 


Naturopathic and Homeopathic Resources in the Local Area

 

Country Side Pharmacies  

        Edmore                                (989) 427-5141

        Stanton                                (989) 831-4140

        Lakeview                              (989) 352-8168

  

Herbs Etc.        Mt Pleasant           (989) 773-3636

          Dr  Bessheen Baker ND 

 

Hometown Health       Remus           (989) 967-8030

 

Manna Food               Riverdale       (989) 833-7777

 

Lets Get Healthy        Vestaberg        (989) 427-5046

 Dr. Jackie Featherly ND

Roger’s Natural Food    Edmore         (989) 427-0014

 

Roger's Natural Food    Alma             (989)463-5516

 

Robert Huttinga PA-C     Cell Phone   (989) 287-1986

 

The Healing Center      Lakeview                 (989) 352-6500

 

 

The natural treatments mentioned in this article have a proven history.  This fact, however, does NOT gaurentee your results.  We are not responsible for the outcome of the use of these remedies.  These remedies should be taken under the direction of a trained naturopathic provider.  If one is not available, follow the directions as closely as possible.     

                   



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