There are many safe, non-toxic approaches individuals can take to protect themselves from contracting the flu, as well as safe and non-toxic treatments to lessen their symptoms if they do contract the flu, reports Jerri Johnson of the Minnesota Natural Health Coalition, Vaccine Safety Council of MN and MN Homeopathic Association.
- Homeopathy — Homeopathy has a long history of success in influenza epidemics. During the Spanish flu of 1918, the mortality rate with conventional treatment was 28 percent, while those treated with homeopathy had only a 1 percent mortality rate. Today, homeopathic treatment of influenza, which supports the body’s natural ability to heal, is still notable. Homeopathy is safe and effective for both prevention, as well as treatment, of flu-like symptoms. Resources: Homeopathic practitioners in Minnesota [Minnesotahomeopathicassociation.org] | National Center for Homeopathy [www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/articles-flu].
- Nutrition — Basic nutrition can make a profound difference in the ability of the immune system to ward off the flu, or to deal with it if contracted. Research shows the protective benefits of Vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, and other nutrients. Resource: Nutritionist Byron Richards [www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/using_nutrition_to_help_perceive_and_combat_swine_flu/]
- Herbs — Taking Â herbs daily during flu season can build immunity. Taking them when you have the flu can reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration of your stay-at-home flu days. Resources: Flu Remedies & Herbal Treatment [www.naturalnews.com/038765_flu_remedies_herbs_treatment.html] | University of Maryland [www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/cough-000042.htm]
Safety and effectiveness of flu vaccine
Research shows that the flu vaccine has very limited effectiveness, and there is a shortage of research on safety. Resource: Dr. Mercola
According to a meta-analysis published in the weekly peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, the flu vaccine is 62 percent effective in preventing type A or B influenza or seasonal influenza. It is estimated that, annually, only about 2.7 percent of adults get type A or type B influenza. The other 97 percent of people do not get influenza in a typical year. The study showed that the use of flu vaccines appears to drop the incidence to about 1.2 percent. So out of a hypothetical group of 100 people that get vaccinated, the vaccine makes a risk difference for about 1.5 percent of them.
Most doses of flu vaccine contain 25 mcg of mercury, in the preservative thimerosal. Mercury has been associated with neurological effects, especially in infants and children. Pregnant women should be aware that the flu vaccine contains mercury; a fetus is extremely susceptible to mercury. There are some doses available that contain no thimerosal. You can ask your doctor for the thimerosal-free vaccine.
“A connection between exposure to certain forms of mercury and nervous system abnormalities has long been recognized,” reported the Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee of the National Academy of Sciences (July 2001). “Mercury can build up in the body with each additional exposure, whether from vaccinations or other sources, such as fish consumption.”
The flu vaccine package inserts state: “Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with influenza virus vaccine. It is also not known whether influenza virus vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman.”
Vaccination should be deferred for a person with moderate or severe acute illness until his/her condition improves. The use of live attenuated influenza vaccine is contraindicated in persons with a chronic disease that constitutes an increased risk when exposed to wild influenza virus (e.g., asthma, heart and renal disease, diabetes), pregnant women, immunosuppressed persons, children younger than age 2 years, and adults older than age 49 years, according to the Immunization Action Coalition and information from the Centers for Disease Control.