As Influenza season draws closer, you can expect the Avian Flu scare machine to be working overtime soon. The local and national media, in its attempt to warn people of what may be coming, is scaring people in the process.
All over we hear stories from highly qualified individuals warning us of this potential pandemic. Michael Osterholm, M.D., former state epidemiologist in Minnesota, told U.S. News and World Report in June 2005, "We’re screwed" if the virus hits the human population anytime soon. According to ABC News, there is a 50 percent mortality rate from the avian flu so far.
Most people say that it isn’t a matter of "if," but a matter of "when" for this particular Avian Flu virus (H5N1) to mutate its communication from birds-to-humans transmission to human-to-human transmission. But you don’t have to feel panicked about the doom that has been predicted in the news. There are a number of reasons why.
During the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, aspirin was considered a wonder drug. It was administered to treat almost everything, including influenza. Influenza is now considered a contraindication for use of aspirin, but during the pandemic of 1918, it was all that most doctors knew. We know that salicylic acid, aspirin, is also not recommended to pregnant women due to the possibility of complications from bleeding during delivery. If we rewind back to the pandemic, we see that many of those suffering from influenza hemorrhaged to death. In her book The Homeopathic Treatment of Influenza, Sandra Perko, R.N., says that "sudden epistaxis (nose bleeds) affected almost half of all influenza victims, and they would often lose as much as a pint of blood at a time…. Often blood would spurt from the nostrils of some patients, as if under pressure, up to a foot from the bed." It does make one wonder whether some lives could have been saved if patients hadn’t been given up to 20 times the recommended dosage of aspirin to treat their symptoms, as was common practice for this particular influenza.
World War I was raging during the influenza pandemic. War is particularly stressful on a body and the susceptibility is likely to be higher for soldiers and their families. There were also close quarters, and less sanitary conditions than we have now. Stress is one factor that will increase your susceptibility to disease.
During the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, 20 million people died from the flu and its complications worldwide. In some populations, there was a 30 percent mortality rate. According to an article published in the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1921, Dean W.A. Pearson of Philadelphia documented 26,795 cases of influenza that were treated with homeopathy. Of those, the mortality rate was 1.05 percent. Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital in the District of Columbia were 100 percent. Dr. T.A. McCann from Dayton, Ohio, reported that he had treated 1,000 cases of influenza, had the records to show it and not a single person died. "Please give all credit to homeopathy," he wrote.
Homeopathy is a form of natural medicine that has been around since the late 1700s. Its principles were formulated by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in response to an accidental discovery of the principle of "Like Cures Like." It is a little bit like "the hair of the dog that bit you." Anyone who has had a Bloody Mary for breakfast may be familiar with this concept. Fortunately, homeopathic remedies are safer, less toxic and don’t have the side effects that a Bloody Mary might have. In fact, they are safer, less toxic and don’t have the side effects of the chemically based over-the-counter and prescription drugs that are popular in the United States.
There are more than 3,000 natural substances prepared in a particular way that make up the Homeopathic Materia Medica. There is no one remedy that is specific to Influenza, because each person will display symptoms in ways that are unique to them. It is important to note that homeopathy treats people, not disease.
There were many needless deaths in the United States back in 1918, because even relatively unskilled practitioners were able to heal people with homeopathy. Almost everyone needed the same remedy. That remedy was Gelsemium, which is yellow Jessamine, a flowering vine in the Loganaceae family of plants. Unfortunately, people either didn’t know about homeopathy, or their doctors insisted on using allopathic methods – and 548,000 people died. When the Avian Flu hits, we won’t be sure of what the most effective remedies are for the pandemic until a number of people are actually struck with the flu and we can get a clear symptom picture. Symptoms from the CDC website are incomplete as far as homeopathy is concerned. Please go to www.lotushomeopathy.com and click on the Bird Flu link to learn about the most common remedies for influenza and how to use them.
What about vaccines?
Even if you are a fan of flu shots, most experts agree that it will be nearly impossible to create a vaccine for this influenza fast enough to get it out to the masses. Work cannot really begin until the H5N1 virus mutates. Of course, the President and his or her cabinet and governors will be the first to get vaccinated, probably followed by health care workers and other types of first responders. Even if you wanted a vaccine, would there be enough for you and I? Historically, influenza vaccines have only been about 70-90 percent effective. As a homeopath, I have treated cases of influenza that people have gotten within a couple of days of getting their shot. Homeopathic remedies, on the other hand, are simple and inexpensive to prepare. If you are close to running out, they are easily remade and multiplied.
Tamiflu has not yet worked on a single case of bird to human transmission of the bird flu in Asia. Experts aren’t counting on it as an option when the Avian flu strikes.
Prevention is the best cure
Along with the usual recommendations of washing hands frequently, getting plenty of exercise and rest, taking vitamins and reducing your consumption of sugar and alcohol, constitutional homeopathy can help keep you well. This means a remedy that is especially selected for you. The real key to not getting sick is to reduce susceptibility to the bacteria and viruses that are all around us. If your body is not treated properly, you will be an attractive host to the influenza virus. After all, flies don’t cause garbage, but they are certainly attracted to it. If your body is a garbage pit of dis-ease, you will be more likely to be an attractive host to the Avian flu virus and any other virus that is in our environment. There are other forms of natural medicine that can also strengthen your ability to ward off a virus.
Lotus Homeopathy, located at the Vibrant Life Center in Oakdale, Minn., will be offering classes to teach individuals how to treat themselves, their friends and families with homeopathy when the Avian flu, or any other variety of Influenza, hits the United States. For more information on taking these classes or being treated to help prevent influenza, call Kathryn Berg at (651) 748-1556.