- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Natural Ways to Better Health
State of Fear
Every year, it seems, we are bombarded with a 'new pandemic', and this year, it just happens to be the commonly named Swine Flu. Drug companies and governments jump on this, looking for just one more way to keep the average Joe in a 'state of fear'. Are you facing forced vaccination for the flu, or even considering it voluntarily?
What most people don't realize is that few people actually die from the flu - what most who have contracted a flu die from are complications, such as bacterial pneumonia, which is a potential complication of the flu if you have a weak immune system.
Several research studies, published in such publications as the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine reveal that vaccinating for flu is at best ineffective, and can even be dangerous.
Build a Healthy Body
Study after study shows the same disconcerting results: flu vaccines are not effective in prevention of the flu, and they do not save lives. They may even be responsible for an increased death rate in some groups.
Prevention is still the better choice, and there are several natural tried and true immune system boosters you should use instead, so if you do contract the flu, your stronger immune system has the strength to ward off complications.
Before you even get to the 'flu season' you should be taking proactive choices to building and strengthening your immune system safely and naturally.
Natural Immune Boosters
Echinacea, an herbal remedy, is often used to prevent colds and flu, and has been shown to shorten the duration and virulence of both. Echinacea purpurea in capsule form, made from the leaves, flowers and stems seems to be the most effective, if taken every two or three hours after you first notice cold or flu symptoms. Continue for two weeks, then stop taking it.
Natural antioxidants in preparations from elderberry, barley grass, rosemary, grape seed extract, and others may help you to avoid the flu, or shorten your recovery time. Colloidal silver, a liquid suspension of microscopic particles of silver, is used as a natural antibiotic and antiviral. Practitioners believe it has the ability to essentially eliminate an enzyme that bacteria and viruses need to survive in your body. The best time to use colloidal silver is right when you first notice flu-like symptoms.
Supplement with zinc - this mineral is a safe and effective way to boost the immune system. The correct supplement for children is10 to 20 mg per day.Adults can take 20 to 40 mg per day. Zinc increases the production of white blood cells which are the infection fighters, and also increases killer cells that fight against invading viruses and bacteria.
Natural Ways to Natural Health
Food is Your Best Medicine
We can also strengthen our immune systems by being knowledgeable about diet. Sugar and highly refined carbohydrate foods have a very detrimental effect on our immune systems, so eliminate them from your diet.
Instead, use whole-grain flours, natural sweeteners like stevia, dried fruit and molasses. These also allow your body to receive minerals it requires to function optimally.
Eat those 5 to 10 servings of fresh (preferably locally grown organic) fruits and veggies daily. This will boost your natural intake of Vitamin C, as well as other essential bioflavenoids, vitamins, minerals and necessary dietary fibre.
Probiotics are commonly referred to as 'friendly bacteria'. Eat yogurt - the balkan type with probiotics, not the sweetened and gelled kind, to increase the good bacteria in your digestive tract. This will have a real and positive influence on your immune system and overall health.
Omega3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters.(Maybe this is why my mother used to insist on a daily dose of cod liver oil.) One study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections. When taking essential fatty acid supplements, also take additional vitamin E, as they act synergistically.
How's Your Diet?
Does your daily diet include 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables?
Anxiety and stress are our body's way of coping, and some stress is good. However, much of the anxiety and stress of daily life causes a whole lot of side effects that can be detrimental to health. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and having trouble coping, then consider some natural anxiety relief, rather than pharmaceuticals.
Massage and acupuncture both can alleviate tension, the massage relieving muscular tension while stimulating the lymphatic system. Acupuncture balances your body's systems, so you can better manage stress. Meditation has a long history as a relaxation technique. Something as simple as meditation through focused breathing can relieve anxiety and stress.
Relax - Buddhist Meditation Music - Zen Garden
The Mind-Body Connection
Last of all, exercise ... exercise releases endorphins, those feel-good hormones. They have a real effect on your mental and emotional well-being, and through the mind-body connection, also on your physical well-being.
Find through trial and error, the techniques or exercise programs that work best for you. Physical exercise, yoga, tai chi, sports, walking and running are some of the stress reduction techniques you can use in your journey to better health.