Natural Flu Cure?

Are you looking for a non drug approach to curing the flu?  Perhaps you are scared about the side effects of flu vaccines and you want to try something natural.  Well, according to Web MD,  a natural flu cure does not exist.   As a natural medicine oriented doctor,  I would have to agree with that statement.    As Web MD suggests,   “those flu symptoms you’re experiencing are part of a natural healing process — evidence that your immune system is working to battle the flu. For instance, a fever is your body’s way of trying to kill viruses in a hotter-than-normal environment. In addition, a fever’s hot environment makes germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more quickly and effectively. Thus, if you endure a moderate fever for a day or two, you may actually get well faster.”

Web MD goes on to offer natural options for treating coming flu symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throat.and dry cough.  For example  “A natural remedy for nasal congestion is to drink more water. Hydration is important for anyone with respiratory problems, and water is cost-efficient, easily available, and healthy.  As the water content of the mucus is increased, the mucus becomes less viscous and easier to expel.  The sinuses drain more effectively when you are well-hydrated, and the mucus membrane is less susceptible to infection.”  When it comes to a natural remedy for a sore throat, Web MD recommends “ gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief”

However, one aspect of the article that I must disagree with is the section titled: Are there natural supplements to treat flu symptoms?.  According to Web MD,  “ there are various dietary supplements that are purported to ease flu symptoms, yet none have scientific substantiation…..Some natural herbal products can cause allergic reactions. Other natural products may interfere with prescribed medications you’re taking. A few natural products have been found to cause liver damage, so use caution….”

First of all, yes some natural supplements can cause allergic reactions and cause liver damage.  But I would love to see the scientific data on the natural supplement that are “purported” to fight flu and cause allergy reactions as well as liver damage.  Many pharmaceutical medications cause allergy reactions and liver damage.  I don’t see those drugs being pulled off from the shelf.

Nevertheless, there are some natural supplements that can help the body fight flu.  One in particular is Vitamin C.  Vitamin C in certain high doses possess anti-viral activity.  Then there are Maitake Mushrooms.  They are known to stimulate a type of immune cell to fight disease called Natural Killer Cells.   Finally, there is a type of natural medicine called homeopathy which uses minute doses of various substances to stimulate the innate healing power of the body.  There actually is a homeopathic remedy that is made from Flu! Yes this sounds like a vaccine but it is much more dilute than a flu vaccine and has virtually no toxicity yet it is effective in helping people combat flu.  In France, homeopathy is one of the top types of medicines used to fight flu and other ailmentrs.

So, yes while there is not a “cure” for the flu as Web MD suggests, there are definitely natural options that can stimulate the immune system to fight flu.

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About Aroop Banerji N.D., L.Ac

Aroop Banerji N.D.., L.Ac is a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist. He obtained his bachelor science in Environmental Toxicology from the University of California – Davis. He pursued doctoral education in Naturopathic Medicine and graduate level training in Chinese Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. He specializes in using dietary supplements, diet therapies, herbal medicines, and acupuncture for chronic health complaints.
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