Flu Season and Natural Remedies
It is that time of the year again. The colorful parade of falling autumn leaves has given way to naked trees, visible breath and the gray residue of salt across the landscape. As the temperatures continue to drop, the ground will eventually be covered in snow and ice.
As usual, the challenges of the upcoming months will require a great deal of preparation. Our wardrobes will change as we will have to pile on at least three or four layers of clothes just to go outside. Massive heat bills will be on everybody’s mind as we struggle to stay warm, but despite our efforts to minimize the effects of the cold on our bodies every year, we still refer to these upcoming months as “flu season.”
The advertisements at the local drug stores for flu shots are already on display on big, bright colored signs as the marketplace has found yet way to capitalize on our misfortune. Many of us eagerly get our shot before it gets too cold, hoping to avoid missing days off work which often results in shortages in our pay checks. With the heat bill costs on the rise, few of us can afford that. However, if you are planning on or considering getting a flu shot this year, please read the rest of this article first.
In American society, germs have become the new frontier in our ongoing battle to dominate nature. We have developed such a fear of germs that we now feel the need to sanitize our environments in an attempt to avoid such common illnesses as the common cold and the flu. Ironically, many of the same people who carry hand sanitizer with them wherever they go, to avoid such relatively minor health concerns, will knowingly put themselves at risk of developing deadly diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes through poor diet, smoking and other self-destructive habits. It opens up the question of whether this war on germs is really based on intelligent thought or conformity with a mass movement in which humanity once again finds itself a victim of manipulative politics.
In nature, there is a principle that building strength is a process of overcoming challenges. In the case of our immune systems, this principle also applies. Our immune systems grow stronger when we have to fight off an illness. In other words, catching a cold is for our immune systems what lifting weights is to our muscles, a workout. The same way that the process of strengthening the body through exercise can be very unpleasant and challenging, the same thing can be said of catching the cold or the flu. Despite these challenges, we put ourselves at risk of suffering even more if we avoid them. Some of us are very proud if we can avoid getting sick for years at a time. The reality is that our immune systems have less opportunities to strengthen themselves. When we do finally get sick, there is a much greater chance that we won’t be prepared mentally and physically and may suffer much more as a result.
Traditional societies understand this principle, and it is therefore not the goal in traditional healing to prevent the individual from getting sick. We are human beings. Suffering and struggling are just part of our existence that we have to accept rather than avoid. In this case, in accepting that the body must deal with illness, the goal of a healer is to preserve life by providing treatments that bring a sick body back to a balanced state. In dealing with cold and flu viruses, there are many natural ways to ensure a safe recovery from even the most severe respiratory infections. Many of these remedies can be found at your local grocery store. I will name a few that I have found to be effective.
Sore throat: The throat is the last line of defense against virus or bacteria before it spreads to the lungs. A sore throat is an indication that this defense is being threatened and it often precedes the chest cold which is often associated with the flu. When we get a sore throat, we often look to soothe it with cough drops but what will really help prevent the infection from spreading is something with antiseptic qualities.
Once a virus has spread from the head into the body, the symptoms of congestion of the lungs, coughing, excessive mucus, fatigue, and fever are all signs of our bodies’ attempts to fight off the infection. Mucus is produced to trap the infection where the bacteria or virus can be fought by the immune system. This is the cause of the congestion and runny nose we experience. We cough and sneeze to expel the mucus which has trapped the infection in the body. We suffer from fever and fatigue as the immune system heightens its activity which heats the body and drains a lot of energy. Medications we take to suppress these symptoms interfere with the natural healing process. Instead of working against our natural defenses, the remedies we take should work alongside them. Here are some good basic remedies. We hope you will make use of them.
This root, which is commonly used as a spice, is a very potent remedy for heating the body, cleaning the blood and stimulating the immune system. The fresh, peeled root can be made into a tea or a juice.
This root, though harder to find than ginger, is very powerful in strengthening the immune system. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
This blend of herbs from Meritah (Africa) is available through Ankhkasta. It has many uses including cleaning the blood and treating topical infections. In the case of the cold or flu, the raw blend is effective when bitten and held in the mouth similar to a cough drop to fight the infection in the throat and when swallowed, it continues to cleanse the blood and is a disinfectant within the body.
In general, any herbal tea with lemon and honey (raw honey is best) is very helpful. Lemon and honey, in addition to soothing the throat, also have antiseptic qualities. The heat of the tea is also helpful in accelerating the healing process. Heat increases circulation with allows the body’s defenses to move through the body more easily.
This common spice is a very powerful antiseptic. When in its raw form, it’s effective in treating even the most severe respiratory infections. The following recipe is recommended for severe cases:
1 green apple
½ - 1 bulb of fresh garlic, peeled honey (raw is best)
Blend garlic and apple together and add as much honey as desired and eat. This remedy is intense but effective. If taken daily, even pneumonia can be remedied. For the flu, one or two times should be enough.
Cloves make an excellent replacement for cough drops and are also good when boiled to make a tea. On the day the throat becomes sore, keeping a few cloves in the mouth throughout the day and drinking as much hot tea as possible will usually prevent the infection from spreading.
There are enough natural treatments for the cold and flu to write a book about. I encourage every reader to investigate for themselves and at least try some of what is mentioned here. To learn more about the human body and the functions of the immune system, The Earth Center’s Sonnt (Traditional Healing) course is very informative.
Call us for a consultation at (737)201-1213 or visit theearthcenter.org for more information