Every year the media tells us the flu season is the “worst season ever”. This year is no different, and a few friends have asked me about natural ways to fight the flu. So I decided to write a post about this.
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I am simply sharing my personal experience.
Last year I found out I was pregnant in February. (I found out on Valentine’s Day). Around a week later I caught the flu. (Awesome timing, right?) I was genuinely surprised because I very rarely get ill. I have never had the flu before, but it is a known fact that pregnant women have a compromised immune system. (I am not sure why that is, just something I have read). So here is my flu story ….
My husband came down with a cold in the middle of February. At least that is what I thought it was. I gave him some Nat mur, a homeopathic remedy that is good for colds. He was surprised at how well it took care of his runny nose. I thought it was over, but it had just started.
A few days later Lily and I had a runny nose. It was not just any runny nose, it was a “Niagara Falls” type of runny nose. Our noses were both literally running all day long. It was bad enough to keep Lily at home, avoiding all recreational activities. (Not because she felt sick but because I did not know what this was and I did not want her to spread these germs). Thankfully my intuition was correct, this was more than just a cold. Shortly after my husband had the dreaded body aches, and told us that Influenza was going around at work. (Specifically it was Influenza A).
Interestingly enough I had just read an article my favorite homeopath had written about her recent experience with Influenza. I promptly ordered the Influenzinum nosode and had it shipped to us overnight.
While we waited for the Influenzinum nosode to arrive, I treated the symptoms. I continued the Nat mur for the runny nose, and I gave my daughter the Aconite/Bryonia combination for the cough. Thankfully her cough never got very bad, she only coughed a few times a day. (As a side note, I have a friend who used Bryonia when she had the flu and it worked wonderfully. There are many different remedies for coughs, so do not get discouraged if one does not work).
I developed aches a few days after my husband. It was a strange experience; I even felt aches in my teeth. It took me some time to find the correct remedy for the aches. I tried Rhus tox 30C first, but it did not help. (Eventually I tried Eupatorium 200C, and it worked instantly. Once I tried this remedy, the aches went away and they never came back). You can get Eupatorium 30C on Amazon, it is not as strong, so you need to use it more frequently.
Fortunately, Lily and I never developed a fever. I only say fortunately because I was pregnant, and a fever in early pregnancy is not supposed to be good. (Fevers are usually not bad, and should not usually be feared).But if we had developed a fever, I would have used the homeopathic remedy Belladonna. (Note – this is the homeopathic preparation I am referring to, not the herb in full potency. This is an important distinction).
We also tried Oscillococcinum. It did not seem to help us very much, but it does help some people. (We are all different, one size does not fit all). So if Oscillococcinum is all you can find, it is worth a try. I have read that it works better if you take it when you first show symptoms of illness.
The Influenzinum nosode arrived on a Friday. I actually made a mistake and ordered the Influenzinum 200C instead of 30C. So instead of taking it frequently, we all took one dose, and waited to see what happened. That one dose actually helped us through the entire weekend. We all felt much better.
The illness itself lasted for a few weeks, but my condition improved once I started taking the Influenzinum nosode. In fact my daughter, Lily, did not seem very sick at all. She still had lots of energy, and suffered only a runny nose with a little bit of a cough. It was remarkable, I would have thought it was just a cold if it weren’t for the body aches my husband and I felt. It was hard for me because I was very tired from being pregnant and fighting the flu. But I am grateful that it did not affect my daughter very much.
I know the flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant women but I do not regret not getting it. Having the flu was not a pleasant experience, but it really was not bad for me. If my body can handle the flu that well when I am pregnant, then I think my immune system should be able to handle it just fine when I am not pregnant.
I did learn that the Influenzinum nosode can be used to prevent the flu. It is nice to have this option available.
I understand that homeopathy is not for everyone. Some people think it is scam; others are confused or scared by something they do not understand. So here are some ways to nutritionally support the body so it can fight off the flu.
I have read that if you keep your vitamin D levels high during the winter, it can prevent the flu. I don’t know if it is true. However, I DO know that my vitamin D levels were low when I caught the flu. Is it a coincidence? Possibly. But there are many health benefits associated with maintaining proper vitamin D levels all year long. I don’t see any reason not to watch your vitamin D levels and prevent them from getting too low.
Homemade Bone Broth
I was so grateful I had some homemade bone broth frozen and ready to use in my freezer. It is not a coincidence that chicken noodle soup is considered a food that will nourish you back to health. If it is the REAL DEAL, (not soup from a can), it provides a lot of minerals and nutrients the body needs to heal. I even made steamed eggs for breakfast when we were sick.
Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that can help the body fight off illness. It has even been used to help the body fight Pertussis, (the Whooping Cough). (Source) This is the brand I keep in my “medicine cabinet”.
Avoiding dairy and gluten
Food that contains dairy and gluten can be inflammatory for many people. If your body is already stressed, why stress it any more? Dairy, especially A1 dairy is actually mucus forming. (link). So logically, you don’t want your body to produce any more mucus when you are already sick.
Sugar can suppress the immune system. (link). Obviously, you want your immune system working at full capacity when you are already sick.
I need to write a post about probiotics as a supplement. I have used a few different brands, and I like to rotate them. BioKult is my favorite brand. But probiotic foods will help the body recover as well. (Kimchi, sauerkraut, real pickles, kombucha, etc).
Cod Liver Oil
Last winter, we briefly stopped our use of Cod Liver Oil. I think that was a mistake because we got sick. (it was the first time I had been sick in over 20 years, other than a runny nose). Cod Liver Oil contains not only vitamin D, but also Vitamin A. This is a vitamin that many of us are lacking through dietary intake. This fall I decided to start taking cod liver again regularly. It seems to have helped us immensely, (it is the beginning of February and so far Lily, Addie, and I have not been sick). My husband has been sick twice, and he does not take Cod Liver Oil. So thought it is not a controlled scientific experiment, it is very interesting.
Sometimes getting sick is the body’s way of saying “take a break”. Sleep is the time in which our body repairs and detoxes. If we don’t get enough sleep, our body will be much weaker, our natural defenses will be down. The most difficult part of having the flu for me was the fatigue. I had a 3 year old to look after, so sleeping during the day was not an option for me. We did watch quite a few movies though.
So that is our “flu fighting” story. Hopefully it helps someone recover during this nasty flu season.
Have you had the flu recently? What helped you recover?