- National Naturopathic Medicine Week May 6th-12th, 2013
- Prolotherapy and its role in pain relief (As seen in the Kelowna Daily Courier)
- Naturpathic Medicine Week's Third Year in Kelowna: May 9th - 15th, 2011
- Flu Season in the Okanagan - What can be done naturally?
- Detoxification: Clean Out Those 2010 Toxins
- Preventing the Flu Naturally - The Natural Flu Shot
- An Afternoon With Deepak Chopra
- Naturopathic Physicians Granted Prescription Privileges
Flu Season in the Okanagan - What can be done naturally?
- Categorized in: Articles
It is nearing the end of February and the ‘Flu’ has officially made its presence known in the Okanagan.
During the flu season people are home sick grappling with fever, chills, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea
and fatigue. As the flu is the result of a viral infection, antibiotics will not help as they are only effective
against bacterial infection. Therefore, the usual medical advice is to stay home, get rest and drink plenty
of fluids. This is good advice, but there is more that can be done to reduce the duration and severity of
symptoms of an active infection. Here are a couple of effective suggestions:
“Feed a fever, starve a cold.” What this means is one should not (usually) suppress a fever. This seems
contrary to the usual recommendation but it is important to understand that the increase in body
temperature actually allows the body’s metabolism to increase. This amplifies the immune system’s
ability to grow faster and fight the infection. As well, invading organisms replicate and grow best when
our body temperature is normal, which is between 36.5 and 37.5 C. When the body temperature
increases, the resulting fever stunts the ability of the virus to replicate. A typical fever is considered
to be between 37.5 to 38.9 C. Temperatures above 40 C can be life threatening, so monitor closely, as
further action may be required. If you are already sick or feel like you are becoming sick but have not yet
had a fever, here is what to do: Boil some water in your tea kettle. Mince a clove of garlic (antimicrobial)
and shred some ginger (heats up the body) into a pot. Add the boiling water and when steeped, drink 2
cups. Even better, drink your tea while relaxing in a hot bath. Immediately after, put on full pyjamas or a
sweat suit and crawl into bed. Doing this will feed the fever, starve the cold.
To support your immune system’s optimal function it is essential to understand what suppresses
the immune system. Remember it is your immune system that fights off disease and infection. The
average westerner consumes 175g of sugar per day. Research indicates that 100g of sugar causes a 50%
decrease in immune function for more than 5 hours. Therefore, it is extremely important to limit refined
carbohydrates, such as white breads, white pastas, white flour, high sugar fruit juices and sweet treats
during an infection. To boost your immune system eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. As we usually
don’t feel like eating a big meal during the flu, try soups, stews and/or smoothies as an optimal way
of supplying vital nutrients, which will enhance the immune function. Some immune boosting foods
include garlic, onion, leeks, spinach, collard greens, oranges, kiwi, blueberries and raspberries.
In addition to these home recommendations there are several effective immune boosting supplements
which can be taken to prevent or speed up recovery from the flu. Furthermore, the Natural Flu Shot,
which is a combination of vitamins and complex homeopathics, is another option that can help support
the body’s natural defence systems and either prevent the flu or limit its duration and severity. For
more information on the use of supplements and/or in learning more about the Natural Flu Shot call the Okanagan Naturopathic Healthcare office at (250) 860-8855.