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What About the Flu

This week we begin a special series written by herbalist Charlene Muhammad, M.S..
I’m a big believer in learning from the wisdom that I’ve gained from past experiences to help guide me with my choices today.  There is a lot of talk today about a potential pandemic outbreak of Swine Flu or more correctly referred to by its scientific name, “Type A H1N1 influenza.”  There are enough similarities between the A H1N1 and the “Spanish flu” that it easy to make some comparisons. In our two-part series, this first article will look at practical ways of preventing the contraction of this flu, and next week’s article will focus on easy ways of boosting your immune system.

We can take a lesson from the Flu Pandemic of 1918 and the age-old adage, an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.

Prevention

Before the flu hits your area AND as a daily habit, practice good hygiene. Universal precautions are in order! Wash your hands often, especially during your daily routines out in public. Soap and water and friction are best (rubbing your hands together with soap before rinsing.) Anti-bacterial gels are okay in a pinch, but these gels are not a good substitute for washing with soap and water.


Know your Vitamin D status. Most Americans have some Vitamin D deficiency as we become less exposed to the sun due to staying indoors for work, driving in cars, etc. If you have low Vitamin D or are deficient, take a good quality Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D directly supports our bodies’ immune function.


Drink lots of good quality water. Each person should drink about 50% of his or her body weigh in water. Drink water at room temperature throughout the day. Water helps stimulate the detoxification organs of the body and brings oxygen to cells.


Drink Herbal Tea. Try one of these herbal teas or blend a few together. These herbs are good support as anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and nutrient dense:

Astragulus, Sage, Skullcap, Oregano, Thyme, Elder Flower, Holy Basil, Nettle. Drink two or three 8-ounce cups daily.

Eat plenty of nutrient dense foods. Miso soup, vegetable broths, organic grains and meats. Flavor these foods with raw garlic, cayenne pepper, turmeric and onion for an additional immunity boost.

The Swine Flu is manageable if we take the proper precautions, fortify our body’s natural defense mechanisms, eat a good balanced diet and don’t stress about a gloomy pandemic or about life in general.

Be well and take good care of yourself!

-Charlene
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