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Flu Shots — Look Out!

posted in: Herbal Remedies | 0

Flu ShotsWe have all undergone a marketing onslaught lately that may not have even registered on our radar. I am referring to the recent full court press by drug companies to “get your flu shot.” It has been so present in our environment that it may have become one of those things we ignore like television commercials.

But like commercials, flu shot messaging has become subliminal information that seeps into the unconscious. A few patients who come into our clinic off-handedly mention they have gotten their flu shots (we’re talking about alternative medicine consumers here!) Sometimes people tell us about someone they know who got their flu shot and got sick afterwards. The biggest “new news” that has reached us is that they are giving away turkeys for getting a flu shot. That’s right – a  free turkey with every flu shot.

The greater numbers of signs in the retail environment pleading with us to get our flu shots could be construed as a public health concern. Giving away free turkeys is bottom-basement marketing. Sales must really be down and someone’s wallet must be hurting. This scenario gives us a chance to be consciously contrarian and choose natural health over something that may not only be non-beneficial, but could be injurious to our health.

I’m talking about vaccinations here. Flu shots are vaccinations. Rather than repeat all the bad things about vaccinations and flu vaccinations specifically, I will point you to a recent blog by a health oriented doctor: Dr. Mark Stengler. I think his critique is fair. If you don’t buy all of what he says, then you might want to check out this article in the New York Times.  At the very least, the experts (scientists) say in this article that “It does not protect as promoted. It’s all a sales job: it’s all public relations.” Major cringe factor.

So what do we do, or what do we recommend to boost the immune system? I’ll recommend a few things we have at the clinic and our customers and patients say work for them.

Echinacea -“the cold and flu herb” is used by professional herbalists for metabolic “heat,” or tissue irritation, inflammation, and acute infections. Echinacea can be taken over a period of time for supporting immune function. It is often combined with Elderberry or Goldenseal (although goldenseal should probably be taken in acute situations sparingly since it is an endangered species).

Astragalus -“the immune herb” actually is an immune booster. It also supports digestion and can help build energy. Astragalus is a Chinese tonic her. Many of these tonics build immune function. A classic Chinese herbal formula for the immune system is Jade Screen or Astragalus Jade Screen.

Isatis herb- a Chinese herb that can be taken as a tea or an extract such as Ban Lan Gen Chong Ji. A Chinese herb that is used in a similar fashion is Chuan Xin Lian or Andrographis, taken as a patent remedy or tea. These well known Chinese herbs are like “herbal flu shots.”

Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum) is a tonic herb of the American West. It can be used as an acute remedy or preventative when immune function is compromised.

Some other wellness herbs and formulas include: Source Natural’s Wellness Formula and Dr. Christopher’s Infection Formula are two of the best remedies for flu and colds.

We’re interested in how you take preventive measures for flu and colds.  Tell us below in the comments how you take care of  your immune system.

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