Can Healthy Living Help People with Flu-like Symptoms?
Enhancing overall health to reduce susceptibility to developing any acute conditions such as respiratory infections is an important part of prevention. Colds and flues are more dangerous when a person is in a weakened state. Healthy lifestyle can help enhance overall wellbeing, making us less vulnerable.
Lifestyle Choices that enhance well-being
Every part of our body, including our immune system, functions better when bolstered by basic, common-sense healthy-living strategies such as:
- Eating a diet high in raw and freshly cooked vegetables
- Exercising regularly (Data support a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise and illness risk)
- Maintaining a healthy weight (both overweight and underweight people have elevated rates of infection).
- Getting adequate sleep.
- Minimizing stress through mindfulness.
- Increasing daily intake of Vitamin C to 1000mgs three times/d
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation.
- Avoiding sugar
- Not smoking.
Let Food be Your Medicine
If you want to help boost your immune system, here are some foods that can help; Citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, ginger, spinach, yogurt, almonds, turmeric, green tea, papaya and kiwi. The Chinese medicine herb Astragalus is another natural ally that has been shown to boost resistance to infection. Then there’s garlic, whose health benefits have been proclaimed for centuries. Recent studies confirm and verify garlic’s’ beneficial effects on the immune system.
Avoiding junk food is a corollary to healthy eating habits. Of all so-called foods, the one most toxic to our immune system is sugar. Studies show that our immune system is suppressed by eating sugar.
Stress, Staying Positive, and the Immune System
Studies show that the stress response suppresses the immune system, increasing susceptibility to colds and other illnesses. Cultivating a state of mindful awareness through the practice of mindfulness meditation has been shown to be supportive of our immune system
Homeopathy & the Spanish Flu Pandemic
2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 50-100 million people. As mentioned in an article I wrote previously, homeopathy proved remarkably successful during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. While the mortality rate of people treated with traditional medicine and drugs was 30 percent, those treated by homeopathic physicians had mortality rate of 1.05 percent.
Research Into Homeopathy and the Flu
A placebo-controlled study undertaken in India to evaluate the effect of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of influenza-like illness during the H1N1 pandemic in India showed significant improvement in fever, myalgia (muscular pain), headaches, malaise and fatigue. Another study involving the homeopathic treatment of H1N1 conducted in Switzerland showed a recovery rate of 62% of participants within 2 days of treatment, and another 25% recovered within 4 days. A study conducted in France, where homeopathy is widely accepted, concluded that patients who are treated with homeopathy are more satisfied with their treatment than other patients.
Are Symptoms the Problem or the solution?
Modern medicine views symptoms as the enemy, opposing them by using medicines such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, antidepressants or anti-febriles like aspirin.
In contrast, homeopathy interprets symptoms as valuable clues to how the body fights disease, supporting the body’s natural defense response. The homeopathic approach relies on the principle of similarity. Like an immunization tailored to the individual, we use a substance known to produce symptoms in healthy volunteers to treat a person suffering with similar symptoms.
For instance, during the Spanish flu pandemic, the three most often prescribed homeopathic remedies were Gelsemium, Bryonia and Eupatorium perfoliatum. This is because, besides the typical fever, patients most often experienced either tremendous lethargy, joint pain aggravated by the least motion, or a kind of body pain that felt like all the bones were being broken. Gelsemium is a homeopathic medicine known to produce fever with prostration when given to healthy volunteers; Bryonia is known to produce fever with pains worse with the least motion, while Eupatorium perfoliatum can produce a fever with pains that feel like every bone in the body is breaking. The key to homeopathic success is matching accurately the symptoms of a patient to a remedy that can produce similar symptoms in healthy people.
Healthy lifestyle choices as a way of supporting our immune system is a good thing. Nutritious eating, exercise, stress management, and natural health care methods such as homeopathic medicine help support overall wellbeing, lowering our chances of contracting acute illnesses while potentially diminishing their severity if we do contract them.