Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immunity

It’s that time of year again. People are now getting colds and flus and are wondering how to boost their immunity.

flu-shotMany people opt for the flu shot, but since the flu shot is not effective, this is not the best decision. For example, with young children, the flu vaccine does not decrease influenza-related hospital visits, as published in the October 2008 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. A study in a 2008 issue of the Lancet as well as study published in a 2008 issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine show that risk of pneumonia in the elderly is not affected by flu vaccination. And this should also tell you something: 60% of health care workers in the US refuse the flu shot every year!

Say no to cold drugsOnce you get a cold or flu, traditional pharmacies carry various cold and flu medications. These medications only suppress your symptoms, they don’t actually strengthen the immunity in any way. A recent article in the BBC deemed many cough and cold medications ineffective and unsafe for children. Though I’m not against giving the recommended dose of Tylenol to a sick child so that they can sleep through the night. Never underestimate the healing power of sleep!

Most healthy people get a couple colds a year. It is the body’s natural way to rid itself of toxins, and since we live in such a toxic environment, it makes sense that most people would get colds. For those of you who get many colds and/or flus per year, you need a bit of help to strengthen your immunity.

When I say “natural ways to increase immunity” most people think of things like Vitamin C, echinacea, oregano oil and garlic. None of these things are harmful, but I have not found them to be particularly helpful either. The smell and taste of oregano oil and garlic are a bit of a turn-off as well.

For people with low immunity, the #1 thing that I recommend is constitutional homeopathic treatment. The constitutional remedy strengthens your immunity naturally so that you don’t get as many flus and colds. There are other things that help, but constitutional treatment is the foundation for building a strong immunity. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about constitutional homeopathic treatment.

Sunset-BeachLately there has been a lot of talk about the health benefits of Vitamin D. People do have a lot less colds and flus in the summer months, so I think there is some truth to this. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine links Vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk for upper respiratory tract infections. The best way to get Vitamin D is moderate exposure to sunlight (without sunscreen), and in the winter months use a sun lamp.

A cold or flu is nature’s way of cleansing the body of toxins. Why not help nature along by cleansing your body yourself so that a cold or flu doesn’t have to? There are a few different cleanse kits on the market. At some point I would like to write up a review of them on this blog.

glass-of-waterThe cleanse that I have found to be the cheapest and most effective is fasting. They say that the best time to fast is spring and summer months. Part of the reason for this is practical: your body temperature decreases when you are fasting. The only exception to this rule is when you actually get a cold or flu. I find that my recovery time from a cold or flu is a lot quicker when I am fasting. The body is able to heal itself quicker because the digestive organs are resting, they don’t have to digest food. Make sure that you drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated! The science of fasting is called Natural Hygiene. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about this simple cheap way to rid the body of toxins and extra weight.

Ferrum Phos cell saltsI have also found the Schussler Cell Salts, also referred to as Tissue Salts, to be helpful with colds and flus, especially with my kids. Unlike herbal formulas, the cell salts taste great, kids will be begging you for more.  In Canada, Hyland’s sells the cheapest brand. At the first stage of inflammation, use the Ferrum Phosphoricum cell salt. When the mucus becomes clear and profuse, use the Natrum Muriaticum cell salt. After the mucus becomes thicker and white, the Kali Muriaticum cell salt will help break up the secretions.

RainbowSomething else that has been most helpful for myself and my family during cold and flu season have been the homeopathic colour remedies, first potentized by American homeopath Ambika Wauters in  1990. You guessed it, I will be writing more about these amazing remedies in the future. Basically it’s like colour therapy but in sugar pill form. It’s a great way to cleanse the chakras, and is yet another way to rid the body of toxins.

Feel free to comment if you feel that I have left anything out that has worked for you. I am always open to new methods of healing.

By Sonya McLeod
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Homeopathic First Aid

Health ArticleA few months back I wrote an article in the Georgia Straight newspaper titled “Homeopathic Remedies Reduce Outdoor Worries.” For those of you who are brand new to homeopathy and don’t have the time or interest to read a lot about it, I would like to give you some basic information so that you can start using homeopathy accurately and effectively. Anybody can use homeopathic first aid remedies without knowing a lot about homeopathy. These are the basic things that you need to know:

Boiron KitHomeopathic remedies can be found at most health food stores or natural pharmacies. The first aid remedies are very common so it is a pretty safe bet that you can find those easily. They can also be purchased at some homeopathic clinics or online.Most people buy a few remedies and try them out, then once they see how well they work they decide to buy a kit, which saves you money in the long run and is a lot more convenient.

Boiron-Arnica-Montana-30CHThe remedies are in sugar pill form and come in small plastic vials. In Canada, there are only two homeopathic companies, Boiron and Homeocan. Boiron is more common and well known. They are French companies and their Canadian head offices are based in Quebec.

You will probably notice that there are numbers beside the remedy name. For example, you see that the Arnica bottle says “Arnica 30″. This number indicates the potency of the remedy. The higher the number, the higher and stronger the potency.

What remedies to shop for? I talk about the most common homeopathic first aid remedies in my article. No household should do without Arnica. It is great for any type of injury, including surgery and dental visits. For kids, Apis is also indispensable, great for bug bites and bee/wasp stings. Ledum is a great infection preventative, give it anytime there is a risk of infection. Hypericum is good for any type of shooting pain, and Bryonia and Rhus Tox are good for injuries to the muscles, joints and tendons. Ruta is a good for injuries to the bone. Another one that I did not have time to mention in my article is Symphytum. It speeds the healing of broken bones and fractures, and should be given in a low potency (6C) over a period of weeks. Staphysagria is worth mentioning as well, it is useful for incised wounds, when there has been cutting with a knife (such as after surgery).

So here is the complete shopping list for someone who wants to be very well equipped for any type of bodily injury:

Arnica 200C
Apis 30C
Ledum 30C
Hypericum 30C
Bryonia 30C
Rhus Tox 30C
Ruta 30C
Symphytum 6C
Staphysagria 30C

Now you have bought the remedies, but how do you take them? Dissolve only 1-2 pellets of the remedy under the tongue. Take dry, half an hour away from food or drink if possible. Give every half hour for three doses. If the problem does not improve at all, you have probably selected the wrong remedy. If the problem improves but still persists, continue giving the remedy 3 times per day for a few more days until recovery is complete. The dosage for Symphytum is different since it is meant to be taken in a low potency over a longer period of time: Take 3 times per day for two weeks to one month as necessary.

More detailed information about how to use these remedies can be found on my website. To learn more, look at my literature for the Basic Kit.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to comment on this post or contact the clinic.

By Sonya McLeod
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(Swine) flu vaccine and treatment is not safe or effective

Obama H1N1I have been following swine flu in the news since the first outbreak in Mexico in the spring of 2009. There was and is what I perceive to be a lot of media hype around a disease that has so far killed far less people than regular influenza. The regular flu kills approx. 250,000 – 500,000 people each year worldwide. So far, the swine flu has only killed less than 2000 people since April.

Although the swine flu is a relatively mild disease that for the most part only kills immunocompromised people, the press is now arguing that the virus could mutate into a more deadly disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that it *could* mutate into a deadlier strain, which has to be the only reason why they declared swine flu to be a pandemic, since it kills less people than the regular flu, yet WHO does not seem to be particularly worried about the regular flu. So far, the swine flu has been around for months, and there is no sign of it mutating into a deadlier disease. In fact, just as I thought, there is now evidence that it will not mutate into something deadlier: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/health/healthAP/story/1212356.html There goes their justification for declaring the swine flu a pandemic! But, they say, it spreads more easily than the regular flu.  Since swine flu a mild disease, most people that get it recover from it, so there is still nothing to worry about.

PigsSince there is no actual hard evidence that the swine flu is deadlier than the regular flu, my only guess about why it has been hyped so much in the media is the motivation of greed. The pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the flu vaccine stand to make billions of dollars from the swine vaccine alone. Scaremongering also increases the use of antiviral drugs once swine flu is diagnosed, since people have been led to think that the swine flu is a deadly and serious disease.

One very good reason not to get the swine flu vaccine is that the disease is relatively benign, so there is really nothing to worry about anyway. Another very good reason, and a more worrying one, is that the swine flu vaccine is very likely going to be a lot more dangerous than getting the disease. Because WHO declared the swine flu to be a pandemic, the pharmaceutical companies have been allowed to rush through the testing of the vaccine in order to prepare for the 2009 flu season. There is no long-term data about the side effects of this vaccine, therefore we really have no idea whether it is safe: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090815/vaccine_safety_090816/20090816/

Another worry in terms of the vaccine’s safety is the use of adjuvants in some batches of the swine flu vaccine. Adjuvants are sometimes put into vaccines to make the vaccine’s effect more powerful. One adjuvant is squalene, an ingredient used in the Anthrax vaccine in the early 90′s. Squalene has been linked to Gulf War syndrome, a multi-symptom rheumatic disorder experienced by veterans of the Gulf War after receiving the Anthrax vaccine: http://www.autoimmune.com/GWSGen.html Unfortunately, squalene is also an ingredient in some batches of the swine flu vaccine.

As if all this information is not disturbing enough, very recently a letter from the Health Protection Agency, intended for neurologists, was leaked to the press warning practitioners to be on the alert for an increase in Guillain Barre syndrome after the swine flu vaccine has been administered to the public. Guillain Barre syndrome is a severe neurological disorder that was caused by the 1976 swine flu vaccine during the last swine flu pandemic. During the 1976 swine flu pandemic, more people died from the swine flu vaccine than the actual disease: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206807/Swine-flu-jab-link-killer-nerve-disease-Leaked-letter-reveals-concern-neurologists-25-deaths-America.html

Not only is the safety of the swine flu vaccine questionable, but so is its efficacy. As I mentioned before, no long term studies of the effectiveness of the swine flu have been done because it’s such a new disease. We can only guess how effective the swine flu vaccine will be by comparing it to the effectiveness of the regular flu vaccine, since these vaccines are made in a similar manner (though there are no adjuvants in the regular flu vaccine which probably makes it a lot safer). A comprehensive review of the studies on the regular flu vaccine efficacy concludes that the vaccine is no more effective than administering a placebo: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/333/7574/912

Not only is the swine flu vaccine on very shaky ground, but the traditional antiviral drugs used to treat it are also dangerous and ineffective. A recent CNN article questions the safety and efficacy of Tamiflu and Relenza, two antiviral drugs that are used by doctors to treat the swine flu: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/08/11/influenza.children.tamiflu.relenza/index.html The article summarizes some studies on antiviral drugs in the treatment of the flu virus, and what they found was that they did not reduce the risk of flu-related complications. Side effects of antivirals include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The article concludes that giving antivirals to children for the flu does more harm than good.

If you are concerned about the swine flu, or even the regular flu, which is more deadly, there are safe, effective alternative options available. Homeopathy is a safe and effective prevention and treatment option for the flu. Click here to read my article about homeopathic treatment of the flu in the Georgia Straight newspaper. Click here to learn more about homeopathic flu immunizations.

By Sonya McLeod
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