Avoid the Pharmacy: Fight the Flu With Remedies
From the Kitchen
by Daisy Luther: Huh…It
Must Be Something in the Water
flu promises to be one of the
worst on record. The CDC estimates that over 200,000 flu victims
will be hospitalized. The aggressive strain of H3N2v was not included
in this year’s vaccine, so even if you got jabbed (and believe
that the flu shot is effective) you’d still be at risk for
this nasty virus. According
to the CDC, H3N2v is mutation of the swine flu.
are lining up in the germ-infested pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter
and prescription flu remedies. These medications may not be the
best option – in fact, many of them are downright harmful.
darling of the pharmaceutical industry is Tamiflu. Tamiflu
is advertised as something to shorten the term and severity of the
illness. ”Tamiflu is an FDA-approved prescription flu medicine
that attacks the flu at its source. Tamiflu doesn’t just treat the
symptoms of flu that make you feel bad. Tamiflu fights the flu virus
itself.” According to their website:
common side effects of Tamiflu are mild to moderate nausea and
the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at increased
risk for seizures, confusion, or abnormal behavior when they first
get sick. These events may occur when the flu is not treated or
right after starting Tamiflu. These events are uncommon but may
lead to accidental injury. Contact a healthcare professional right
away if you notice any unusual behavior.
to a PDF
of prescribing information for doctors, which tells a slightly more
AND PRECAUTIONS ———————–
? Serious skin/hypersensitivity reactions such as Stevens-Johnson
Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis and erythema multiforme:
Discontinue TAMIFLU and initiate appropriate treatment if allergic-like
reactions occur or are suspected. (5.1)
? Neuropsychiatric events: Patients with influenza, including
TAMIFLU, particularly pediatric patients, may be at an increased
confusion or abnormal behavior early in their illness. Monitor
for signs of
abnormal behavior. (5.2)
natural health website Mercola.com
claims that the research on Tamiflu is flawed. According to an
article by Dr. Mercola, the limited benefits do not outweigh
the risks, particularly for children:
Back in 2008,
the FDA started reviewing reports of abnormal
behavior and disturbing brain effects in more than 1,800 children
who had taken Tamiflu. The symptoms included convulsions, delirium
and delusions. In Japan, five deaths were reported in children
under 16 as a result of such neurological or psychiatric problems.
Seven adult deaths have also been attributed to Tamiflu, due to
its neuropsychiatric effect.
to a 2009 study, more than half
of children taking Tamiflu experience side effects such as
nausea and nightmares. Other more rare and bizarre side effects
have also been reported, such as the case of a 19-year-old
British girl who developed toxic epidermal necrolysis and blindness
after taking Tamiflu last year.
So, for an estimated 1.3 days less of sick-time, you run the risk
of neuropsychiatric side effects, delusions, convulsions, nausea,
vomiting and life-threatening skin allergies. Plus, it costs $115-$200
for a course of the drug.
the symptoms of the flu are similar to those of a cold (runny nose,
congestion, fever) many people are turning to over-the-counter cold
remedies to treat those symptoms. Sometimes the side effects can
be worse than the symptoms you’re trying to treat.
are supposed to stop the watering eyes, runny noses and scratchy
throats but result in severe drowsiness for most people. Other common
side effects are dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, dry eyes, and
(like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine) allege to reduce sinus congestion,
but can also dangerously increase heart rates and blood pressure
in some people. Other side effects are Restlessness, insomnia, tremors,
(PPA), another common ingredient in cold and flu medicines, can
increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, especially in women ages
people who take monoamine oxidase inhibitors or SSRI antidepressants,
the above medication types can cause lethal interactions.
the most common active ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicine,
can be deadly if the recommended dosage is exceeded. As well, it
is one of the most abused OTCs for those seeking
a quick “high”. Common side effects of dextramethorphan
are drowsiness, nausea, confusion, and dizziness. Expectorants and
suppressants can cause either constipation or diarhea.
Over the counter
medicated nasal sprays work quickly to open the nasal passages,
but if they are used for more than 3-5 days in a row, they can result
in more congestion than you had in the first place due to the “rebound
effect” or rhinitis
medicamentosa. When this occurs, the swelling of the nasal passages
can become permanent, requiring surgical intervention.
Are As Close as Your Kitchen
a sniffling, coughing, congested flu-sufferer to do? Forget heading
to the petri dish that is your local pharmacy – go to the
kitchen – there are lots of things you already have that help
reduce the misery to a tolerable level without the risk of nasty
I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. These home remedies
are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for
medical attention from a professional.
you want to stock up on raw honey, rather than pasteurized. When
honey is heated during the pasteurization process many of its health
benefits are either lost or diminished. If you don’t have
raw honey, use what you have, but when shopping, look specifically
for unheated honey.
Honey is antibacterial,
antifungal and antiviral. This means that before you know the source
of an illness (virus, fungus or bacteria) you can still begin to
treat the problem.
with powdered cinnamon and take a teaspoon 3 times per day as soon
as you start to feel a little tickle in your throat. This can often
prevent the illness from taking hold.
reaching for the cough syrup, try a teaspoon of honey before bedtime
to soothe your cough. Honey taken this way is also very soothing
to sore, inflamed throats.
can tolerate spicy food, particularly when they are sick. However
if you can, there is no betteer way to clear your sinuses. Why?
the natural compound that is found in hot peppers – it’s
what gives them their heat. The capsaicin can help thin mucus, causing
your nose to run, and thus clearing your nasal passages. You can
get a similar effect from freshly cut onions.
A spicy bowl
of chili or a fiery Asian stir-fry could be just what the doctor
ordered for sinus relief.
Green Tea is
the perfect beverage for someone suffering from the flu. A cup of
green tea that has been steeped for 3-5 minutes is loaded with bimmunity-boosting
antioxidants. This helps your cells to fight off the germs which
are making you sick.
Any hot bevarage
will help warm up someone suffering from chills and you can sweeten
it with honey (mentioned above) to make the drink even more powerful.
As well, it’s important to keep hydrated when you have the
flu and tea (of any type) will provide you with needed fluids.
and onions contain the compound allicin, a powerful flu
fighter. Allicin has strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial characteristics.
It is most likely the high content of garlic and onions in homemade
chicken soup that gives it the reputation of a “bowl of pennicillin”.
In the 18th century in France, peasants drank wine with crushed
garlic in it to ward off the Black Plague.
the hot peppers, mentioned above, a fragrant soup loaded with these
two ingredients can help to clear nasal passages making it easier
taken twice per day, can help relieve flu symptoms such as headache,
sore throat, congestions and chills. Make the tea by steeping 2
tbsp of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water. It’s not recommended
to exceed 4 grams of ginger per day – components in the herb
can cause irritation of the mouth, heartburn and diarrhea if taken
A gargle made
from salt water can relieve a sore throat. As well, it can stop
a budding infection in its tracks. Mix I tablespoon of salt with
a cup of water and gargle.
I want to make one recommendation that isn’t a standard addition
to most kitchens. If you purchase one thing to fight off the flu,
make it elderberry syrup or extract. Medicinal use of the elderberry
goes all the way back to Hippocrates. Around the globe, folk medicine
is full of recipes containing elderberries.
research has some some very significant results with the use of
elderberry when treating the flu. For anyone concerned about the
possibility of a serious pandemic in the future, elderberry is a
vital addition to your home pharmacy.
may also help reduce the symptoms of cold and flu and shorten
the duration of the flu by as much as three days, according to
UMMC. The product used in one study was Sambucol, a combination
of elderberries and vitamin C, so it wasn’t clear if it
was the elderberry alone, or the combination, that had the effect.
In a study released by Retroscreen Virology in 2006, a British
medical institute associated with Queen Mary College at the University
of London, researchers determined that Sambucol was at least 99
percent effective against the avian flu virus H5N1 and significantly
neutralized the ability of the virus to infect cells in culture.
syrup or extract can be mixed with hot water to make a tea. It can
also be added to sparkling water and served cold for a refreshing
drink that will sooth a scratchy throat.
Homemade Cough Syrup
I always keep
a jar of this homemade cough syrup in my refrigerator. It tastes
so good that I don’t have to ask my kids twice to take it.
You can also stir a few tablespoons of the syrup into hot water
for a homemade “Neo-Citran”-style hot drink without
all the nasty chemicals.
- 2 lemons,
scrubbed and thinly sliced
- 6 tbsp of
grated ginger root
- Honey as
- In a glass
jar, layer the lemon slices and grated ginger until the jar is
- Pour honey
into the jar, using the blade of a kitchen knife to move the lemon
and ginger around and make room for it.
- Store it
in the fridge for at least 2 weeks before using it. Then, take
1-2 tsp 3 times per day, as needed, for coughs or sore throats.
Today, I avoid
the pharmaceutical solutions because I chose not to use them. One
day, we could be in a situation where relief is no longer available
a few minutes away at our local pharmacies or department store.
It’s important to learn now how to relieve unpleasant symptoms
using simple home methods. This will help you to select the most
useful items for your stockpile while allowing you to become more
comfortable with using natural solutions.
Do you have
some home cold and flu remedies from the kitchen that you have used
successfully? Please share them in the comments!
from The Organic
Daisy Luther writes daily tips, strategies and prepping ideas
Organic Prepper and Girls
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