Winning a knockdown brawl with Influenza

We are more than halfway through January and the weather had shifted dramatically. Western New York had been swinging wildly from -5 to 52* F, with occasionally gusting winds, sloppy wet to painfully dry squeaking powder snow, all happening over the matter of days.

I figured I’d share what my family does to fight off the flu. Earlier this Fall and Winter, my family was slammed with Bronchitis, cold aggravated asthma, and the flu, each wreaking havoc in their own delightful way. Thinking about last year, we did pretty well this time around. Last year’s rumble with the flu was followed by three months of bronchitis; it was the series of fevers and sleeplessness that wiped us out.

I discovered the magic of snoozing on the couch. That and a great cup of herbal tea seemed to be the best medicine. We used peppermint and ginger for nausea and green tea for its mild scent and flavor. Although clove and oregano oils, garlic, turmeric, horseradish, and cayenne pepper all have excellent anti-viral properties that would have probably helped tremendously, their scent and taste were too much for our virally abused digestive systems.

I did find a great deal of comfort in a diet of bone broth based soups, aloe vera syrup and raw honey, bananas and plain toast. Surprisingly, mixing

3 tlbs maple syrup
1 tbls lime juice
2 tbls ginger paste
2 tbls raw apple cider vinegar
1 bottle Reed’s Ginger Ale
1 bottle of club soda or tonic

seemed to do wonders as well. As did extra servings of oranges and grapefruits.

The following four ideas seem worth looking into:

  • Muscadine grapes have the richest sources of polyphenolic antioxidants than any other grape and more fiber than oats. This fruit also contains anthocyanins such as delphinidin and petunidin, tannins, quercetin, flavan-3-ols (catechins, particularly in seeds), gallic acid, ellagic acid (particularly in skin), ellagic acid glycosides, ellagitannins, myricetin (particularly in leaves), and kaempferol which are used to improve weakened immune systems. 
  • Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) is an alpha-glucan rich nutritional supplement produced from the mycelia of shiitake (Lentinula edodes) of the basidiomycete family of mushrooms. An evidence-based review concluded that AHCC might have immunostimulatory effects. Although it can be purchased in many health food stores, DO NOT take it without first consulting with your doctor as it is not safe for people with liver disease and if you are taking codine .
  • Astragalus is often recommended for people with heart disease and as a possible treatment for people whose immune systems have been weakened by chemotherapy or radiation. It has been correlated with improved resistance to bacterial infections. Although it can be purchased in many health food stores, DO NOT take it without first consulting with your doctor as it is not safe for people with autoimmune disorders and if you are on steroids.
  • Camel milk (IgG) (study also includes llamas) has a full neutralizing activity against the tetanus toxin, and are better enzyme inhibitors than human antibodies and potentially are better antivirals than other food based sources. Unlike goat, cow, or even human milk, a camel’s milk is more effective in boosting T-cell production and fighting off immune and viral illnesses due to its unique enzyme structure.

Our immune systems are a marvelous thing, even when in the midst of a knockdown brawl with viruses and bacteria. If you have tried any other remedies besides the ones I’ve mentioned above, or you’ve tried the ones I’ve suggested talking to your doctor about, or had an unique sick day experience, I would love to hear about them.