By Jhoane Robinson, Cedar Bear co-founder and herbalist
Flu Facts – T here are a lot of influences that want you to believe that the best thing you can do to protect yourself from getting the flu is to get a flu shot – the premise is that if you just get that magic flu shot, then you won’t get sick. That all sounds well and good, but that approach to protecting yourself from getting sick doesn’t work!
Here’s part of what is wrong about the whole thing – the flu shot is made for 3 strains of flu that happened last year. But the virus mutates constantly, so last year’s flu virus isn’t exactly the same as this year’s virus. The Flu that is epidemic in the United States right now, Jan-Feb 2014, is H1N1 Swine Flu. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the current flu is a variant of the flu that became a pandemic in 2009-10 that killed 289,000 people throughout the world. (USA Today, 1/03/14)
The interesting thing is that this particular strain is only hitting the U.S. right now. (Traditionally these virulent flues come out of Asia, and then move into the other parts of the world.) And this flu strain is hitting people of all ages, not just the very young, the very old, and those with compromised immune systems. Several dozen people have now died, primarily healthy adults. This strain causes a viral pneumonia that progresses very fast with what is known as a ‘cytokine storm,’ where the immune system causes a fast congestion that seems to come out of nowhere that effects the respiratory system and goes into the lungs.
But let’s walk through the usual flu shot scenario… You just got your flu shot. You’ve got a full schedule, as usual, and don’t even think about the consequences of having just gotten a vaccine that is designed to challenge your immune system to go into high gear to keep you from getting the flu. (Remember, the vaccine only ‘protects’ you from the exact flu viruses it is made of, and there are many flu viruses around at any given time).
You don’t stop to think about the sniffles and sore throat and chills you get as you keep pushing through the next few days. “I must be coming down with a cold,” you think, not realizing that what you are ‘coming down with’ is an immune challenge caused by the vaccination. You don’t feel very well, but you think to yourself, ‘Hey, no big deal. It’s cold and flu season… everybody’s getting sick,” and besides, you don’t have time to slow down to take care of yourself. So you take an over-the-counter cold remedy you saw advertised on T.V. to suppress the symptoms and keep pushing on.
As you keep going, you don’t realize that you are weakening your immune system, leaving yourself open to succumbing to any of the other viruses that are floating around out there that people are coughing and sniffling with. While we are at it, have you ever thought that when you get that vaccine and your immune system starts fighting it, that you could be contagious to others? You are supposed to stay away from other people for 20-30 days after getting a flu vaccination, you know. (Oh, they forgot to tell you that?) So, you, yourself may have become a carrier of the flu you’ve just been vaccinated for. It takes 2 weeks for immunity to set in, by the way. That’s how long it takes for your immune system to build its defenses against (only) the flu viruses the vaccination is made of.
Are you getting the picture? (Besides, the flu vaccinations are a multi-billion dollar industry that makes big pharma and the medical profession a lot of money, but who pays attention to that?)
That’s just part of what’s wrong with the ‘get a vaccination so you won’t get the flu approach.’
How To REALLY Protect Your Health During The Winter:
Let’s put aside the issue of whether the flu shots really prevent you from getting the flu or not, and look at REAL prevention. Real prevention lies in what you do every day to take care of your health.
First, you MUST drink plenty of water throughout the day so stay hydrated. Viruses have a harder time getting into your system when your cells are hydrated, and your immune system works much better. And that is unsweetened water by itself or with herbs or tea.
STOP drinking soda pop and eating or drinking anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). HFCS plays havoc with your blood sugars, which influences your immune system.
Stop eating heavy, hard to digest food, especially fried foods. They mess with your digestive system and liver/gallbladder, making it virtually impossible for you to stay well. And don’t eat heavy meals late at night!
1- Sleep! It’s not just for beauty. Sleep is vital to having a vitalized immune system.
2- Practice good Cold/Flu Hygiene. Wash your hands with hot water and soap every chance you get. (Don’t use antibiotic soaps. They don’t give extra protection and add to the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics.) Keep your hands away from your face and things out of your mouth (like pens and pencils). When you cough or sneeze, do not cough into your unprotected hand and contaminate it. Use the crook of your arm. ALWAYS cover your cough! Thousands of droplets are released with a cough at 200 miles/hour, spreading contamination quite immediately into the air around you.
3- It is believed that 80% of your immune system lies in your digestive system. You MUST take care of your digestive system to be well and stay well, and that doesn’t mean popping antacids (which further imbalance your digestive health). All of the suggestions in this document helps in your digestive health support.
Herbs and Other Supplements to Support Health and Boost Immunity Naturally:
Cedar Bear Herbal Formulas
Winter Season Symptom Support:
Cedar Bear formulas to have on hand to fight the winter immune stressors are Sinus Relief, Wonderful Wild Cherry for Wet Coughs, Super Immune Booster, Immune Booster, Seasonal Support, Liquid Throat Lozenge, and Antioxidant Boost.
Every Day Health Support:
Cedar Bear formulas for everyday use to strengthen your health are Antioxidant Boost, Longevity Build, Memory Build, Immune Builder, Herbal Minerals, Daily Herbals, and Herbal Blood Builder.