The Annual Dilemma – Flu Shot or Not

The flu season is not here yet but, according to the CDC, the flu season never ends. Their “Flu View” still reports occurrences as late as May nationally.

Each year it is recommended that everybody get a flu shot. There are many vaccines from different viruses available and each year new viruses are detected and new vaccines have to be made. The safety of these vaccines, all with possible side effects, is not and cannot be properly studied because what a current year’s viruses are is not known beforehand.

Side effects can be severe, especially in children under three years of age, or in anybody for that matter.


Drug companies are not liable in court and cannot be sued. The FDA only requires that manufacturers provide information about the vaccine on its insert.

The responsibility of finding out about a controversial vaccine’s safety and effectiveness is entirely up to the individual who has to learn about ingredients, the source of the virus, pre-trial findings and adverse effects. The National Vaccine Information Center,, is a place where one can find relevant information about all vaccines.

By the time individuals are confronted with making a decision, or even pressured by their employers, it is late in the year and the season of bacterial and viral illnesses is upon us.

Making a quick decision then, may not be the best time. It is better to start thinking about what to do early on. After all, you may not even get the flu. However, in case you submitted to a vaccine that holds potential harm because its worth is not yet fully proven, you could get sicker than if you confronted the flu.

According to the CDC, the flu vaccine only shows to be 56 percent effective across all age groups reviewed. In people aged 65 and over, the flu vaccines were only nine percent effective.

Instead of worrying about the flu, we can look at alternative methods to strengthen the immune system and practice prevention.

Alternative Methods

The first step is to take a critical look at our diet. Our health and a well-working immune system depend on what we eat. Yes, food has everything to do with it.

The standard American diet consisting mainly of processed, refined foods that people pick on their way home from work seems to be the norm. Even though resembling food, it is not. Nutrients found only in fresh, organically grown vegetables and pastured animal products are lacking. Additionally, store-bought food products cannot be compared to meals cooked at home and eaten in a harmonious setting conducive of good health.

Stress in every corner of our lives, as well as driving long distances on packed freeways, does not allow planning tasty and nourishing meals. However, to withstand each year’s new viruses and bacteria, we must make changes in that direction.

Once our diets are improved to contain high quality proteins, fats and carbohydrates, we are on the way to beat the flu and many other diseases. It is important to include omega 3 essential fatty acids in our diets, which are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. None of these, or other fish, ought to be from fish farms since those fish are not fed their natural diet.

Cooking in microwave ovens to save time is not an option. High heat from this cooking method destroys enzymes. Enzymes are important factors in the digestive process. Without enzymes, food sits and ferments in the digestive tract causing problems. Vitamins and minerals are coenzymes instrumental in breaking food into particles. They are not nutrients to be taken instead of food.

To protect your baby from the flu and other illnesses it is recommended to breast-feed the baby at least for six months, ideally much longer. Colostrum, the first fluid from the breast, contains antibodies and antimicrobial factors acting as a defense. In order to produce such a rich natural antibiotic, the mother’s diet must be optimal.

The diet for a child should be as varied as possible to avoid allergies. The immune system has to fight hard to ward off allergens and becomes quickly depleted especially at a young age.

It is best to make your own baby food since baby food in jars is processed under high heat. Vitamins are destroyed with heat.


High quality food is money best spent instead of on supplements, but adding these to target particular issues during the flu season is helpful. Not all supplements are created equal. Research before you buy to find those without binders and fillers. The price is a good indicator of its quality.

Vitamin D is important during the flu season. Vitamin D levels fall during the winter month and it could be the reason people get the flu. Vitamin D is a prohormone and is produced in the body from cholesterol. As a prohormone, it influences every cell in the body. It regulates the immune system besides its function in bone health. Vitamin D fights infections. It is synthesized on the skin during sun exposure. In winter when people spend most of the time in doors or live in areas where there is no sun, it is important to take vitamin D supplements. Since vitamin D can be toxic, blood tests should be taken to find out how much is needed.

Highly concentrated green foods such as Spirulina and Chlorella, or a mixture of different powdered greens are perfect adjuncts to a superior diet.

A probiotic with different strains of beneficial gut flora keeps good bacteria flourishing.

Supplementing with omega 3 essential fatty acid, vitamin A and C as back-ups system should be considered.


Homeopathy is excellent as alternative medicine. The correctly chosen remedy supports the body’s innate healing potential. In homeopathy not just the disease is treated, but the entire person, body mind and spirit, Remedies are made in a diluted form from plants, minerals as well as bacterial and animal tissues. The more diluted the remedy, the more potent it is.

Influenzinum is the remedy often used for flu. Each year anticipated viral strains are made into the remedy. It is supposed to trigger the body’s defense mechanism to make antibodies just like a vaccine. It is usually taken in a 9c potency and prescribed with a protocol on how to take it.

Another effective and well-known homeopathic remedy is Oscillococcinum. When taken at the onset of symptoms, it can stop the flu.

There are many more remedies for flu and colds. Remedies must be matched to the symptoms. To get the perfect match, consult a homeopathic practitioner. However, it is easy to attempt curing yourself. Remedies, although powerful, cannot hurt. Acute conditions can easily be taken care of with a beginner’s book of which there are good ones.

Homeopathic nasal sprays and throat sprays provide relief from congestion and pain.


Herbs such as Elderberry, Echinecia, Goldenseal, Astragalus, Pau d’Arco, Hyssop, Chamomile, Fennel and Ginger and combination herbal products are all good for prevention or to relieve flu symptoms.  Herbs can be used as tea, tinctures or capsules.

Astragalus should not be used if there is a fever, but is good at the beginning of symptoms.

Fresh ginger boiled in water, lemon and honey is commonly used for sore throat and coughs.

Supporting products for the lungs and bronchial tubes are Bloodroot, Indian Wild Cherry Bark and Boneset.

For support of the thymus gland specific glandular products are available in vitamin shops.


Select an exercise program that easily fits into a schedule. At least twenty minutes a day for a cardio workout. Two quick walks around the block will do. Aim for a speed that makes you breath hard. Yoga exercises keep you supple and promote deep breathing. Deep breathing opens lungs and provides more oxygen. Weight lifting works as a cardio exercise and at the same time develops muscles and bones.

Germs don’t like to live in a well-exercised body. Find the time for exercise. It is worth it.


Make your environment into a haven of peace with organization and simplicity. This provides tranquility so important for a well functioning immune system. Avoid household toxins. Replace cleansers with biodegradable ones. One for cleaning, one for washing dishes and a safe laundry detergent.

Sunshine and Fresh Air

Heliotherapy is healing with sunlight. Sunshine can kill germs even through glass. It is said that the sun causes cancer, but it has been shown that it can also help in some cases of cancer. Heliotherapy, at one time, was recommended for tuberculosis and infections. The following is a quote from a book called “The Healing Sun” by Richard Hobday, MSc., PhD.  “Sunlight may cause skin cancer, but there is also evidence that it could prevent a number of very common and often fatal diseases: breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and osteoporosis.”

An excellent article on fresh air by Dr. Bernell Baldwin, entitled, “Why is Fresh Air Fresh?” Baldwin pointed out that fresh air is chemically different than the circulated indoor air that most people in cities breathe. High quality fresh air is actually electrified. The life-giving oxygen molecule is negatively charged or “negatively ionized.” Baldwin says this negatively charged oxygen gives rise to a number of benefits:

  • Improved sense of well being
  • Increased rate and quality of growth in plants and animals
  • Improved function of the lung’s protective cilia
  • Tranquilization and relaxation (decreased anxiety)
  • Lowered body temperature
  • Lowered resting heart rate
  • Decreased survival of bacteria and viruses in the air
  • Improved learning in mammals
  • Decreased severity of stomach ulcers

Every aspect of our existence can contribute to health and a well functioning immune system. The way you treat others, your ability to forgive and forget and what you hold as truth. Meditation is a way to strengthen these aspects. Prayers give hope and visualization will manifest what you need, a healthy immune defense to ward off the flu each year as well as many other debilitating diseases.

Prayers and meditation are very effective in reducing daily stress and stress is a huge factor in getting sick.

Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Chiropractic and Massage Therapy have their ways to heal the body and to maintain its immune integrity. With such an array of natural healing modalities, we will have a much better chance for sustained health. Why would anyone want to resort to vaccines that may or may not work and could make us sick?

Neither the flu shot nor any of the alternative medicines are the solution to the yearly dilemma. It is a combination of all of the above that make a healthy person.


Ref.: Flu Alternative Treatments, Randall Neustaedter. OMD

The Healing Sun, Richard Hobday, MSc., PhD

Why is Fresh Air Fresh, Dr. Bernell Baldwin

The Herbalist, Joseph E. Meyer