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Do you believe Flu is returning with a vengeance?

I read an article in the Boston Herald. The headline said, “UPCOMING FLU SEASON COULD ARRIVE EARLY AND HIT HARD, ACCORDING TO CDC.”

That grabbed my attention, as it was meant to. It said…

“Flu cases and deaths last year were the lowest on record since influenza reporting started in 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The record low was mostly attributed to C*VID-19 restrictions such as social distancing and masking. There were about 700 flu deaths in the United States last year. By comparison, there were 22,000 flu deaths in 2019, CDC data shows.”[1]

It seems that because Flu cases and deaths were the “lowest on record” since C*vid came to town in 2020, they are now expecting a strong surge when the flu gets back to doing its yearly business.

According to US News and World Report on October 21, 2021, “There were around 2,000 cases of influenza reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2020-2021 flu season. The season before, the agency received reports of an estimated 35 million cases of flu.”

Wow! 35 million cases of flu the year before C0vid came to town and then it dropped to just 2000?!?! It’s like the flu just disappeared.

And, the NY Times said something similar at the end of last year’s paltry flu season.

“There have been fewer influenza cases in the United States this flu season than in any on record. About 2,000 cases have been recorded since late September, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In recent years, the average number of cases over the same period was about 206,000. As measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus were implemented around the country in March 2020, influenza quickly disappeared, and it still has not returned. The latest flu season, which normally would have run until next month, essentially never happened.”[2]

According to major news agencies the 2020 to 2021 flu season, “essentially never happened.”

All of that hand washing, social distancing, and masking really were miraculous in making the yearly respiratory illness, the flu, poof… disappear.

It’s too bad those same safety protocols didn’t have ANY impact on that other respiratory virus that shall not be named. Even though, according to the CDC, they are both spread the same way:

“Both C0VID-19 and flu can spread from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Both are spread mainly by large and small particles containing virus that are expelled when people with the illness (C0VID-19 or flu) cough, sneeze, or talk. These particles can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby and possibly be inhaled into the lungs. In some circumstances, such as indoor settings with poor ventilation, small particles might be spread further than 6 feet and cause infections.”[3]

The flu season, which typically runs from October through February in the northern hemisphere and April through September in the southern hemisphere[4], (BTW that’s basically the entire year), is now, according to the CDC and the media, coming back strong.

I mean they are literally telling us that it’s going to be stronger than ever!

So, we need to be prepared.

Hopefully, you and your loved one’s immune system have NOT been compromised over the past year by lack of sunshine, lack of exercise, lack of community, an abundance of fear, and other things that shall also remain unnamed.

To help keep us ALL safe, happy and healthy, I’m going to share a few simple remedies to support your body right now, as we head into flu season.

STAY HYDRATED

Keep yourself well hydrated throughout the year, and especially during flu season… which, as stated earlier in this article, is basically the whole year.

When you are hydrated, ALL of your bodily systems function better. Including your immune system, respiratory system, lymphatic system, digestive system, and circulatory system.

You get the picture, right?

YOUR ENTIRE BODY FUNCTIONS BETTER WHEN YOU ARE HYDRATED!

It’s too bad that little tidbit of healing wisdom didn’t make it to the media, or the CDC, or the WHO, or any of the governments around the world.

Instead, they want you to line up for your flu shots… and don’t forget your boosters for that other virus that shall remain unnamed.

I shared about the importance of being hydrated here on my personal experience with the unamed virus.

If you tend toward feeling cold and don’t want to drink water (after all water is a natural coolant), warm it up by making a nourishing herbal tea.

Personally, I use a variety of herbs in a health-supportive tea like this one: Lung Wellness and Immunity Tea.

When I infuse my water with herbs, I also get access to mineral salts that can help the body absorb water better (otherwise it may can right through you).

Start hydrating now and throughout flu season.

DON’T STUFF YOURSELF SILLY OVER THE HOLIDAYS

It takes energy to digest food.

Don’t overstuff your digestive system during the holidays with extra-large portions of dense or heavy meals.

I know it’s tempting, but try to leave your stomach 20% empty instead of 100% (or more) filled. This ensures there is room for your digestive system to function optimally.

This may help give you a clearer picture… think of your digestive system as a washing machine. If you overstuff the washer with too many clothes at one time, it won’t be able to properly clean everything. There needs to be a little space for the clothes to get mixed with the water and detergent.

Similar thing with your gut. Give your body a little space so it can churn your food with the acids and enzymes, and break it down into smaller particles that can be better absorbed by your system.

And, remember to go easy on the sugary treats. That can burden your body as well, and tank your immune system!

“Besides being a driver behind other chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, sugar consumption affects your body’s ability to fight off viruses or other infections in the body.”[5]

Now, I’m not telling you to skip Aunt Mary’s roasted sweet potatoes with caramelized marshmallows, or your Mom’s homemade apple cobbler with fresh whipped cream.

What I am saying is to NOT overdo it.

I know it’s delicious.

I know everything on the table was made with love.

Just don’t go back for seconds and thirds.

When the button pops open on your pants, or the elastic digs into your waistline, you’ve gone too far.

NOURISH YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Before you get to the family party, and all throughout the flu season, enjoy some homemade gut and immune support stock.

Bone stock supports the body with easily absorbable liquid nutrients that refuel your system with minerals, collagen, and amino acids needed to stay vital and strong.

During the winter months, I like to prepare my bone stock with astragalus root for extra immune support. Astragalus root boosts both red and white blood cells.

You can simply sip on a cup of stock for breakfast in a mug with herbs and spices and make it your new go-to morning drink. You’d be surprised at how delicious it is.

Or you can use bone stock as the base for soups and stews, or to cook grains and beans. It gives the food you are eating more depth and your body more nutrition.

NATURAL ANTI-VIRAL REMEDY

You can take care of yourself to the best of your ability and those pathogens and antigens can still find their way into your body. That’s life.

At the first sign of a tickle in your nose or throat, gargle with warm salted water mixed with antiviral herbs.

One of my favorites is goldenseal. It is a potent antiviral.

The isoquinoline alkaloid berberine that is in goldenseal, has been scientifically proven to inhibit the growth of H1N1 influenza in the cells and stop the virus from replicating.[6]

But, the problem with goldenseal is that it is on the endangered plant’s list because it was overharvested in the 1990’s.[7]

So, what can we do?

We can use other anti-viral herbs that contain berberine: Barberry, Oregon grape root, and Coptis.[8]

I used Barberry (berberis vulgaris) when I was healing from Lyme. And, guess what… it is an invasive species! Meaning, it’s growing everywhere. So, this is a really good one to use.

Not only can you gargle with any of the above herbs at the onset of the first tickle, but you can also take it directly into your system so it can work a little deeper supporting your cells. Follow the directions on the bottle.

Beyond the simple steps above, during EVERY flu season (including the one that never happened) it’s wise to reduce fear around catching the virus. Because we’ve all seen what fear has done to the human psyche over the past 18 months, no?

If you want recipes and remedies to keep you healthy through the holidays, I’ve got you covered!

Meet me LIVE in the kitchen, November 19th at 12:30pm ET where I’ll share delicious ways and healthy hacks to keep your body and mind, and spirits (pun on drinks intended here), in a vibrant and healthy state of being.

Details here: LIVE COOKING CLASS

[1] https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/10/16/upcoming-flu-season-could-arrive-early-and-hit-hard-according-to-cdc/

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/04/22/science/flu-season-coronavirus-pandemic.html

 

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm

[4] https://www.insider.com/flu-season

[5] https://www.cnet.com/health/nutrition/sugar-can-lower-your-immune-system/

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567576911002517

[7] https://unitedplantsavers.org/species-at-risk-list/goldenseal-hydrastis-canadensis-2/

[8] https://herbsforhobbitsnz.wordpress.com/berberine-containing-herbs/