The flu vaccine is less than 20% effective against the current strains of flu (H3N2 – Hong Kong Flu).
This is the same strain of flu that killed over one million people in 1968. We are nowhere near those death toll numbers, but it’s still a bad flu season.
Tamiflu, the anti-viral drug that is prescribed to treat flu symptoms, has been implicated in hallucinations, abnormal behavior and death in young kids.
So, how can you protect yourself and your family from this deadly bug?
Well, you can’t really.
You may get it.
Even my husband and I got that nasty flu.
A better question is… “What can we do to support the body when the flu comes knocking?”
There’s actually a few easy home remedies that I suggest you implement ASAP.
The flu attacks fast and hard. Within 24 hours of contracting it, you could be feeling serious symptoms.
Let’s start with the body aches and pains.
Mine started at the base of my skull, crept down my back and radiated into both of my legs. It was INTENSE! So much so, that I couldn’t walk, and even laying in bed was painful. Thank god for baby aspirin! It’s gentle on the stomach and relieves pain quickly.
Plus, we used the herb boneset that is indispensable when it comes to influenza. This herb was traditionally used for flu (and colds) to relieve the pain that creeps down into the bones from fever.
Boneset also helps to break a fever. My husband had a low-grade fever for a few days that refused to break. After he took boneset, he sweated through the night. Once he began sweating his other symptoms subsided.
As the body heats up to kill the virus (fever), it also loses vital fluids. It’s imperative, while you are healing from the flu, keep your system well hydrated.
By supporting the water element (kidneys) in your body, you will naturally support the immune system and the lymphatic system as well.
Besides water, one of my favorite healing liquids during flu season is mulled cider. This is also called a decoction: the process of extracting the essence of herbs and spices by boiling and then simmering for long periods of time.
The herbs and spices I use in mulled cider are:
- Ginger: brings heat to the digestive tract, eases nausea and vomiting
- Star Anise: thins and clears mucous from the respiratory tract, and contains anti-viral compounds like shikimic acid.
- Ceylon Cinnamon sticks: bark contains eugenol, a natural antiseptic and anesthetic compound that can kill bacteria and viruses, prevent infection, and ease pain.
- Cloves: contains eugenol (see above)
- Allspice: contains eugenol (see above)
Prepare mulled cider using your favorite juice (apple, pear, cranberry), and sip a glass or two daily while you are experiencing the flu. It’s delicious and can help you recover more quickly. You can even enjoy this healing brew before you get the flu to keep it at bay.
Here is my recipe for healing Mulled Cider.
The malaise, exhaustion and sleepiness that comes with the flu is your body expending its energy to support immunity, reduce the viral load, and help get you back on your feet again.
During this time of extreme lethargy, it’s imperative to eat lightly (soups, stocks, healing broths) and rest. If you expend your energy digesting heavy meals, you’ll divert energy away from the healing process.
Grab a good book, rent movies, and spend as much time as you can, resting and sleeping to rejuvenate and heal your bodily systems.
There is nothing more important for you to do when you have the flu then just take the time to do nothing.
- Call in sick to work
- Take the week off
- Let your body heal
Those are some of my easy home remedies for healing the flu.
Please share some of your own, or you can share which is your favorite movie to watch while you are at home healing.
 Healing Spices, by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, Sterling Publishing 2011, pg.221
 Rodale’s 21st Century Herbal, by Michael J. Balick, PhD, Rodale 2014, pg. 140
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.