2018 January 4 by Dr. Randy
A significant flu epidemic has arrived again this winter. It is characterized by fevers, chills, stomach symptoms including vomiting, and a cough that can become severe and persistent. If you need help managing the different stages of the flu or finding the right homeopathic medicine for your symptoms, I am happy to consult by phone.
The first thing to consider about this flu is prevention. The flu vaccine has once again proven to be ineffective. Instead fortify your immune system with daily vitamin D and elderberry, and consider taking a medicinal mushroom formula. Using a xylitol nasal spray (Xlear) can prevent viruses from multiplying in the nasal membranes if you are exposed.
Then keep a Chinese herbal antiviral formula on hand to treat any symptoms that arise. Any Yin Chiao formula is good, (including Lonicera “honesuckle” and Forsythia). Many manufacturers produce these, for example Cold Away tablets or Yin Chiao junior liquid by Health Concerns, Children’s Clear and Release liquid by Golden Flower, and other formulations. Another Chinese herbal formula for flu is Gan Mao Ling. Use these at any onset of colds or fevers.
A western herbal formula of Echinacea and elderberry can be used at the same time. Examples of these are Wellness Formula by Source Naturals or Viracid by OrthoMolecular.
Finally, treat all flus with the appropriate homeopathic medicine as well.
The two most frequently indicated homeopathic flu medicines over the past 100 years have been Gelsemium and Bryonia. There are significant differences in the symptom pictures of these two medicines that make it easy to decide which is the better fit. They are not the only medicines used to treat the flu, but between them they will probably fit the majority of cases.
Bryonia and Gelsemium type flus both come on slowly over a 6-12 hour period. You begin to feel gradually worse over that time. By the second day you have aching muscles, feel pretty bad, and usually have a headache. Bryonia has more pain in the front of the head, which is definitely made worse by moving the head, or moving the eyes, and feels better from pressing the hand on the head. Gelsemium has pain in the back of the head with stiffness and aching in the neck and across the shoulders. Gelsemium does not want to move much either, and you may feel worse from moving around, but you avoid movement primarily because you are so tired. The characteristic state of Gelsemium is lethargy and fatigue. By contrast, Bryonia is tired but also restless. Bryonia discomfort is worse from motion, but at the same time you feel the urge to move about restlessly in the bed. No position seems comfortable. Bryonia is thirsty, Gelsemium is not. In fact Bryonia is generally warmer and drier. Bryonia wants air and cool temperatures to calm the heat. Gelsemium is chilly and sensitive to cold; cold shivers go down the spine. At the same time Gelsemium is clammy with the fever, and feelings of heat and cold may alternate. Bryonia has more coughing and chest symptoms, a painful cough that aggravates the sore throat. The Bryonia cough will also cause chest pains, and the inevitable reaction to this situation is to press the palm to the chest to minimize the movement caused by coughing.
Gelsemium does not have the energy to be emotional. Bryonia is irritable, worried, and fretful. Bryonia wants to be left alone, Gelsemium is too exhausted to respond.
Contrasting Gelsemium and Bryonia
Chilly with chills down spine Warm with desire for cool air
Dull, sleepy, heavy Dull, but irritable, worried
Worse from movement All symptoms worse from movement, but restless
Headache at back of head, Headache in forehead, better from pressure, worse motion
with stiff neck
2017 January 14 by Dr. Randy
You may not have seen it yet, but it’s here. This year’s flu can be severe. This flu starts out with a severe sore throat (sometimes with bleeding) and fever with shaking chills. Other symptoms include cough, diarrhea, headache and severe body pain. There are milder versions that only include a few of these symptoms, sometimes just a cough and low grade fever. However, the adage holds true that if you think you’re going to die, it’s the flu. In general, young people with a strong and reactive immune system tend to have the more violent symptoms.
The treatment requires a change of homeopathic remedies depending on the stage of the illness. For example, it can start with a Mercurius-type cutting throat pain followed by a Bryonia-type flu with a bad headache, dry racking cough and body pains, and then turn into a Kali-bichromicum pattern of congested cough and sinus pressure.
Other measures for managing the flu include elderberry extract and a Gan Mao Ling Chinese herbal formula. Some typical formula models include Wellness Formula by Source Naturals and Cold Away by Health Concerns. These fit the first stage of the illness. At later stages, different herbal formulas for congestion and cough will be appropriate.
I usually communicate with patients on a daily basis to manage these different stages, and instead of a few weeks of protracted illness, the symptoms can resolve in 5-6 days. In any case, it’s no fun for people going through the illness.
Family members and anyone exposed to the flu can take preventives to stave off symptoms. These may include a medicinal mushroom formula to bolster immune function, colostrum or a cold-processed whey protein powder, and elderberry. If there is known exposure to the flu then the homeopathic remedy Influenzinum can be protective. And taking Wellness Formula or an equivalent anti-viral treatment can work to fight off the viral attack. Of course, everyone should be taking vitamin D in the winter to maintain a resilient and active immune system. The vitamin D dose for children is 1,000 IU per 10 pounds of body weight up to 5,000 IU. Adults can take 5,000-10,000 IU per day.
Drink fluids, stay warm, eat soups and stews in the winter. Get some exercise, meditate, do yoga. Take care of yourself this flu season and hopefully you will stay well.
2014 December 31 by Dr. Randy
I wish you a happy and especially a healthy new year. My goal is to keep you at a level of optimal healthy throughout the year. Already the media and the pharmaceutical industry are predicting a severe flu season in a grand effort to sell flu shots. At the same time drug companies and flu vaccine experts are admitting that the flu vaccine will be relatively ineffective again this year because the predominant flu strains are not contained in the vaccines.
I encourage you to use natural methods to stay healthy and encourage a vigorous immune system for yourself and your family, rather than get ineffective and dangerous flu vaccines. Here’s a formula for success and personal health. Take a vitamin D3 supplement, preferably one that also contains vitamin K2. Your immune system needs vitamin D, and in the colder months vitamin D levels in the body drop with reduced sun exposure. Adults need 5,000-10,000 IU of vitamin D per day, and children need at least 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight. Other immune system activators include astragalus, whey protein powder, medicinal mushrooms, and colostrum. A probiotic formula will also help the immune defense system fight off pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
All of these supplements are available through my website, www.cure-guide.com at the Emerson link on the home page. Click on that and register with the code word “doctor”.
Here are some brands I recommend all available through my site:
Designs for Health (DFH) Whey Cool protein powder
Immunoberry liquid for children (DFH)
Immunitone Plus for adults (DFH)
Vitamin D3 with K supplements include:
Vitamin D 10,000 capsules for adults by Metagenics
Vitamin D drops (1,000 IU /drop)by OrthoMolecular
Excellent probiotic supplementsa are:
UltraFlora Spectrum or UltraFlora Immune Support capsules by Metagenics
UltraFlora Children’s Chewable by Metagenics
Orthobiotic powder for babies and young children by OrthoMolecular
These probiotics are all formulated specifically for immune system support.
Have a healthy year and stay posted for heath updates and tips throughout the year.
2014 January 10 by Dr. Randy
In case you you wondering about whether to get a flu shot – Don’t Do It.
Flu shots are ineffective and can cause bad reactions for children and adults.
Here is a repeat of an article I sent out last flu season.
Studies of vaccine effectiveness
Every year studies are conducted evaluating the effectiveness of flu vaccines. Every few years the Cochrane Collaboration reviews the scientific literature on the effectiveness of flu vaccines. And every review shows that flu vaccines are relatively ineffective. Despite these findings, vaccine manufacturers and government committees continue to recommend flu vaccines for the entire population.
Vaccine Studies of Adults
The July 2010 Cochrane Database Review of 50 studies of flu vaccine use in healthy adults showed once again that these vaccines are not effective for those adults (Jefferson 2010). This confirms a previous review from 2007. That review looked at 274 studies. Both these reviews revealed that flu vaccine had no effect on complications such as pneumonia or on hospital admissions. And flu vaccine reduced the symptoms of illness by only a modest one percent. The authors of these reviews make an interesting observation. Industry-funded studies were more likely to be cited by other articles and the media. And publicly-funded studies were much less likely to show results favorable to vaccines. Don’t forget that if a vaccine manufacturer study does not show the results that the industry wants, they will discard the study.
The authors also note widespread misrepresentation of the conclusions that were reached in these reviews. They berate official government articles that misquote their findings to justify actions previously taken to recommend flu vaccines. Articles from the Centers for Disease Control that quote the Cochrane reviews misrepresent the efficacy of the flu vaccine to serve an agenda that promotes the use of these vaccines. Their conclusion: “The CDC authors clearly do not weight interpretation by quality of the evidence, but quote anything that supports their theory.”
The final conclusion of these authors is that their results should discourage the use of flu vaccine in healthy adults as a routine health measure.
Flu vaccine in children and the elderly
Previous reviews of other age groups have shown similar ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine. The vaccine is ineffective in babies and in the elderly. The Cochrane review of flu vaccines in children less than two years of age showed the vaccine had no protective effect compared to placebo (Jefferson 2008). Similarly in the elderly, who are more susceptible to complications of the flu, studies were unable to show effectiveness (Rivetti 2006).
Adverse effects of flu vaccine
Finally, the flu vaccine itself causes notable adverse effects. For example the swine flu vaccine campaign of 1976 was halted because of a significant incidence of paralysis as a direct effect of the vaccine. This was an H1N1 vaccine similar to the swine flu H1N1 vaccine that is included in this year’s flu shots. And the new H1N1 vaccine is showing similar problems.
Natural methods to prevent flu
There are much more effective ways to prevent the flu. Taking immune system enhancers such as vitamins A and D supplements and medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps, reishi and shiitake, as well as lactoferrin and immunoglobulins contained in whey powder or colostrum will maintain a strong immune system. Elderberry extract is a potent antiviral that has been shown to relieve symptoms of the flu. It can also be used as a preventive during flu season. All of these supplements are available at most health food stores. There are also excellent natural treatments for the flu including Chinese herbal formulas and homeopathic medicines (Neustaedter 2005).
Jefferson T O, Rivetti D, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, and Demicheli V.. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007 (2): CD001269.
Jefferson,T O, Rivetti A, Harnden A, Di Pietrantonj C, and Demicheli V.. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008 (2): CD004879.
Jefferson,T O, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, Bawazeer GA, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010 (7): CD001269.
Neustaedter R. FLU: Alternative Treatments and Prevention. 2005. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA.
Rivetti D, Jefferson T, Thomas R, Rudin M, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C, and Demicheli V.. Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 (3): CD004876.
2013 January 22 by Dr. Randy
The pharmaceutical industry would have us believe that the only means of preventing the flu is to get a flu shot. This could not be further from the truth. Flu vaccines are dangerous and ineffective.
Flu shots are detrimental to your health. They can cause flu symptoms and several other adverse effects including a syndrome of muscle paralysis. Many reviews of flu vaccines have shown their ineffectiveness, especially in young children and seniors, the population most susceptible to complications from the flu.
Supplements for Prevention
Take immune-building supplements to boost immunity and stay healthy through the winter.
The most important measure for flu prevention is to take vitamin D3 (adults 5,000 IU, children 2,000 IU, and babies 1,000 IU) throughout the colder months of the year. Vitamin D is essential for healthy immune function. Vitamin K2 will also boost immune function (40+ mcg).
Other supplements can activate the immune system as well. Whey protein powder that contains immunoglobulins and lactoferrin, or a colostrum supplement, will provide an important daily boost to immune function. Colostrum is the first milk that mammals receive during the first few days after birth. Cow’s colostrum is available in several forms as a supplement. Powdered colostrum and flavored chewable colostrum are available for babies and small children. Of course, the best preventive for infants and toddlers is mother’s breast milk.
Probiotics, especially lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains, will help to ensure healthy digestion and a robust lining of the small intestine. Since 80 percent of immune cells originate in the small intestine, a healthy digestive tract is essential for adequate immunity. Taking beneficial intestinal bacteria will discourage pathogens and encourage strong immune reactions to viruses and bacteria.
For anyone who is susceptible to viruses, taking an immune-activating formula of medicinal mushrooms and the herb astragalus will result in greater resistance to infections. Certain mushrooms (fungi) have this capability, including reishi, shiitake, cordyceps, and ganoderma. Many nutritional supplement companies make preparations of these mushrooms in capsule or liquid form.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep during the winter. Sleep deprivation will result in impaired immune function. Eat warm nourishing foods like soups and stews in the winter, and plenty of vegetables and fruits that will supply antioxidants.