Yet, the flu vaccine as a whole only reduces the number of people who get the flu from 2.7 per 100 to 1.2 per 100, as described here, and here. In other words, 100 people have to get the flu shot (with all its “side effects”) to reduce the number of flu cases from 2.7 to 1.2.
Whooooo Hooooooo!! The media touts this as “59% effectiveness”.
What do you think?
- Vaccinations are linked to diabetes,
- Vaccinations are linked to autoimmune disorders,
- Aluminum adjuvants in vaccines are linked to autism,
- Flu shots during pregnancy lead to 4,250 percent increase in fetal deaths,
- Countries that vaccinate more have higher rates of infant mortality.
Authoritative reviews reveal there is a conspicuous absence of conclusive evidence as to the effectiveness of influenza vaccines in children under 2, healthy adults, the elderly, and healthcare workers who care for the elderly. See also: Infants Receiving More Vaccines–are more likely to be hospitalized or die.
In fact, vaccines may actually decrease resistance to viral infection via their immunosuppressive actions. For example, following the global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization in 2009, those taking the seasonal flu vaccine had an increased rate of medically attended H1N1 flu infection, as reported here.
Flu, flu, flu–what to do? . . .
Home Remedies for Flu
While there are a broad spectrum of natural substances which have been studied for their anti-influenza properties, vitamin D deserves special consideration due to the fact that it is indispensable to produce antiviral peptides (e.g. cathelicidin) within the immune system, and can be supported for pennies a day.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010, revealed that children receiving 1200 IUs of vitamin D a day were at 59% reduced risk for contracting seasonal Influenza A infection. (Moreover as a secondary outcome, only 2 children in the treatment group versus 12 for the control group, experienced an asthma attack.)
There are actually a broad range of preventive strategies that are evidence-based, and available without prescription.
1) Echinacea Tea: J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Aug;6(4):327-34
2) Elderberry: J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter;1(4):361-9.
3) American Ginseng: J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Mar;12(2):153-7.
4) Green Tea: J Nutr. 2011 Oct ;141(10):1862-70. Epub 2011 Aug 10.
5) Probiotics: Pediatrics. 2009 Aug;124(2):e172-9.
6) Vitamin D: PLoS One. 2010;5(6):e11088. Epub 2010 Jun 14.
(Source: GreenMedInfo, Please visit to access their vast database of articles and the latest information in natural health.)
Many people are lining up in the germ-infested pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter and prescription flu remedies. These medications may not be the best option – in fact, many of them are downright harmful.
Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate)
The newest darling of the pharmaceutical industry is Tamiflu. Tamiflu is advertised as something to shorten the term and severity of the illness. ”Tamiflu is an FDA-approved prescription flu medicine that attacks the flu at its source. Tamiflu doesn’t just treat the symptoms of flu that make you feel bad. Tamiflu fights the flu virus itself.” According to their website:
The most common side effects of Tamiflu are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting.
People with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at increased risk for seizures, confusion, or abnormal behavior when they first get sick. These events may occur when the flu is not treated or right after starting Tamiflu. These events are uncommon but may lead to accidental injury. Contact a healthcare professional right away if you notice any unusual behavior.
This links to a PDF of prescribing information for doctors, which tells a slightly more alarming story:
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS ———————–
Serious skin/hypersensitivity reactions such as Stevens-Johnson
Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis and erythema multiforme:
Discontinue TAMIFLU and initiate appropriate treatment if allergic-like
reactions occur or are suspected. (5.1)
Neuropsychiatric events: Patients with influenza, including those receiving
TAMIFLU, particularly pediatric patients, may be at an increased risk of
confusion or abnormal behavior early in their illness. Monitor for signs of
abnormal behavior. (5.2)
Leading natural health website Mercola.com claims that the research on Tamiflu is flawed. According to an article by Dr. Mercola, the limited benefits do not outweigh the risks, particularly for children:
Back in 2008, the FDA started reviewing reports of abnormal behavior and disturbing brain effects in more than 1,800 children who had taken Tamiflu. The symptoms included convulsions, delirium and delusions. In Japan, five deaths were reported in children under 16 as a result of such neurological or psychiatric problems. Seven adult deaths have also been attributed to Tamiflu, due to its neuropsychiatric effect.
According to a 2009 study, more than half of children taking Tamiflu experience side effects such as nausea and nightmares. Other more rare and bizarre side effects have also been reported, such as the case of a 19-year old British girl who developed toxic epidermal necrolysis and blindness after taking Tamiflu last year.
So, for an estimated 1.3 days less of sick-time, you run the risk of neuropsychiatric side effects, delusions, convulsions, nausea, vomiting and life-threatening skin allergies. Plus, it costs $115-$200 for a course of the drug.
OTC Cold Medicine
Since the symptoms of the flu are similar to those of a cold (runny nose, congestion, fever) many people are turning to over-the-counter cold remedies to treat those symptoms. Sometimes the side effects can be worse than the symptoms you’re trying to treat.
Antihistamines are supposed to stop the watering eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats but result in severe drowsiness for most people. Other common side effects are dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, dry eyes, and fatigue.
Decongestants (like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine) allege to reduce sinus congestion, but can also dangerously increase heart rates and blood pressure in some people. Other side effects are Restlessness, insomnia, tremors, and anxiety.
Phenylpropanolamine (PPA), another common ingredient in cold and flu medicines, can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, especially in women ages 19-45.
For people who take monoamine oxidase inhibitors or SSRI antidepressants, the above medication types can cause lethal interactions.
OTC Cough Medicine
Dextromethorphan, the most common active ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicine, can be deadly if the recommended dosage is exceeded. As well, it is one of the most abused OTCs for those seeking a quick “high”. Common side effects of dextramethorphan are drowsiness, nausea, confusion, and dizziness. Expectorants and suppressants can cause either constipation or diarhea.
Medicated Nasal Sprays
Over the counter medicated nasal sprays work quickly to open the nasal passages, but if they are used for more than 3-5 days in a row, they can result in more congestion than you had in the first place due to the “rebound effect” or rhinitis medicamentosa. When this occurs, the swelling of the nasal passages can become permanent, requiring surgical intervention.
The Solutions Are As Close as Your Kitchen
So, what’s a sniffling, coughing, congested flu-sufferer to do? Forget heading to the petri dish that is your local pharmacy – go to the kitchen – there are lots of things you already have that help reduce the misery to a tolerable level without the risk of nasty side effects!
Note: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. These home remedies are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical attention from a professional.
Specifically, you want to stock up on raw honey, rather than pasteurized. When honey is heated during the pasteurization process many of its health benefits are either lost or diminished. If you don’t have raw honey, use what you have, but when shopping, look specifically for unheated honey.
Honey is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. This means that before you know the source of an illness (virus, fungus or bacteria) you can still begin to treat the problem.
Sprinkle honey with powdered cinnamon and take a teaspoon 3 times per day as soon as you start to feel a little tickle in your throat. This can often prevent the illness from taking hold.
Instead of reaching for the cough syrup, try a teaspoon of honey before bedtime to soothe your cough. Honey taken this way is also very soothing to sore, inflamed throats.
Not everyone can tolerate spicy food, particularly when they are sick. However if you can, there is no betteer way to clear your sinuses. Why?
Capsaicin is the natural compound that is found in hot peppers – it’s what gives them their heat. The capsaicin can help thin mucus, causing your nose to run, and thus clearing your nasal passages. You can get a similar effect from freshly cut onions.
A spicy bowl of chili or a fiery Asian stir-fry could be just what the doctor ordered for sinus relief.
Green Tea is the perfect beverage for someone suffering from the flu. A cup of green tea that has been steeped for 3-5 minutes is loaded with bimmunity-boosting antioxidants. This helps your cells to fight off the germs which are making you sick.
Any hot bevarage will help warm up someone suffering from chills and you can sweeten it with honey (mentioned above) to make the drink even more powerful. As well, it’s important to keep hydrated when you have the flu and tea (of any type) will provide you with needed fluids.
Garlic and Onions
Both garlic and onions contain the compound allicin, a powerful flu fighter. Allicin has strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial characteristics. It is most likely the high content of garlic and onions in homemade chicken soup that gives it the reputation of a “bowl of pennicillin”. In the 18th century in France, peasants drank wine with crushed garlic in it to ward off the Black Plague.
Similarly to the hot peppers, mentioned above, a fragrant soup loaded with these two ingredients can help to clear nasal passages making it easier to breathe.
Ginger tea, taken twice per day, can help relieve flu symptoms such as headache, sore throat, congestions and chills. Make the tea by steeping 2 tbsp of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water. It’s not recommended to exceed 4 grams of ginger per day – components in the herb can cause irritation of the mouth, heartburn and diarrhea if taken in excess.
A gargle made from salt water can relieve a sore throat. As well, it can stop a budding infection in its tracks. Mix I tablespoon of salt with a cup of water and gargle.
Finally, I want to make one recommendation that isn’t a standard addition to most kitchens. If you purchase one thing to fight off the flu, make it elderberry syrup or extract. Medicinal use of the elderberry goes all the way back to Hippocrates. Around the globe, folk medicine is full of recipes containing elderberries.
Recent research has some some very significant results with the use of elderberry when treating the flu. For anyone concerned about the possibility of a serious pandemic in the future, elderberry is a vital addition to your home pharmacy.
Elderberry may also help reduce the symptoms of cold and flu and shorten the duration of the flu by as much as three days, according to UMMC. The product used in one study was Sambucol, a combination of elderberries and vitamin C, so it wasn’t clear if it was the elderberry alone, or the combination, that had the effect. In a study released by Retroscreen Virology in 2006, a British medical institute associated with Queen Mary College at the University of London, researchers determined that Sambucol was at least 99 percent effective against the avian flu virus H5N1 and significantly neutralized the ability of the virus to infect cells in culture.
Elderberry syrup or extract can be mixed with hot water to make a tea. It can also be added to sparkling water and served cold for a refreshing drink that will sooth a scratchy throat.
Recipe: Homemade Cough Syrup
I always keep a jar of this homemade cough syrup in my refrigerator. It tastes so good that I don’t have to ask my kids twice to take it. You can also stir a few tablespoons of the syrup into hot water for a homemade “Neo-Citran”-style hot drink without all the nasty chemicals.
- 2 lemons, scrubbed and thinly sliced
- 6 tbsp of grated ginger root
- Honey as needed
- In a glass jar, layer the lemon slices and grated ginger until the jar is full.
- Pour honey into the jar, using the blade of a kitchen knife to move the lemon and ginger around and make room for it.
- Store it in the fridge for at least 2 weeks before using it. Then, take 1-2 tsp 3 times per day, as needed, for coughs or sore throats.
Today, I avoid the pharmaceutical solutions because I chose not to use them. One day, we could be in a situation where relief is no longer available a few minutes away at our local pharmacies or department store. It’s important to learn now how to relieve unpleasant symptoms using simple home methods. This will help you to select the most useful items for your stockpile while allowing you to become more comfortable with using natural solutions.
Do you have some home cold and flu remedies from the kitchen that you have used successfully? Please share them in the comments!
Dr. Edward Shook recommends in his book, Elementary Treatise in Herbology, this recipe:
At the first symptoms of a cold mix equal parts of elderflowers and peppermint into a tea.
Drink this as strong and as hot as your body allows. Wrap up, go to bed, and sweat. Stay out of breezes to avoid the chills. He says that if every person treated their symptoms at first notice with this, that they will not ever get the flu. And if one can avoid that, then countless lives can be saved. It has worked for me for years. If one can grow the Black Elderberry bush in ones yard, one should. I use the flowers for tea and the berries for wine and jam and syrups. It is also said that every part of the Elder Bush can be used for every ill of man. We stripped bark one winter when our flowers ran low and helped a woman through pneumonia. It will break a fever. Hans Christian Anderson wrote a little tale about The Elder Bush Mother.
Great to see you here! Thank you for stopping by. That peppermint/elderberry remedy sounds great – I have everything on hand for that. One question – was the bark used for the tea when the neighbor had pneumonia?
Yes we used the bark, we just simmered it a bit. We snipped off a little branch and stripped it.
Glad to be here Daisy by the way, as you may remember I can not access the other site I used to comment on, but seeing how that is going these days, it may be a good thing. I also tried to comment on your Terroism versus Patriot article at home from the sheeple web site – still no go.
Only here at work when I sneek a moment. I tink that it might be good for me to not have access to spew certain things from home after I have had a glass or more of wine! LOL
By the way, how did that damper stove thing turn out?
And one more thing, I REALLY appreciate your organic preparedness! I have not purchased ANY pre packaged freeze dried meals as I keep telling people – Just say No to GMO!
Even the brands that say they have no GMO or MSG, are not correct. MSG by any other name is still MSG as you know.And those meals? Is that what you call a meal? 3/4 to 1 cup of low calarie high density salt? No thanks.
Keep up the good work, I will be back.
Those who alkalinized with baking soda rarely contracted the flu in 1918 and those that alkalinized early had milder flu symptoms. Read more about it at mercola.com. For short term, I take half teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 8 oz. water. Works wonders for stomach upset also. Did you know that Alka-Seltzer is bicarbonate of Soda, aspirin and citric acid?
Mary, interesting re Alka Seltzer. I’ve never used it … but I bet baking soda alone is better. Google “aspirin and 1918 flu epidemic” … it seems that those who used the “new invention” of aspirin died, those that used traditional recipes didn’t. At the time, they didn’t know the right dose, and doctors were having patients use at least double the current dose of aspirin, and side effects of aspirin overdose are significant, and can lead to death, especially if you also have the flu.
As for flu symptoms, let’s not forget vitamin C. The Vitamin C Foundation sells products not made in China; considering China’s sometime lax product inspection, I chose non-China C. Also, H2O2 for gargling is helpful.
Be careful about C made in US though ..because as I learned just this year, MOST vitamin C products are made with CORN. And so, in a way, as scary as China-sourced products are (and I agree) it is worse if they are US made, since that means GMO vitamin C. I even resorted to calling manufacturers directly … those that wouldn’t tell me if it was or wasn’t corn Vitamin C, “goodbye.”
My kids already got the flu once this year and I got a cold at the same time. I made a honey cough syrup that I found on ehow.com and I feel that it really worked well. You put 1 cup of honey (I used local honey, but I am not sure if it was raw.) in a glass container and mix in 3 Tbsp of lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed). Stir to mix, then slowly add 1/4 warm water while still stirring, stir until mixed. I took 2 teaspoons for a cough, a few times a day. My kids liked it and I loved it. It lasted us almost a week.
Great remedies, thanks for listing. I do have general question about article though. I just happened to be talking to someone yesterday that got the flu shot, then got the flu later on and went to see his doctor who told him that the the shot given this year does include the virus that is circulating now. So when I read your article which states that the vaccine does not include the virus H3N2v which is circulating now, my first thought was that his doctor probably either lied, or didn’t fully explain. But then I searched the CDC and WHO sites and from what I could tell, they do actually state that the vaccine this year covers all flu viruses that are in circulation. Also, the CDC site shows data to data from lab results which show that there are two types of Inflenza A viruses and 1 Influenza B virus that are circulating right now, not just the H3N2.
So, could someone explain the comment in this article, or point me to where I can find the facts? Thanks
It’s my understanding that the “bad” virus circulating this year is H3N2v.
During a CDC press conference the following was stated:
“Predominant A(H3N2) Virus Associated With More Severe Flu Seasons
Of the influenza viruses in circulation as of January 5, the most common is A(H3N2), which accounts for 42.2% of all influenza-positive respiratory specimens. Influenza seasons tend to be more severe when this virus predominates, according to the CDC. Another 36.7% of specimens test out as influenza A of unknown subtype, unknown because subtyping was not performed. The next most prevalent culprit is some subtype of the influenza B virus at 20.2%.”
According to Flu.gov
“The 2012-2013 flu vaccine will not protect against the H3N2v flu.”
So I think the confusion is whether the flu is the H3N2 or the H3N2v – the one to be especially worried about is H3N2v and a flu shot will not protect you from it. (I have to say that I don’t believe a flu shot offers much, if any, protection against the flu. I absolutely do not endorse vaccinations of an sort.)
I don’t know if this provides you with any more information or simply confuses the issue. Hopefully it helps.
Update on Baking Soda treatment. My husband came down with the flu wed. evening. Very sick, aches, chills, high fever, etc. Immediately started the baking soda protocol. By sat. morning his fever broke and he was well on his way to recovery. He still has a lingering cough, but I haven’t seen anyone recover this quickly.
But . . . why?
- Nations requiring the most vaccines tend to have the worst infant mortality rates. (See also: Published peer-reviewed study.)
- Study Finds Direct Link Between Vaccines and Infant Mortality
- Infant Macaque Monkeys Given Standard Doses of Vaccines Develop Autism Symptoms
- Swine Flu Vaccine Causes Chronic Nervous System Disorders
- WHO chief yet to be vaccinated against swine flu
- 78 percent of children with polio were given polio vaccines
- Study: ‘more than half’ of measles outbreak cases had been vaccinated
- The Amish Don’t Get Autism? And They Don’t Get Vaccinations
If that wasn’t bad enough . . .
Vaccine Makers Get Immunity from Lawsuits: Due to thousands of lawsuits filed against vaccine makers for side effects suffered from swine flu shots vaccine makers and federal officials have now been granted immunity from lawsuits. (Source)
Why do ya’ suppose vaccine makers “need” immunity from lawsuits?
Want more details? Read this:
- Flu Epidemic Strikes Millions of Americans Already Vaccinated Against the Flu (worldtruth.tv)
- Why 64.8 percent of Americans didn’t get a flu shot (washingtonpost.com)
- Vaccines for Kids–taking parents out of the loop
- Swine Flu Vaccine Causes Chronic Nervous System Disorders
- Autism Speaks And We Listen!
- H1N1 vaccine linked to 700 percent increase in miscarriages
- Ex-Vaccine Developer Reveals Lies the Vaccine Industry is Built Upon in Interview
- 119 TOP Scientists that Died Random Deaths Associated With Important Research