With the cold-weather settling in, it is important to keep the immune system in optimal shape. The immune system is a versatile and complex network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to counteract the effects of foreign invaders. However, immune function may decline with age, inadequate nutrition and stress. During the cold and flu season natural alternatives for immune system support help target unwanted invaders.
Olive leaf extract is used to enhance the immune system, and has antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. The active component in olive leaf extract is called oleuropein. Present throughout the olive tree (wood, fruit, leaves, roots and bark), this compound protects the tree form insect and bacterial predators and imparts numerous benefits when taken in supplement form.1,2
For over 2,500 years black elderberry has treated influenza, coughs, and colds.3 Elderberry juice is said to “activate the body’s powers of resistance”,4 enabling the body to keep and restore good health. Elderberry extract is supported by scientific studies in its effects against influenza through a heightened immune system response.5
Goldenseal is a Native American medicinal plant introduced to early settlers by Cherokee Indians who used it as a wash for skin diseases, wounds, and for sore, inflamed eyes. Goldenseal has acquired a considerable reputation as a natural antibiotic and as a remedy for various gastric and genitourinary concerns. The alkaloids hydrastine, berberine, canadine, and canadaline are the principle active constituents in goldenseal. The berberine constituent is most noted for its antimicrobial effects.6
Tea tree oil extracted from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree native to Australia has been used by Australian aborigines for several centuries. Topically, tea tree oil is commonly used for skin and skin surface infections such as acne, athlete's foot, and ringworm.
Pau d’arco has been used since the time of the Incas as a healing plant. The component of pau d’arco that seems to have the most significance is a naphthoquinone derivative known as lapachol, shown in studies to have activity against bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.7
Garlic is rich in a variety of sulfur-containing compounds including allicin and ajoene. While these compounds are responsible for garlic's pungent odor, they are also the source of many of its health-promoting effects. In addition to antifungal benefits, garlic is also reported to have antibacterial, anthelmintic, and antiviral effects.8
A combination of herbs described by Chinese herbalists as having “metal-enhancing” properties includes indigo, bupleurum, scute, and Thlaspi arvense. These herbs create a favorable environment for microbial balance and overall health, support detoxification and promote a healthy respiratory tract.
1. Walker, M. Olive Leaf Extract. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp. 1997.
2. Pasquale, A.D.; Monforte, M.T.; Calabro, M.L. “HPLC Analysis of Oleuropein and some
Flavonoids in Leaf and Bud of Olea Europaea L.“ IIFarmaco 1991: 46(6):803-815.
3. Mumcuoglu, M. Sambuco; Black Elderberry Extract, a break through in the treatment of influenza.
Skokie, IL:RSS Publishing, Inc. 1995.
4. Dahlow, M. Healing Plants. Hong Kong:Barron’s Educational Series 1993.
5. Zakay-Rones, Z.; Varsano, N.; Zlotnik, M.; Manor, O.; Regev, L.; Schlesinger, M.; Mumcuoglu, M.
“Inhibition of several strains of Influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry
extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of Influenza B Panama.” Journal of Alternative and
Complementary Medicine 1995;1(4):361-369.
6. Amin AH, Subbaiah TV, Abbasi KM. Berberine sulfate: antimicrobial activity, bioassay, and mode of
action. Can J Microbiol 1969;15:1067-76.
7. Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
8. Ankri S, Mirelman D. Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. Microbes Infect 1999;1:125-9.
According to Wikipedia
Swine influenza (also called swine flu, hog flu, pig flu and sometimes, the swine) is an infection by any one of several types of swine influenza virus. Swine influenza virus (SIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.
Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human influenza, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human influenza, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection. The meat of an infected animal poses no risk of infection when properly cooked.
During the mid-20th century, identification of influenza subtypes became possible, allowing accurate diagnosis of transmission to humans. Since then, only 50 such transmissions have been confirmed. These strains of swine flu rarely pass from human to human. Symptoms of zoonotic swine flu in humans are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. The recommended time of isolation is about five days.
The H1N1 Swine Flu can only really be confirmed with an actual lab test. And, there isn’t a 100% tell tale sign in the form that you have novel h1n1 influenza.
• Fast breathing or trouble breathing
• Bluish skin color
• Not drinking enough fluids
• Not waking up or not interacting
• Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
• Fever with a rash
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
• Sudden dizziness
• Severe or persistent vomiting
One of the biggest problem when you have swine flu is the breathing. The most severe cases are because of that and those patients will end up intubated.
What should I do if I have swine flu?
Not all people end up in the hospital. Just think about you a flu which can end up with complication but not always the case. So you may have a flu and not even knowing is swine flu. So if your body "does not care" about the flu be careful and try not to infect anothers: family, friends or colleagues. So I would say please stay home if possible and even were a mask. You may scare your little one but it is safer that way.
I have flu. Should I panic and go to Emergency Room?
You shouldn't do that unless you have severe symptoms like high fever, difficulties breathing, vomiting. Just think about before going to emergency room with a regular flu. Hospitals are busy these days and you may get a real swine flu going there.
Should I take the vaccine?
That is debatable. Some says is not effective. Others said that wasn't properly tested especially on pregnant women and kids. So it is hard to say. Your doctor may ask you to get it. Or you got the horror news from the media and really want to have it. I would say it is up to you.