Science and Environment

‘Natural meds the best defense against flu’

Art C. Sampana - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - When it comes to H1N1 influenza (swine flu), people should learn the truth about the anti-viral properties of herbs, superfoods and dietary supplements.

In a special report, the Bulacan-based Naturalnews said specific anti-viral products are a more potent protection against the H1N1 swine flu.

If people are given more options, it allows them to be independent from the government and independent from the medical system, and thus gives them control over their own lives, Naturalnews said.

Knowledge of natural anti-viral products is important, particularly to citizens of the Third World. Vaccines are only useful against the specific viral strain existing at the time of their manufacture. But influenza viruses mutate quickly, and as the World Health Organization has said, the real concern with H1N1 swine flu is that it will combine with seasonal flu in the summer, creating a new, deadly strain that will be immune to all available vaccines.

Antiviral herbs suffer from no such limitations. Because they contain literally thousands of different medicinal compounds, they are able to attack viruses with a full spectrum of synergistic natural medicines. Thus, even mutating viruses find themselves unable to escape the multifaceted medicinal cocktail of antiviral plants.

In any great pandemic, people will profit from the knowledge that the very herbs that can save them are growing in their own backyards.

This special report offers two lists: first, five things that cause susceptibility to influenza infections, followed by the five products recommended as a defense against swine flu.

Things that can kill you . . .

#1 Arsenic

Drinking well water contaminated with arsenic greatly increases susceptibility to H1N1 influenza infections. Arsenic is present in the water supply of tens of millions of people across the United States.

#2 Antibiotics

Taking antibiotics before a swine flu infection greatly increases your risk of being killed by swine flu because antibiotics wipe out the friendly flora that have been scientifically proven to boost the body's defenses against influenza.

During any pandemic, doctors must exercise extreme caution when handing out antibiotics. While antibiotics can be extremely helpful during the pneumonia phase of a viral infection (when bacteria invade the lungs), they can be deadly if given to patients too soon (during the pre-pneumonia phase).

#3 Lack of sleep

Getting fewer than six hours of sleep each night increases your risk of contracting colds by a whopping 300 percent. Eight hours of sleep each night will substantially boost your immune system.

#4 Lack of vitamin D

Virtually everyone living in the US, Canada and the UK is chronically deficient in Vitamin D. Those living in Australia and the Philippines are usually better off because there’s more of a sunshine culture, but even Aussies can find themselves Vitamin D deficient if they live their lives indoors and don't venture into the real world to catch some healthy rays.

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the primary causes of influenza susceptibility. Having sufficient Vitamin D circulating in your blood is one of the best defenses against infection.

Some may think that sunlight alone causes skin cancer. That's a big medical lie, of course. Even the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has published scientific research showing that sunlight exposure reduces the risk of skin cancer.

#5 Antacid drugs

In a pandemic, use of popular antacid drugs can actually lead to your death. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concludes that these drugs significantly increase the risk of deadly pneumonia.

These acid-suppressing medications, it turns out, are linked to a 30 percent increase in the risk of acquired pneumonia. And if you're suffering from something like swine flu, pneumonia is the most common cause of death. It's the secondary bacterial infections, after all, that killed most people in 1918, and that's what's likely to cause the greatest number of fatalities in the next great pandemic as well.

If you want to protect yourself from influenza, avoid taking antacid drugs.

Art Sampana is a former agriculture writer turned herbolario who contributed to Ermita magazine in the mid-70s.

(To be concluded)

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