Colds And Flu’s - Are They Getting Worse?
The Flu Virus (Influenza, Rhinovirus) seems to just about wipe people out these days. Even a good old fashioned Cold seems to linger and be more severe. People who normally don’t get sick are coming down with the Flu. The symptoms are taking longer to get over. And to top it up, we are getting Colds and Flu at different times of the year not just winter. Are bugs getting stronger or are we getting weaker?
As far as I can remember, when someone got the Flu it was a just a cough, raspy throat, snotty nose, a few aches and pains and in about a week, job done.
These days when someone gets the Flu it’s like a life threatening disease. It’s not just hitting the weak and elderly, healthy people at any age can get it.
Glandular swellings, inflamed throat, infected lungs, deep intensive cough, blocked throbbing ears, sore eyes, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, fever, severe headaches, shortness of breath , dizziness, anxiety, weakness, achy joints and muscles and inflammation in numerous parts of the body, are all standard symptoms that can last for weeks, then come back again.
When you’re finally out of bed and back on your feet, you are left with debilitating fatigue.
How Do We Actually Get A Cold or Flu?
- The Human body is a host for billions of bacteria all co-existing together.
- Bacteria are not all bad. Some bacteria can actually be beneficial to us by helping foods break down via fermentation in the gut or by helping us to make vitamins.
- New bacteria arrive in our body every day and the existing ones seem to allow them to set up camp as long as they behave. They all seem to tolerate each other and live in harmony.
- The problem only starts when something disturbs the balance. The terrain in which they all live in, changes.
- The terrain may change because there is tissue damage from - toxins, poor diet, harmful chemicals, heavy metals, antibiotics or drugs. Or if there is some sort of stress.
- Under these circumstances some of our good bacteria may die off and the undesirable ones flourish which tilts the balance. An infection or imbalance of bacteria results.
- Then everything changes. The bacteria that seemed harmless and living in harmony can turn feral or opportunistic.
- Our immune system senses the changes and knows what to do. It may trigger mucus production to flood and drown or create an inflammatory immune response.
- If our stress control system is healthy (i.e. normal Cortisol Rhythm), and our immune system is strong, then a Cold or bacterial infection will get sorted.
- However, if our immune system is overwhelmed or weak and we are stressed with lowered resistance, a simple Cold could progress into a more advanced infection like Emphysema, Otitis, Pneumonia or Tuberculosis as the bad bugs party on.
- And, if our immune system takes it’s eye off the ball, a Virus can sneak through our defence system.
What Is The Difference Between A Cold And Flu ?
- A Cold is an imbalance of bacteria (infection) that triggers an immune response in the body.
- Bacteria are small living bugs or micro-organisms.
- Some examples of bacteria are Staphylococcus or Mycoplasma.
- A Cold effects the sinuses and respiratory system and usually occurs for a 3-5 days with symptoms of sniffley nose, blocked ears, sore throat and a cough.
- The first three days is the infectious stage. If you sneeze or cough on someone during this phase you can pass bugs on.The bugs you pass on shouldn’t be a problem to someone else unless their terrain is suitable for them to flourish.
- A Virus is not actually alive in the same way that a bacteria is. It is made up of nucleic material and protein.
- A Virus cannot grow on its own, it needs to enter a human cell and take over the cell to help it multiply.
- A Virus is like an intruder jumping into the driver’s seat of your car and throwing you into the back seat.
- It invades a healthy cell and hijacks its replicative parts to reproduce itself.
- A Virus can multiply fragments of itself through every cell in your body.
- A Flu Virus targets the respiratory system and sinuses but it seems every cell in the body feels its presence. The whole body becomes weak and fatigued. Muscles ache, any damaged or weak tissue can ache, old injuries may ache, bones can ache, the digestive system can become sensitive and even the skin can become reactive. A state of inflammation is declared plus infection to deal with as well.
- Types of Viruses are Influenza or Rhinovirus these effect the respiratory system in particular.
- Other types of Virus iruses are Herpes Virus, Epstein-Barr Virus, Cytomegalovirus, Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pox etc.
- When a Virus attacks, the Immune system pulls out the big guns and goes into battle. View the video below.
Isn’t The Best Way To Cure A Cold Or Flu.....Kill, Kill, Kill ...?
Military tactics won’t work. There is no point bombarding your body with antibiotics or other drugs once a Cold or Flu hits you. I'm not saying don't take them, but I can explain what happens if you do.
Do Antibiotics Actually Work?
Antibiotics just dampen things down for a short time to give the body a symptom reprieve and reduce the bacterial burden. They don’t kill all the bacteria off. They don’t cure a Cold and certainly don’t cure a Virus. They kill some bacteria, not all and they kill off our good bugs in the process, leaving our supply of beneficial bacteria at a low reserve so bad bugs can re- group.
Antibiotic treatments result in defective acquired immunity following an infection with Influenza virus. 1.
Something you should know about bad bugs is that they don’t hang out on their own, most are pack animals.
They live in a protective colony called a Biofilm. A sticky film-like tent enabling them to survive as a mini colony. A commune where they can all feel safe with their own kind. Like Kiwis migrating to London and all ending up flatting in Earls Court.
A bug community is scientific and sophisticated. The residents are not holidaying with a temporary visa, they are here to stay. The Bioflim enables them to have stability, ward off enemies and buffer antibiotic attacks, enjoy great plumbing and irrigation facilities to remove their wastes, channel and distribute food and most importantly, to house their special agents.
These special agents are trained in survival tactics. They are called Persister Cells.
Persister Cells cannot be eliminated by antibiotics. Not only are they specially trained, but they have an ability to lower their metabolic rate and avoid detection by our immune surveillance cells. Genius, these bugs.
When antibiotic treatments are prescribed to kill bacteria, only some are destroyed, the Persister Cells can live through the attack. Persister Cells can re-colonise the bug community when the antibiotic attack is over. They are trained to survive.
Normal bacteria have a weak spot or Achilles tendon on their outer cell wall. This weak spot is where Antibiotics target and our Immune cells shoot at. Persister Cells somehow manage to hide their weak spot.
Persister Cells also have stealth technology enabling them to move undetected under our immune radar. After an attack of antibiotics occurs, they simply lay low and then re-colonise.
They can grow back as their original self and relapse our symptoms, or they can develop into more prolific entities that have greater military experience i.e. turn into diseases like Emphysemia, Otitis, TB, Staphylococcus, Hodgkins Disease etc.
So now you can see why using antibiotics is just a temporary stop gap. They kill off our good bugs allowing bad ones to flourish, and the bad bugs just build up a stronger resistance to them.
Will Paracetemol Help?
If you are wanting to reduce fever or inflammation associated with a Cold or Flu, there is evidence that Paracetemol actually impairs the immune response 2. It prevents proper antigen production and allows bad bugs to flourish.
So What Can We Do?
All you can do if a Cold or Flu hits you, is reduce the severity of the symptoms, help to manage the bacterial overload and try to become comfortable during the immune process.
We can reduce the bacterial overload using natural anti-microbials and in doing so, not harm the body or our beneficial bacteria.
Prevention Is The Key
Don’t get sick in the first place! All very well and true but that doesn’t help while you are coughing, spluttering, gasping and fighting for your life. If we keep ourselves strong, healthy and happy we won’t invite trouble in the first place. Our terrain will stay balanced and all the bugs can live in harmony? There are natural remedies you can take to prevent getting sick -
- Adrenal support formulations ASK US
- Vitamin D – get levels checked by your GP and start supplementing if they are low, no matter what time of year. Vit D is a Virus preventative.
- Prime your immune system everyday with Probiotics ASK US which ones.
- Take Antioxidants like Resveratrol, Enzogenol, Astaxanthin every day to protect against the effects of Free Radical and toxic damage.
- Take Astragalus, Rhodiola, Mushroom Extracts or Withania combinations to build up resistance.
- Detox the body at least once a year. ASK US
Practice The Art of Self Care
Eat well, feed yourself up with gorgeous organic food, drink pure water, exercise, reduce stress and most importantly reduce toxins! .....particularly challenging in this day and age. Too many toxins in our food, air and water can weaken us and make us more susceptible to illness. Read my blog post on toxicity in the modern world.
Stress can be defined as trauma, infection, inflammation, toxicity, psychogenic or emotional clutter. Stress is actually a natural state and we need a bit of it to help prime our immunity, but not for prolonged periods. Too much stress lowers the immune system and weakens the Adrenals by disturbing the Cortisol Rhythm. Cortisol is crucial to inflammation control. We need it when we get sick. If Cortisol is not doing its thing when a Virus hits us - it will effect our recovery.
Look at the balance of give and take in your life. When you get emotionally depleted you are more vulnerable. When you get sick it’s a wake up call. Your body is trying to tell you something. You are out of balance.
If you can’t relax and being sick makes you panic - especially if you can’t breathe, try;
- Essential oils as inhalations or in the bath.
- Tapping, Body Talk or Emotional Release Therapy.
- Sauna and or Massage - wait 3 days until infectious stage dampens down so you won’t spread bugs.
- Or If you need help with stress control ASK US
Let Your Passion Heal You
Ensure you get a balance between work and play. Factor-in some time to do the things you love and enjoy. Don't wait once a year to do them. What is your passion? Music? Art? Crafts? Walking? Fishing? Dancing? Writing? Being happy is great for your immune system and nervous system.
If you treat a Cold or Flu naturally, your immune system will remember the strategy and know what to do next time! You will get stronger not weaker!
Reduce The Bacterial Load / Manage The Symptoms
Use any combination of the following at the first sign of infection or Cold
- Oregano capsules
- Garlic –capsules, tablets or raw organic
- Berberine (in combination antimicrobial formula)
- Homeopathic Aconite if symptoms come on quickly
- Homeopathic AGE first sign of a sore throat
- Throat gargle - hot water, lemon, honey, cayenne, turmeric and raw garlic
- Propolis tincture – drop directly into the throat
- Malcolm Harker Products
- Ivy Leaf or Myrrh throat spray
- LypoSheric Vit C
- Essential oil inhalations combined or single – Thyme, Sage, Cloves, Tea Tree
- Hot bath with 5 -10 drops Lavender Oil, 2 dropsThyme Oil, Himalayan Salt, Epsom Salts
- Xylitol Nasal Spray
- Vicks inhaler
- Onion and honey infusion cough mixture
- Castor Oil pack to the chest
- Onion pack to the chest
- Natural chest rubs - Thyme, Sage, Tea Tree or Vicks
Natural Support During A Virus
Once a Virus hits - you can’t kill it, but you can support the immune system with natural remedies such as;
- Echinacea/Thuja homeopathic
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Probiotics species L acidophilus , L rhamnosus , B lactis
- Magnesium Citrate to relax and prevent respiratory spasms
- LypoSheric Vit C
- Anti-inflammatories for pain and swelling - Berberine, Tumeric, Boswellia, Bromelain combinations
- Mushroom extracts
- Vitamin D
- Homeopathic Virus Complex
Reduce Fever Naturally
Stay calm if you get a fever it’s your body’s way of incinerating bugs. "Give me the power to create a fever and I shall cure any disease.” Hippocrates the Father of Medicine expressed over two thousand years ago. To reduce fever and heat in the body, try;
- Yarrow, Elderflower, Peppermint or Sage tea
- Homeopathic Belladonna
Clean up your diet when you are sick. Basic is best.
- Fruit, veges, garden herbs, organic eggs, organic lamb or beef, organic chicken, and organic lentils.
- The naturally cleansing and protective foods are organic garlic, onions, shitake mushrooms, broccoli sprouts, blue berries and green leafy veges.
- Eat organic or spray free produce where possible!
- Take out the mucus forming foods like grains, breads, sugar and milk.
- Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, chocolate and alcohol.
- Avoid processed foods like noodles, pasta, cereal, canned soups, packet soups with MSG.
- Avoid all sugars like jam, sugar sweetened lozenges or cough syrups, soft drinks, cookies.
Make Up A Pot Of Soup
Soup is a convenient food to eat when you are sick. Make up a large amount to last you about 3 days so you dont have to cook every night. Keep it in the fridge and re heat it when you need it. Or use a crock pot.
- Brown in a pan organic beef or lamb cut up small. Add olive oil or coconut oil, and heaps of organic garlic.
- Once brown add organic onions, fresh ginger, fresh chillies, fresh sage, fresh thyme, fresh coriander, fresh sage, fresh parsley plus turmeric and cayenne.
- Then cut up carrots, pumpkin, kale, spinach, broccoli, and any other leafy greens.
- In another pot boil organic brown lentils (3/4 cup)
- Once veges are soft separate half into a shallow frying pan and let cool
- Add soya sauce (gluten/ sugar free) and natural vegetable bouillon NOT Oxo cubes
- Put this half in a blender or use a stick blender
- Add this back to the rest
- Add the cooked lentils
- If you are a vegetarian keep the meat juice rather than eating the flesh and be sure to have plenty of lentils. You need protein to aid repair, detoxification , blood sugar balance and recovery.
Keep Fluids Up
Lemon, hot water and raw honey
Make Fresh Juices
Use organic fruit and vegetables only - or spray free!
- Juice organic beetroot, organic carrots, spray free coriander, organic or spray free celery and spinach, wheat grass, organic orange, organic apple, organic lime or lemon, organic raw ginger. Dilute with water.
- Drink 1-3 glasses per day.
- If you are too sick to make your own juices you can buy ready made organic beetroot or vegetable juice at our store. ASK US
Include Super Food Smoothies
Blend Cacao powder with an antioxidant powder like Mesquite, Acai or Camu Camu powder. Add flaxseed oil or coconut oil. Add LSC, LSA or ground flaxseeds as a source of fibre. Add nut milk (no added sugar), and organic frozen berries for extra vitamins.
Balance Your pH
Drink green juices i.e. green barley, spirulina or wheat grass combinations to alkaline the body. If your body is too acid, it may be a sign of toxicity, and/or that you are losing valuable minerals. ASK US FOR pH TEST STRIPS
Trust that your body has the Intelligence, Strength and Wisdom to heal itself. Believe it. Provide the right tools and it will happen!
Products, ingredients and supplements listed above are available through Natural Chemistry Health Shop. If you can't find it via our online shopping cart, let us know what you need and we’ll get it to you.
Kind regards, Leah
1. Ichinohe T, et al. Microbiota regulates immune defense against respiratory tract influenza. A virus infection. PNAS Mar 29 2011; 108(13): 5354-5359
2. Warwick C. Paracetamol and fever management. J R Soc Promot Health. 2008 Nov; 128(6):320-3