Click here for an updated post on naturopathic treatment for H1N1 and other varieties of the flu.
Editor’s note: On June 11th the World Health Org issued a ‘Phase 6: global pandemic outbreak’ for the swine flu/H1N1 virus. Many WHO members had earlier expressed concern that declaring a pandemic could cause mass confusion and panic when it’s still unclear how dangerous the virus will be. This is the first globalized influenza epidemic in 41 years. The majority of worldwide cases have been mild, though some have proven fatal. (Canadian Press report)
by Katherine Willow ND
To be honest, it’s been difficult for me to take the recent swine flu/H1N1 virus outbreak more seriously than other flu outbreaks. Currently, it doesn’t seem overly dangerous in the medical scheme of things. For instance, ordinary flu has killed 13,000 people in just the United States since January. H1N1 has resulted in well under 200 deaths worldwide since April. While there is concern that the strain could mutate and lead to more serious outbreaks later this year, in my view there is no reason to believe a severe global pandemic is brewing.
From a naturopathic and German New Medicine perspective, there is a lot more going on than the virus itself, both physically and psychologically. Looking back at the big flu in 1918 that killed 50-100 million people, some were “infected” across continents before a sick person could possibly travel there. Focusing on the virus deflects from the more important causes, creates fear and leads to actions such as mass vaccinations and excessive use of flu drugs, both of which have their own side-effects.
My attitude about pandemics is that the best preventive method is to research as many angles as possible before deciding on a strategy. Consider reading some material on Dr. Mercola’s website, www.mercola.com (type ‘swine flu’ in his search engine). Dr. Mercola is a qualified osteopathic physician, and although I don’t agree with everything he writes, his data is well worth looking at. (Be prepared for a few shocks, he’s radical and unafraid to challenge anyone.)
We ND’s all have our own favorite remedies of course, mine being echinacea, goldenseal, elderberry extracts, water therapies, cleansing, developing emotional resilience and immune building foods such as onions and garlic (which also happen to have the property of thinning and expelling mucous, great for congested lungs!). In the fall, when flu season rolls around, we’ll put on a special workshop on this subject and then you can choose which products you would like to have in your medicine cabinet.
Until then, cough into your sleeve, wash your hands, eat well , get enough rest, move joyously and be happy.
Hope to see you at our annual Open House on Sat, June 27,