Latest posts by Jessica Peatross, MD (see all)
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As a physician I often used to hear flu shot discussions around the “watering hole” at the hospital as the days began to get shorter and cooler. Everyone who was hospital staff knew what was coming. The flu shot. Regardless of our opinion, there is no question that this vaccine is pushed hard on all the employees. In fact, we were offered candy in exchange for the injection on our way into the cafeteria or ICU. In the electronic medical record, you aren’t permitted to move further in the patient’s charts until you declare whether or not they have had a flu shot and if not, be prepared to have an answer for that. But is there only one way to prevent the flu? Is the vaccine really the best way? Are our bodies’ immune systems that incompetent on their own or are we possibly missing vital nutrients and minerals that help our bodies perform efficiently and fight off infections when needed?
In 2013, worldwide flu vaccine sales totaled around 3.1 billion dollars. The CDC reported 50,097 deaths from influenza and pneumonia in 2010. Of these numbers, only 500 or 1% were taken from influenza and 49, 597 were from pneumonia. Unfortunately, the CDC regroups the mortality from influenza with the one from pneumonia. However, the great majority of deaths are clearly from pneumonia.
The 1918-1920 influenza pandemic and Spanish flu had the highest mortality ever reported for an epidemic worldwide. It ranks as the single greatest recorded mortality event in human history. It is roughly estimated that 675,000 Americans died of influenza during the pandemic. That is ten times as many that died in World War II! What is interesting, however, is that allopathic or mainstream medicine lost more than 30% of their hospitalized patients, while homeopathic hospitals lost only 3% or so. What was homeopathy’s secret?
Doctors Speak Out During the Flu Pandemic
For example, Dr Lincoln Graham claims to have lost none of the patients treated in his outpatient clinic. His regimen included a glass of spring water every hour, a colonic or enema daily and to put the patient on a strict fast upon entry to the clinic. This makes sense to our bodies. Giving fresh water is healing as hydrogen and oxygen are vital components of our basic structure and of the structure of life. A fast gives the body time to heal as precious energy is not given to digestion and breakdown of nutrients. Instead it can go to improving immunity and fighting off any invading pathogens. A short fast can actually rev up the immune system. Other successful holistic treatments included Gelsemium and Bryonia, a rhizome of yellow jasmine and root used to relieve constipation, respectively. All remedies that seemed to have success involved relieving the body of toxins through the bowels and adding in nutrients that continued to work with natural immunity.
According to Dr Frank Wieland, a MD in Chicago, “with 8000 workers we had only one death. Gelsemium was practically the only remedy we used. We used no aspirin and no vaccines.”
“I did not lose a single case of influenza; my death rate in the pneumonias was 2.1%. The salycilates, including aspirin and quinine, were almost the sole stand-byes of the old school and it was a common thing to hear them speaking of losing 60% of their pneumonias.”-Dudley A. Williams, MD Providence, RI
Dr. Roberts, a physician on a ship full of troops during World War I reported that all men recovered and were landed safely. They all received homeopathic treatment.
“with 8000 workers we had only one death. Gelsemium was practically the only remedy we used. We used no aspirin and no vaccines.”Dr. Frank Wieland
Why the Flu Shot Should Be Reconsidered
What do all these different remedies have in common?
They all work preventatively by revving up the immune system and ridding the body of environmental and dietary toxins/chemicals so that natural detoxification systems could run efficiently. Unfortunately mainstream medicine today is a symptom and disease based system that does a very poor job of ensuring that we don’t fall ill, but does an mediocre job of treating these ailments with for profit based band-aids. Moreover, the influenza vaccines works on the premise of introducing an irritating factor to rev up immunity by foreign toxins. What exactly is in the flu shot? From the CDC website, thimerosal or Mercury which prevents contamination, aluminum salts to help stimulate the body’s response and is linked to Alzheimer’s, stabilizers like sugars or gelatin to keep the vaccine potent, egg proteins to ensure the virus growth in the medium, formaldehyde to kill toxins in the manufacturing process, and the antibiotic neomycin to prevent contamination by other bacteria. I’m not sure that is the way I will decide to increase my immunity, especially since last year’s vaccine only had a 19% success rate.
What are alternative ways to prevent illness like the dreaded flu bug?
Good hygiene like hand washing with organic castille soap, raw garlic cloves, oil of oregano, plenty of vitamin D, elderberries, ginseng, reishi and shiitake mushrooms, astragalus, local or manuka honey, slippery elm bark, licorice, exercise, lymph massage, yoga, meditation and other stress relieving techniques, vitamin C, plenty of filtered water, and a plant based, organic diet is enough to avoid just about any virus. Avoid processed or fried foods, sugar, or excessive alcohol intake.
H. Walters. Influenza 1918: The Contemporary Perspective. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 1978
1940 Merck Manual: Influenza
Stephen Harrod Buhner, Herbal Antibiotics