Herbs are not a cure-all, but they strengthen the natural defenses and resources of the body to heal itself-that is if you have not debilitated the body beyond hope. Walking exercise, clean water and wholesome foods can add years of productive enjoyment to your lives. Healing of the body is beyond just the immune response which is in the dissenting opinion at the end of this article (by my daughter). Herbals nurture and aid in healing-much of which has not been researched.
Debilities feed on stress. Stress loves fat and sugar intake, which will kill you in time. Now that the election stress is over you are faced with a post election stressors and “what am I going to do now” stressors. You can stuff your face, drink booze, take tranquilizers, read more doom and gloom, or get off the pot and realize your feeding stressors are killing you. You may need to reevaluate your life and habits.
I want to say, at my wife’s urging, I am not a floating ball of happiness, not a Marharishi of peace and contentment either. Everyday is a learning day to take another step and let go of what was, and concentrate on what is to make plans for what will be. This is goal setting and defining what steps are necessary to achieve those goals. I cannot worry about the world situation; I have no control over it. I can only control, to a degree, what is necessary to take it one day at a time and at the end of that day, reflect on how blessed we are. I can concentrate on my good fortune to have a wonderful wife, a wonderful daughter, a house, clean water and a garden.
Lastly along the understanding of being grateful for what we have is the fact we worked for it, planned for it, and were rigid enough to stay the course. Material wealth is an illusion of false promise. Home, hearth, and family are all that matters.
Moving on I want to address flu and Bird Flu resources. The Ion Channel http://www.h5n1-influenza.net is a serious research data source and worth connecting to.
Also Google Alerts: Type in Bird Flu Alerts and you will get the latest from Asia and UK newsources, sometimes the USA and Canadian news.
Recently, from Romania news is an on line certification course on Bird Flu. Go to: http://www.birdflu-manual.com or http://www.prlog.org/10136933-bird-flu-preparedness-ecourse-certification-program-opens-to-public.html
There is currently an Asia made Bird Flu Vaccine entering the Asian market. I have not heard of it in the west however. Tamiflu as an IV drip and possible inoculation remains as a treatment modality not a preventative.
Diane and I consider the herbal approach viable and certainly we have already documented for us that it works well for flu. Bird Flu with further mutations may strike and we will use the herbs then too. In addition we would consult our local physician.
We of course realize that not everyone agrees, but of special attention is to discuss this topic and self-treatment with your physician. Earlier I referred to the Bird Flu as H95l virus marker. It would be more correct to follow the H5N1 marker for Bird Flu.
The Medical News Today reports scientists writing to the British Lancet publication stressing the importance of realizing that Bird Flu is not to be discounted and WILL strike-they just do not know when.
I encourage all to have an annual “flue shot” as there are hundred of flu viruses out there and this offers your body a chance to build up an immune response.
To date in this series we have promoted the use of tincture of herb(s). This is the most expedient and has been used for 500 years, or more. Essentially it is the soaking of herbs in an alcohol solution, which extracts the essence desired. So if I take Echinacea, flower, stems and root (In leave the root to re-grow next year), dry it well, chop it up, place it in a jar, and pour a bottle of Vodka over it, there will be an extraction in time, each day getting darker and darker. This is the simple method and you can decanter the liquid tincture off and place in dropper bottles. You use dropper bottles, as it is the best way to measure drops. Overdoing it can be harmful.
The solids of course still contain the stronger essence, and you can press them in a cloth and squeeze the stronger solution out by hand.
A better method, but more expensive, is to use a mid size hydraulic special made press as opposed to the small hand presses offered. With a press and bottles you are in business. Go to www.horizonherbs.com , and look at their press. It is on my Xmas shopping wish list.
You can also order, at this time, the roots and plants for making an extraction tincture from catalogs already listed.
Cautionary dissenting opinion.
First, it is important to understand some basics about how the immune system is set up. There are two faces of immunity; for simplicity, I will call them non-specific and specific. The first immune cells that respond to an infection are the non-specific cells. These cells cause inflammation, which damages the body. Ideally, it should only damage infected cells, but the reality is that it also damages healthy cells, which your body can replace later. It is more important to kill the infection first, like stopping a fire. You don’t try to rebuild a house until you’ve put out the fire, cleaned up the mess, and assessed the damage. Inflammation is an important part of immunity. It helps pinpoint a source of infection so that other immune cells can be brought in, and it also helps control the infection itself. In the 1918 influenza pandemic, it was the inflammation of the lungs that killed. It’s interesting that the virus itself is pretty harmless, but the 1918 strain carried a lot of red flags that the immune system saw and responded to—in overkill. All of the damage from the inflammation in the very delicate lungs was what killed most people. Ironically, the very young and very old tended to survive better—because their immune systems weren’t fully functional and didn’t cause as much collateral damage.
The second part of the immune system is the specific part—it is designed to kill only infected cells. It takes time (days) for this part of the response to get revved up; for many viral infections, this is at least 3 days. So it’s not immediate. These specific cells have a different set of tools to kill infections, and they cause much less collateral damage. This is how vaccines work—you get a small dose of a virus (or bacteria) that is dead or crippled, just enough to trigger your immune system. These specific cells get turned on, and some of them are converted into memory cells—little resting sentinels that hide out and wait, like specially trained troops. If you ever see that same virus again, they’re ready.
This is the simplest description of immunity that I can come up with, but it is important during cold and flu season to know how your immune system works, at least in general terms. Most research on herbs that says they “improve immunity” does not tell you whether they affect specific or non-specific cells, and now you should be able to understand why you need to be careful—there are times when you don’t WANT your immune system in overdrive. It’s far better to be healthy before you get sick—it helps you fight things off before they get a foothold in your body. However, you will eventually get sick, and my best advice is what you’ve heard a thousand times: rest, keep warm, plenty of liquids, and, ironically, chicken soup. Did you know that scientific research has shown that there really is something about chicken soup that helps? Make a batch and freeze some so that all you have to do is reheat when you need it. You’ll be glad you did. I study the immune system for a living—I am finishing my Ph.D. in December 2008 on this topic. I am not a medical doctor, nor should any of what I wrote be taken as medical advice.
This will conclude our discussion of herbs effecting respiratory illnesses at this time.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this Web site is provided by Mark Steel for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care, and medical advice and services are not being offered. If you have, or suspect you have, a health problem you should consult your physician.
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Copyright: 2008, Back2theLand, Mark Steel