The Alternative Flu Shot: Acupuncture, Clinical Nutrition and Botanical MedicineDuring autumn, many people flock to their conventional doctor or nearby opportunity to obtain a flu shot. However, some do not want to take the gamble given alleged discrepancies regarding a fifty percent chance to work and suspect ingredients in some vaccination formulas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

“some years certain influenza viruses may not appear and spread until later in the influenza season, making it difficult to prepare a candidate vaccine virus in time for vaccine production. This can make vaccine virus selection very challenging.”

Adding an acupuncture, clinical nutrition, and botanical medicine protocol to your autumn routine of root vegetable recipes, emotional purging, and mindfulness meditation could be a big win.

Your Weekly Shot

Shoring up your system to prevent contracting the flu may be possible by adhering to a weekly acupuncture session. Let your acupuncturist know that you would like to concentrate on keeping your immune system firing on all cylinders to increase your chances of warding off the influenza virus.

The University Hospitals of Cleveland report,

“Studies have shown that patients receiving acupuncture have elevated immune-enhancing hormones and blood counts for up to three days after treatment. … Prevent colds and flu by boosting the immune system. Help you get over the cold or flu faster if you already have it. Reduce chills, fever and body aches.”

Nutritional Forcefield

Becoming hyper-vigilant regarding the fruits and vegetables you choose to consume is a good thing. Too many times you may have grabbed what food you could just to get something in your stomach which usually means fast and processed.

According to a study published in Nutritional Journal (2014), it was concluded that,

“In summary, there is enough quality, direct human evidence to conclude that many of the dietary choices in today’s modern society appear to have harmful impacts on our immune system and likely on the immune system of our offspring…our poor dietary behaviors are encoded into both our DNA scaffolding and gut microbiome, and thus these harmful immune modifications are passed to our offspring during their most critical developmental window.”

Eating the right foods could produce a nutritional forcefield to challenge airborne viral and bacterial flu strains, especially during such an inside dwelling season. These foods are a small example of a clinical nutrition protocol you could add to a fresh, non-processed, high plant-based diet.

  • Garlic – This is a super food that contains antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. “If taken within 48 hours of onset of illness, Tamiflu might reduce the duration of flu symptoms by about a day to a day and a half. That’s the extent of what this $100-plus treatment will get you. It’s virtually identical to just taking garlic on a regular basis.” (Mercola)
  • Mushrooms – “Maitake mushrooms, reishi mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms rev up the immune system to defend against a number of viruses.” (Mother Earth News)
  • Honey – Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D, lead author of a study researching the effects of honey comments that, “The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,”
  • Ginger – Grating some of this spicy root into soups, salads and smoothies could be an effective flu season fighter. Health Free reports that, “Research from the Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan indicated ginger has the ability to help prevent and treat flu infections.”

Botanical Boost

Adding in botanical remedies to your alternative flu shot protocol proves to be significantly helpful. Many plant based compounds are the building blocks for so many conventional medications. Some believe reverting back to the original source may work just as well or even better than synthetic manifestations.

A few notable botanical choices to stave off the flu include:

  • Turmeric – Also known as curcumin, turmeric is a powerful spice. Livestrong reports that, “A study published in the Italian Journal of Biochemistry (2003) found that curcumin activates the gene hemeoxygenase-1 within the hippocampus of the brain, which causes the production of bilirubin, a powerful antioxidant.”
  • Black Elderberry – The thick, sweet nectar of elderberries could give the flu a formidable foe. A study, published in the Journal of International Medical Research (2004) reported that, “Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza.”
  • Cat’s Claw – Derived from the Peruvian Mountain rain forest, cat’s claw is an effective healing herb that still flies under the radar. Natural News reports that, “Cat’s Claw’s bark and roots provide most of its immune boosting qualities via oxindole alkaloids. These alkaloids enhance white blood cells’ ability to engulf pathogens and destroy them.”

Utilizing naturopathic remedies like acupuncture, clinical nutrition and botanical medicine to protect yourself from the flu could be your best seasonal move yet. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of Insurance Companies that commonly carry acupuncture benefits for its members. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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