I’m sure you have all heard about the swine coming up from Mexico by now. The major media outlets love this kind of story and the news addiction it fuels. I am encouraging my patients to stay calm and realize that fearing a pandemic is more likely to cause health problems than your risk of transmitting this influenza strain. Of course it is always smart to use common sense measures to prevent disease transmission as a general rule. For example: wash your hands often, eat lots of , avoid sugar and take a daily multivitamin to keep your strong. Otherwise, there is no need to panic, isolate yourself or stockpile Tamiflu right now.

A foundational principle in naturopathic medicine is to treat the patient, not the disease. We have many tools to support the body through viral infections including homeopathy, herbal medicine, hydrotherapy and vitamin therapy. Avoiding aspirin is also recommended if you get flu-like symptoms. Overuse of aspirin, a new drug at the time, was linked to many deaths in the 1918 flu pandemic.

Here are 2 informative links to explore natural flu and what worked in the 1918 flu pandemic if you are interested in learning more about this fascinating topic:
Influenza Prevention link from “Medical Herbalism”
Influenza epidemic of 1918 link

A fly-infested and unsanitary commercial factory pig farm, one of the largest in the world in the state of Vera Cruz in Mexico, is likely the epicenter of the outbreak. This is another example of the drawbacks of our current food production and distribution system. Although pork is safe to eat if well cooked, I encourage everyone to be conscious of where your food is coming from and try to buy everything from as close to home as possible. If possible, visit the farms you get your meat and vegetables from to see the farming conditions with your own eyes. Even better, grow your own!

I will post more on this topic as it evolves.

Margaret Philhower, ND