Fighting the flu has become a high priority this winter, and while the medical community keeps urging everyone to get the flu shot, one East Bay mother is taking a different approach and insists she's winning.
Sue Ann Grann of Walnut Creek is taking a holistic approach to illness prevention, giving her family essential oils to fight off symptoms.
Grann says her holistic journey began two and a half years ago when she and her husband and their four children began using the essential oils. They have them in diffusers around the house, usE them topically and ingest them.
"I want something that I can do on a daily basis so I can boost their immunity and keep them healthy," Grann said. "And we don't have to go to the doctor as frequently."
The oils have anti-inflammatory properties, Grann said. During flu season, she kicks it up a notch by adding a protective blend of oils to their regimen. She said it has kept her family healthy and flu free.
But those in the medical community warn against relying on this sole source of prevention.
"I have had a fair amount of patients who have relied on essential oils or home remedies, whatever it may be," said Kaedi Fehlberg, nurse practitioner at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut reek. "They end up with the flu, and so many people come in here very sick."
With 42 flu related deaths in California this season, 19 of them right here in the Bay Area, physicians are still urging people to get vaccinated. Those who do, they say, won't get as sick even if they still come down with this season's nasty bug.
John Kokko, a licensed acupuncturist, says it's all about a balance between Chinese and Western medicine.
"We are not saying don't get a flu shot," Kokko said. "We're saying support your immune system by having better digestion and by resting more because if you're in a fight or flight, your body can't heal and rest."
Grann says she isn't against Western medicine and does weave it into her family's holistic lifestyle. It's all about finding and maintaining that healthy balance.