Swine Flu Remedy is a Natural Thing - NBC Bay Area

Swine Flu Remedy is a Natural Thing

Mother knows best



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    Vegetables like asparagus, beets, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, spinach, tomatoes and yams are all good sources are various vitamins to help you stay healthy.

    Everyone is talking about it -- the swine flu.

    Supply for the vaccine is low and demand is high. Health officials say the distribution is flawed and makes no sense.

    San Francisco has received 28,000 doses of the swine flu vaccine. But Santa Clara, the largest Bay Area county, received about a third of that and health officials say they will be getting fewer doses than expected.

    The CDC says there will be enough of the vaccine to give to everyone who wants it bu how can people stay H1N1 virus-free in the meantime and what what about those who opt out of the vaccine? The answer, some say, is a natural one. Natural health experts say Mother Nature could hold the key to kicking the H1N1 virus.

    "There are so many natural alternatives for boosting your immune system," Clinical Herbalist Shoshana Friedman says, "and you need those nutrients to have your body to do what it's supposed to do when it's under attack."

    Friedman, who does the the vitamin and supplement buying for whole foods, is not only a true believer, she's also proof that natural is a healty alternative. She follows her own rules and says she hasn't had the flu in 20 years.

    Friedman recommends a daily cocktail of vitamin c, vitamin d, the antioxidant black elderberry, probiotics like acidophilus and a high-quality multivitamin. Echinacea is another natural remedy getting a lot of attention from natural cure pushers.

    It's a recipe for health that will cost you less than a dollar a day. Throw in a fruit and vegetable supplement for your picky eater and it's still less than $2 a day.

    That's bound to make the makers of natural medicines happy but fruits and veggies are also part of the natural approach. Remember what your mother said: "Eat your fruits and veggies."

    Garlic also boosts the immune system, natural health experts say, and helps fight infection. It's not just because everyone stays far away from people with garlic breath -- it has been proven to stimulate the immune system.

    If you do happen to fall prey to the swine flu, there's a natural remedy for that, too. Ginger has antiviral properties and tea tree oil can help relieve congestion.

    Since the H1N1 virus started hitting hard in about May, sales of natural supplements to ward off the flu have gone up by as much as 63 percent, Friedman said. In just the last six weeks, natural cold and flu remedy sales shot up 80 percent.

    Whether you are a firm believer in the natural boost to fight the swine flu or not, there's no debate that vitamins and healthy eating are good ways to help your body ward off dreaded germs. Another key doctors and health experts can all agree on is that handwashing and minimizing contact with the people who are showing signs of illness are the best bets to staying healthy.