Mason County News
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Natural Health from A to Z
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 • Posted April 29, 2009

Swine flu pandemic is all over the news, so I thought it would be good to write about prevention.

My best tips for prevention involve taking extra vitamin C, zinc and something to prevent infection that also builds the immune system – I recommend either a very high quality olive leaf or a grapefruitseed extract combination called Defense Plus.

I also recommend keeping your body on the more alkaline side since viruses such as the flu will thrive in an acid environment. Most of us do not know what is acid and what is alkaline – so, I will summarize it for you.

Good – or alkalizing includes vegetables and fruits (raw being the most alkaline), raw vegetable juices, kombucha tea, coral calcium, green supplements, enzymes, raw lemon juice, raw apple cider vinegar and raw almonds.

Bad – or acid forming foods include sodas (diet sodas are the worst), tea, coffee, chocolate, smoking, and foods made with white flour and/or white sugar. Meat and dairy products are also acid forming. I do not recommend avoiding meat and dairy, but do keep the portions you eat balanced with plenty of vegetables.

Alkalizing really works. It is one of the main tenets of natural health. Alkalizing is the cure for any disease condition. It is really simple. If you want to know if you are alkaline or acid, measure the pH of your first morning urine using special pH paper.

Olive leaf is a great preventive. It has terrific anti-viral properties. I recommend taking one 500 mg olive leaf capsule per day for flu prevention. Dosage can be increased when you feel “flu-like”. Many rely on olive for its immune building properties and take it throughout flu season and never get sick. The form of olive leaf is very important – it must have at least 18% oleuropein content, or it will not be effective. Read the label. Cheaper olive leaf is not the same and is a waste of money.

I also like elderberry for prevention. It is a natural fruit extract that keeps the virus from reproducing. One of my favorite combinations is Elderberry Defense – when taken regularly, it prevents colds and flu.

There are also homeopathic formulas. The biggest benefit of the homeopathic formulas is that they do not interact with prescription medications and are generally safe for all ages. The single best selling flu product in America is a homeopathic called Oscillococcinum. Oscillo speeds recovery from flu symptoms to within 48 hours when taken at first sign of cold or flu – this is backed by clinical trials.

Remember that diseases such as the flu are opportunistic. If the host is full of acid waste and other toxins, then the flu will love their body and thrive. If the host is health and alkaline, then the flu will have a hard time and will move on.

Stress and the typical American diet tend to make us good homes for viruses because they make our pH acid and deplete our vitamins and minerals. We are also inundated with chemicals that are bodies cannot break down and eliminate. To stay in balance, alkalize your diet, use herbal cleanses periodically to get rid of excess toxins, and take good high quality supplements that help keep you balanced.

Margaret Durst is a naturopathic doctor who owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.

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