A recent Canadian study suggests that this year's flu vaccine offers little or no protection in Canada against becoming sick enough to require medical care. Other health authorities in the US have been putting out that message as well. Here's the link to read the entire article.
While many of the health authorities are pushing anti-vitals to support/replace the flu vaccine, natural health advocates are suggesting that boosting the body's natural immune defenses by eating nutritionally, getting enough sleep, and taking supplements known to boost the immune system to give yourself the best shot (pun intended) at staying healthy this cold and flu season.
The media, even the FDA, has been reporting the decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics but most of these reports have not done a good job at revealing why scientists think this is happening. Here's a link to a good article on the current understanding of the action of pharmaceutical antibiotics and how they work against good health.. Click Here.
To summarize, the positive action of an antibiotic is to destroy the bacterial cell wall thus causing it to die. There are a couple of "side effects" of this action including the destruction of beneficial bacteria in the body which perform positive functions such as keeping candida and yeast/fungal infections at bay and general support of the body's immune system. In addition, the destruction of the bacterial cell wall seems to initiate a toxic reaction that is also harmful to the body.
More research is needed to understand the antibiotic process but in the meantime, limited use of antibiotics, use of alternative/natural immune support products, and the use of probiotics (to replenish the body's beneficial bugs) after the use of antibiotics may keep your body healthier.
One of the challenges that we face in helping people discover and use natural remedies is that it seems impossible to many that something found in nature, in your yard or herb garden even, can have a positive, powerful effect on your health. Anything that good must cost a billion dollars and require a prescription. For this reason, I decided to do a series on the health benefits of some of the most common herbs, most found in your kitchen pantry, to help reprogram our thinking to recognize the health power of simple, natural foods and remedies. My first choice is the king spice of pizza lovers everywhere: oregano.
Oregano is a culinary herb that grows practically everywhere. It has long been recognized as a “functional food” for its nutritional, anti-oxidants, and disease fighting properties. It contains an impressive list of compounds known for their health-enhancing properties and has been a part of our natural medicine chest for many years.
Oregano has been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflamatory properties which makes it useful in recovering from colds, flu, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets, and painful menstruation conditions.
Oregano also has shown to perform as an anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory in which it counteracts the histamine response common in colds, flu, and allergies.
Oregano is rich in anti-oxidants such as vitamin A, carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Oregano also contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, vitamins A and C, and niacin. Although these components don’t directly impact upper respiratory problems, all of them are required by the systems within the body including the immune system.
Even more amazing, Fox News did a story on ongoing research as to oregano’s ability to kill prostate cancer cells. According to early results from the study, carvacrol, one of the main components of oregano, could eliminate nearly all prostate cancer cells it came into contact with within 96 hours.
Can you believe that all of this comes from a pizza ingredient? While I’m not advocating that oregano is the new wonder drug, it does demonstrate how eating a variety of healthy foods including (organic, non-irradiated) spices could contribute to a healthier body.
Do you own research by googling oregano or carvacrol and find out the details. Here’s some of the links I used in my research.