As we embark upon the winter season, thoughts turn to health.  Traditionally known as the “cold and flu season”, the government and mainstream media are doing their best to convince us that we are in for a terrible pandemic.  They tell us that not only will we have to deal with the common cold and typical strains of flu, but we are also facing a serious pandemic of avian flu (bird flu) which could be just as deadly as the Spanish Flu of 1918, also an avian strain, which killed up to 50 million people.  The U.S. government is mobilizing to prepare the nation for this devastating event and recommending that citizens line up for their flu shots which may be their only protection.

Critics of the pandemic scare have a lot to say about this issue.  One interesting perspective is that influenza is simply a viral infection that has a relatively short lifespan causing symptoms such as chills, fever, aches, sore throat, cough, and headaches that leave a person pretty miserable for awhile, but it does not kill.  What kills are the secondary infections that take hold while the person is in a state of lowered immunity if they don’t take care of themselves.  Most often these secondary infections are pneumonia and a variety of gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea caused by pathogenic bacteria, other viruses, fungi or parasites.  In severe cases dehydration can result which can be fatal.

Can the flu shot truly protect us as conventional medical doctors would have us believe?  The fact is, not only does the flu shot not protect us from the flu, but it can cause complications that compromise our immune systems for years to come and possibly lead to our demise.  In her article, “Inoculations – the True Weapons of Mass Destruction”, Rebecca Carley, M.D. explains that a healthy immune system is fully equipped to fight off disease-causing pathogens that enter the body through the normal channels.

Vaccinations were originally conceived from the observation that mammals who recover from infections from microorganisms, acquire natural immunity from further infections.  This is because the respiratory tract of all mammals contains secretory IgA, an antibody that initiates the immune response within the respiratory tract mucosa.  Dr. Carley states that, “Bypassing this mucosal aspect of the immune system by directly injecting organisms into the bloodstream leads to a corruption in the immune system itself.”  As a result the pathogenic bacteria or viruses cannot be effectively eliminated by the body’s immune system.  They then remain in the body where they continue to mutate and grow as the individual is exposed to more pathogens and toxins in the environment, further weakening the immune system.

The body is also adversely affected by the adjuvants in vaccines which are substances added to enhance antibody response.  These include oil emulsions, mineral compounds containing heavy metals, and other irritants.  Adjuvants can cause allergic reactions and hyperactivity of antibody production which distracts the immune system from attacking other antigens that the body encounters naturally.  Dr. Carley believes that this overproduction of antibodies is what causes all autoimmune diseases.

Other substances commonly found in vaccines are ethylene glycol (antifreeze), phenol (used as a disinfectant and dye), formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), aluminum (associated with Alzheimer’s disease, seizures and cancer), thimerosal (a mercury preservative which can cause brain injury, autism, and autoimmune disorders), and antibiotics which cause an allergic reaction in some people, and destroy the good bacteria that make up 85% of our immune system.

Vaccines are also grown and strained through animal or human tissue, including chicken and guinea pig embryos, monkey kidneys, calf serum, and diploid cells from the dissected organs of aborted human fetuses.  In addition to all of these extremely toxic substances, live, weakened or dead viruses are injected directly into the bloodstream which causes more stress to the system.  No wonder vaccines have been linked to serious conditions such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Autism, Gulf War Syndrome and a variety of autoimmune diseases and cancers.

It is common for people who receive the flu shot to come down with the flu almost immediately and suffer more than unvaccinated people who get the flu.  The March/April 2002 issue of Midwest Nurse Week reported that a flu epidemic struck a nursing home in Nebraska.  Nearly all of the residents received flu shots before the outbreak there.  The nursing home was quarantined, allowing no visitors, and all residents were taking anti-viral drugs and eating meals in their rooms in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.  A veterans’ home there also had a flu epidemic after 98% of the residents were given the flu vaccine.   I recall helping a woman years ago who had leukemia.  She was getting better and feeling quite well when her doctor recommended that she get the flu shot, which she did.  Three weeks later she died of pneumonia.

Officials like to compare the avian flu pandemic with the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in 1918.  Over the years medical investigators have uncovered the fact that the “Spanish” flu actually originated in Fort Riley, Kansas at Camp Funston military base where soldiers had returned from duty in Spain and other areas after World War I.  At the base they were given new inoculations that were being mandated for soldiers before being released back into the general public.  At the time vaccines were a new practice and this was the first flu vaccine.

The soldiers returned home carrying the germs with which they were inoculated and spread a live, and most likely mutated, version of the virus to their families and friends.  Panic spread as more and more people were vaccinated in hopes that they wouldn’t be stricken.  However, evidence shows that not only did the vaccinated become ill, but those that could not afford the vaccine or had the good sense not to be vaccinated, were the ones that survived the epidemic.

Coincidentally, aspirin was also introduced at the time of the Spanish flu epidemic. Aspirin was widely recommended to control the fever that accompanied the flu.  By reducing the fever, the body was denied the mechanism by which it could kill the virus.  Fevers also force people to get the rest they need to heal during the harshest stage of illness.  Without the debilitating fever, people returned to work and opened themselves to other opportunistic infections that eventually killed them.

The avian flu, caused by the H5N1 virus found in the digestive tracts of certain Asian birds, was isolated and identified in 1997.  Since then, H5N1 has mutated to a human form, first recognized in 2003.  As of November, 2005, 124 people have contracted the virus, mostly bird farmers and/or their families, living in relatively unsanitary conditions in Asian countries.  To date, 63 people have died from bird flu worldwide, most of them in Asia where sanitation is poor.  Stretched out over time, about 2.5 people have died per month from bird flu. There have been no known cases of human-to-human transmission of the bird flu in any of the countries to which the virus has spread.  These statistics indicate that the bird flu is not at pandemic levels.

According to Rumor Mill News, the U.S. government is talking about mass vaccination for avian flu, yet there is currently no bird flu vaccine available.  Dr. Leonard Horowitz states, “A human version of H5N1 must be cultured for lengthy periods of time in human cell cultures, then injected into monkeys and ultimately humans to see if these experimental subjects get the same feared flu.”  A vaccine must be specific to the type of virus it is addressing, and given the time it takes to create a vaccine and the number of mutations the actual virus will make before it reaches epidemic levels, it is unlikely that an effective vaccine could be developed any time soon.

It is clear from the evidence that the risks of a flu vaccine of any kind far outweigh the benefits.  Yet, there is much we can do to strengthen our immune system to withstand any variety of flu.  Nature has provided numerous antiviral, antibiotic and antifungal compounds in plant life.  As Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine stated, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”  Golden Seal, Garlic, Oil of Oregano and Olive Leaf are a few medicinal herbs that can help the body to fight infection.

It is interesting to note that Tamiflu, considered to be the only drug in the medical arsenal against avian flu, is produced from the seeds of Star Anise through a ten stage process that takes one year to complete.

Hi potency colloidal silver (minimum 100 ppm) is very effective at destroying bacteria, viruses, and molds.  For respiratory infections, spray colloidal silver into the nostrils and inhale into the lungs for maximum effect.

Since the body’s defense system is primarily made up of the beneficial microflora in the intestines, it is important to augment the diet with probiotics such as L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, and L. Plantarum which are naturally found in fermented foods.  Just one dose of antibiotics destroys the fragile ecosystem of microflora in our bodies, so it is important to replenish these vital microorganisms after taking a course of drugs.  Otherwise future infections may result.

According to an article in The Seattle Times, dated November 7, 2005, scientists at SeoulNationalUniversity in South Korea fed an extract of kim chi (a Korean sauerkraut containing fermented cabbage, ginger and garlic) to 13 chickens infected with avian flu, and one week later, 11 of the birds stared to recover. This finding clearly demonstrates the power of fermented foods.

Periodic internal cleansing is also essential for a strong immune system.  Cleansing the colon and detoxifying the liver rejuvenates the entire system.  Enemas and colonics are an excellent adjunct to this process.  In fact, enemas are the quickest way to reduce a fever since this eliminates the buildup of toxins that the body is attempting to burn off.

Natural immune enhancers are Echinacea, Astragalus, Ginseng, Cordyceps, Reishi and Maitake mushrooms, Pau d’arco, beta glucans, systemic enzymes and Vitamin C to name a few.  Raw bovine colostrum (also available in capsules) is an excellent immune strengthener, rich in antibodies and nutrients that fight infection.  In mammals, colostrum is secreted by the breasts before the milk comes in, and is nature’s way of vaccinating the baby.

Since the deepest level of healing occurs during sleep, adequate rest is a prerequisite for building immunity.  Sufficient hydration is also essential.  We require at least half of our weight in ounces per day of purified water just to maintain health.

The pandemic spin will likely create fear in those that believe it, yet taking the time to relax and go within is what is truly called for during the winter season.  Fear and stress increase the production of cortisol which lowers immunity. Conversely, meditation, deep breathing, and positive thoughts reduce cortisol levels and enhance immunity.  Loving and nurturing oneself is essential for a strong immune system.  When we feel good about ourselves and the lives we create, our immune system responds by protecting us.