Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine on My Mind

A few years ago, I read the following story, which I’ve summarized from The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. With the nonstop media coverage of the Swine Flu, I went back to re-read this story and decided I want to share with you!

In the 19th century, medicine began to focus on killing germs when Louis Pasteur discovered the antibiotic effects of penicillin.

Another 19th century French scientist, Claude Bernard was also a famous medical researcher and friend of Pasteur, but he approached illness from a totally different point of view.
His focus was on the immune system of the patient and believed that keeping people’s immunity high was a much more effective approach than “killing the germ.”

Bernard’s theory led to some interesting studies. In one of them, a Russian scientist named Elie Metchnikoff and his research associates consumed cultures that contained millions of cholera bacteria – yet none of them developed cholera. Why? They had built up their bodies
immune systems so well that it defended itself against germ invaders.

Pasteur and Bernard continued a healthy debate about their different approaches to health and wellness for many years. But, as Pasteur perhaps began to see that antibiotics would be come less effective as the germs mutated and gained strength… he changed his mind. (Too late, however, to change the focus of medicine for the next century.)

In fact, on his deathbed, Pasteur said: “Bernard was right. The pathogen (germ)is nothing. The terrain i(immune system) is everything.”

Now, we come back to the topic of the day: Swine Flu. Which is currently causing semi-panic in Mexico, and a general uneasiness in the rest of the world.

Several times today I have heard or read reporters emphasize that there is no cure or vaccine to prevent the flu.

But I am wondering why no one seems to speaking of the need to begin upsizing the quality of our immune systems?

If Claude Bernard was right, then we should be focusing less on the “swine germ” and more on building up our body’s immunity.

Here’s a list of things you can do right now to help build up your immune system so that you can help protect yourself and your family from any kind of germ invader -- be it mad cow disease, bird flu, swine flu or anything else that Old MacDonald’s Farm o’ Pathogens can throw our way. And every single thing on this list is also excellent for your brain!

Take a good multivitamin with plenty of C, garlic (there are many odorless garlic pills), and astragalus, a potent immunity builder.

Drink black or green tea with honey (honey has wonderful antibiotic properties) to start your day. (Chamomile herb tea with honey in the evening to wind down your day)

Take probiotics or enjoy yogurts with active cultures like Activia or Dan Active daily.

Drink one smoothie a day (see my favorite Blueberry Smoothie recipe at the end of this post) to ensure you are getting plenty of fiber and antioxidants. (You can put your yogurt in here!) A good immune system has much to do with a healthy gut, and fiber plus probiotics are key. (Plus garlic to help keep bad stuff, like candida yeast, down.)

Sleep well and if you don’t, try melatonin or a supplement with GABA and/or magnesium in the evening to help you sleep better.

Take periodic “healing” baths -- Epsom salt or sea salt (1/2 to 1 c.) with baking soda (1/2 to 1 c.) and few drops of lavender is one of my favorite “feel better” rituals. It helps pull toxins out of your body and relaxes you for sleep.

Exercise – Oxygen is a key nutrient for the brain and body. Just walking a few minutes can have a restorative effect. I took my first yoga class today and loved it! There really is no antidepressent with all positive side effects, like exercise.

Take 10 to chill. A couple of times a day, if you can manage it… take ten minutes completely relax your body going from head to toe until you are limp. Breathe slowly and deeply. Some new studies also show that yawning, several times in a row, can be a highly effective way to both relax and restart your engines! Soft music in the back ground can facilitate relaxation, as can aromas like vanilla or lavender. (Use nontoxic candles or essential oils rather than waxy artificial candles).

If you can afford a massage --- by all means get one as a special treat now and then!

Laugh -- one comedy a day can keep the doctor away! Collect funny friends, sign up for funny emails, talk to a 3 year old… whatever floats your humor boat.

Gratitude – adopt an attitude of gratitude and positivity; just say a mental “thank you” prayer to the Creator for all the good things around you as you notice them. Positive people consistently fight off germs better than negative, complaining folk.

Nurture Relationships – a network of loving friendships and family, along with a loving marriage (with healthy sex life) is one of the best things you can do to boost your immune system. Hugging, touching, even stroking a pet builds immunity.

Follow The Joy Diet! (Plenty of fruits and veggies, healthy oils, lean meat and fish, whole grains and dairy products if you don’t have an allergy to them. Organic and fresh in season when possible. )

(Along with the above, of course, washing your hands fairly frequently is also helpful!!)

Swine Flu… Schmine Flu.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry… for tomorrow you have a lot to live for!

Becky’s Feel Better Blueberry Smoothie

1 c. orange juice
1 c. frozen blueberries
1 banana
1 dan active yogurt drink (I like vanilla)
1 emergen-c packet
1 T. protein powder( or more vanilla yogurt if you like..)
dollop of honey (has antibiotic properties)
Blend, blend, blend... should serve 2!

(Vary according to your taste....)

No comments:

Post a Comment