Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2008

Here’s to no more sniffles

February 21, 2008

Anybody around here got the sniffles?

Here lately almost every topic of conversation has been about the "common cold" or "flu-like symptoms." No one escapes completely. As long as we keep interacting with people, it has a tendency to spread.

According to one theory, solar flare activity affects influenza outbreaks on Earth. Solar flare activity increases high-altitude ozone, which, in turn, absorbs more solar radiation and so decreases the amount of ultraviolet light that actually reaches the Earth's surface. This fluctuation produces a proportional decrease in global vitamin D status.

Norwegians, who get less sun exposure than any other Europeans, appear somewhat exempt from annual flu epidemics. The explanation is Norwegians have a diet of eating more fish and thus have the highest vitamin D level of European nations. Norwegians are light skinned so they absorb more of this vitamin from the sun. Darker-skinned people absorb less vitamin D that light-skinned people.

Everyone should strengthen their immune system all year long and not wait for "flu season." Twelve years ago my immune system was low. Since then I have studied and read about the many different ways to build it back up. The most important thing is diet. To maintain a balanced diet your body needs 20 percent acidic food and 80 percent alkaline food.

One of my favorite herbs to use with cold symptoms is Echinacea. It is a popular American wildflower and garden plant, the purple coneflower. It was among the most popular herbs used by Native American Indians. More than a dozen tribes used it for coughs, colds, sore throats, toothaches, infections, inflammations, tonsillitis, snakebites and many other maladies. It should never be used more than one week at a time.

Another herb is the astragalus root. It is widely used through the Orient as a tonic food and medicinal plant. The extracts from this root are powerful stimulators of the immune system. In Asia the roots are frequently boiled, along with other herb ingredients - and frequently some chicken broth - to produce a tonic/medicinal soup. This has been used for thousands of years in China.

You probably have your own theory, and if it works for you, stick with it. Here's to no more sniffles.

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