In this video, Dr. Mitch Kennedy tells you how you can prevent Colds and Flu naturally!
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Flu Prevention – How to Prevent the Flu Naturally – Transcript
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Welcome to the Garden of Light health food store. My name is Dr. Mitch Kennedy. I’m a naturopathic physician here in Avon, Connecticut, and I’m also the first naturopathic physician to be credentialed to practice medicine at the University of Connecticut in Farmington. I’d like to thank Tim, the owner of the Garden of Light for allowing us to have a little get-together here. I’m a big fan of locally owned independent health food stores. I think they’re the source of health and vitality for the community. And Tim’s always been very supportive of naturopathic medicine and all different modalities, acupuncture, massage, and Reiki. So I would like to thank him publicly. And hope you all enjoy the store as well.
Tonight, we’re going to talk about the flu, and more specifically, how not to get sick with the flu. How many of you have already gotten your flu shots? No. Okay.
The flu this year has gotten more media hype than usual. Usually, flu season starts around September and extends through March. And the media picks it up. It’s in all the newspapers, on the radio shows, and on the TV and everybody is saying “get your flu shots”.
What we’re seeing with these viruses is a rapid amount of mutation and changes that have rendered these very expensive drugs practically ineffective. So it’s hard to say if this is really an overreaction or not because on the one hand, you’ve got all the hype. And on the other hand, you’ve got this diminishing effectiveness of conventional medications.
If we look historically, at great epidemics of flu, like in 1918… Does anybody remember that, or do grandparents remember that? That was a worldwide pandemic, meaning it went all the way around the world. About 50% of the world’s population at the time actually came down with the flu. One out of every two people in the world in 1918 was sick with this flu, it was called the Spanish flu.
And it resulted in 678,000 deaths here in the United States. So it was quite a serious event. And Worldwide, there were between 50 and 100 million people killed as a result of this flu. And that flu affected not the elderly, which is the common demographic that dies from the common flu, but the people from the ages of 20 to 45.
Interestingly enough, the swine flu affects that same demographic. The Centers for Disease Control in the United Nations World Health Organization knew that flu is serious, as they have lots of historical precedents. So what can we do? It feels sort of powerless when we say statistics like that, right?
Well, the fact of the matter is that even in the worst epidemics that have ever occurred on earth, for example, the plague, right, the Black Death, they say, oh, it’s really terrible. 50% of the people who got it died. Well, the contrasting side of that is 50% of the people who got it lived. Right. So what was different about them?
Why did these people survive? What we know is that in naturopathic medicine, we focus on the vitality of the individual, you know, making sure that we have everything our bodies need to protect ourselves and keep our immune system at its peak, and be able to recognize viruses and kill them as they come in.
Also, something that wasn’t around during the time of the plague was good hygiene, right? Luckily, we don’t have rats running around too much anymore.
What we’re going to do today is go down through a list of basically two broad categories one is strengthening the immune system and two is avoiding stressors that depress your natural system. So what’s the first thing you can do?
The first basic thing has to do with food. Does anybody know? Don’t eat sugar. Why? Why? Just plays havoc with your immune system. It actually stuns your white blood cells and makes them unable to respond to foreign bodies like viruses and bacteria. For a period of time. So the more white sugar, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and other things that interact with the immune system that you take in the longer that those cells are not going to be able to respond.
And if you also happen to be exposed to somebody who has the flu or is sick, you’re more likely to pick it up and have it multiply in your body. So the first thing is, to make sure that you’re limiting your sugar intake. Now fruits are a different story. Fruit has a different kind of sugar that’s a little bit more metabolizable in more easily taken into the body and doesn’t have quite the same effect as say corn syrup does.
Do we all need a multivitamin? Yes. Guess why? The foods we’re eating now don’t have the same nutrients and the environmental stressors we’re under are placing greater stress on our bodies than at any other time. I believe that to be true. I believe that the way we currently raise our food as an industrial crop rather than as a true connection to nature, deep in our practices of using synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides actually damaged the antioxidants and the other nutrients in the food that would protect us and protect the plant itself.
Also, we’re exposed to more chemicals now than we’ve ever been exposed to, chemicals that even interact with our hormones, can affect us at very large and very broad levels, and can even affect a developing fetus, which is something that typically hasn’t been the case in the recent past.
There are a number of things that we need vitamins for to detoxify our bodies. Whenever we take these chemicals into our body, whether we inhale them, or we drink them, or we eat them intentionally or accidentally, our liver is the organ that’s detoxifying those chemicals and trying to get them out by breaking them down.
So if we don’t have our B vitamins, our C vitamins, or antioxidants, we’re not going to have that raw material, those base chemicals that we need in order to run the liver.
So that’s the basic reason why everybody should be taking a good quality multivitamin. What’s a good quality multivitamin? It comes in a capsule, right? Because capsules are more easily broken apart than tablets, tablets, or hard compressed objects. Tablets have coatings on the outside like waxes and finishes to keep them from chipping. And that keeps your body from getting at what’s inside. They also tend to have fillers and things to hold the tablet together. And that also keeps the body from getting at what’s inside.
Whereas the capsules are filled with loose powders that dissolve very quickly. The only thing better is a liquid.
Good multivitamins contain vitamins that are bioavailable, which means being in a format that’s easily broken down and taken into the body and into circulation and used by the different parts of your body.
In a nutshell, get a multivitamin that you might pay a little bit extra for. Because in this current environment and regulatory environment, there isn’t a lot of control over quality. You want to get your supplements from a locally owned health food store if you can. Big-box vitamin companies generally spend a lot more on their marketing and a lot less on their product’s quality.
Should children take a multivitamin too? Yes, I believe so. Because they’re developing and yet they’re also exposed to the same things we’re exposed to. In fact, children being so much closer to the ground are exposed to higher concentrations than adults who are up a little bit higher. So for example, car exhaust, diesel exhaust, pesticides, all those things are far more concentrated down at ground level kids get down on the ground they roll around.
What’s another big key to staying healthy? Something you’re all going to like – sleep! You want to get eight hours a night, eight hours of good sleep, not just go to bed at 10 and wake up at six but have trouble falling asleep. You want to get into bed early enough so that you’re asleep for eight hours.
And if you need to have something to do beforehand, like read or do yoga or stretch, listen to music, by all means, do it but don’t let it cut into that eight hours. You want to have good sleep hygiene You know, sleep hygiene is a dark, quiet room. It’s a place where you’re not doing other things. So you can’t have your bed in your office. That’s not good. It’s not good to be in a room with a lot of other activities going on. So even the TV many times is a distraction. A lot of people that come into my office to see me, they say, oh, yeah, I sleep fine. I sleep fine. I said, do you sleep with a partner? And they say, Yeah, this is what does your partner sleep fine. Now, my partner snores all the time. Do you watch TV? Yeah, I watch TV, I fall asleep with a TV.
All that noise, the snoring, and the noise of the TV are playing in the background while you’re trying to sleep. And it’s disrupting your sleep rhythms. So if you don’t wake up feeling refreshed in the morning, you’re not getting either enough sleep or the right kind of sleep. This is very common, about 85% of the American populace is sleep deprived.
Now let’s say we’re looking down this aisle of the store here. What’s another thing we might want to avoid during a flu season or if we start to get sick? Dairy, yes, I love cheese. I love milk. I love yogurt. But the darn stuff creates mucus. And a lot of sinus problems can be traced back to the consumption of dairy.
A lot of food allergies are related to skin problems. And the more mucus you have in your body, the harder it is for your lymphatic system to move all the gobbled-up virus particles that your white blood cells are taking care of. And so things get sluggish and congested. And then you can’t breathe, right? And so then you’re not getting the oxygen in that you need. And it sort of becomes a chain reaction.
So cutting out dairy for a part of the year may be a good thing and might help you clear your head so to speak.
Now, some other things. Have any of you ever heard of Ginseng? What about Astragalus? What about Rhodiola or Ashwagandha? These are all adaptogens, along with Reishi, Maitake, and Cordyceps. These are mushrooms that are adaptogens. These are all products of the earth of nature that have very complicated chemicals. They’re called adaptogens. They’re basically complicated sugar particles.
They work with your immune system to increase the activity of certain white blood cells, the white blood cells that are most responsible for attacking things, killing them, and breaking them down. There’s a lot of research in Japan and Asia about things like ginseng and the mushroom family. In India, there’s a lot of research on ashwagandha. In Russia and Siberia, there’s a lot of research done on Rhodiola. So there are all sorts of adaptogens all over the world that people have been using for centuries. And we can make use of them during the cold and flu season to heighten our immune response and to head things off.
We can also take vitamin D supplements. How much vitamin D should you have? 50,000 international units, is the prescription dose. It’s usually given by prescription for a short period of time. Vitamin D is one of my favorite vitamins.
There are eight types of cancer that it can prevent that we know of. It prevents high blood pressure, strengthens bones, and prevents the wintertime blues. Not too many people know that. But that’s the other thing it does. And now recent research shows it’s also antiviral. That’s the reason why I mentioned it today.
What’s a good dose? First, get yourself a blood test because there are some people who do have adequate levels and don’t need to supplement.
The normal range according to most labs is anywhere from 30 to 100. I like to see it at 70 and the reason I like to see it at 70 is the research done to prevent cancers like prostate, ovarian In breast, lung, and colon cancer, what they see is significant inhibition of cancers at 70.
So what we want to do is get tested, and see what our levels are. And then I usually put people on about 1000 to 2000 international units a day from September 1 to May 1.
The next thing is you want to be happy. Why do you want to be happy? Endorphins, you are smart, you get the gold star for the day.
The happier you are, the more serotonin you have, the more positive outlook you have on life, and the more beneficial impact that has on the immune system. You can actually pep up your immune system by being happy.
Some of you might know the stories and the studies of people who have had cancer and sat in front of comedy shows on the TV for hours and hours. And Bernie Siegel talks about this. A lot of other notorious cancer treatment advocates will talk about using humor to help you when you’re sick. And it really does, there are clinical studies that actually study people who’ve laughed a lot and have been happy and how their immune system works. So be happy.
That also has to do with how you manage your stress. Because you can’t lead a stress-free life, it’s impossible, all you can do is learn how to manage it better. So if you have a spiritual practice, that’s great, that provides you solace, if you have a yoga practice or Tai Chi practice, or qi gong or some other martial arts or you like swimming or you like biking or Tibo, whatever it is, find something that makes you happy that you enjoy doing, and do that as a stress relief and stress management tool.
That brings up exercise, which isn’t on my list, but I’m going to mention it anyway. When you exercise, you increase your circulatory rate, right? Blood starts pumping faster. Remember what I said about the liver? The liver is a big filter. And in order for the liver and the lymph system to work, stuff has to go through it. If you’re sitting around all day, is it moving very quickly? Are you filtering very well? Not so much.
Yes, of course even when you are just sitting, your blood does pump, it does go around. But really, when you get your circulation moving at a more rapid rate, and the heart’s really pumping, you’re increasing the pressure behind the liver and it’s filtering at a better rate. So that would be another reason to exercise.
Wash your hands
The next one, I bet everybody knows. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. You start to see signs all over the place. They’ve done studies, do you know what the national average is for health care practitioners in terms of the percentage that actually wash their hands between one patient and the next? Only 20% do!
Every treatment room in a clinic should have a sink in it. If it doesn’t, the doctor should come in with a towel in his hands, you know, because you’re not supposed to touch doorknobs either, right?
The sanitary gel is usually an alcohol-based gel so that it dries. I’ve looked into soap and water versus gel. And the studies show that soap and water are better. Yeah. When we were in medical school, we were doing cadaver lab, which is you know what you do for anatomy. We were told to sing the whole happy birthday song while we wash our hands. And if you wash your hands for that length of time, you’re really going to cover all the surfaces and you’re really going to get it as clean as you need to get.
What other things do you have to keep clean? Anything you touch, like doorknobs, pens, phones. A lot more of these virus particles are actually transmitted by touch in direct contact. Then, through respiratory inhalation. Obviously, when you cough you want to cover your mouth, if you sneeze, cover your face. But wiping your hands on your face is one of the main ways these particles get into your body. You’d be surprised how long these particles can survive outside the body. And that brings up the last thing.
If you’re sick, stay home.
If you’re sick, stay home – contain yourself. It’s been in the news recently, there’s a group at a college up in New Hampshire where the kids didn’t stay in their room. They got everybody else in the whole area sick.
Okay, this is the standard flu, we’re talking about not the Swine flu, or Covid-19. So what about the flu vaccine? Here’s my take on it. For the last four out of five years, they’ve chosen the wrong strain of the flu vaccine. And so the vaccine hasn’t provided protection. So that’s the first thing.
The second thing is it has egg in it. So if you’re allergic to eggs, you can’t take the vaccine. Thirdly, it’s preserved these days either with a Thimerisol, which is a mercury-based preservative, or aluminum, which is not good to be injected into your body either.
And finally, if you are compromised in some way, immune-compromised, or excessively rundown, if you have chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, and you challenge the body with a vaccine, many of these people will respond very poorly, and actually become ill from the vaccine.
So the type of people that come to my office tend to be more sensitive to chemicals and tend to be more compromised in their health. And so as a result, I have other alternatives for them.
One is homeopathic which is made from the actual vaccine. And that’s made by a French company Boiron. I don’t own stock, there’s nothing in it for me to mention the name other than that, it’s the only one I know of. It’s available at most health food stores also. The company’s name is Boiron. It’s called Influenzinum, and it costs less than $10.
Because it is made from the actual vaccine, a new Influenzinum comes out every year. It’ll be coming out on October 16.
The other thing that is extremely useful if you do happen to come in contact with someone who’s sick and you feel like you’re getting the flu is another product by that same company called Oxylacoxinum, which is also carried at health food stores.
It’s made from the homeopathic remedy of duck liver. Yes, duck liver. For children, I mean, I worry about what’s safe for children. Is homeopathy safe for children? Yes, homeopathy has a long history of over 200 years being used. It’s very safe for children. It’s actually one of the main things I use with children. Do I use a reduced dosage? No, typically not, because it’s not it’s an energetic medicine rather than a biochemical medicine.
I think I have just one last thing to say. And then we’ll take some more questions.
In closing, the flu is something that’s been around for a long, long time. And if you are susceptible to it, and you come in contact with someone who has had it, yes, you have an excellent likelihood of becoming sick.
For some people, it can be a very dangerous situation. Those people who are in communal living situations like dorms, rest homes, nursing homes, people who work in hospital facilities, and are treating people who have respiratory ailments, are all situations where it may be safer to get a vaccine when you counter the risk of the preservative against the benefit of the vaccine.
Because in those environments, it’s very easy to spread the virus around to susceptible people. So that’s sort of the conventional philosophy. And I believe that to some degree that needs to be honored because that’s where conventional medicine is practiced and in inpatient facilities where there are a lot of people where things could spread very quickly.
You know, all that’s why we keep having flu problems is because the flu strains keep mutating. They shift a little bit one way or the other, and that’s all it takes.
Here’s a recap:
Cut down or eliminate your sugars because sugar stuns white blood cells. Take a high-quality multivitamin every day because you need those B vitamins and antioxidants. Create time to rest and sleep and get eight hours of good sleep in a good sleep environment. Avoid dairy when you feel symptoms coming on or if you prefer avoid dairy for the entire flu season. There are plenty of alternatives, by the way, there’s soy milk, rice, milk, hemp milk, almond milk, oat milk, all sorts of milk substitutes, and fake cheese and fake yogurt and fake ice cream, so you don’t really have to go lacking anymore. You know coconut ice cream, it’s just gotten really quite diverse.
Take an adaptogen. The adaptogens are ginseng, astragalus and ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and all the mushrooms reishi, maitake, shiitake, and Coriolis. All of those help build the immune system and support the adrenal glands. Check your vitamin D levels and get on vitamin D. Don’t forget to be happy, as happiness helps the immune system function better. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands and watch your doctor wash her/his hands. Clean your doorknobs. If you share a desk with someone at work, make sure that the desk gets cleaned. If you get sick, stay home, don’t spread it around. That’s pretty straightforward. And, you know, if you want to do something naturally, through a homeopathic vaccine, I would suggest that you look into that.
What do you suggest to clean our doorknobs? Soap and water? Yeah, that’s what I use, or some of the natural cleaners. Yeah, there’s no need to get involved with heavy-duty chemicals. It’s just a virus. You can use tea tree citrus or you can use Dr. Bronner’s. There are lots of good ones out there. Yep, the website healwithnature.com.
Thank you very much. We appreciate your coming out. Bet a great audience. Phew, that was a lot of information. But we boiled it all down for you into a free checklist which is in the show notes down below. And by clicking on the discount link you’ll get a 15% discount on Physician Quality supplements and support us and making more videos for you. We thank you in advance for your support.