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Flu Influenza Virus
Naturopathic Medicine Treatment
Interview with Dr. Patti Kim, ND

Treat The Flu Influenza Virus with Naturopathic Medicine
Natural Medicine effectively stops the flu (influenza) and prevents it from returning (on a regular basis) by helping to create a strong immune system. 

In this interview with Dr. Patti Kim, ND (Naturopathic Doctor), we learn: 

1) Using conventional drugs will cause side effects, and drugs don’t actually help the body heal, or prevent the Flu from coming back; 

2) That the Influenza virus is around us at all times and that what prevents us from getting sick is a strong immune system, not absence of the virus;

3) That a fever is a very important immune response that kills pathogenic bacteria and viruses and it speeds blood flow and detoxification, so if we lower it synthetically with drugs, we’re lowering our body’s ability to heal itself, 

4) That there are quite a few things we can do to boost our immune system so it can dispatch the virus on its own, including:

a) Getting enough sleep

b) Drinking enough water

c) Eating light foods to conserve energy (so more is available for immune response)

d) Taking potent supplements, like Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea, Hydrastis, Berberis, Elderberry, Osha (sore throat), Yerba Sante (cough), Usnea, Garlic and Olive Leaf because they all help stimulate immune system

e) Using Homeopathic Remedies, like Aconite for fever, chilliness towards evening, hot, swollen, anxiety, restlessness; Bryonia for weakness and exhaustion, intermittent fever, dry throat, headache from opening eyes in morning; and Eupatorium for bone ache, fever with little perspiration. 

When we boost our immune system by adopting natural living principles and using natural medicine, we can expect to lessen the number of times per year we get the Flu, if at all. 

5) Dr. Kim recommends that if someone gets the Flu on a regular basis that she or he visit a Naturopathic Doctor to get a full assessment and individualized treatment plan.

Flu Symptoms
The flu is a respiratory illness, which is caused by the influenza virus, and common symptoms—which actually can come on pretty suddenly—include fever and chills. You can have headache or body aches are very common. You can even have digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

Conventional Treatment for the Flu - Over the Counter Medications
So when somebody has the flu, there are a couple of options as far as conventional treatment: someone might choose to go to the drugstore and pick up an over-the-counter medication, and this could include something like Advil—which could help reduce a fever and help with symptoms like body aches and headache—or a decongestant like Sudafed, which would help with symptoms like cough and congestion, nasal discharge. The problem with these types of medications and conventional medical treatments is that it’s not really addressing the root cause; it’s really just putting a band-aid on your symptoms, and the way that you would know this is that once you stop taking the medication, your fever would come back, or your body aches would return, and you would have to take the medication again.

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Conventional Medical Treatment for the Flu - A Medical Doctor
Another option for treating the flu is visiting your conventional medical doctor, and he or she may choose to prescribe you an antiviral, such as Tamiflu, and the function of Tamiflu is to actually kill and attack the virus. However, this doesn’t really treat the root cause of what’s going on, and it can have some nasty side effects, which include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cause of the Flu: Weak Immune System
So people tend to think that we catch the flu because a big dark flu cloud comes over us, but really, that flu cloud is around all the time, and we catch the flu when our immune system becomes susceptible. And we can weaken our immune system by things like poor nutrition and diet, eating foods that we’re intolerant to or allergic to, lack of sleep, and most commonly, stress.

The Purpose of a Fever
So one of the symptoms that can happen when we get the flu is a fever, and the fever is an immune response that actually plays a really important role when we get sick. The fever elevates our temperature and this helps to kill pathogenic bacteria and viruses. And also, it increases our metabolism, which enhances our thyroid function. Also, the elevated temperature speeds everything up so that more blood is filtered throughout our liver and our lymphatic system to that our body can naturally filter out toxins, bacteria, and viruses. So as you can see, the fever plays a really important role and if we take drugs or medication to lower that fever, we’re really suppressing our body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Naturopathic Medicine: Flu Symptoms
When someone with the flu comes to see me, the first thing I’m going to do is ask about their symptoms—because the same flu virus can actually cause different symptoms in different people. I’m going to ask about sleep, appetite, if you have a fever or a headache, when these symptoms came on, how long you’ve had them—and based on these symptoms, I will create an appropriate treatment plan.

The Immune System and The Flu
The immune system is quite remarkable, and it’s designed to be able to get rid of the flu virus on its own. So my goal in treating a patient is to strengthen the immune system. I do this through things like nutritional supplements, herbal supplements, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, hydrotherapy, and homeopathy.

Naturopathic Medicine Treatment for the Flu
One of the most important treatments for the flu is sleep. It sounds so simple but many of us don’t even get enough sleep as it is on a day-to-day basis, let alone when we’re sick with the flu. Sleep is the body’s time to heal and repair itself, so it’s really important that we get enough of it, and most particularly when we have the flu.

Pure Water for the Flu
Another really simple but effective treatment is drinking enough filtered water—water is used to flush out toxins in the body and we should be drinking about half our body weight in ounces, especially when we’re sick.

Organic Food for the Flu
Another lifestyle treatment is diet: I recommend to my patients eating very simple foods when you have the flu. Digestion takes up a lot of energy from the body, so when we’re sick we want to give the body a little bit of rest, and we want to eat simple organic foods that are easy to digest. And these include foods like vegetable soups and rice porridges.

Nutritional Supplements for the Flu
I might also prescribe some nutritional supplements, and these include things like vitamin C—this helps to enhance the immune system and also helps to break up congestion and phlegm. And you can take about 1000 milligrams—maybe 2-3 times a day. I also recommend vitamin A, which is an antiviral, and also helps with the health of the mucous membranes, and you can do about 10,0000 IUs of vitamin A.

Herbs for the Flu
I like to also prescribe botanical supplements (herbs): I like immune-enhancing herbs like Echinacea, Goldenseal, Elderberry—all these help to stimulate the immune system. Some specific herbs to help with cough are Yerba Santa. Another great herb is Osha—that might help with the sore throat.

Homeopathic Remedies for the Flu
I also prescribe some homeopathics and some examples of homeopathics that I use are Aconite—this is for when you have the flu and have some fever and chills, but also some anxiety and restlessness. Another example of a homeopathic remedy is Bryonia and this could be for a flu where you have a lot of dryness—dry skin, dry cough, dryness of the mucous membranes—and another example is Eupatorium. This is great for a flu that’s accompanied with a lot of bone ache or muscle aches, or deep aches in the body.

Naturopathic Doctor for the Flu
If someone tends to get the flu on a regular basis, I recommend that they see a naturopathic doctor because a naturopathic doctor will help strengthen the immune system and help the immune system work more efficiently, and this will help prevent future bouts of the flu.

Interview with Dr. Patti Kim, ND

Also See: Dr. Angela Agrios, ND Naturopathic Doctor Health Series