2004-11-12 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

Flu Prevention: An Alternative Solution
By Dr. Nancy Gahles

DR. Nancy gahles
DR. Nancy gahles Preventing an illness is always easier and less costly both in terms of time and money than treating an illness once it is full blown. This is one reason why people are enamored with the idea of vaccination. They feel somewhat assured that they will be protected from the ravages of illness. As with all types of preventive protocol, 100% efficacy cannot be guaranteed. In the case of the influenza vaccine, this is also true. New strains of the virus appear every year. Our exposure to flu virus every year is dependent upon the natural modification of bird viruses passed into the human environment. The type of virus and how it may be modified are studied by manufacturers and the government. Vaccines are then made from these anticipated viral strains.

When there is a shortage of this vaccine there exists alternative flu preventive medicines that are equally or more effective. These are homeopathic preparations of the same viral strains that are used in the flu vaccine.

One such product, DOLIVAXIL, manufactured by a French company, Dolisos, is similar to the traditional flu vaccine in that both start with a set of three government-identified flu viruses. DOLIVAXIL is made by the renowned Pasteur Institute in France, based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization. INFLUENZINUM, made by a United States pharmaceutical company, Aventis Pasteur, is this year’s flu vaccine. Washington Homeopathic Products, Inc. (www.homeopathyworks.com) has taken the vaccine Influenzinum and made a homeopathic preparation of it. Homeopathic remedies are prepared within and sold by licensed pharmacies and are FDA approved thus subject to rigorous federal regulations.

OSCILLOCOCCINUM, made by Boiron, is another homeopathic flu preventive. It is prepared from the liver of ducks or geese, the origin of the viruses that cause influenza. Clinical trials on OSCILLOCOCCINUM report decrease in duration and intensity of the flu when this remedy is taken at first signs of the flu.

Homeopathy is based on the Law of Similars. This law states that a substance known to cause a disease or illness in nature may be used to cure a similar disease in people.

Dr. Molly Punzo, M.D., Director of the Integrative Medicine Center at the University of Connecticut is an internist and a homeopath. She has direct experience in both traditional and alternative medicine and states, “The theory and practice of vaccination is based upon a like principle. We vaccinate a person with a small amount of the very substance that we are attempting to provide immunity against in case of an outbreak. There are important fundamental differences between vaccination and homeopathy. In vaccination you inject close to an exact replica of the substance (virus or bacterium) against which you are targeting immunity. Homeopathy involves administering a substance that is known, in large doses, to produce a similar (not exact) disease, thereby stimulating the healing reaction of the body against the disease. Homeopathic remedies, however, are even more diluted than the amounts injected in vaccines.The other advantages of homeopathy are that homeopathic remedies are taken by mouth rather than injected and are available to the consumer without prescription for a fraction of the cost.”

CVS, Walmart and RiteAid drug stores are carrying the Dolisos product, Dolivaxil. “CVS is carrying Dolivaxil in about half of our stores,” said Mike De Angeles, a spokesperson for the chain “Because it was a last minute add in reaction to the flu vaccine shortage, we were not able to get it into every store.” Vitamin Shop, a chain of sores carrying supplements and nutritional products, stocks Oscillococcinum all year long. Prices range from $7 to $15. Homeopathic remedies have an indefinite shelf life when stored properly and one vial can last a whole family for one season or longer. The preventive dose is usually 2-3 pellets once a month and then once a week during a flu outbreak.

Homeopathic remedies are safe for infants, children and adults of all ages. It is safe to use during pregnancy and is compatible with most conventional drugs. The best of both worlds is to be able to consult with your primary care physician and your homeopath to decide the best course of treatment should you become ill.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine is fast becoming de rigeur in the health care industry, particularly in the case of viral syndromes, where traditional or allopathic medicine has little to offer. I gave a presentation to the Integrative Medicine Center at North Shore Hospital, LIJ, last week to 65 medical doctors who were interested in becoming conversant with homeopathy in order to have dialogue with their patients and to treat integratively in the best interest of their patients, with an understanding that other modalities do work and people want to know about them.

Keep in mind that all flus are not influenza and can fall into the category of “Influenza-like” illnesses. Therefore, consultation with your primary care physician is most important. Homeopathic remedies are not herbs or nutritional supplements and while they are most effective in prevention, by your own hand, should you become ill, it is best to consult with a Certified Classical Homeopath, instead of attempting to treat yourself.

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and the Center for Disease Control is recommending the use of anti-virals as an adjunct to supporting the immune system during the flu season. For an e-pamphlet on stimulating the immune system with anti-virals, send your request to askDrNancy@aol.com.

The best flu prevention apart from the above remedies is the one I favor. Be calm in your heart. Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

May The Blessings Be!

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