It’s that time of year again! Flu vaccine season. Every drug store and many of the discount super stores have a promotion going for you to get your flu shot. Chances are your healthcare practitioner is also giving out flu shots like candy. That is, unless they are a holistic practitioner. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are offering flu vaccines to their workers. By offering, I mean using tactics that are bordering on bullying.
More recently, the Western medical community has turned to intimidation tactics by telling their workers that if they don’t get the flu shot, they will have to wear a mask. Ah well, my opinion is, if you don’t want the flu vaccine, wear the mask. It is your body. Flu vaccines are still a choice.
What is a flu vaccine? Are there side effects?
The flu vaccine that is injected contains the dead virus. The vaccine that is administered as a nasal mist contains the live, weakened influenza virus. The type of flu vaccine that you receive will protect you against certain strains of influenza, not all strains. The strain of flu that is circulating in your area will, hopefully, match the flu vaccine you get.
Not everyone who gets a flu shot has side effects; however, it is important to know what they are so that you can make your decision for or against getting vaccinated. The side effects can be mild or severe, as with any medication. The mild side effects range from pain at the injection site to dizziness or headaches. The more severe side effects are allergic reactions such as, hives, swelling, inability to breathe to a neurological condition called Guillian-Barre Syndrome which requires hospitalization.
Natural alternatives can be more effective than the main-stream flu vaccine. These alternatives target the total immune system, strengthening your body to fight off all viruses, not just influenza. These natural alternatives are also safe for those who cannot take the flu vaccine.
My own choices for the prevention of influenza are: echinacea tincture, elderberry syrup, and vitamin C rich foods. The echinacea tincture and elderberry syrup I make myself (and will soon be available in my Etsy shop, The Enchanted Leaf). I take one dose of each, twice daily just before and during flu season.
The vitamin C rich foods are a part of my everyday diet. Aside from the usual citrus fruits and juices,. Your choices can include: Peppers, both hot and sweet peppers are loaded with vitamin C. Kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts are all rich with this immune system booster. If you want to add fruits, choose from kiwi, papaya, strawberries, cantaloupe, and guava.
Herbs can also add to your Vitamin C intake, just add parsley and thyme to the foods you already prepare. Rosehips are also loaded with Vitamin C, this makes a great relaxing and warming tea for those cold winter days (and nights).
You can guard against the flu without getting a flu shot or nasal mist. Although many flu vaccine proponents say that there is nothing really dangerous about the flu vaccine, you still have a choice. That choice does not have to include getting a shot or getting the flu. Now, for those who work in a healthcare environment, you may have the choice of getting the shot or wearing a mask. If you feel strongly about not putting the influenza virus into your system, put the mask on and take of your health naturally!