Friday, October 23, 2009

Natural Remedies for Flu Season

It is flu season, and the swine flu is what most of us are concerned with. It's what I'm concerned with.

My husband goes to college, but it's not filled with the usual snot nosed kids. It's a commuter college and most students are adults.

My husband works at Walmart. He is on "maintenance." That's a fancy name for a janitor. He takes out trash and cleans bathrooms. He handles the dirty stuff at Walmart. He uses lots of chemicals and washes his hands frequently, but I am still concerned.

We're an anti-vaccination family, and I know we're not the only one. Some people don't want the H1N1 vaccine because it hasn't been around long enough to be tested thoroughly. Others are skeptical about the list of ingredients. And some believe vaccines are part of a larger conspiracy to sterilize our children. Regardless, if you're not going to be vaccinated, you will still want to protect yourself.

So, here's what we do.

Wash Our Hands

This is the cheapest and most effective defense.

Raw Garlic

Garlic is anti-viral and it will stimulate your immune system. I have two sets of midwives: my birth day midwives and my local post-partum midwives. I asked both for advice about the swine flu and both said garlic will be just as effective as some of the more expensive herbal remedies. In order to get the most healing power from garlic, it needs to be consumed within 15 minutes of being chopped or crushed. I found a tip for kids and husbands: put the garlic in applesauce.

Vitamin C

Food with naturally high amounts of Vitamin C are immunity boosters and can even work as an antiviral defense. Oranges, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes are all excellent and cheap sources of Vitamin C.


A high quality echinacea will boost your immune system to fight an infection. We always have echinacea tea on hand, but it takes much higher doses to make a difference in your immune system. This is more of an add-on for us.

There are many other remedies out there, andrographis, elderberry syrup, olive leaf extract, that you can look into. They are all more expensive than more basic herbs and remedies, so we aren't going to go that route, but they are beneficial.

Helpful Resources:
Three Herbal Healers
Foods for preventing A/H1N1 flu
How to Avoid Getting The H1N1 Flu Virus
Flu Season is Coming! Are You Ready?
7 Cheap and Natural Ways to Fight the Cold and Flu
How to Prevent H1N1 Flu Naturally
Boost Immunity and Beat H1N1 From The Inside Out


Devon said...

For us, with a respiratorily compromised child, it is far more dangerous for us NOT to get the vaccine, so vaccinate we will. in addition, I am a Germ-X junkie. But I am also looking for alternative prevention methods...I have been taking zinc and echinacea to that end.

I can't wait for this swine flu nonsense to be over!!

Anonymous said...

We are at the very tail end of having H1N1 run through our family. All 6 of our kids got it. Me, the 7 month pregnant mama did not. I know it was first the protection of God and many people praying for my baby and me but I also was religiously drinking emergen-c, taking liquid silver, elderberry, and eating GOOD foods. No sugar or garbage. 2 of our kids got the secondary infections which required hospital visits. The most scary thing about this flu to me was how fast it hit and then how varied the kids would feel throughout the days. They would say they felt better and my heart would have a bit of relief for them and then BAM out of nowhere again they were going downhill. It was a 2 1/2 week roller coaster ride for sure. As scary as some of those moments were, there is NO way I would vax our kids or myself. We don't vax period.

Rache said...

Interesting post. Like devon, my son had a compromised respiratory stysem, so it is recommended he be vaccinated. They are going through the schools, starting with elementary, but it looks like they may run out before they reach the high schools.

Personally I feel that vaccinating does more good than harm. I am older than most of the moms who comment on this blog. I had mumps, measles, lots of pneumonia and flu. It was commom at that time. By the time my kids came along these diseases had all but disappeared due to vaccinations. I know that many people hold the belief that this can cause autism. But what other objections do you have to having your children vaccinated?

Carla said...

We are a non vaccinating family. It's not something I tell people IRL or even put on my blog since a lot of family and friends read it. I had a bad reaction to it as did my son so I will not put my kids at further risk. My 5yoDD who has never had a vax in her life is the healtiest of us all. Some of our reasons are religious and some are scientific. I did a ton of research when it first became an issue for us 7 years ago.

I feel there is a lot of fearmongering over vax's and this H1N1. Here on the news everyday there is something different. It may turn out to be a huge deal, it may not.

It's funny as yesterday while waiting for my son's ultrasound I was overhearing some people talk. After listing all the shots her kid had and the massive list of aflictions her child had in a short period of time, her friend was agog. He said what's wrong with kids now a days is they don't build up any natural immunity, they don't get out and play in the dirt, they are so sanitized that they have no natural defenses when there are illnesses going around. I think there is some truth in it (not the total solution of course). I think diet is another key issue. I eat a lot of raw garlic and swig a glug of raw local ACV daily as well as eat a healthy diet.

Scottish Twins said...

I vaccinate for just about everything except flu, chicken pox and rotavirus. But, I only do one shot at a time, split the combo shots, and space them out at least every 2 weeks. My kids don't even get a fever when they get a shot.

As you know, I am very anti-Western medicine for the most part, but vaccines are one of those necessary evils for me. I weigh the pros and cons of each and do what I think is best for my kids. What are the risks of getting the vaccine vs. the risks of catching the disease? For me, chicken pox, flu and rotavirus are lower risk than the other shots.

I also have some family members that were Christian Science growing up and were not vaccinated as children. They ended up catching diseases as adults - measles and mumps - and were lucky to come out of it alive and still able to have children. Most people are not so lucky.

By not vaccinating my kids for the flu though, I realize that I put my kids at risk every time we leave the house during flu season. I think as an anti-vax parent you have to be responsible. I don't bring my kids to a daycare or even let them in the church nursery during flu season because of this. It isn't fair to my kids or the other kids who could possibly be exposed because I choose not to vaccinate.

Do you do similar things Emily? How do you feel about putting other kids at risk because you choose not to vax?

But thanks for the tips!

Captain Cleavage said...

It isn't that they belive it causes autism but that it triggers it. IE A child is already born prediposed to autism and due to the stuff in the vaccines it triggers it to develop at an increased speed. I of course could be wrong but this is what I have found in my reaserch.

My Mid-wife told me not to get the swin-flu vaccine but did tell me to get the regular flu vacc. which I did. It all depends on the medical person you go to and doing what is best for your family :)

I'm Lori...and maybe I'm you, too. said...

I have no problem with someone whose kids aren't in daycare and who will be homeschooling declining vaccinations. It's when someone has their children interact with other kids that it becomes sticky for me. I have a cousin whose daughter is blind because of measles she got from an unvaccinated kid at daycare before she was old enough for her MMR.
There are plenty of good, plausible theories about vaccination. There are lots of good questions that could make someone skeptical of the process for your kids. But if you decide not to vaccinate, I think you need to limit your kids' interaction with other kids, particularly kids under 2, so that you aren't making medical decisions that will impact someone else's family.

I'm Lori...and maybe I'm you, too. said...

Captain Cleavage - The autism-trigger research has been discounted. The study author has admitted he manipulated his data because he was planning on marketing his own "safe" version of the MMR.

Anonymous said...

Scottish twins -

If people vaccinating their child, then why would it matter if they are exposed to a non-vaxed child's germs? To answer your question, no we don't vaccinate, and yes, I still bring my children out in public. We wash our hands, cough/sneeze into a tissue or our elbows, and generally practice good hygiene. If anything, my unvaxed kids are at risk of getting sick from kids shedding the live (nasal spray) h1n1 vaccine.

Emily said...

Scottish Twins and Lori, I agree that there is a degree of putting other kids in danger with no vax. It's not a big issue for us, as my kids don't go to daycare and our church encourages families to keep kids in the service.

Jen said...

If vaccinations truly provide immunity as they claim, then unvaccinated children do not put vaccinated kids at risk. Period. Otherwise, those vaccinations aren't so effective after all, huh?

Vaccinations have been linked to many other horrible things besides autism. SIDS and death come to mind. A family friend's 2 month old son died of SIDS back in the early 70's. When I was researching vaccines, I asked my aunt if the mother ever had any suspicions about why he died. I had not said ONE WORD about why I was asking (vaccination research), but she immediately told me that he had just had his shots, and the mom always knew in her gut that's why he died. The 2yo nephew of my sister's co-worker died following his 24 month shots. They gave him all the regular vaccinations plus flu, and one other he was behind on AT ONCE. He was dead within 24 hours, and the death was ruled "natural causes". Finally, most cases of diseases for which vaccines are available are caused by the vaccinations themselves. Research it.

I will not further vaccinate my 2yo son. His 2 month shots were his last. The risk is simply too high, and not worth it. I get those gut feelings as a mother too, and I heed them. I worry about his exposure to kids who have been recently vaccinated, and are shedding virus.

Jen said...

Scottish twins: there are people who are imminucompromised that cannot receive vaccines that contain live virus (I believe the MMR is one) and there are people who cannot receive vaccines because of severe reactions to the ingredients. Then there are the children simply not old enough to have received one.

I respect a persons choice to not vaccinate, but lets not pretend that these disesases are not serious and that what makes not vaxing a viable choice is that most people do vaccinate. I know people who survived polio and mumps and measles and are much much worse because of it. You won't be able to convince them that wide spread vaccination isn't a good thing.

I don't normally get the flu vaccine either, but I am the only one in my house at a higher risk because of asthma. Last year though I worked at a daycare, and I did get the flu vax and if I were still working there I would get it again this year.

If you don't get the flu vax, or even if you do for that matter, please stay home when you are sick. There is nothing worse than someone fighting through it and acting tough so they can give it to everyone they come in contact with.

Captain Cleavage said...

Thanks I'm Lori ;) I hadn't heard it had been discredited.

autumn said...

Great post and great ideas...when I was going through chemotherapy I couldn't get my updated MMR due to my immune system. We also don't do vax because of my belief that it can cause further problems down the road and one of daughter's had a horrible reaction. I don't know about the safety of them either...Look at the drugs they use to kill off other's toxic. I know chemo probably saved my life but it left me with other life long problems such as congestive heart failure!

Anonymous said...

I am a pediatric nurse practitioner and I have mixed feelings about vaccination vs. non-vaccinations, but I won't get into that here. The one thing that I do want to state is that the H1N1 vaccine is not "new", any more so than the seasonal flu vaccine is "new" every year. Each year the seasonal flu vaccine is made with new strains of flu that it protects against. The H1N1 vaccine is just another version of the seasonal flu vaccine. If the experts who make the vaccine had known in a little more time that H1N1 would be the biggest flu issue--they would have included H1N1 in the regular flu vaccine.

Scottish Twins said...

To anon -

There are some children that can't get vaccines due to certain allergies (my son's egg allergy is another reason he can't get the flu shot) or other conditions. I know some people who are unable to get MMR shots for certain medical reasons.

A perfectly healthy person not getting vaccinated is putting those people at risk, not to mention the other children who are too young to get vaccinated.

And vaccines aren't always 100%. So by allowing the disease to spread, you are still putting the vaccinated kids at risk.

Anonymous said...

People like you are the reason why disease like mumps, measels, rubela, etc. are still around. Do your children a lifelong favor and vaccinate them.

Lyn said...

Emily, your list is helpful. I would suggest for anyone though to get advice before taking supplements. Someone like myself who has immunology challenges cannot take echinacea because it "boosts" the immune system versus just supporting it.

TheZepfLife said...

Great post. I will definitely try the applesauce trick as I can't get my family to eat raw garlic.

Anonymous said...

To the people wondering why vaccinated children are at risk because of unvaccinated children, the answer is that while vaccines provide a very high rate of immunity, they are not 100%. Vaccinations greatest advantage is the creation of what is known as herd immunity. However, if a larger portion of people go unvaccinated, the risk of diseases like pertussis, mumps, etc. entering the greater population becomes far more likely.

There is also the issue of children who are not old enough to have received certain vaccinations, or complete the booster series, who are exposed due to an older child who was unvaccinated carrying the disease. This is why you have seen pocket outbreaks of measles in recent years.

It is a decision people have to make for themselves, but they have to remember that these diseases ARE serious and caused many deaths and permanent issues when they were common. My uncle suffered permanent brain damage due to the high fever he ran when he contracted pertussis (whooping cough). So while many people did contract these diseases and get better, there were many more who died or had other severe consequences.

Anonymous said...

My kids are getting the H1N1 shot this afternoon. One of my sons has asthma and we have come to the conclusion that it would be much riskier for our family not to get vaccinated. My husband and I will not be able to get vaccinated at this point, though, because we are not considered high priority.

Another thing you can do to stave off the flu is gargle with salt water a couple times a day and wash your nose out with it as well. Use a neti pot if you have one, or just cotton balls dipped in saltwater. Apparently, the germs are in your throat and nose for 2-3 days before they take hold, so it helps to flush them out with saltwater.

Jessica said...

"If vaccinations truly provide immunity as they claim, then unvaccinated children do not put vaccinated kids at risk. Period. Otherwise, those vaccinations aren't so effective after all, huh?"

Actually, the previous commenter stated clearly that it was her sister's child who was TOO YOUNG to get the vax.

Also, vaccines are not 100% effective, just like everything else in life.

However, herd immunity protects those who are unable to be vaccinated for reasons of age or medical issues.

stephanie said...

Another trick to eating raw garlic is just to cut it up into pill-sized shards, and drink it down with water, like a pill. Your body will still digest the juices when it's not chewed, though of course, chewing would be better... But if you're taking a whole clove of it, chopping it up this way makes it much easier to swallow.

I usually do a combination of putting half a lemon's juice into hot water, and sprinkling 1/2 tsp cayenne into it, and drinking it down. That, with the salt gargles, and lots of fresh ginger and garlic are enough to scare off any cold! For the ginger, I slice off a 1/2 inch or so and just slowly chew it. It's strong, but you can just suck on it like a lozenge and it will eventually dissolve.

Mommy Musings and Meditations said...

We've had swine flu in our house, and thankfully recovered without having to go to the doctor. They didn't want us to come in unless our fevers were 103 or above because it has been so rampant up here that the clinics are swamped.

Lots of grapefruits and grapefruit juice are another great source of vitamin C. That's what we've been enjoying in our house!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could get the vax. My hubby and son do. I have asthma, but also immune issues and am immune suppressed, plus had a severe reaction to the last flu vax I got 4 years ago. No more for me, but I envy those with a choice. I live like a hermit.

amulbunny said...

What about tetanus? If one of your kids steps on a rusty nail they could become very ill?

I tried to get my flu shot today but they are in short supply at the medical group I go to. Only high risk people. Maybe in 2 weeks they will have them.

My husband drinks green tea with ginseng and swears by it.

Anonymous said...

Jen - just to respond to your first paragraph...

The term vaccination is NOT the same as immunization. They are frequently used as the same thing, but even the CDC says that if your child (or you) are vaccinated against something, it does NOT mean you are immune. It just severely lessens your chances of getting whatever disease it may be.

I used to be very anti-vaccination, but now I'm just mostly confused.

We quit vaxing dd at age 2. Then I recently read "The vaccination book" by Dr. Sears and decided to get her last dtap shot because quite frankly, after reading many first hands accounts of pertussis on MDC, I decided I do NOT want my kids getting it.

I am not scared of the "d" and "t" diseases...just the "p". Unfortunately they don't offer just a pertussis vax! You HAVE to get the whole combo...which is crap, IMO.

Anyway. I just read an article in Skeptic magazine, which is a science mag, and it really made me rethink my anti-vaxing beliefs. The autism debate in particular...especially considering that autism has increased, not decreased, since thimerosal was removed from the vaccinations.

I just don't know.

Ds still hasn't received any vax's. He is getting his dtap FOR SURE next month...which is the only vax I planned on getting for him...but now, like I said, I'm freaking confused! I guess I have more reading to do.

Anyway...sorry to go off on this tangent, but that's what you get for bringing up the controversial topic of vaccinations, haha!

Anonymous said...

Jessica - herd immunity isn't something you can count on anymore. Not with so many people choosing not to vaccinate.

Anonymous said...

Vaccinations are the greatest success story of the 20th century in terms of public health. Period. End of story. These aren't made up diseases we're preventing here folks. Ever seen someone who survived childhood polio, only to have it return as an adult? Also, I think it's repugnant to count on other people to vaccinate their children so you don't have to vaccinate yours.
Finally, I think folks need to stop blindly believing every crack-pot theory about the evils or dangers of vaccinations that they read on the internet. People who do have too much time on their hands. Get your kids vaccinated.

Anonymous said...

The issue with refusing to vax your kids is that youa re taking it for granted that most everyone else has vaxed THIERS. THAT'S why kids who go unvaxed often survive without harm.
I repsect each individuals personal belief, but the facts are that if everyone decided not to vax their children, the diseases would come back just as they did before the vax existed and people, especially children would die. That's not panic or drama, it's real.
So if you make it a personal choice not to vax your kids, that is great and I respect that, but take a moment to thank the many moms and dads who DO vax, because they are a large reason your child is not getting sick.
My child will not get the H1N1 but this is because he is healthy and his pediatrician does not recommend it. But he received all his other vax and he is fine. No side effects at all.


Clisby said...

"And some believe vaccines are part of a larger conspiracy to sterilize our children."

Yep, some people have bought the one-way ticket to crazytown.

Of COURSE pharmaceutical companies want to sterilize our children. That way, they'll have way fewer customers in the future, and any sensible business wants to reduce the numbers of those pesky customers, right?

Elizabeth said...

I agree that because of the wide spread use of vaccinations I feel safer in my decision not to vaccinate my own children. If there were a large outbreak of polio or whooping cough in my area I would probably get my own children vaccinated. The problem is that vaccination does not always "take" and does give one a falso sense of security. I also think that the medical community is trying to take the vaccination too far...chickn pox?! I think the majority of us can remember our own bout with chicken pox and while unpleasant we got over it. Very few children who contact chicken pox have serious problems. What is scary is that it is the ADULTS who contact chicken pox who are in danger of something serious and so far the vaccine has some signs that it wears off by the teen years, so people are given a false sense of security. Same with whooping cough...those of you who say that those who don't vaccinate are putting your children at risk are misguided because it is proven that in many cases the whooping cough vaccine wears off by age 20 or you are just as unprotected from it as our unvaccinated children.

And the flu shot especially gives everyone a sense of security. But just from my own eyes with people in this area is that it tends to be the ones who had the shot who end up getting the flu anyway. And they say "Well, if I hadn't had the shot it would have been much worse." But the point is that they had the shot and it didn't protect them! We have never had the flu in this house (knock on wood) and have never had the shot.
It is up to each parent to do what they feel is right. But please don't say that our unvaccinated children are harmful to your children. If your children are vaccinated there should be no worries, right?!

Treva said...

I'm generally okay with vaccinations. It's one of those things where yes there are sometimes going to be those few people with adverse reactions, but I'm of the mindset that sometimes a life is lost to save many. Is it devastating? Absolutely, especially when it's a child. But I am of the opinion that it is worse to lose masses of people. And as sad as it is, people are meant to die. We die young, we die old, we die without warning, we die years after a diagnosis and it hurts the same no matter what, but I'd rather lose 100 people to a tested vaccine and save thousands or millions, than to lose millions of people to a disease.

I don't know if DD will get the H1N1 vaccine. I really don't. Supposedly we'll get permission slips so they can be administered in school, but I've not seen them yet. But even when it gets here I'm still undecided at this point. My hesitation stems from the very short (21 day) research testing they did on it. Really? 21 days to test a brand new drug. That seems lacking to me.

Vanessa said...

As a front-line health care worker, I cannot stress enough how important it is to do real and thorough research when it comes to vaccines, and health care in general. So many people say "I've read tons of stuff", but they cannot answer a simple question about vaccines, nor can they name any credible source. Jenny McCarthy's passion does not equal the kind of reliable information you should base any kind of decision on in the real world.

Additionally, it is important to note that a flu vaccine protects against influenza, the rare and horrible disease that most people will only experience a few times in your life. It does nothing to protect against, colds, respiratory infections, gastro-bugs, Norwalk, food poisoning, "24 hour flu", and the rest.

With regards to eating "superfoods" or immunity boosters such as garlic, Vit.C, etc..., it is important to note that the best thing for overall good health, and thus good immunity, is to eat a very well rounded diet, with a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. There is no such thing as a miracle or superfood on their own.

Clisby said...


It's well known that protection from some vaccines can fade - that's why booster shots are recommended. (In case your doctor hasn't mentioned it to you, you should be getting a tetanus booster at least every 10 years.) As far as I can see, the only reasons for a false sense of security are (1) the person never sees a doctor; (2) the person pays no attention to what the doctor says; (3) the doctor is incompetent.

Anonymous said...

In the United States, the MMR vaccine was licensed in 1971. There is scientific evidence that autism was around long before that - at the same prevalence rate it's at today, according to this study that came out a few weeks ago:

We just didn't understand autistic spectrum disorders for a very long time. We've gotten better at identifying it, hence the increase in prevalence rates.

My caseload at work includes 28 adults with autism - all of whom were born long before 1971. People that study autism full time strongly suspect this is a genetic disorder.

Please protect your kids from these dangerous and preventable diseases.

Elizabeth said...

While I know that booster shots are recommended there are many, many people who do not go to the doctor often enough or just do not get their booster shot, or don't even know they should have one. They have a false sense of security because they just don't know enough about shots to realize they are no longer protected. And it does come down to the fact that we are pushing too many vaccines at such young ages.
I have nothing agaisnt parents who decide to vaccinate or those who decide not to. It's just that people have the mindset that if they get the flu shot that they are immune to the flu. And yet around me I see so many who received the shot go on to get the flu. Why? Well, there are many different strains of flu and the flu shots only protect agaisnt the strain that the CDC *thinks* will be the worst that year. Sometimes they are completely off the mark. I just don't like how the medical community touts the flu shot as being a cure-all.

Emily said...

I'm surprised no one has brought up the fact that some vaccines contain or have been developed through the use of tissue from aborted fetuses. The medical reasons for and against using vaccines are plentiful, and this is NOT my post explaining WHY we are anti vax, but I'm surprised that no one is bringing up religious objections.

mommyboots said...

H1N1 is NOT swine flu!!! PLEASE people do not continue to perpetuate this falicy! Too many pork producers are going out of business and good people loosing their livelihood because people continue to spread this lie! We personaly are affected.

KAR said...

If vaccinations were a plan to sterilize the population, I wouldn't be sitting here wondering how I magically ended up with three children.

I can understand delaying vaccinations and seriously considering not giving newly created vaccinations. I've been struggling with the idea of Gardasil and my daughter. At this point in her life, she doesn't want it because of what's she has heard, but to be honest, we have not thoroughly researched the issue to make a full decision. She's fifteen and is currently not sexually active. (Or so she states and I choose to believe her.) I'm hoping to have a little more time before she does decide to have sex so enough information is out there.

However, choosing not to use any vax at all is selfish and not well thought out. There are plenty of cemeteries around here with a plethora of baby and children's graves prior to the late 19th century. So many of those deaths could have been prevented with better prenatal care, child health care and vaccinations.

Anonymous said...

Our pediatrician is not offering the H1N1/swine flu vaccine to otherwise healthy children. They don't recommend it for healthy children.

The whole problem with the vax/not vax argument is that too many people think it's all or nothing or that every child should subscribe to the same schedule.

I'm sorry but it is really really stupid of anyone to think that all children are created the same and are suited to the same vaccine schedule as anyone else.

We vax for most vaxes. But we don't vax for all. That isn't good enough for both "camps".

I'm sorry but the mumps (especially in pre-pubescent children) is a far cry from Polio. As is the chicken pox.

I do not believe that vaccines cause autism. But I still have concerns about them. Has anyone truly read the ingredeints and carcinogenic metals and poisons in vaccines? And we think it's o.k. to load up an 8 week old baby with 7 of these vaccines at once? If we ask to slow it down WE'RE the ones being made to look crazy?

I'm sorry, but spacing vaccines is not something to be frowned on. And skipping some if there is a good reason.

The chicken pox, for instance, builds a far stronger immunity from getting the actual pox than having to get the booster every number of years. The risks of injury from getting the pox is lower than the risk of injury from the vaccine. And I'm crazy for skipping it? I don't think so...

Yeah I get the polio vax, and most of the others. And I space out the MMR but my kids aren't getting the chicken pox vaccine. Bring on the pox, it's safer for them that way.

And they aren't getting the H1N1 vaccine because our pediatrician (and many other peds) aren't recommending it for all children.

This is not a one size fits all answer. Shame on anyone putting down another parent for their own vaccine decisions.

(And Emily, aborted fetal tissue is part of the reason we began spacing the MMR and skipping the varicella vax. The spaced MMR is not made the same way. I've read that the new MMR in a few years will also be made without it. But for now, we go with the "non" containing spacing vax. And the varicella we skip because as I've said above, natural immunity from the pox is the healthier alternative and chicken pox isn't enough of an issue to outweigh my ethical concerns from using tissue. However, rabies is a "vax or die" situation and although it was made with aborted fetal tissue, if we ever needed the rabies vax we would get it because the benefit far outweighs my ethical concern about abortion)

Elizabeth said...

I actually was going to bring up the aborted fetus tissue aspect. The MMR is especially one to avoid strictly for that reason alone!

Anonymous said...

I haven't gotten chicken pox ever and I'm glad of that (I got the vaccine). I have NEVER gotten the flu shot, never will, and my (maybe) future kids never will. I don't eat nearly as healthy as I should nor do I take care of myself well. The only thing that I think prevents me from being sick is my love of garlic. I will eat it with just bread. lol But regardless while a lot of vaccines are great antibiotics & the flu vaccines are useless.

Dustin | Engaged Marriage said...

For the most part, our family is just fine with immunizations. My wife is a teacher and our children are in pre-school, so germs abide in our home!

We try to stay rested, drink lots of water and wash our hands frequently. So far, so good!

P said...

Hi! Please read the cases the govt. has paid out millions of dollars to families of vaccine damaged children . I'll have to look up the site for you . I will NOT get the vaccine , nor will my husband or son. My son has NOT had any vaccines since he was 2 years old & he is now 19 years old.I've read all sorts of info pro & con about vaccines , but the most interesting is that the makers of the h1Ni themselves refuse to take the vaccine. I believe this is a govt. manufactured virus. Read the book Plum Island. It tells all about similar incidents. Our the 1950's dropped chemicals over midwest area to see if it would cause cancer. Know anyone with cancer? ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT, TOLD ON THE 11PM NEWS TONIGHT, EVEN IF YOU GET THE SWINE FLU VACCINE < IT DOESN"T TAKE AFFECT TILL 3-4 WEEKS FROM NOW< IF IT WORKS< SO THEY SAID YOU CAN STILL GET IT IN THE MEANTIME.I thinkI'll do a whole post on my blog about vaccines this month.I'll pray & take my chances with God keeping us from disease & if he doesn't well I know it was my time.

The Pittsburgh Pair said...

Like everything, there is a balance. I would not vaccinate against everything, nor would I be a non-vax mom. I think you have to make the decision on which are essential and which are not.

For example, I would not vaccinate against chicken pox. I would definitely not vaccinate with Gardasil. Chicken pox is relatively harmless for most, although it is an inconvenience. Gardasil is just a way to make money, in my opinion. Hep B vaccine is a three dose at over $90 a pop, yet it is a disease spread through sexual contact and fluids. I won't be vaccinating my kid with that one either.

You absolutely can still get chicken pox if you are vaccinated. It happened in my summer school class to my student. He just got a milder form of them. I don't agree with completely protecting a kid's immune system.

That said, I will vaccinate with vaccines that protect against very serious diseases and death, not inconveniences or poor choices. Polio, rubella, measles, smallpox (if it is ever needed again), etc, are very serious.

I think a compromise can be made between swallowing everything a doctor tells you and being a super skeptic.

That said, the cells being used in vaccines came from fetuses aborted almost fifty years ago. The fetus was not aborted to obtain the cells. It is not as though fetuses currently being aborted are being used in our vaccines.

Treva said...

I chose to let DD have the chicken pox vaccine b/c I had a severe case of pox as a child. Instead of just being on my skin, it went into my throat and lungs and throughout my genitalia. I was in complete agony when I had it and I still remember the pain and severe discomfort; I was 6 when I had it and missed more than 2 weeks of school. My co-worker's daughter had the pox vaccine and she ended up still getting the pox, but it was limited to a 6x6 square-ish area on her back. If I can save my DD the agony I went through, then that's what I was choosing. But I do understand wanting kids to get natural immunity to it. Really, the pox for most people is not as bad as I had it. DD shares many of my sensitivities so I think it's a prime example of making a choice best for my family when knowing our medical history.

luckymom4 said...

I myself have never had chicken pox. My father had never had it, and got it when my brother got it(I was away at college at the time, so I never got it). He almost died. Because of this, I received the vax with my sons when it first became available. My daughter had the vax, and still got chicken pox, though it was confined to her back and very mild. There are booster shots available. One concern with chicken pox is that adults who had it as a child can get shingles. My MIL and a friend had horrible cases of shingles and were both hospitalized. I believe there is now a shingles vax available for adults who had chicken pox as a child, and my husband will probably get it.

Ginger said...

Just tried putting a couple of fresh garlic cloves in my morning smoothie...I can taste them (hoping my garlic breath is gone by the time hubby returns from work, LOL), but its palatable with everything else I put in there (besides the typical frozen fruit, I add some raw almonds, cabbage, carrot, & spinach in small quantities along with some other healthy stuff).
Also, another great way to give kids an immunity boost since you are breastfeeding is to pump some extra milk periodically to use in recipes for your non breastfeeding children (frozen fruit/milk popcycles, brown rice or quinoa pudding, etc).
Finally, VIT D is very important to immune sytems and an excellent source is Fermented Cod Liver Oil (best price online is evidently Getting the liquid over capsules, makes it much for of a bargain for the number of servings you can get from a bottle. There is evidence that deaths from H1N1 where "no underlying condition was present" actually have Vit D deficiency in common.

Green In OC said...

Here's a funny YouTube video about vaccine ingredients:

Have you read the book, "Natural Immunity"? If not, it's available online FREE (it won't impact your budget!):

It was written in response to pet's issues but it is mostly referenced from the human side.

Ginger - I think that Vitamin D is very important to add to your list as well. Also, try adding ginger to your juice - just a small piece - as ginger is GREAT for your immune system.

One final recommendation is Manuka Honey with UMF factors (NOT bio, active, bio-active, etc...).

Green In OC said...

I knew I forgot something!

An interesting fact from the World Health Organization's own website:

"Also in Europe, some manufacturers have conducted advance studies using a so-called “mock-up” vaccine. Mock-up vaccines contain an active ingredient for an influenza virus that has not circulated recently in human populations and thus mimics the novelty of a pandemic virus. Such advance studies can greatly expedite regulatory approval."

Henrietta said...

Emily, these were not very good sources for trying to inform the public about their natural health options. The best, #4, made reference to studies with which he disagreed that concluded Echinacea does not work, but did not have any to back up his viewpoint. There were no other reputable sources cited that I could find in any of the seven.

1. Three Herbal Healers – Guest post by author of, a personal blog. No sources cited.

2. Foods for preventing A/H1N1 flu – No sources cited.

3. How to Avoid Getting The H1N1 Flu Virus – No sources cited.

4. Flu Season is Coming! Are You Ready? – video on Underground Wellness’s YouTube channel. Briefly mentioned some studies on Echinacea, but not by name so I can’t cross-reference them. Probably the best source in the group.

5. 7 Cheap and Natural Ways to Fight the Cold and Flu – Cites Linda Gabris at (she does not cite any sources in her vinegar article) and (an online shopping site).

6. How to Prevent H1N1 Flu Naturally – At first, based on the “About” page, I thought this would be a good source. However, the author of this particular article is not a doctor, and vaguely references visiting her Naturopath (does not give his name and does not share what he told her) and a friend. No other sources cited.

7. Boost Immunity and Beat H1N1 From The Inside Out -- This was a press release, not an article, meant to drum up business for the doctor’s natural health practice.

A much better source might have been one such as this from Natural Health Magazine: They quote doctors, journals, and studies so that even if readers question their findings, they may gain valuable information by doing further research.

There is also this great article about Vitamin D deficiency published in Scientific American:

There truly is some wonderful information about natural health out there, and it is really important that if people are going to take the time to educate themselves about it that they read worthwhile and trustworthy sources. The Internet is an amazing tool in that anyone can publish anything, but we must be discerning consumers and pay attention to who is telling us what and why.

Anonymous said...

There's a strong connection between vitamin D levels and flu prevention--here's an article (that has legitimate sources :) ) on the topic. It includes a discussion of the Canadian government's current study on swine flu and vitamin D levels.

Sunnymommy said...

We call this our "super medicine"
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
few cloves chopped fresh garlic
a few inches chopped fresh ginger
sprinkle of cayenne
shake and refrigerate, strain after 24 hours if desired
Sooo good! Awesome for all upper respiratory and prevention.

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