Influenza and Echinacea / Astragalus

November 7, 2009

11/7/2009 — Many people use Echinacea and Astragalus products as “immune enhancers” during acute infections.  This may not be a good idea with the current Novel H1N1 influenza (also known as “swine flu”)

These products exert their action by increasing the immune response of the organism.  But, especially in younger adults and children who naturally may already have a strong immune response, this may be harmful if the response becomes too strong.  One theory of why young people may have more serious illness and death from influenza is that they produce a lot of “cytokines” (natural promoters of the immune response) and if excessive, a condition known as “cytokine storm” can ensue, with a very rapid progression of the inflammation, very high fever and severe respiratory manifestations of the disease.

The main cause of death in the current epidemic is from “acute respiratory distress syndrome” which can be rapidly fatal and in its more severe forms requires a very specialized set of treatments which can only be administered in a hospital setting.  This may include mechanical ventilation and/or “extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.”

If anyone has a flu-like illness (fever, aching in the body, sore throat, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat) during this time of widespread H1N1 influenza, and feels that they are getting any kind of respiratory distress, they should go immediately to the hospital.

Influenza update 11/6/2009

November 6, 2009

Flu is now widespread in every state in the country.
I’ve only seen a couple of patients, and have worked with a couple more on the telephone.
So far, the most frequent remedy has been Bryonia alba.
   The most common characteristic of acute Bryonia states is that the person wants to be still, with definite aggravation of symptoms from motion.  They tend to want peace and quiet, to be undisturbed, and are likely to be irritable if disturbed. 

My colleagues in other states have not seen one or a small number of remedies emerge as consistently effective in swine flu (and they’ve seen more cases, as Connecticut is one of the last states to report widespread disease). 

So, if you wind up having a flu-like illness (fever, body aches, nausea, respiratory tract symptoms) and use this remedy, please email me and report your success.

Additions to website 11/6/2009

I’ve updated the following pages (or sections):
My practice — regarding what I am studying (see “my teachers”)
Nutrition and homeopathy — to include some newer aspects of my use of therapeutic nutrition
Soy as food for humans — (one important link still missing, and should be up by the end of the weekend)