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Bird Flu

Should I be worrying about Bird Flu?

Question

I'm concerned about the bird flu epidemic that may spread to Europe. How can I avoid getting lt? Or, if I do succumb, how do I treat it? Would the herb astragalus, which is used in Chinese medicine to boost the immune system, help?

Answer

Viral infections that cause respiratory problems are called influenza, or flu for short. These include avian or bird flu viruses, which exist naturally in the gut of wild birds without causing any trouble. They are, however, highly contagious and spread very fast. If domestic birds (such as chickens, ducks and turkeys) are in contact with the wild birds and get infected, they become very sick indeed, probably because they're less hardy.

Bird flu didn't use to affect people, but in 1997 k made its first jump to humans. It is believed that a trial in China involving a vaccine for bird flu among domestic poultry went wrong and certain mutations among avian flu viruses caused a virulent strain of the infection, which attacked humans with alarming consequences.

The virus spreads to humans when they come into contact with infected birds or their secretions. Poultry workers are more likely to be infected, as they are in contact with contaminated material. They, in turn, can infect others through saliva or nasal secretions. Recently there have been reports of the disease spreading in Russia and Kazakhstan. That is why there are fears that it may spread to Europe this winter.

The symptoms of bird flu are similar to those of the common flu virus (sore throat, runny nose, headache, fever, muscle aches, cough and extreme fatigue), but can develop into eye infections, Pneumonia, severely respiratory distress and other life-threatening complications.

Conventional treatment is usually restricted to antiviral drugs used for treating the common flu. Unfortunately, when the bird flu I viruses are challenged with these drugs they mutate very fast altering the protein structure on their surfaces so that they become immune to drugs and even to vaccines created to block their rapid growth. Just like superbugs such as MRSA, they are smarter than medical science.

My approach, which I detail in my book The Integrated Health Bible, is to use our innate healing power, which helps to repair cuts, bruises and fractures, and even cure flu without any help. The old medical saying is that if you treat flu, the body is cured in a week; if you don! it gets better in seven days.

If avian flu does spread to the UK, the best way to avoid contact with the viruses is to wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you are in crowded places. You also need to build up your immune system. These viruses are parasitic organisms, which need the warmth and protection of living cells to thrive and propagate. In an epidemic, the spread of the disease depends on the virulence of the organisms and the state of the immune system. Run-down bodies are more likely to get infected.

I advise you to follow my lifestyle program, which includes diet and nutrition, massage, therapeutic iyengar yoga (or other exercises) and relaxation, it's explained in detail in The Integrated Health Bible and also on my Lifestyle DVD. Herbs such as astragalusm ay help boost the immune system too, but if you do get this flu, consult your doctor immediately.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Start preparing your body in the autumn, when it starts to get run-down due to the changing weather, and the bacteria and viruses look for the warmth of the human body for survival.
  • Avoid excess alcohol, citrus fruits, coffee, yeast products, very spicy food and fried food. Focus on a simple diet of fruits, vegetables, fresh vegetable juices (carrots, ginger, celery fresh mint) and warming soups. Also make sure you eat some protein daily, in the form of soft-boiled eggs, grilled fish, chicken and red meat (all organic if possible).
  • Have a neck and shoulder massage once a week, either from a professional therapist a friend/partner or you can do it yourself (details are on my Lifestyle DVD, as above) to relieve tension and create a feeling of well being. This will boost the blood flow to the pituitary gland, which controls the immune system.
  • Take Zinc Citrate: one daily for three months to boost the immune system.
  • Take BioEnergy: which contains Indian ginseng, an adaptogen that helps the body balances stress: one twice daily for three months.
  • Take Chawanprash: one teaspoonful daily for three months. This natural supplement also kick-starts the immune system.
  • Take Dr Ali's Multivitamins: one a day for four months. I have blended this formulation
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