Chinese medicine can help protect your immune system this flu season - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Chinese medicine can help protect your immune system this flu season

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Dawn Krueger-Sherin

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Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2011 4:00 pm

Many have found great benefits and healing through the use of herbs and supplements. Chinese medicine, supplements along with food therapy, can help protect you from the flu season.

Every year my patients ask me my opinion on whether or not to get the flu vaccination. I am of the opinion that it is our own personal responsibility to take care of our immune system.

The flu vaccination is not necessary if we are doing something in order to protect ourselves from the flu season. There are many ways to have confidence that you can prevent the flu or recover quickly from getting sick.

Chinese herbs

Herbs have been used for thousands of years. The first mention of herbs in the Bible is in Genesis 1:29: "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."

Even specific herbs are mentioned in the Bible such as garlic, aloe, hyssop and wormwood. Not only are herbs important, but also our food can be used medicinally.

Hippocrates once said, "Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food." Each day when we cook our food we can use a variety of herbs that are beneficial to our immune system.

Herbs like basil, thyme, oregano and rosemary. Using these herbs can help kill bad bacteria in our bodies, and are considered anti-viral and anti-fungal.

When we start to look at food as medicine it can put things into a different perspective. For instance, if you are suffering from a sore throat you can try eating pineapple, which helps to reduce inflammation.

Nutritional deficiencies cause weakness in our immune systems. Nutritional deficiencies occur when the body lacks essential nutrients (macronutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrate, or micronutrients like vitamins and minerals) that are obtained from food.

That means every day our bodies require a certain amount of vitamins and minerals in order to function properly. If we lack those nutrients in one day then we are considered deficient. We would need to make up those nutrients in order for our bodies to be nourished.

Nutritional deficiencies are responsible for a variety of conditions. Conditions such a Crohn's disease, Malabsorption syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and digestive issues.

Even some emotional disorders like anxiety, depression, and manic depression are linked to having a deficiency in minerals. Minerals work on the nervous system and help the body, both physically and emotionally. Lately, a lot of attention is given to Vitamin D deficiency. Doctors are now testing regularly for this.

The first step towards protecting yourself from getting sick is to make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet.

The second is to take supplements that will help regenerate and restore proper health and well being.

The third is to get plenty of rest and down time from work. Over work and over stress is one of the leading causes as to why our immune systems suffer.

The last thing I would suggest is to have something on hand that will help you if you start to not feel well.

There has been many a time where I have started to feel sick, and by taking something like colloidal silver or yin qiao san it has helped wipe out my symptoms immediately.

Ask your health care provider for advice on what to take in order to help wipe out your cold or flu quickly.

Trying some of these suggestions can give you the confidence to help you and your family during the flu season.

• Dawn Krueger-Sherin is an oriental medical practitioner in Ahwatukee Foothills. For questions, reach her at

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