The flu season is still in effect, and while the vaccine-pushing media claims a vaccine is the only way to stop the flu, there are actually far more effective (and safer) ways to accomplish that. Try the following natural treatments: (h/t to GreenMedInfo.com)
Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 is one of the best natural items to prevent flu because of its ability to produce antiviral peptides, such as cathelicidin, which directly get rid off invading organisms. In addition, vitamin D also prevents macrophages from releasing inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. One study has shown that adults with vitamin D3 blood levels of 38 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) or greater experienced a two-fold reduction in acute viral respiratory infections. The body can produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun. However, during the winter season, people are less exposed to the sun, resulting in a decline in vitamin D levels. Some researchers theorize that this is one of the reasons for the increased prevalence of influenza during winter. If sun exposure is not viable, you can increase your vitamin D levels by taking a vitamin D3 supplement. Your vitamin D levels should be between 40 and 80 ng/ml all throughout the year, according to the Vitamin D Council.
Probiotics: Gut bacteria make up about 80 percent of the immune system. Therefore, probiotics, which are good live bacteria and yeasts, can boost the immune system. In one study, Chinese researchers found that probiotics reduced the occurrence and duration of respiratory tract infections in young children. Another study showed that daily consumption of probiotics reduced fever, rhinorrhea, cough, and missed school days for children age three to five, and caused fewer and less severe colds in adults. To up your probiotic intake, eat more whole foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kvass, and other fermented foods.
Green tea: Drinking a cup of green tea can also protect you from the flu. This drink is loaded with catechins and has been shown to improve T cell function, as well as disrupting the replication of the influenza virus. In addition, green tea contains a powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which offers various health benefits for the body. In a 2011 Japanese study, researchers discovered that children who drink one to five cups of green tea each day are less vulnerable to influenza.
Elderberry: Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is also a great natural item to prevent flu. Researchers from Norway have shown that people with the flu who took 15 ml of elderberry extract four times every day for five days experienced faster recovery from the illness. They recovered four days sooner and needed less "rescue medication." Moreover, elderberry extract has been reported to inhibit certain strains of influenza virus and increase cytokine production to activate the immune system.
Echinacea: Echinacea is a popular herb commonly used to help fight flu and colds. Research confirms that it can be helpful against the flu because it reduces both the severity and duration of flu symptoms. Its roots also have cytokine-modulating properties. In a study, researchers from the Czech Republic compared an echinacea drink to the antiviral drug called Tamiflu (oseltamivir). They found that echinacea was as effective as the drug in fighting flu. However, echinacea produced fewer complications and adverse events. Additionally, this herb has been proven effective against avian flu (H5N1, H7N7) and swine-origin H1N1.