It’s that time of year again, when many Americans line up at doctor’s offices, pharmacies and health departments across the country to get their Flu shot. Health care providers are especially adamant that disabled folks like me, who are considered high risk for getting the flu, should absolutely take advantage of this potentially life saving vaccine.
However, I have never had a Flu shot before and I’m certainly not going to start now. The purpose of this article is not to argue the efficacy of the infamous Flu shot, though that piece may be forthcoming. Instead, I’m simply going to share what I believe has prevented me from getting the Flu for the past seven years.
My Flu Shot Alternative is a slightly modified version of Dr. John Christopher’s original immune system boosting tonic. All of the ingredients can be found in most health food grocery stores. They are as follows.
Garlic – Many naturopaths believe that garlic is Nature’s antibiotic. Also, in an article published by the University of Maryland Medical Center it was stated that, “In a study of 50 people with inoperable colorectal, liver, or pancreatic cancer, immune activity improved after they took aged garlic extract for 6 months.”
Horseradish Root – This pungent herb is most commonly known as a condiment but it is much more than that. It has been used to support the immune system since the Middle Ages. It contains volatile phytochemical compounds that have found to be rich in antioxidants and improve detoxification functions.
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Onions – From the moment you cut into an onion, it begins using its cleansing powers on you by making your eyes tear. This detoxifying ingredient is also loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.
Ginger – This warming herb is stimulating to the senses, as well as the immune system. It improves circulation, digestion, and prevents colon cancer. Its highly medicinal compounds are known as gingerols.
Hot Peppers – I prefer the tasty zing of Habanero Peppers but Jalapeños have worked just as well for me. Hot peppers contain a highly medicinal compound called “Capsaisin.” The more Capsaisin a pepper contains, the hotter it will be. If you choose to try this Flu Shot Alternative and you are sensitive to hot foods, you may want to reference the Scoville Scale to find a pepper that is best for you.
Apple Cider Vinegar – ACV is high in pectin, which aids in reducing high cholesterol, colon cancer and diabetes. It also helps restore friendly flora in the intestines, improving the overall function of the immune system.
My method of formulation goes like this:
- 5 oz Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- 1 oz peeled, fresh, raw garlic
- 1 oz washed, chopped, raw horseradish root
- 1 oz peeled, chopped, fresh, raw onion
- 1 oz washed, chopped, raw ginger
- ½ oz washed, chopped, fresh hot peppers (wear gloves)
- Put ACV in blender or food processor
- Add the rest of your prepared ingredients
- Blend until it reaches a relish-like consistency, adding more ACV if needed
- Place finished product in a glass jar, topping off with a splash of ACV so it creates a top layer
- Store in refrigerator up to six months
- During cold and flu season, I will take a tsp of this formula nearly every day after dinner (Note that I only weight 38 pounds so you may require a larger dose).
- It can be mixed with salsa and eaten with chips.
- It makes a great salad dressing or wrap condiment.
- It can be harsh on an empty stomach.
- Convincing your significant other to have some too will reduce your risk of sleeping alone.