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What naturopathy can counteract the flu
The cold season is naturally the high season for flu and colds. However, not everyone wants to be vaccinated against influenza. In addition, there are not enough vaccines in Germany and even vaccination does not offer 100 percent protection. So what alternatives are available? A naturopath professor explains the possibilities.
Professor Dr. med. Peter W. Gündling is dean for the master's program in naturopathy and complementary medicine at the Carl Remigius Medical School. He explains the options that naturopathy offers to protect against flu and colds (flu infections).
Healthy eating and exercise are the best prerequisites
First, the naturopathic expert turns to preventive measures: "Anyone who wants to build a natural protective wall against viruses has a whole range of options," says the professor. If you eat healthy and exercise regularly in the fresh air, you have good conditions. In particular, the diet should be rich in vitamin C and contain lots of fruits and vegetables. Because a healthy diet is the strongest activator of the immune system.
Don't eat too late in the evening
Like Dr. Gündling reports, however, meals should no longer be eaten too late in the evening. "This disrupts the gut, which is home to most of our immune system," explains the professor. Another measure that brings the immune system up to speed is regular visits to the sauna, according to the expert. Visiting a classic Finnish sauna once or twice a week is enough to achieve a positive effect. However, these measures are generally known. Naturopathy still has some methods to offer that not everyone knows.
The rising foot bath
Gündling believes that water applications are generally advisable. The professor names the rising foot bath as a suitable method. The feet are immersed in lukewarm water (around 34 degrees Celsius). "The water should be just below the knee," said the naturopath. Then you should slowly add warm water over a period of 10 to 20 minutes until a temperature of around 43 degrees Celsius is reached. "With this application, the blood vessels open slowly and the entire immune system is activated," explains Gündling. However, it is important that the temperature slowly increases. Otherwise the veins would contract if the water was too hot at the beginning. You can add thyme or mustard flour for a reinforcing effect.
Autologous blood treatment and high-dose vitamin C
Another rather unknown preventive treatment from naturopathy is the so-called autologous blood therapy. A small amount of blood is drawn from the arm and then injected back into the gluteus muscle. Optionally, the blood can also be treated with homeopathic remedies. Another recommendation of the expert is treatments with high-dose vitamin C. This way, the vitamin can get directly into the bloodstream and thus have a significantly stronger effect. "This method can be used both preventively and therapeutically," emphasizes the naturopath expert.
What to do when the first symptoms are already there?
Naturopathy also has a number of measures for treating a cold. According to Gündling, rock rose extracts have a strong antiviral effect. "As soon as you feel a scratch in your throat or a tingling sensation in your nose, you should take a lozenge," he said. In many cases, the infection is stopped. Pelargonium extract is another effective agent that has antiviral, antibacterial and expectorant properties. Such preparations can be obtained in the pharmacy.
Similar effect to vaccination
"Not all viruses can be neutralized with these measures, but at least a large part," explains Gündling. The remaining viruses are created by the immune system alone. In this way, antibodies would also form naturally. "This gives us a similar effect to vaccination," sums up the naturopath. (vb)