The latest health scare, “Swine Flu”, is making headlines everywhere. No doubt it is sending some people into a bit of a panic. I think in this situation the best thing to do is to do some research and be prepared for any type of virus or illness.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • This happened once before in 1976. “Only young Lewis died from the swine flu itself in 1976. But as the critics are quick to point out, hundreds of Americans were killed or seriously injured by the inoculation the government gave them to stave off the virus.”
  • Remember the bird flu panic? Some say this is a repeat.
  • Confinement feed lot practices are ticking time bombs waiting to spread disease to both consumers of CAFO meat as well as neighboring areas. Animals that are not raised on pasture and therefore given antibiotics are a breeding ground for all sorts of “super bugs” resistant to antibiotics. In this case there was one specific confinement feed lot that is being linked to this particular situation, as Food Renegade Kristen points out.

Now, let’s talk about preparation.

While I think we should look at this situation carefully, not panic and do our homework for ourselves, we should always be prepared.

Obviously the first step is to not consume CAFO meat. Even if a virus or bug is not transported from the meat into humans we should still not support such farming practices for many reasons.

We should try to keep our immune systems strong, swine flu or not.

Here are a few foods & supplements that can help:

  • Vitamin D. Good sources include cod liver oil, wild seafood, lard and eggs.
  • Vitamin C. Good sources include citrus fruits, berries and bell peppers. Acerola powder is a great supplement for vitamin C.
  • Fresh garlic. The allicin found in crushed, raw garlic is great for fighting infections and keeping up your immune system.
  • Echinacea. This is a power herb that can help fight infection. Both the roots and leaves may be used to create a tincture or tea. We try to keep a steady supply on hand for when someone is feeling a bug coming on.
  • Elderberry. You can purchase elderberry tinctures or teas. It is another great boost to the immune system.
  • Olive leaf extract. This is something new that I am learning about, but it appears to have some wonderful healing properties.

All of the above are great to keep on hand at all times for anyone in your family who comes down with something. Growing your own garlic, echinacea and elderberry is a great way to fill your medicine cabinet with your own two hands.