Bird Flu Natural Remedy
Avian influenza or bird flu is a highly infectious disease, caused by H5N1 virus, a subtype of influenza ‘A’ virus that generally affects the bird population all over Asia. H5N1 infection in humans is caused by direct contact with infected or dead poultry and contaminated surfaces. The symptoms of bird flu include fever, cough, headache, fatigue, chills, sore throat and muscle aches. There may also be eye infection, pneumonia and other life threatening conditions. While antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu are known to be very effective against bird flu, there are a number of natural remedies that can help.
An important bird flu natural remedy is to ensure that the patient gets lots of rest and water. Dehydration can become fatal and hence it must be prevented. Symptoms of dehydration are weakness, headache, fainting, dryness of mouth and decreased urine output. An electrolyte solution of salt and sugar can provide vital energy to the dehydrated patient. The formula for preparing this electrolyte solution is 4 cups of clean water mixed with 3 tablespoons of sugar or honey and 1/4 tsp table salt. If there is fever, it is good to give the patient a cool or cold beverage.
Popular natural remedies include taking lots of vitamin C, green tea, fresh fruits and vegetables, water, gargling with honey and lemon, taking rest and steam inhalation with water and a few drops of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil. Vitamin C and green tea are both antiviral agents and they work by blocking enzyme neuraminidase which is needed for the reproduction of bird flu virus. It is best to drink at least 8 glasses of pure water every day to keep the mucous membranes well hydrated. The bird flu virus like all other viruses has a lipid coat. Substances like coconut oil and BHT corrode this lipid coat and are thus effective in controlling the spread of the virus There are some other natural substances that have anti-viral properties and they include St. Johns wort, garlic, olive leaf extract, ginseng, elderberry, skullcap, propolis, astragalus, andrographis, echinacea, zinc, and colloidal silver. Astragalus and andrographis are herbs used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Avlicino and Skinner, 2006).
A number of homeopathic remedies for bird flu symptoms are available including oscillo or oscillococcinum which has been shown to shorten the duration of symptoms when taken within 48 hours of onset. It is interesting to note that this medicine is made from the heat and liver of ducks that carry flu viruses in their digestive tracts. (Touber and Ridley, 2006).
Kimchi, the Korean Remedy for Bird Flu
Kimchi is a Korean national dish that is made by fermenting cabbage in vinegar with red peppers, radishes and a lot of garlic and ginger. According to studies by Professor Kang Sa-ouk, H5N1 infected chickens showed remarkable improvement when they were fed an extract of kimchi. Thanks to this study, South Koreans are looking upon kimchi as a bird flu natural remedy. The key ingredient in Kimchi that is responsible for the antiviral effect is likely to be lactic acid (Chillemi and Chillemi, 2008).
Avlicino, A.A. and Skinner, M. (2006). Bird Flu: What We Need to Know. Heritage House Publishing Co
Chillemi, M. and Chillemi, S. (2008). Natural Cures for Common Conditions. Lulu Publishers.
Touber, T. and Ridley, K. (2006). Ode Magazine, January 2006, Issue 30
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