Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ineffective Flu Vaccine? Now What ?

By : Mary Oleksowicz, MSTOM, L.Ac.

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) sent an advisory to officials that this year’s flu vaccine  will have a less than 50 percent effectiveness against the strains of flu that are most common this year. With efficacy levels so low, it is time to review natural anti-virals to support our immunity this year.  

Oregano is a common household spice that has strong antiviral effects. In fact, a study at Cornell University found that oregano can safeguard against 30 different types of pathogens. Unless you use, unwieldy amounts of oregano in your cooking, culinary use of oregano is usually not sufficient for anti-viral properties. Use of oregano oil supplements or tea from oregano leaves is best advised.

AgriVerdi Organic Oregano

Garlic has a history of usage that predates the Egyptian tombs. Almost every culture recognizes the use of garlic in cold and flu treatment and prevention. The trick to effective garlic use is large quantities of fresh garlic. A blend of raw garlic with honey or agave can provide a wonderful dipping sauce for fresh bread or other appetizers. Adding some parsley can help negate “garlic breath”. If raw garlic causes heartburn or does not fit your lifestyle, using garlic for medicinal purposes is quite easy. Doubling the amount called for in your favorite recipe can easily increase garlic intake to a therapeutic level. One popular recipe contains  50 cloves of garlic in a single soup!

50 Clove Garlic Soup
Serves 4
5 large garlic bulbs ( about 50 cloves)
2 tbs. butter or vegan substitute
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions diced
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
6 cups chicken or veggie stock
1 tbsp. fresh parley (reserved)
1 boquet garni which includes parsley thyme and a bay leaf tied together with kitchen twine
1 cup half and half or vegan substitute
3 cups day old bread
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut off the top third of the garlic bulb and discard. Drizzle the cut side of cloves with oil and surround with aluminum foil  and roast for 90 minutes or until soft and caramelized.
2.While garlic is cooling, heat two tbs. of olive and/or butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent (about 12 minutes).
3. Squeeze roasted garlic into pot. Add the minced thyme. chicken stock, and bouquet garni and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and stir in the cubed bread. .
4. Remove the bouquet garni and puree in a blender or with hand blender until smooth.Add half and half and blend again  if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

Next time, we will investigate additional integrated anti-virals.


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