Influenza - Chill
What and Why?
After sickness and diarrhoea ’flu must be the commonest reason given by usually healthy people for being off work. It means a bad cold with fever, headache, muscle pains and terrible weakness which strikes very hard, gives four or five days’ symptoms and leaves you weak and grey for another week after that.
Influenza is probably not the usual cause: any generalized virus infection which enters by your breathing passages will mimic true influenza, and ‘flu-like illness’ is probably much more common than the real thing. In practice it does not matter very much which exact virus is responsible, except that influenza vaccination may not protect you against all the others.
Sometimes however, a ’flu-like illness or bad cold does not arise from infection at all. Identical symptoms can occur whenever your body refuses to tolerate any more contamination with waste acids from your metabolism, or irritant chemicals from your food.
The situation is then very similar to migraine or rheumatism and was familiar to physicians of half a century ago. Some of the causes are quite modern however. In particular, residues of the pesticides used routinely in agriculture persist in many samples of fresh vegetables and fruit. We know these accumulate in your body fat, but health authorities have so far not been convinced that they cause disease.
Research data from various sources, published in reputable scientific journals over at least a decade, strongly suggest that they do. Chronic allergy or intolerance, mental confusion, swollen lymph glands and glandular fever may all result from it.
Making sense of your symptoms
Acute ’flu may seem to occur whenever weight loss, infection, or any other sudden stress flushes pesticide stores into your circulation. The symptoms arise from inflammation of irritable tissues internally and from your attempts to excrete toxins externally through catarrh, diarrhoea, urine and sweat.
Doctors not alert for the problem simply diagnose something else; any remedy which herds the pesticide back into your tissues and body fat will seem to work.
What can I do?
Advice to maintain and maximise health
1. Regard ’flu symptoms as evidence of your body’s self-healing efforts. Do not interfere if you can possibly tolerate them. Avoid in particular all the pain-killing medicines, coffee, strong tea, chocolate, cola, and tobacco.
2. Drink fluids: Home-made Barley Water recipe is your best drink whether the cause is chemical irritation or infection. Unsweetened fruit juice is preferable to cordials and squashes, diluted at least 50% with water.
3. Diet: Leave food of any kind alone until your appetite returns. Then start with fresh fruit on the first day, add cooked vegetables on the second. Wait until the third day before trusting your digestion on cereals, and toast them well to begin with. After that you should be able to eat anything, subject to the usual precautions. See Food For Health.
4. Cleansing routine: Try to manage a shower each day. This will help ease fever and pain and wash away dried perspiration.
5. Breathe properly: Good breathing promotes excretion of volatile chemicals and helps prevent chest complications. Ventilate the room well. Even just a few deep, slow breaths whenever you think of it can make a real difference.
6. Natural medicine: Infludo (Weleda UK Ltd) is an anthroposophic medicine based on herbs and low-potency homoeopathic dilutions and designed to relieve ’flu symptoms harmlessly. It only works if you reserve some energy for the medicine to focus into healing, so you must rest completely while you take it. It is prescribable, under the NHS as well as privately.
7. Rest: Rest during the acute illness, and do not rush back to work when the obvious symptoms subside. Your stamina after virus infection will at first be very poor, and needs time for recovery. As a rule allow two days recovery for every day of obvious illness. You may feel a fraud but any attempted short-cut will prove that you are not.
8. Annual immunisation: Influenza immunisation is officially recommended in Britain every autumn and may have some value against genuine infection with influenza or closely similar viruses. However it may in some people actually precipitate a ’flu-like illness, and has been outlawed in Japan for some years now where it is judged to be completely ineffective. A more natural route than injection would be preferable and more natural, but has never been developed. If you seem to get ’flu often, reinforcing your immunity by diet and appropriate supplements would be safer and more comprehensive. If chronic accumulation of chemical residues seems likely, use the diet and supplements for cleansing.