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Here’s How to Grow Eucalyptus

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Eucalyptus, an evergreen tree native to Australia, is perhaps best known as a favorite food for koalas. In Australia, the fast-growing trees may reach massive heights of 300 feet with a hefty circumference of more than 24 feet.1 Other varieties take the form of short, bushy plants, all of them with a characteristic pungent aroma.

Eucalypti are also known as gum trees or stringybark trees, and in addition to being a staple food for koalas, are prized for use as fuel and timber, and are valued for medicinal uses in Australia and around the globe. In the U.S., eucalyptus plants are only suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 8 to 11 — if you plan on planting it outside.

However, this plant grows well in containers, which means even if you live in a cooler climate, you can have your own eucalyptus tree as long as you bring it indoors for the winter. Some people even prefer to grow eucalyptus as an indoor plant, and because it’s so fast-growing, you can also use it as an annual.

Why Grow Eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus has a wonderful menthol-like scent that’s released from the foliage when it’s rubbed. Simply cutting and drying the leaves, then placing them in a bowl in your home will create a natural, fresh-smelling potpourri. Eucalyptus is also a favorite among crafters, with its decorative foliage creating a perfect addition to centerpieces and arrangements.

Eucalyptus branches are easily dried by hanging them upside down in bunches. The leaves are “ready” when they’re leathery or crispy feeling. You can even preserve them by immersing them in a jar with about 3 inches of a glycerin and water solution. For the solution, mix one part glycerin with two parts boiling water. The Spruce suggests:2

“Keep the jar in a cool, dark place and inspect the plants weekly. Add more liquid as needed to keep it at the optimum level. It may take anywhere between one and eight weeks for all the leaves to change color. When they have, the process is complete. Remove the eucalyptus branches, pat them dry with a paper towel, and hang them upside down for two to three days before using.”

The leaves, bark and roots of eucalyptus also contain medicinal eucalyptus oil, which is widely used as an antiseptic, in oral care products and cosmetics, in flavorings and even in industrial solvents.

Eucalyptus Has Medicinal Properties

You may be interested to know that eucalyptus is a common plant used in complementary medicine, in part because it has strong antimicrobial properties. For instance, eucalyptus leaf extract has antibacterial effects against pathogens commonly involved in respiratory tract infections.3

It may even work synergistically with conventional antibiotics to fight multidrug-resistant bacteria.4 In a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (APJTB), researchers discovered that essential oil extracted from eucalyptus globulus leaves is particularly effective against common strains of bacteria, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.5

Herbal infusions of eucalyptus can be used as a chest rub, skin antiseptic or as a steam inhalation. The vapor from eucalyptus oil is often recommended for use as a decongestant for colds and bronchitis. Eucalyptus oil can also be added to a diffuser for air freshening or congestion relief. It’s also an effective insect repellant.

Eucalyptus oil can also be added to bathwater and is said to ease pain6 and inflammation. The essential oil extract is also immune boosting, with researchers suggesting it could “… drive development of a possible new family of immunoregulatory agents, useful as adjuvant in immunosuppressive pathologies, in infectious disease and after tumor chemotherapy.”7

When added to oral care products, eucalyptus may be effective against bacteria that contribute to tooth decay. One study even looked into the effects of eucalyptus extract chewing gum, which was found to promote periodontal health and significantly reduce plaque accumulation and other measures of dental health.8

Different Eucalyptus Varieties

Eucalyptus comes in hundreds of different varieties. Some grow into towering trees when mature while others can be maintained as bushy shrubs. If you have a eucalyptus plant, be generous with pruning and cutting it back, as it will help the plant to become fuller rather than tall and leggy (plus, you’ll probably want to make use of all of the cuttings).

The first step to planting is to choose the best variety for your needs. Below are some eucalyptus varieties that vary based on their leaf size and shape, primary uses and preferred growing habits:




Eucalyptus gunnii — “Silver drop” produces blue-gray leaves when young and silver-green leaves when mature.

This variety may grow to 80 feet tall and has brown- and cream-colored bark. However, it is popular as an annual, as it will grow about 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.

Eucalyptus globulus — This species (also known as Tasmanian blue gum) is the top choice for creating eucalyptus essential oil and is the ingredient used for various eucalyptus products as well.

Eucalyptus radiate — Also known as “narrow-leaved peppermint,” it is known for its refreshing aroma.

Eucalyptus cinerea (silver dollar) — While this variety can be grown as a tree outdoors in warm climates, it also works well as an annual and can reach up to 8 feet in one season.

It’s also known for its cinnamon-colored, peeling bark.9

Eucalyptus polybractea — Also known as “blue mallee,” it is high in cineole, which is a colorless liquid terpene with an odor similar to camphor.

It has long, narrow willow-like leaves that are blue-green and frosted in color.

Eucalyptus deglupta — ‘Rainbow eucalyptus’ has rainbow colored bark that sheds throughout the year.

It is the only eucalyptus variant that grows in the Northern Hemisphere and is mainly used for decorative and shade purposes.

Tips for Growing Eucalyptus

If you plan to plant eucalyptus outdoors, be aware that these hardy, fast growers are sometimes considered invasive. There’s even speculation that they may release a chemical into the soil that stops competing plants from growing.10 The trees also have exfoliating bark that, while showy and quite impressive, can accumulate on the ground, which might not be desirable in some locations.

They’re also considered to be fire hazards in some locales, as their high oil content makes them prone to burning quickly. Outdoors, eucalyptus will need a sunny spot that’s protected from drafts along with regular watering. When grown in its ideal conditions, eucalyptus will also produce blossoms that are a favorite among bees.11

Many home gardeners will prefer to grow eucalyptus in a container or as a houseplant. Some varieties that thrive in container gardens include lemon-scented gum (Eucalyptus citriodora), argyle-apple (Eucalyptus cinerea), silver-dollar gum (Eucalyptus perriniana) and mountain gum (Eucalyptus dalrympleana).12

You can leave potted eucalypti outdoors in the summer, but be prepared to bring them inside when the weather gets cool, and definitely before the first frost. The plant can be cut back and stored in a cool area (such as a basement) to overwinter. If temperatures are below about 46 degrees F, you only need to water the eucalyptus sparingly.

If you prefer, and your home is warm with access to a bright (preferably south-facing) window, eucalyptus can continue to grow over the winter, with higher temperatures leading to faster growth.13 You’ll need to water it regularly in this case.

Be aware that your eucalyptus plant will probably outgrow its container at some point, so you’ll need to either plant it outdoors at that point or move it to a larger container (do this in the spring). The alternative is to regard eucalyptus as strictly an annual that you start new each season.

You may choose to purchase a eucalyptus plant that’s already established, but it can also be grown quite readily from seed. Sow them shallowly in the spring or late spring into the container in which you plan to keep the plant. Cover the potting mixture with sphagnum moss and keep the seeds in a warm spot (at least 60 degrees F).14

You’ll need to mist the seeds regularly to keep them damp, Once the seedlings have established themselves as young trees, they can be moved outdoors (provided it’s summer).

Is Eucalyptus Poisonous?

If ingested in large enough quantities, eucalyptus is toxic to dogs, cats and horses. If you’re wondering how koalas can eat it, they are the only mammal that can survive on a diet consisting of eucalyptus alone.

While other animals cannot digest eucalyptus leaves, because too much of it can be poisonous, the koala has the advantage of having a specialized caecum, which is a section in the digestive tract containing millions of beneficial bacteria that can break down the eucalyptus leaves safely.15

In humans, it’s advised that you consult your health care practitioner before consuming eucalyptus, as excess consumption can cause digestive problems, such as vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. For instance, while you may enjoy using your plant to make eucalyptus tea,16 you should limit consumption to a maximum of two to three cups daily:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried eucalyptus leaves per cup of water
  • Raw, organic honey to taste (optional)

Procedure

  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Place the leaves in the teapot.
  3. Pour the boiling water and let the tea brew for five to 10 minutes.
  4. Add honey to taste (optional).
  5. Serve and enjoy.

When applying eucalyptus oil to your skin, be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil. In general, adults should not take eucalyptus oil orally except under a doctor’s supervision, and this oil mustn’t be given to children, especially those under 2 years old. You may, however, add very diluted eucalyptus oil to a gargle to use as a soothing remedy for sore throat.

How to Use Eucalyptus Leaves in Your Home

If you grow eucalyptus, you’ll probably be very interested in what to do with all of those beautiful leaves and branches. Most simply, snip some stalks from the plant, place them in a vase and use them as a centerpiece or mantle decoration.

You can also add eucalyptus leaves to a bowl or sachet and use them around your home to repel insects or act as an air freshener. You can also boil water and add eucalyptus leaves to the pot. The steam that’s released will add a pleasant aroma to your home.

For congestion relief, you can (carefully to avoid burning) also place a towel loosely over your head to create a tent and inhale the steam. With the many varied uses, from aesthetic to medicinal, and the ease of growing, eucalyptus is one plant you’ll likely find yourself coming back to for years to come.

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Sweet! Here are 7 reasons to eat sweet potatoes

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(Natural News) Sweet potatoes may not be as popular as regular potatoes, which is too bad — since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of sweet potatoes can provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A. It’s also rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Both purple and orange varieties contain antioxidants that can protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Eating sweet potatoes is beneficial for your health

Sweet potatoes are brimming with micronutrients and antioxidants —  making them useful to your health. Below is a list of reasons why you should incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

They improve brain function

The purple variety of sweet potato contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have revealed that anthocyanins are effective at improving cognitive function. Moreover, the results suggest that purple yams can help protect against memory loss. Antioxidants from the purple variety safeguard the brain against damage from free radicals and inflammation.

They aid digestion

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. This macronutrient prevents constipation, diarrhea, and bloating by adding bulk and drawing water to the stool. In addition, fiber keeps a healthy balance in the gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria.

They slow down aging

The beta-carotene in orange sweet potatoes can help reduce damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. This is especially true for people diagnosed with erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitive diseases. Sweet potatoes also contain antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals are not only linked to diseases but also premature aging.

They boost the immune system

Orange and purple sweet potatoes are loaded with a good number of antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful molecules that cause inflammation and damage DNA. This, in turn, protects the body from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

They can prevent cancer

Eating sweet potatoes can help protect against various types of cancers. The compounds in sweet potatoes restrict the development of cancer cells. Test tube studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent cancers in the bladder, breast, colon, and stomach.

They lower blood sugar

Despite its relatively high glycemic index, studies have shown that the regular intake of sweet potatoes can help lower blood sugar, thanks to the presence of dietary fiber. While fiber falls under carbohydrates, it is digested differently, compared to starchy and sugary forms of carbohydrates. Interestingly, insulin doesn’t process fiber (unlike other types which get turned into glucose), and it only passes through the digestive tract.

They promote healthy vision

Orange sweet potatoes are rich in a compound called beta-carotene, an antioxidant which transforms into vitamin A in the body. Adequate intake of vitamin A promotes eye health. Conversely, deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to a particular type of blindness called xerophthalmia.

Sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into your everyday meals. They are best prepared boiled but can also be baked, roasted, or steamed — they can even replace other carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, and toast. (Related: Understanding the phytochemical and nutrient content of sweet potato flours from Vietnam.)

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Frostbite: What it is and how to identify, treat it

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Manitoba’s temperature has plummeted to its coldest level this season, triggering warnings about the extreme risk of frostbite.

Oh, we know it’s cold. We can feel Jack Frost nipping at our noses. But what about when he gnaws a little harder — what exactly does “frostbite” mean?

People tend to underestimate the potential for severe injuries in the cold, says the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. We laugh off the sting of the deep freeze, rub our hands back from the brink of numbness and wear our survival proudly like a badge.

That’s because, in most cases, frostbite can be treated fairly easily, with no long-term effects.

But it can also lead to serious injury, including permanent numbness or tingling, joint stiffness, or muscle weakness. In extreme cases, it can lead to amputation.

Bitter cold can cause frostbite in just minutes. Here’s how to recognize the warning signs and treat them. 0:59

Here’s a guide to identifying the first signs, how to treat them, and when to seek medical help.

What is frostbite and frostnip?

Frostbite is defined as bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and colour in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes — those areas most often exposed to the air.

Cooling of the body causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, slowing blood flow. In temperatures below –4 C, ice crystals can form in the skin and the tissue just below it.

Frostnip most commonly affects the hands and feet. It initially causes cold, burning pain, with the area affected becoming blanched. It is easy to treat and with rewarming, the area becomes reddened.

Frostbite is the acute version of frostnip, when the soft tissue actually freezes. The risk is particularly dangerous on days with a high wind chill factor. If not quickly and properly treated, it can lead to the loss of tissues or even limbs. 

Signs of frostbite

Health officials call them the four P’s:

  • Pink: Skin appears reddish in colour, and this is usually the first sign.
  • Pain: The cold becomes painful on skin.
  • Patches: White, waxy-feeling patches show when skin is dying.
  • Prickles: Affected areas feel numb or have reduced sensation.

Symptoms can also include:

  • Reduced body temperature.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters.
  • Areas that are initially cold, hard to the touch.

Take quick action

If you do get frostbite, it is important to take quick action.

  • Most cases of frostbite can be treated by heating the exposed area in warm (not hot) water.
  • Immersion in warm water should continue for 20-30 minutes until the exposed area starts to turn pink, indicating the return of blood circulation.
  • Use a warm, wet washcloth on frostbitten nose or earlobes.
  • If you don’t have access to warm water, underarms are a good place to warm frostbitten fingers. For feet, put them against a warm person’s skin.
  • Drink hot fluids such as hot chocolate, coffee or tea when warming.
  • Rest affected limbs and avoid irritation to the skin.
  • E​levate the affected limb once it is rewarmed.

Rewarming can take up to an hour and can be painful, especially near the end of the process as circulation returns. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help with the discomfort.

Do not …

There are a number of things you should avoid:

  • Do not warm the area with dry heat, such as a heating pad, heat lamp or electric heater, because frostbitten skin is easily burned.
  • Do not rub or massage affected areas. This can cause more damage.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not walk on your feet or toes if they are frozen.
  • Do not break blisters.

Seek immediate medical attention

While you can treat frostbite yourself if the symptoms are minor — the skin is red, there is tingling — you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency department if:

  • The exposed skin is blackened.
  • You see white-coloured or grey-coloured patches.
  • There is severe pain or the area is completely numb.
  • The skin feels unusually firm and is not sensitive to touch after one hour of rewarming.
  • There are large areas of blistering.
  • There is a bluish discolouration that does not resolve with rewarming.

Be prepared

The best way to avoid frostbite is to be prepared for the weather in the first place.

Wear several loose layers of clothing rather than a single, thick layer to provide good insulation and keep moisture away from your skin.

The outer garment should breathe but be waterproof and windproof, with an inner thermal layer. Retain body heat with a hat and scarf. Mittens are warmer than gloves because they keep the fingers together.

Be sure your clothing protects your head, ears, nose, hands and feet, especially for children.

Wind chill and frostbite rates

Wind chill: 0 to –9.
Frostbite risk: Low.

Wind chill: –28 to –39.
Frostbite risk: Moderate.

Exposed skin can freeze in 10-30 minutes

Wind chill: –40 to –47.
Frostbite risk: High.

Exposed skin can freeze in five to 10 minutes.

Wind chill: –48 to –54.
Frostbite risk: Very High.

Exposed skin can freeze in two to five minutes.

Wind chill: –55 and lower.
Frostbite risk: Extremely High.

Exposed skin can freeze in less than two minutes.
 

NOTE: In sustained winds over 50 km/h, frostbite can occur faster than indicated.

Source: Environment Canada

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Awkward Flu Jabs Attempted at Golden Globes

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In what can only be described as a new level of propaganda, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh featured a flu shot stunt during the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. They told the audience to roll up their sleeves, as they would all be getting flu shots, while people in white coats stormed down the aisles, syringes in hand.

Most of the audience looked thoroughly uneasy at the prospect of having a stranger stick them with a needle in the middle of an awards show. But perhaps the worst part of the scene was when Samberg added that anti-vaxxers could put a napkin over their head if they wanted to be skipped, basically suggesting that anyone opposed to a flu shot deserved to be branded with a proverbial scarlet letter.

The flu shots, for the record, were reportedly fake,1 nothing more than a bizarre gag that left many people stunned by the Globe’s poor taste in turning a serious medical choice into a publicity gimmick.

Flu Shot Stunt Reeks of Desperation

Whoever came up with the idea to turn the Golden Globes into a platform for a public health message probably thought it was ingenious, but the stunt only serves as a seemingly desperate attempt to make flu shots relevant and in vogue. During the 2017 to 2018 flu season, only 37 percent of U.S. adults received a flu shot, a 6 percent drop from the prior season.2

“To improve flu vaccination coverage for the 2018-19 flu season, health care providers are encouraged to strongly recommend and offer flu vaccination to all of their patients,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote. “People not visiting a provider during the flu season have many convenient places they can go for a flu vaccination.”3

Yet, perhaps the decline in people choosing to get vaccinated has nothing to do with convenience and everything to do with their dismal rates of efficacy. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.4

The 2017/2018 flu vaccine was a perfect example of this trend. The overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B virus infection was just 36 percent.5

Health officials blamed the flu season’s severity on the dip in vaccination rates, but as Dr. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told USA Today, “[I]t is also true that the vaccine was not as well matched against the strains that circulated.”6

But bringing flu shots to the Golden Globes, and calling out “anti-vaxxers,” is nothing more than “medical care, by shame,” noted Dr. Don Harte, a chiropractic activist in California. “But it was entertaining, in a very weird way, including the shock and disgust of some of the intended victims, notably [Willem Dafoe],” he said, adding:7

“This Hollywood publicity stunt for the flu vaccine is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen from celebrities. But it does go with the flu shot itself, which is, perhaps, the stupidest of all the vaccines available.”

Did 80,000 People Really Die From the Flu Last Year?

The CDC reported that 79,400 people died from influenza during the 2017/2018 season, which they said “serves as a reminder of how severe seasonal influenza can be.”8 It’s important to remember, however, that the 80,000 deaths figure being widely reported in the media is not actually all “flu deaths.”

According to the CDC, “We look at death certificates that have pneumonia or influenza causes (P&I), other respiratory and circulatory causes (R&C), or other nonrespiratory, noncirculatory causes of death, because deaths related to flu may not have influenza listed as a cause of death.”9

As for why the CDC doesn’t base flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that list influenza, they noted, “Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease … Additionally, some deaths — particularly among the elderly — are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias).”10

In other words, “flu deaths” are not just deaths directly caused by the influenza virus, but also secondary infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, as well as sepsis.11

According to the CDC, most of the deaths occurred among those aged 65 years and over, a population that may already have preexisting conditions that makes them more susceptible to infectious diseases. As Harte said of annual flu deaths, “[M]ost if not all, I would assume, are of people who are already in very bad shape.12

CDC Claims Flu Vaccine Reduces Flu Deaths in the Elderly — But Does It?

Since people aged 65 and over are those most at risk from flu complications and death, the CDC has been vocal in their claims that the flu shot significantly reduces flu-related deaths among this population. The research, however, says otherwise.

Research published in 2005 found no correlation between increased vaccination rates among the elderly and reduced mortality. According to the authors, “Because fewer than 10 percent of all winter deaths were attributable to influenza in any season, we conclude that observational studies substantially overestimate vaccination benefit.”13

A 2006 study also showed that even though seniors vaccinated against influenza had a 44 percent reduced risk of dying during flu season than unvaccinated seniors, those who were vaccinated were also 61 percent less like to die before the flu season ever started.14

This finding has since been attributed to a “healthy user effect,” which suggests that older people who get vaccinated against influenza are already healthier and, therefore, less likely to die anyway, whereas those who do not get the shot have suffered a decline in health in recent months.

Journalist Jeremy Hammond summed up the CDC’s continued spreading of misinformation regarding the flu vaccine’s effectiveness in the elderly, as they continue to claim it’s the best way to prevent the flu:15

[T]here is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claim that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among the elderly.

The types of studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited due to their systemic ‘healthy user’ selection bias, and the mortality rate has observably increased along with the increase in vaccine uptake — which the CDC has encouraged with its unevidenced claims about the vaccine’s benefits, downplaying of its risks, and a marketing strategy of trying to frighten people into getting the flu shot for themselves and their family.”

Death of Vaccinated Child Blamed on Not Getting Second Dose

In January 2019, the state of Colorado reported the first child flu death of the 2018/2019 flu season — a child who had received influenza vaccination. But instead of highlighting the vaccine’s failure and clear limitations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment blamed the death on the child being only “partially vaccinated.”

“It’s an unfortunate but important reminder of the importance of two doses of influenza vaccine for young children who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who is the state communicable disease epidemiologist, said in a news release.16 For those who aren’t aware, the CDC notes that one dose of flu shot may not be enough to protect against the flu. Instead, they state:17

“Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season …

The first dose ‘primes’ the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.”

Not only may the flu vaccine fail to provide protection against the flu, but many people are not aware that other types of viruses are responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory infections during any given flu season.18 The flu vaccine does not protect against or prevent any of these other types of respiratory infections causing influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms.

The chance of contracting actual type A or B influenza, caused by one of the three or four influenza virus strains included in the vaccine, is much lower compared to getting sick with another type of viral or bacterial infection during the flu season.

Does Flu Vaccine Increase the Risk of Influenza Infection, Contribute to Vaccine Shedding?

There are serious adverse effects that can come along with annual flu vaccination, including potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). They may also increase your risk of contracting more serious flu infections, as research suggests those who have been vaccinated annually may be less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.19

Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego also revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.20

There’s also the potential for vaccine shedding, which has taken on renewed importance with the reintroduction of the live virus vaccine FluMist during the 2018/2019 season. While the CDC states that the live flu virus in FluMist is too weak to actually give recipients the flu, research has raised some serious doubts that this is the case.

One recent study revealed not only that influenza virus may be spread via simple breathing (i.e., no sneezing or coughing required) but also that repeated vaccination increases the amount of virus released into the air.21

MedImmune, the company that developed FluMist, is aware that the vaccine sheds vaccine-strain virus. In its prescribing information, they describe a study on the transmission of vaccine-strain viruses from vaccinated children to nonvaccinated children in a day care setting.

In 80 percent of the FluMist recipients, at least one vaccine-strain virus was isolated anywhere from one to 21 days following vaccination. They further noted, “One placebo subject had mild symptomatic Type B virus infection confirmed as a transmitted vaccine virus by a FluMist recipient in the same playgroup.”22

Are There Other Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season?

Contrary to the CDC’s and Golden Globe’s claims that flu vaccinations are a great way to prevent flu, other methods exist to help you stay healthy during the flu season and all year, and they’re far safer than annual flu vaccination. Vitamin D testing and optimization have been shown to cut your risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu, in half if you are vitamin D deficient, for instance.23,24

In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best respiratory illness prevention and optimal health strategies available. Influenza has also been treated with high-dose vitamin C,25 and taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory illness can also be helpful.

Following other basic tenets of health, like eating right, getting sound sleep, exercising and addressing stress are also important, as is regularly washing your hands.

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