Natural alternatives to the flu shot - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Natural alternatives to the flu shot

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The death toll from the flu outbreak gripping the United States has reached epidemic levels and some doctor's urge you to protect yourself against the flu with a vaccine but other health professionals say the vaccine will only make things worse.

"God put everything here for a reason so be wise and use it," said Linda Broussard - a self-proclaimed naturalist.

"I love everything natural and I'd rather do that then go to the doctors and get the antibiotics," said Broussard.

So when flu season rolls around each year Broussard tends to steer clear of the vaccine and stick with holistic remedies.

And when it comes to "Getting Well Naturally" certified natural health professional Bill Yeary believes herbal supplements are a better way to prevent the flu.

"For people with a weak immune system getting the shot can weaken their immune system even more," said Yeary.

He suggests products like Vitamin D, elderberry and cats claw to keep the immune system strong. He says olive leaf extract and oregano are great anti viral medications.

Yeary says using these herbs in pill or liquid form about every other day during flu season will keep you from catching the bug.

"It's not a live virus so the flu shot itself cannot actually give you the flu," said nurse practitioner Suzy Smith who urges that the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu is the vaccine.

"I do recommend it, there is a lot of flu right now and different strains of influenza," said Smith.

Different strains that have added to the death toll and with at least a month to go in flu season even this naturalist is changing her tune.

"But at this point when it's an epidemic I say get it, get the shot," said Broussard.

Yeary also said at the first signs of getting sick you can take some zinc or Echinacea to fight off the virus.

And drinking five to six cups of green tea a day can also help build the immune system.

These products can be found at your local health food store or pharmacy.

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