This article was originally written when there was the scare of bird flu coming from Asia...

Protecting yourself from the bird flu is no different from protecting yourself during any other flu season, with the exception that the human form of the bird flu can be much more damaging than the regular flu. 

When it comes down to the basics, protecting us from infection:

       1) Decrease the likelihood of becoming infected by taking precautions to reduce exposure to the virus or germ

       2) Decrease the likelihood of becoming infected by keeping our natural defenses, our immune system, healthy, active, and stimulated

        3) Speak to your family physician or pharmacist about the flu shot        

        4) If we do become infected, increase the intensity of the measures we use to stimulate our immune system (with proper balance)

       5) If we do become infected, clear the infection with more aggressive biological therapies and ensure that people in close contact with us have as a precaution increased their protective measures as well


The basics of most of these steps are below.  These measures that make good sense and can be widely adopted; however it is always best to check with a health care practitioner trained in natural and biological medicine before adopting some of the measures, especially if you have a history of any autoimmune disease, allergy to herbals, or other pre-existing medical condition.  Increasing immune defense may increase flu symptoms experienced, as these symptoms are often a result of immune system activation.  Immune response should be augmented within safe limits, personalized on a case by case basis.  Overstimulation of immune response could potentially cause other aggravations.


Step One: Reducing exposure during the flu season is a step that is often emphasized in conventional medicine.  Conventional medicine gives a lot of weight and strength to the virulence (or ability of a germ to infect most people) of viral diseases, and as such advocates strongly exposure reduction methods.  This is a very important component that should not be neglected, however it is not the only important component.  I advocate using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or washing all surfaces of the hands, fingers, nails, and wrists for at least 30 seconds before eating, after returning to your residence, after touching mucus membranes (eg when blowing your nose), and after going to the washroom.  It is also handy to have a small alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the car.  Please note that the Winter norovirus (‘Winter vomiting / stomach flu virus’) is resistant to alcohol sanitizer, good hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid norovirus.  Avoid touching mucus membranes such as the insides of the nose or mouth as many children and adults alike have this habit. 

In my experience, some patients with frequent exposure may benefit from nasal and sinus rinses with a saline solution.  

Step Two: This is an important component of prevention against any flu in my opinion. It is also one of the most complex areas that may require fine-tuning, testing, and adjustment by a health care provider trained in biological medicine.  However, there are a few basic tenets that will benefit most.

 Cellular immunity is generally the most important component for preventing influenzas.  In scientific terms, this means Th1-type immunity, and Th1-type cytokines.  Some of the herbal medicines I describe below stimulate both Th1 and mildly Th2, but the net effect is a reduction in viral infection.  Various botanicals can be used to stimulate cell mediated immunity.

 Aerobic exercise: is perhaps the most important part of prevention in my opinion, although the benefit (in terms of the immune system) takes some time.  Ideally, as part of a weekly routine, aerobic exercise to a level that produces sweating and mild difficulty keeping up a conversation should be done 4-5 times a week for 20-30 minutes.  If people are new to exercise, they should get an exam from their Naturopathic Physician or Family Doctor first and avoid exercising in the cold. 

In my experience, exercise is pretty close to getting an oxidative therapy such as ozone, ultraviolet blood irradiation, or hydrogen peroxide, and has plenty of other benefits as well.


Steps Four and Five:   If a person does become infected and sick (with signs of thick, yellow, mucus excretion from blowing the nose, fever, body aches, or cough) then the dosage of the above herbals, in my experience, should generally be doubled (best to be assessed by your health care provider to ensure these botanicals and dosing is appropriate for you.)

If the person is able to come to the office, then a treatment with ultraviolet blood irradiation may be recommended. 

Ultraviolet blood irradiation is a simple procedure that takes about 30 minutes to complete, and was used in North American hospitals before the advent of antibiotics in the 1930s.  Studies from hospital records in the 30s showed that the improvement of a wide variety of infections was close to 100% in mild to moderately advanced cases; in cases where the patient was close to death, the improvement was still close to an astonishing 50%.  Some patients may opt to do a preventive ozone treatment once every 2-3 weeks during the flu season if they are worried about becoming ill).  If you are interested in the history and research of this very effective therapy, please go to and order INTO THE LIGHT as an e-book or hard copy.


Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation References


Hamblin MR. 2017. Ultraviolet Irradiation of Blood: "The Cure That Time Forgot"? Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;996:295-309.


Wu X, Hu X, Hamblin MR. 2016. Ultraviolet blood irradiation: Is it time to remember "the cure that time forgot"? J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016 Apr;157:89-96.


Kuenstner JT, Mukherjee S, Weg S, Landry T, Petrie T. 2015. The treatment of infectious disease with a medical device: results of a clinical trial of ultraviolet blood irradiation (UVBI) in patients with hepatitis C infection. Int J Infect Dis. 2015 Aug;37:58-63.


Dong Y, Shou T, Zhou Y, Jiang S, Hua X. 2000.  Ultraviolet blood irradiation and oxygenation affects free radicals and antioxidase after rabbit spinal cord injury. Chin Med J 113(11):991–995. (glutathione peroxidase & superoxide dismutase increased with UBI treated injured rabbits)