There’s not much nastier than the flu. You can feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. And recent studies have cast a lot of doubt on whether the flu vaccine is a net benefit to you or not.

fighting off the flu

Even conventional medical reviews of the flu shot put its effectiveness at as little as 16 per cent. Further, effectiveness varies from year to year, even based on the production of antibodies, because vaccines are based on a guess about the strains that will circulate in a season. Finally, the flu shot doesn’t even cover common flu-like bugs, including rhinovirus and others, which can leave you just as sick as as the strains covered in the vaccine.

If that weren’t enough, it’s possible that getting a shot may predispose you to getting sicker if you catch a flu bug that you’ve been vaccinated against! New research on the H1N1 “pandemic” vaccine indicates that if you were vaccinated against it, you developed a more serious case if you caught it.

All this makes any kind of natural flu support all the more important.

Your grandmother may have been on the right track when she turned to chicken soup to feed her sick kids. Research suggests that chicken soup may exert an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help with recovering from any flu or cold bug. While researchers can’t agree on what ingredients create this positive effect, in all likelihood the good nutrition with easily-digested protein simply gives your body what it needs to fight back.

Garlic is also known to help with fighting off the flu. Add it to your chicken soup, for a one-two punch! Garlic contains immune-boosting sulphur compounds called alliin and allicin, which are natural antibiotics. While it won’t scare cold germs away, research shows that garlic will reduce symptoms and duration of your illness.

The last addition to your flu arsenal should be elderberry. Elderberry extract has great research backing its use with seasonal flu. Elderberry extract is jam packed with nutrients, including flavonoids, anthocyanins, and polyphenols to name just a few. A double blind study showed that elderberry extract could reduce duration of flu by 4 days and also reduce the need for medications for symptoms.

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