, also known as flu, is the clinical
condition that results from infection
viruses. The main effects of the influenza
viruses are on the upper respiratory tract, the nose
and throat, with possible spread and involvement of the lungs and bronchi.
The disease is highly contagious
and it has potential to cause wide spread epidemics affecting
sizeable portion of a population at any time. Although it is more common during winter it may
strike at any time. It affects people of all ages.
strikes suddenly. It usually begins with a chill, fever, headache and severe muscular
pains. The patient feels miserable and weak. There is an inflammation in the nose and throat,
which may spread down the windpipe to the lungs, resulting in a sore throat
, cough, running ofthe nose and eyes. In milder case of influenza
the temperature rises to 102 o F and lasts for twoor three days. In severe cases, it may go upto 104 o F and last for four or five days. The
consequent weakness and fatigue
may continue for several weeks. This may be followed by a
deep chest cough due to irritation in the windpipe.
is what is known as germ disease. It is, however, not caused primarily by the action of
the germs as is generally believed, but develops due to a toxic and run-down condition of the
system of the affected person. This condition is brought about by dietetic errors and a faulty style
of living such as worry, over work, lack of proper exercise , living in stuffy rooms and keeping
late hours. No disease germs can find lodgment and become active in the system of a person
who is perfectly healthy in the true sense of the term. Influenza
is passed on with ease from one
affected person to an other especially to those who are also in an equally low vital stage. That is
how an epidemic
, like all other acute diseases, is a natural attempt at self-cleansing and if rightly
treated in a natural way, immense good can ensue so far as the future health of the patient is
concerned. In the acute stage of influenza
, a patient should abstain from all solid foods and only
drink fruit and vegetable juices diluted with water, 50 - 50 for first three to five days, depending
on the severity of the disease. The juice fast should be continued till the temperature comes
down to normal. The warm water enema should be taken daily during this period to cleanse the
After fever subsides the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for two or three days. In this regimen,
the patient should take three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes,
oranges, pineapple, peaches and melons at five-hourly intervals. Bananas or dried, stewed or
tinned fruits however, should not be taken. No other food stuff should be added to the fruit
meals, otherwise the value of the treatment will be lost. This may be followed by a further two or
three days on fruits and milk diet. Thereafter, the patient may adopt a well-balanced diet of three
basic food groups namely, (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables, and (iii) fruits.
Spices and condiments , and pickles, which make food more palatal and lead to overeating,
must be avoided. Lemon juice may be used in salad dressing. Alcohol
, tobacco, strong tea and
coffee, highly seasoned meats, over-boiled milk, pulses, potato, rice, cheese, refined,
processed, stale and tinned foods should all be avoided.
Certain remedies have been found highly beneficial in the treatment of influenza
. The most
important of these is the use of long pepper. Half a teaspoonful of the powder of the long pepper
with two teaspoonfuls of honey and half a teaspoonful of juice of ginger should be taken thrice a
day. This will help greatly if taken in initial stages of the disease. It is especially useful in
avoiding complications which follow the onset of the disease, namely, the involvement of the
larynx and bronchial tube.
Another excellent remedy for influenza
is the green leaves of basil or tulsi plant. About one gram
of these leaves should be boiled along with some ginger n half a litre ofwater till about half the
water is left. This decoction should be taken as tea. It gives immediate relief.
Garlic and turmeric are other effective food medicines for influenza
. Garlic is useful as a general
antiseptic and should be given as much as the patient can bear. Garlic juice may also be sucked
up the nose. A teaspoonful of turmeric powder should be mixed in a cup of warm milk and taken
three times in the day. It will prevent complications arising from influenza
and also activate the
liver which becomes sluggish during the attack.