(Dr. Stephen Sinatra recommends Samento to treat and prevent Influenza)

Get Armed and Ready for Flu Season

While sharing the Thanksgiving holiday with my grown children in Seattle, I caught the national news headlining the breaking story about this year’s rapidly-progressing flu epidemic.  This new strain, called Flu A (H3N2) Fujian, is startling to medical experts and private citizens alike.  Hearing stories of children who lost their young lives to this rampaging virus was more than our hearts could bear, and evidence of just how virulent this monster flu may be.  It’s certainly foreboding to see so many deaths as early as November.

Reports continue to warn us of this new, aggressive “killer” flu that’s been particularly prevalent in the western states of Texas, Nevada and Colorado.  In Seattle, many elementary schools reported a 10-percent increase in absenteeism because of this early flu epidemic, which has often appeared initially as gastrointestinal symptoms in very young children.  For older children and adults, the muscle aches and pains, headache, and respiratory symptoms we usually associate with the flu virus predominate.

This new strain of influenza, originating in Australia and New Zealand, is evading this year’s flu vaccine, rendering it less protective than it’s meant to be, although it may still lessen symptoms somewhat.  All of us need to be taking measures to guard our health.  The chief concern on everyone’s minds, of course, is what to do to protect ourselves and our families in the face of this life-threatening virus that’s predicted to take nearly twice as many lives as usual this winter.

There are steps you can take to arm yourself against this flu.  I’ve reviewed my resources to answer the queries of my patients and loved ones about avoiding it.  I may sound like a broken record when I advise you to bolster your immune system and keep your body detoxed, but those are key components of an anti-flu battle plan.


Boost Your Immune System

A strong immune system continues to be your best defense against any acute illness, including this season’s virulent flu.  Have you ever asked yourself, as I have, about who is more likely to get sick?  We’ve all been in a crowded room, bus, train, or airplane shaking in our shoes as we listen to someone coughing or sneezing with an apparent flu.  As much as we feel for that person, we are human enough to be concerned that we may get what he or she has, and compound the problem by bringing the “bug” home to the folks we live and work with.

So why is it that some of us will catch that flu bug, while others escape?  We figure that some folks just have better immune systems, right?  But immunity isn’t just a “luck of the draw” genetic predisposition.  It would seem that we are more vulnerable if our resistance is low, as they say.  But some folks consistently seem to catch more than their fair share of colds and flu, and you don’t want to be one of them.

Any place where people gather - a doctor’s waiting room, your office party, the school or daycare center where your children spend their days, a hospital, or the grocery store- is a potential exposure to pathogens.  None of us can escape the world of contagious viruses unless we live in a bubble, or can hold our breath for hours at a time.

The very old and the very young are generally at greater risk.  Others at higher risk are those on immunosuppression protocols after transplant surgeries, as well as those who work in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, medical settings, and other places where exposure to other adults and children – especially those who are sick - is high.  Traveling in mass transportation systems, as most of us must do from time to time, also makes us vulnerable, as does working with the public in there areas.  Unless you’re a forest ranger, your job probably exposes you to viruses on an almost daily basis.

So, every one of us needs to fortify our immune system, especially those of us at particular risk.  I recommend routine beta glucans and mushrooms-type preparations to healthy adults, especially people like elementary school teaches and medical personnel, who come in contact with people suffering from flu-like illnesses throughout the winter.  I face similar exposures when working in my medical  office or traveling to conferences. 

An Ounce of Prevention

A preventive is TOA-free cat’s claw (Samento), which I recommended for Lyme.

Observational studies in Europe and South America have shown dramatic reductions in viral load as well.  So I expect that this powerful immune enhancer would be effective against a viral illness like the flu.  A new, liquid form is available from Nutramedix ( or 800-730-3130).  A one-ounce bottle is equivalent to 20 bottles of Samento capsules and costs $48.00.  Just one drop is equal to a 600-mg capsule.  If you’re already ill, start with a daily dose of a single drop in four ounces of water on an empty stomach for 2 days, followed by one drop in water three times daily.  For maximum protection or if you have the flu, then take nine drops daily in three divided doses of three drops each, again on an empty stomach.  Remember, liquid Samento is quite powerful and, as those bugs are being destroyed, your symptoms may flare up for a while, thanks to the Herxheimer reaction (see the September 2003 Sinatra Health Report).