A lot of people are panicked about the avian flu, so I want to make one thing very clear to start out with: a pandemic is not inevitable. In fact, as things stand right now, it seems unlikely. As far as we know, avian flu has jumped the species barrier from bird to human only a few dozen times, and human-human transmission doesn’t seem to be a threat. Of course that could change if the virus mutates. And if it ever does become easily transmissible to humans, we could have a serious problem. As many as half the people who have caught the avian flu have died of it.
I can not claim to know of any formal research connecting natural medicine to prevention or treatment of this specific form of influenza. Then again, there’s precious little research connecting conventional medicine to the avian flu, either. At a loss for proven interventions, the president has proposed using the army to enforce quarantine on entire cities if necessary.
Obviously, anything that strengthens the immune system will help us fight off just about any infection, be it the common cold or the killer flu. But I’ve written about this a million times before, so I won’t bore you with it again.
I would, however, like to write briefly about the herb Lomatium dissectum, sometimes called Desert Parsley. Although Lomatium hasn’t had a chance to prove itself against the avian flu, it certainly has shown it can take on an influenza pandemic. The following is excerpted from a paper written by Ernst Krebs, M.D., published in The Bulletin of the Nevada State Board of Health, January 1920. Krebs is writing about the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed 150,000 Americans, and 50 million worldwide:
During the fall of 1918 when the influenza epidemic visited this section of Nevada, the Washoe Indian used a root in the treatment of their sick which was gathered along the foot-hills of this slope of the Sierra. The plant proved to be a rare species of the parsley family, according to a report from the University of California.
Whether a coincidence or not, there was not a single death in the Washoe tribe from influenza or its complications, although Indians living in other parts of the State where the root did not grow died in numbers. It was such a remarkable coincidence that the root was investigated by a practicing physician who saw apparently hopeless cases recover without any other medication or care of any kind. A preparation was prepared and employed in a great many cases among the whites, from the mildest to the most virulent types of influenza, and it proved, among other things, that it is the nearest approach we have today to a specific in epidemic influenza and the accompanying pneumonia. Where used early it proved itself to be a reliable agent in preventing pulmonary complications. Other physicians were induced to give it a trial, with the same results. It is beyond the experimental stage, as its therapeutic action in this direction is established and beyond any doubt. The cases in which it has been used run into the hundreds. There is probably no therapeutic agent so valuable in the treatment of influenzal pneumonia.
Lomatium is the cornerstone of my acute winter wellness protocol (along with high-dose zinc, reishi mushroom, and Larix powder – and anything else I can get my hands on). I consider it the very best lung antiviral we have. It has worked like an absolute charm for me, and many of the people I’ve recommended it to over the years. Two caveats, though. First, it tastes awful. And second, about 1% of people who take it get a skin rash. According to the esteemed herbalist, Michael Moore, in Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West, this rash isn’t an allergic reaction, but rather, a sort of detox crisis as the body is overwhelmed by waste products from the immune system’s battle against an infection. He says that, in his 30+ years of practice, he has never seen this reaction when lomatium is used with other herbs that promote detoxification.