Well Being...

Change Font Size


This week Su is sharing her tips for coping with the flu vaccine. 'The flu jabs don't work!' Or words to that effect, front page headlines in more than one daily paper.

It must have been a no-news day, because this is hardly hold-the-front-page news.

Every year, the winter vaccines protect against a selection of viruses; those most likely to be heading this way, or already here. Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to make antibodies for that particular virus, so that when the real thing comes along, it's ready for action.

Viruses mutate all the time

But the trouble is, viruses mutate. It happens all the time, and when one strain is unsuccessful – when it's slowed down by a vaccine, for example – others will soon take advantage of the empty niche.

Every year, it's a bit of a lottery whether the vaccine will match the most common viruses that are about. This year, the match is pretty poor, so if you've had the vaccine, it won't offer you much protection. And that's all there is to it.

There will always be new bugs appearing

People move around a lot these days, and viruses move with them, so there are always going to be bugs around that you haven't met before. Vaccines are of limited use in those circumstances; there's a lot more mileage in looking after your immune system so that it's ready and waiting for whatever comes its way.

Many herbs can help combat stress, boost vitality, killing secondary infections etc

And you can do that by eating well, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and so on: the usual list. Herbs can help in various ways, too: by stimulating white blood cell production, tonifying your respiratory system, killing secondary bacterial infections, and generally boosting your vitality. Not letting yourself be scared by misleading newspaper headlines will help, too. 

Meet The Author...
Su Bristow
Who Am I?
I studied at the School of Herbal Medicine for four years, and qualified in 1989, becoming a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (www.nimh.org.uk.) The road to herbal medicine led from my early interest in organic gardening and healthy eating, through the study of social and physical anthropology at Cambridge, where I specialised in medical anthropology. What fascinated me was how people deal with their health problems when they have only the natural resources around them, and their own ingenuity. I went on to learn massage and reflexology, and worked at a residential naturopathic clinic, where I learned about the use of diet and other natural ways of healing. After qualifying as a herbalist, I set up practice in mid-Devon. Since then I have continued to expand my expertise, with counselling skills, first aid, and knowledge of the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of herbal medicine. Besides one-to-one consultation, I have also taught evening classes, students of the Westcountry Massage Association, and various private courses.
More From This Author...

Comment With Facebook