Dr. Sara DeHart is Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota and formerly was a Visiting Scholar in Nursing, University of Washington. She has over 20 years’ experience in research and education, specializing in global and national Public Health problems. Since her retirement from academia she has focused her writing on specific issues that impact health care delivery and public health policy. She joins Deborah Ray to talk about her latest e book, Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Colds and the Flu.
Every year, around the time school starts, the media are full of articles and advice about how to avoid sniffles, colds, and the flu (influenza). Worried parents take their kids to the pediatrician, and perhaps visit the family doctor themselves, looking for guidance. What they usually get is the conventional wisdom, based on the teachings of mainstream medicine. A lot of that advice is sound: wash your hands frequently; cough into your elbow, not your hands; keep a sick child at home—and stay home yourself if you’re sick; and so on. However, parents often ask their doctors other questions that are more problematic regarding antibiotics, flu shots, and vitamins. These parents may or may not get good answers as doctors and other health practitioners have little time in a typical 15-minute patient visit to talk much about prevention. The time limitation, plus the fact that conventional doctors are not trained to consider dietary or herbal solutions to treat very common recurring problems like colds and flu, means that these approaches will probably not be discussed. Natural remedies, such as vitamin D3 (from sunshine or supplementation) or other dietary or herbal approaches to prevention are rarely mentioned. We are hardly powerless, and we need not be sitting ducks, waiting for common cold or flu symptoms to hit. Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Colds and the Flu discusses the differences between the common cold and influenza and what natural medicine has to offer in the way of treatment and prevention measures.