More Turn to Alternative Medicine Instead of Flu Shot

More Turn to Alternative Medicine Instead of Flu Shot »Play Video
YAKIMA - Get your flu vaccination. And be ready for the H1N1 vaccine too. It's all we've heard for the last six months, as the government pushes everyone to protect themselves against this deadly strain of flu.

But a new Consumer Report says 65-percent of parents said they won't be getting the swine flu shot for their kids, or themselves. Some of them are taking a closer look at alternative medicine. And so are we.

Dr. Heidi Robel is a naturopathic physician. A lot of her patients have been asking her advice on the flu vaccination. One thing she tells them is to look at the ingredients. " It is grown on eggs, so people who have egg allergies, a lot of people aren't aware, they can have side effects if they take the flu vaccine," said Dr. Robel.

She said it also contains thymercial and mercury. Both are preservatives. Most childhood vaccines have done away with mercury, because of the dangers. But not the flu vaccine.

" It's a heavy metal that can cause neurotoxicity, neurological problems, tremors, things like that in high doses. Most of the vaccines are low dose, but it can have an accumulative effect over time."

Many health officials say the mercury levels in vaccines are harmless. And even Dr. Robel isn't against the flu vaccine entirely. She says overall it's a safe enough option.
She just wants her patients to learn the facts, and make informed choices.

So what can if you do to protect yourself if you decide NOT to get the flu shot, or the h1n1 vaccine? Dr. Robel says first you need to have a healthy diet. She also suggests multi-vitamins and probiotics, which are healthy microorganisms you can find in yogurt or in supplements. And of course, wash your hands.

If you do get the flu, Dr. Robel says symptoms can be treated with herbal remedies.
" Things like echinacea that provide antivirals, hydrastic and often times I'll mix herbs together to help kill off the virus," said Robel.

She also performs acupuncture. Robel said, " It's wonderful for stimulation of the immune system and helping with the symptoms."

So before you line up for the h1n1 vaccine, know your options. They are out there. Most insurance companies also cover naturopathic dr visits and even acupuncture. So the cost is about the same as going to a regular doctor.