Swine flu natural treatment, vitamins, herbs, dietary supplements by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 20 2016


The world has suffered from pandemics of swine flu.

A new influenza A (H1N1) virus (also known as the swine flu) has never before circulated among humans. Signs of influenza A (H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. The new pandemic H1N1 flu may cause blood clots and other unusual damage in the lungs. However, the swine flu pandemic confirms that it is at worst only a little more serious than an average flu season and could well be a good deal milder.


Acute respiratory illness is defined as recent onset of at least two of the following: rhinorrhea or nasal congestion, sore throat, cough (with or without fever or feverishness). Clinicians should consider swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in the differential diagnosis of patients with febrile (>100ºF) respiratory disease and who who traveled recently to Mexico or were in contact with persons who had febrile respiratory illness and were in Mexico in the 7 days preceding their illness onset. See this immune page for suggestions on how to improve your ability to prevent or fight infections.
   The seasonal flu vaccine provides virtually no protection against the new H1N1 influenza strain.
   Face masks and clean hands may be key to preventing the influenza virus from spreading among family members. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009.


Natural supplements

2009 - The American Herbal Products Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the Natural Products Association and the United Natural Products Alliance say they do not know of any scientific data supporting the use of dietary supplements to treat swine flu. They recommend marketers and retailers of dietary supplements are urged to refuse to stock or sell any supplements that are presented as treating or curing swine flu. There are dietary supplements that have much to offer in terms of enhancing general immune function but therapies for the treatment of swine flu should only be recommended by qualified healthcare professionals or public health authorities.


Q. Is garlic safe also and at what level if swine flu comes along? That would be bottled cooking garlic.
   A. I am not aware of any research regarding the use of garlic for H1N1 treatment but garlic is known for its anti germ benefit.


Q. Would you post on your website some info please about what people who have been close physical proximity with some friends who later on had a family member diagnosed with swine flu, can and should do? Would you recommend us taking Tamiflu or some other medication? Would you recommend some other supplement? A friend recommended that I take ( I am 72) something called Cell Activator with IP6. Would you agree with that?
    A. The decision to use Tamiflu rests on many factors including age, overall health, immune system status, etc and that should be discussed with your doctor. The best option at this time in terms of prevention or reducing severity of the swine flu is to maintain an overall healthy immune system through a good diet, moderate exercise, low stress, and deep sleep. Washing hands and being aware of anyone who is sick and keeping a distance is helpful. The immune page can offer some suggestions. I have not seen any research regarding the use of Cell Activator with IP6 as a treatment for swine flu. Some companies are taking advantage of the gullibility of certain consumers to sell products that have not been adequately tested.


Outbreak, epidemic latest news
February 2010 - Federal health officials report that for the fourth week in a row that no states had widespread flu activity. U.S. cases have been declining since October 2009. An official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says swine flu cases are still occurring and are likely to continue a while longer at a reduced level. An estimated 70 million Americans have been vaccinated against swine flu through a government vaccination campaign that started in October. Meanwhile, an estimated 55 million or more got sick from swine flu and recovered, meaning they developed some level of natural immunity from the experience.

January 2010 - At least 12,220 deaths from H1N1 flu have been formally confirmed around the globe but the pandemic appears to be declining.


Switzerland's medical regulator recommended patients with serious autoimmune diseases should not use an H1N1 flu vaccine from Novartis, saying there were no studies assessing the inoculation in that segment of the population. Swissmedic said it could not be ruled out that either or both of the adjuvant -- which can enhance the immune response -- and the antigen, or less active ingredient, could lead to an intensifying of autoimmune diseases.


December 2009 - Swine flu has caused nearly 10,000 deaths in the United States, part of an outbreak that has infected about 50 million Americans. The deaths as of mid-November included about 1,100 children and 7,500 younger adults. About 200,000 people have been hospitalized.


Federal health officials now say that 4,000 or more Americans likely have died from swine flu — about four times the estimate they've been using. The new, higher figure was first reported by The New York Times. It includes deaths caused by complications related to swine flu, including pneumonia and bacterial infections. Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had conservatively put the U.S. swine flu death count at more than 1,000.


October 2009 - Delivery of some swine flu vaccines has been delayed because companies cannot make it as fast as they had hoped. While 40 million doses had been anticipated for the end of October, only about 28 to 30 million doses would be available. Deaths from H1N1 swine flu are above the epidemic threshold in some U.S. cities and states. H1N1 flu activity was widespread in 41 states. There are now a total of 86 children under 18 who have died from the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

September 2009 - Scientific advisers to President Barack Obama have asked the government to speed up the availability of swine flu vaccines, but they are unlikely to be ready before October, the new head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. And imperfect tests for the pandemic H1N1 virus means it will be impossible to get precise numbers on how many people are infected, said Dr. Thomas Frieden. Nonetheless, swine flu is the No. 1 priority for the CDC, according to Dr. Thomas Frieden.


The new H1N1 swine flu virus has killed 36 U.S. children as of September 2009. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against the H1N1 virus but a new vaccine is expected by early October according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) discovered that a single dose of swine flu vaccine could protect people from the H1N1 virus.

August 2009 - Healthy patients who get H1N1 swine flu without suffering complications do not need to be treated with antivirals like Tamiflu, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

July 2009 - The World Health Organisation says that about two billion people could catch H1N1 influenza by the time the flu pandemic ends.

June 4 - U.S. health officials have confirmed 20 deaths from the new strain of H1N1 flu, with more than 11,000 confirmed or probable cases.

May 26 - The World Health Organization says on Tuesday that nearly 13,000 people have been confirmed to have infection of the new H1N1 flu strain but the number of countries affected is stable at 46. Mexico has been most heavily affected by the flu outbreak, which has caused 80 deaths there. The other fatalities have been in the United States, where 10 people have died, and Costa Rica and Canada, which have reported one death each. The WHO said that the airborne virus has now been detected in all regions of the world except for Africa, which has yet to report an H1N1 infection. The biggest pockets outside of North America so far are in Japan, Britain and Spain.


May 20 - An Arizona teenager who had health problems died from H1N1 flu, health. The Pima County Health Department said the medically compromised 13-year-old boy died from complications of H1N1 influenza. Several of his family members were also ill with the virus and most have recovered. One sibling remains hospitalized. The death is the third in Arizona associated with the new flu strain.


May 15 - The World Health Organization has warned against a false sense of security from waning and apparently mild outbreaks of H1N1 flu, saying the worst may not be over. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, who raised the United Nations agency's pandemic alert to the second-highest level, said there remained "great uncertainty" about the strain that could pose particular threats in Southeast Asia.


May 11, 2009 - The United States now has 3,009 confirmed cases of the new H1N1 influenza across 45 states and Washington, D.C., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most H1N1 flu patients do not require antiviral therapy to recover, but a vaccine for the strain is needed in case it becomes resistant to existing drugs.


May 4, 2009 - The Federal Trade Commission is alerting the public to be wary of Internet sites and other promotions for products that claim to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. “Consumers who purchase products to treat the novel 2009 H1N1 virus that are not approved, cleared or authorized by the FDA for the treatment or prevention of influenza risk their health and the health of their families,” said Michael Chappell, acting FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs. “In conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission, the FDA has developed an aggressive strategy to identify, investigate, and take regulatory or criminal action against individuals or businesses that wrongfully promote purported 2009 H1N1 influenza products in an attempt to take advantage of the current flu public health emergency.”


FDA issues "swine flu" health fraud alert - The FDA is warning the public to be wary of Web sites offering products claimed to prevent, treat, or cure 2009 H1N1 flu virus, and is ordering offenders to take prompt corrective action or face immediate enforcement action. Suspected fraudulent or criminal activity can be reported at fda.gov/oci/flucontact.html


April 30, 2009 - The national total of confirmed H1N1 swine flu cases had risen to 109, but only one fatality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that New York was lead the case tally with 50, while Texas reported 26 and California 14. South Carolina had confirmed 10 new cases, it said.


April 28, 2009. To date, human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been confirmed in the United States. Illness signs and symptoms have consisted of influenza-like illness - fever and respiratory tract illness (cough, sore throat, runny nose), headache, muscle aches - and some cases have had vomiting and diarrhea. These cases had illness onset during late March to mid-April 2009. However, cases of severe respiratory disease, including fatal outcomes, have been reported in Mexico. The potential for exacerbation of underlying chronic medical conditions or invasive bacterial infection with swine influenza virus infection should be considered. The swine influenza A H1N1 virus that has infected humans in the U.S. and Mexico is a novel influenza A virus that has not previously been
identified in North America. This virus is resistant to the antiviral medications amantadine and rimantadine, but is sensitive to oseltamivir and zanamivir. Investigations of these cases suggest that ongoing human-to-human swine influenza A H1N1 virus is occurring. University students may be more likely to have recently traveled to Mexico or another affected region therefore a heightened awareness of your students’ travel history is important. Additionally, parents of your students may be concerned regarding the health of their children, and we would suggest updating your parents if you have not done so already.


England, UK
The estimated number of H1N1 flu cases nearly doubled to 100,000 in July in England.


2009 - Twenty people have died from contracting the H1N1 flu virus in Thailand in one week in July 2009, taking the death toll in the country to 44 since the epidemic broke out in April.

Swine flue natural treatment and prevention questions
Are there natural supplements, vitamins or herbs to treat swine flu or prevent it?
    See the immune link at the top of this page for suggestions on how to improve the immune system.


I need something to protect me against this swine flu that is going pandemic, and I refuse to take Tamiflu or Relenza or whatever its called. I want to go the natural route and was referred to oil of oregano, grapeseed extract, and vitamins A and C.
    I am not aware of any studies regarding natural supplements that prevent someone from getting swine flu or help to treat it.


I have heard that Sambucol and products like it increase cytokines. This new swine flu is the type that kills younger people due to a "cytokine storm," the result of having a very robust immune system. It is an H1N1 virus, the type that killed so many healthy young people in 1919. What do you think? Should we avoid Sambucol? What other natural remedies are available for people who cannot get prescriptions for Tamiflu, or do not want to take prescription drugs?
    Sambucol is an elderberry extract. I see no reason to avoid using this product in relation to swine flu.


Q. I found your website when doing a search for colloidal silver and found myself looking at Stephen Barrett's website. It stated that colloidal silver, in a nutshell, was really bad for you. However not trusting just one person's opinion I did a search on this guy and came up with your website. Boy am I glad I did! Anyway, I was wondering what you thought of colloidal silver? I need something to protect me against this swine flu that is going pandemic, and I refuse to take Tamiflu or Relenza or whatever its called. I know its a conspiracy of some kind and those drugs really just do more harm than good in my opinion (and then there is the contaminating it with the live virus that happened not too long ago. I want to go the natural route (I'm actually a fledgeling herbalist) and was referred to colloidal silver, oil of oregano and grapeseed extract,. I really have no clue about the use of these and I have heard mixed things on all of them. I just want something to help prevent me from getting it, and help me recover should I get it. I read about the flu strain and that it kills healthy immune systems. Is there a way to prevent that or lessen the effect without compromising the immune system itself?
    I am not aware of any studies regarding natural supplements that prevent someone from getting swine flu or help to treat it. There is no evidence at this time, April 2009, that the swine flue epidemic is a conspiracy.


There has been a lot of chatter on internet about various medical issues now being debated in Washington. Many of us are completely confused with all the conflicting info and I think I don't speak alone in wanting comments from a medical professional. I'm sure that you are kept more updated via your professional organizations than the rest of us are. Could you please give us your opinions in an email update? In particular: 1. Is the proposed swine flu vaccine safe? It supposedly contains squalene, which seems to have been implicated in various autoimmune conditions resulting from vaccinations given in the Gulf War. Also, there is chatter that it will be mandatory. Will there be any way to opt out?
    As of August 2009 it is difficult to make any recommendations since the whole issue is still in flux.


I was wondering if Dr. Sahelian has offered, or can offer, any thoughts on the safety and efficacy of the H1N1 flu vaccine and under what circumstances a person might consider getting the vaccine.
    I have not studied this topic in enough detail and depth to have a strong opinion as of October 2009.


I read on a website about avoiding H1N1 virus and other viruses. The portals of entry > are the nostrils and mouth / throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is. While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced. Frequent hand-washing. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe). Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population. Drink warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc). Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.