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Flu epidemic turns some to home remedies. Do they work?

The nationwide flu epidemic has turned some to home remedies to prevent it or cure it.

Posted: Feb. 8, 2018 7:15 PM
Updated: Feb. 8, 2018 7:27 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The nationwide flu epidemic has turned some to home remedies to prevent it or cure it.

"The Tamiflu had a shortage, so they were looking for some alternative," said Dr. Stump Gilmore, a pharmacist at Zip Scripts Pharmacy in Tupelo.

Tamiflu is an antiviral prescription used to treat symptoms caused by the flu.

Dr. Gilmore says this flu season has been so vicious, Tamiflu was hard to find at one point.

As a result, many turned to natural alternatives like oscilloccinum, elderberry, and zinc to alleviate flu symptoms.

"If you want something natural, then it's fine," added Dr. Gilmore. "Others like Tamiflu because it's been approved by the FDA and been tested."

Whole Family Nutrition Market in Tupelo has been extra busy this flu season.

"They're looking for natural remedies that help increase their own immune systems' ability to fight off the flu and perhaps prevent secondary infections," said Michelle Barbieri, the owner of the store.

Barbieri says oscilloccinum helps shorten the duration of the flu virus.

"Elderberry can be taken as a preventative to get ahead of the flu," added Barbieri. "It can also be beneficial to active flu in the body by strengthening the immune system, helping respiratory and keeping the flu virus from replicating the cells and taking over the whole body."

WTVA also ran into a man who has taken those supplements. He says he is the only one in his family who didn't catch the flu.

"Somehow, I have steered clear," said Todd Kennedy. "I don't know if that had anything to do with preventing me from getting it or not, but I'm still taking it."

"You can start on those [oscilloccinum, elderberry] within the first 48 hours," said Dr. Gilmore. "I would recommend going to see your physician when you can so they can do the swab and see if it's actually the flu or if it's just a cold."

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