Monday,March 18, 2013 @ 04:51

Novato, CA (PRWEB) December 10, 2003

Laura Darby, M.D., founder and director of Alterna Integrative Medical Center, the North Bay’s primary Holistic Internal Medical and Anti-aging Center is offering up tips to beat back the flu bug as we are upon the heels of a severe flu season, a particular strain the CDC terms as ‘more virulent than normal’.

The flu peak occurs any time from late December through March in the U.S., with 10 to 20 percent of U.S. residents getting the flu. The CDC estimates in an average flu season 114,000 people will be hospitalized and 36,000 will die from the flu. Flu deaths are significant among the elderly, with the Western U.S. affected the most.

Due to the shortage of the flu vaccine, prevention is key this flu season.

Laura Darby, M. D., a pioneer in wellness and alternative medicine has some tips for preventing the flu.

According to Darby, building up your immune system during the flu months is of utmost importance to flu prevention. “Eating healthy and taking vitamin and herbal supplements such as Astragalus, a Chinese herbal remedy, have immune boosting effects. Exercising and reducing stress will also increase the immune system. Minimize alcoholic, sugar, caffeine and processed carbohydrates because they impair the immune system’s ability to function,” says Darby. “If you do contract the flu, drinking, fluids, using steam inhalations and nasal saline washes are helpful for relieving symptoms. Other symptomatic treatments include taking Tylenol and Advil for aches and fever; warm, salty water helps sore throats.

Darby suggests taking the following herbs in a pure tincture form, not in a pill or capsule for sore throats and coughs: Marshmallow, Mullein, Fenugreek Slippery Elm, Lobelia and Golden Seal.


Exotic Mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster, enoki and maitake

-Fruits & Vegetables: Several daily servings, fresh or organically grown

Garlic: Eat a clove of garlic a day, raw or lightly cooked.

-Green Tea: Substitute coffee for green tea.

Be aware of Fat: Avoid polyunsaturated vegetable oils and transfatty acids.

Water: Drinks several glasses a day to keep your mucus membranes moist effectively fighting off viruses they encounter.

-Minimize caffeine and alcohol, sugar and processed carbohydrates


-Astragalus Membranaceous tincture: A Chinese herbal remedy that has antiviral and immune boosting effects.

-Daily antioxidant supplements such as A, C, E, Zinc and Selleum

Echinacea root tincture

Daily multi-vitamins and a daily dose of vitamin C.


Yoga: Reduces stress and strengthens the immune system.

Tai Chi


Physical activity: Running, bicycle riding, walking.


Steam Inhalations: Use sage and/or eucalyptus steam inhalations.

-Nasal Saline Washes: Use a teaspoon of salt in 8oz. of tepid or warm water and sniff to coat nasal passages.

For further information on Alterna, contact Laura Darby, M.D., at (415) 209-6180 or visit her office at 165 Rowland Way, Suite 308, Novato Community Hospital.


About Laura Darby, M.D.

Laura Darby, M.D. practices integrative and anti-aging medicine. Darby is the first in the North Bay to pioneer a preventative approach to healthcare through integrative medicine. Prior to opening Alterna, the leading center for Integrative Medicine and Aesthetics in the North Bay, Darby practiced Holistic Internal Medicine in Denver for seven years. Since 1989, Darby has taken numerous courses and seminars in alternative therapies, including studying with Dr. Andrew Weil.

Darby graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston in 1993 and completed her Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at Presbyterian/St. Lukes Hospital, Denver in 1996. Darby has a special interest in anti-aging and skin rejuvenation and while at Presbyterian/St Lukes Hospital she furthered her studies with a Dermatology rotation. Darby is fluent in Spanish and an accomplished artist. She resides in Novato.

For media inquires contact Michele Brownstein, dMk Communications, Public Relations at (510) 530-7369 or

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