FLU Shots. Why I never get them anymore

Flu shotsI can’t remember when I had my last flu shot. Probably fifteen or twenty years ago. Does that explain why I had a bout with the swine flu in November of 2009? Since I never went to the doctor, I’m not sure if it was the swine flu, although an RN told me after the fact that my reported symptoms would suggest that it was.

So why did I get the swine flu in 2009 and would I have gotten it had I taken the flu shot? The answer to both questions is the same: I have no idea. But what I do know is that flu and colds simply haven’t been a problem for me since I began strengthening my immune system by eating at the 4Leaf level—deriving over 80% of my daily calories from whole, plant-based foods, still in nature’s package.

Before I began eating a near-optimal diet in 2002, I would typically have colds (or flu) about three or four times per year. And, like everyone else, I would get some throat lozenges, a bottle of cold medicine and would sometimes visit a physician to get some kind of medication for the fever.

One part of my routine when I get the flu; lots of rest and reading by the fire.

One part of my routine when I get the flu; lots of rest and reading by the fire.

Nowadays, when I occasionally feel a cold coming on (typically less than one a year), I simply get some rest, drink plenty of liquids, eat lots of fruits and veggies and not worry a bit about the fever. And, it’s usually gone in a few days.

My conclusion about flu shots. For me, it’s a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And what I have doing since 2002 seems to be working fine for me. I also know that all drugs are toxic—containing ingredients that our body does not need. I just learned while researching for this blog that the typical flu shot contains some formaldehyde, mercury and aluminum—all of which my body most certainly does not need.

My bottom line is that I have chosen to follow the advice of the plant-based savvy medical doctors featured in Chapter One of our book. As Dr. Joel Fuhrman says in the article cited below:

The most effective artillery we have to protect ourselves against the potential damaging effects of influenza and other infectious disease is nutritional excellence. Micronutrients—meaning vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals—fuel various clever host defense mechanisms…

Does that mean one should never get a flu shot? No, it’s not that simple. For more information, read on and check out the various links provided below.

What do the experts say?

It all depends on who you ask. When it comes to almost any medical condition that I might experience, my first conversation will always be with a medical doctor who truly “gets it” about food and how our food choices are responsible for over 80% of our diseases. I may later visit a specialist, but I will always start with the generalist that knows about the power of plant-based nutrition. Sadly, there aren’t that many of them.

But that scarcity of enlightened physicians is beginning to resolve itself as more people become interested in eating a health-promoting diet. With the mayor of Chicago now providing incentives for all of the city’s employees, and with other mayors hopefully following his lead, there may soon be a swelling demand for more plant-based savvy medical doctors. Take a look at what Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. John McDougall have to say.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his office in New Jersey

Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his office in New Jersey

Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Here is an excerpt from an excellent 2005 piece by Dr. Joel Fuhrman that that includes a great deal of information about flu in general. Toward the end of the article, he provided specific information about flu shots and flu treatments, such as Tamiflu.

Flu vaccines have benefits and risks too. If you read about the flu vaccine in the information supplied by the manufacturer you will learn it contains formaldehyde and 25 micrograms of thimersol (mercury) per dose, used as a preservative. The injection of even this small amount of mercury repeatedly year after year from multiple vaccines can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service have issued a joint statement calling for the removal of mercury from vaccines. Chronic low dose mercury exposures may cause subtle neurological abnormalities that rear their head later in life.

Considering all the vaccines that children get already, adding the flu to the mix and giving it each year, is something I am not ready to recommend in healthy children, fed a nutritionally sound diet. That does not mean I would not recommend it to an elderly person or one with a reason for compromised immune function. Full article: Six Steps to Protect Your Family from Avian Flu

Dr. John McDougall

Dr. John McDougall; scroll down for video about vaccines and immunizations in general.

Dr. John McDougall. Of all the plant-based savvy medical doctors that I know, Dr. McDougall is one of the best at providing reliable medical advice over a broad spectrum of ailments. He throughly investigates everything he recommends and provides detailed references if you’d like to do your own research. Here is an expert from his November 2006 Newsletter (See link below for the full article):

I am often asked whether or not I recommend getting a “flu” shot.  I have changed my opinion on this many times over my thirty-five years of medical practice and I reserve the right to change my opinion again in the future.  As a young doctor in the late 1970s, I ran a general practice during a time when an epidemic of swine flu was predicted—but that viral infection never occurred. However, two of my patients developed permanent paralysis below the waist after immunization with the swine flu vaccine, and some people believe that was not a coincidence.  This left me no longer recommending flu shots.

Where do I now stand?  For several years I personally did get a flu shot, but the last two I have not.  I now recommend that people who are old and frail err on the side of getting their annual flu shot, because complications, such as pneumonia, from a bout of influenza could easily be fatal. I worry that many people believe the flu shot will protect them from getting a very deadly viral disease known as avian (bird) flu—this is not true.  I also think it is long overdue for the pharmaceutical companies to start making safer vaccines, without the aluminum and mercury. Full article: Research Fails to Support Flu Shots Value.

Dr. Michael Klaper, one of the three medical doctors on our MD Help page

Dr. Michael Klaper, one of the three medical doctors on our MD Help page

My new MD Help Page. Want to speak to a “plant-based savvy” medical doctor before making the decision about flu shots for you and your family? Sadly, 95% of our medical doctors are not aware of the power of plant-based nutrition to prevent or reverse many chronic diseases.

If you’d like professional help in planning your flu strategy with a medical doctor who truly “gets it” about food, you may wish to visit our MD Help page and schedule a telephone consultation with one of the MDs listed there.

For your convenience, here are links to a few of my source articles that you might find helpful:

Consecutive daily blogs

Consecutive daily blogs

As for vaccines and immunizations in general, you might find this 2-minute video from Dr. John McDougall helpful.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

SHARE and rate this post below.

Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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21 Responses to FLU Shots. Why I never get them anymore

  1. Stan says:

    I’m with you, Jim. No flu shots. Don’t recall ever having one.

  2. Joanne Irwin says:

    I haven’t had a flu shot in years. Matter of fact, my personal physician did not advise it for me. I say ‘for me’ because everyone is different, with varying medical conditions and needs. Most important in the battle against flu contraction is hand washing. Yours may wind up red and chapped during the winter, but stock up on some good hand lotion, and keep washing in hot water and soap. However, there is more to health than eating totally plant based of which I’m an advocate, teacher, and crazy, madly, deeply committed to. It’s called centering and mindfulness. Two years ago I came down with shingles due to extreme family stress that I, obviously, carried and allowed to fester and do its dastardly work. My own doctor opined, “I thought you’d be in here sooner with this.” We can eat all the right foods in the world, but if we ignore our inner realm, we can get sick. Stress can make people sick.
    So, besides advocating a plant based lifestyle, I encourage my class participants to examine how they deal with stress, and contemplate adopting a daily practice – be it meditation, Reiki, yoga, etc. – to still the mind and body. Cancer is a multi-faceted disease and prevention requires a multi-faceted approach – body, mind and spirit. To your good health out there – go green!

    • billkranker says:


      I agree with your whole body approach. Certainly, you cannot have true health without all of the elements being correct.

      The one area that I will disagree with you is with the hand washing. This idea represents a common misunderstanding about germs and their relationship to humans. Think of germs as natures garbage collectors. Without them things would get out of hand very quickly. They come to humans whenever we have excess garbage (toxins) to get rid of. So if we have a lot of garbage then we will attract a lot of germs. Conversely, if we get rid of our garbage we will also not attract many germs. But you should not think of germs as a villain but more as a savior. Without them we would be dead. Your garbage would never get collected and thus your insides would look like a NY garbage strike with bags stacked up high on the curb. So in reality germs are not the problem but the garbage or toxins are the true problem. If there is no excess garbage then there will not be any excess germs. In modern humans the biggest source of toxins is in the consumption of incorrect foods. If you eliminate the bad foods you will eliminate 90% of your toxins and thus greatly reduce your garbage and also your resident germs. Other sources of toxins might be things like households cleaners, vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, medications, cold remedies, alcohol, cosmetics, sunscreen, copy machines, etc… Some of these are little more difficult to eliminate. Also even the correct foods will contain some toxins so we will likely always have some garbage to eliminate and thus we will have some requirement for germs. This is why using antibacterial products can be so harmful to us. We need germs and so killing them is not a good idea. Often people may be making themselves sicker while trying to prevent illness because of the use of these germ preventing products. We are basically killing off something that is there to help us. Another thing to understand is that while these germs are doing their work it will be very uncomfortable for us thus the symptoms usually attributed to a cold. Germs use up some of our energy while they are cleaning us up.

      Howard Hughes tried to eliminate germs from his life. He even had a special car built with an air purifier in the trunk. Howard Hughes was crazy and so are most of us. I often see people using paper towel to open a bathroom door on the way out to try and prevent touching germs. Does that work? How do we know? What about all of the other knobs we pull. Are they germ free? This whole idea goes against nature. Humans used to eat out food off the ground with all kinds of dirt and debris. What has really changed regarding our physiology? Probably nothing! I have seen kids being licked on the lips by dogs. They did not die afterward and they did not get sick from that but more likely the McDonald’s McNuggets their parents fed them at lunch. I never wash my hands (except for cleanliness reasons in the restroom) and I have not been sick for the past 7 years since switching my diet. This whole germ phobia was started by Louis Pasteur who was a much better self-promoter than he was a scientist. Do a web search on his history. The modern medical industry has taken Pasteur’s idea and made a profitable sales tool out of it. There is big money in fighting germs unfortunately it is all wasted.

      If you want to eliminate excess germs and thus cold symptoms then get to the natural human diet or at least as close as you can. Jim is on the right track but I would go one step further to a low fat raw vegan diet if you wish to be truly healthy.

      Have a great day and give your hands a rest!


      • Joanne Irwin says:

        Bill, I certainly agree with your statement about the need and reasons to avoid all those anti-bacterial hand washing potions. Your analogy was great! When I talk about hand washing, I refer to good, old plain soap, and keep hands and fingers away from the eyes and nose.
        I have to disagree somewhat with your closing statement about raw vegan foods being the crown jewel of good health. Certain foods, like tomatoes and carrots, release more of their antioxidant benefits when cooked; the same goes for kale. Further, many people have difficulty digesting totally raw foods. Eating and sharing foods is not only a ritual, but a source of comfort. Cooked foods can provide that level of comfort and familiarity, as long as they’re plant based. Someone once told me that Dr. Barnard was ‘nearly’ correct in all his writings, but that he didn’t go far enough. This individual felt that if Dr. Barnard and other physicians in the family advocated a raw foods, vegan diet they’d hit the bulls eye. I believe they’re already hit the target and are on the right track.
        Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the input.

    • billkranker says:


      P.S. If you are looking for a good hand lotion buy some coconut oil (Not Cocoa butter). It works really well and is not toxic to your body. Most health food stores carry it and some supermarkets as well. For comparison read the ingredients label on most lotions and you will see a web of long chemical names. If you would not put it in your mouth then do not put it on your skin! Coconut oil is edible!!

      • Joanne Irwin says:

        Bill, one further reply to your statement that “coconut oil is edible”. Absolutely not!!! Coconut oil is fat, plain and simple. I emailed Dr. Esselstyn regarding use of coconut oil. While having friends for dinner, I received a phone call from Dr. Ess and this is what he shared…… Joanne, until I read solid, scientific research on the validity of coconut oil, avoid it. It is nothing but marketing hype.There is no research suggesting its health benefits. Tell your class participants to use it on their hair.
        Which is exactly what I do. If you want to consume coconut, then either climb a tree and cut one down or buy from your trusted grocer, use a trusty hammer to open the fruit, and feast on the whole, plant based gift. But to use the oil, which is a processed food, and nothing but pure fat that will go from your lips to your hips, is pure marketing, sensational hype. Avoid it!! That comes from the physician with a 15 year solid research project on not only preventing, but reversing heart disease. My trust is with Dr. Esselstyn not the fancy packaging and mega marketing that abounds today!

    • billkranker says:


      Thank you for your kind reply and opinion. I enjoy hearing all sides of an argument.

      I have heard many of the pros and cons regarding which vegan diet is better –raw or cooked and although I feel strongly that raw is better based on my own experiments and the feedback of other people who are also following the raw diet, I do understand that cooked vegan is not evil or harmful.

      Personally having experimented with both I noticed the following differences:

      On cooked vegan:
      – I have a little less energy which I notice especially during vigorous exercise.
      – I still had a yearly cold and some allergies
      – I found I needed to use more spices (irritants) as some of the flavor of the food was lost.
      – I occasionally got rashes on my skin and some breakouts.

      On Raw vegan:
      – I notice that my digestion and elimination are better and easier.
      – I have almost a “high” feeling with bursts of energy – Also noted by others on this diet.
      – My skin remains very clear – no breakouts.
      – Require a little less sleep – wake up fully rested.
      – Do not get hunger withdrawel feeling.

      I read a lot of information on all different types of diets and follow a huge amount of blogs and so I hear a lot of opinions. Many raw food followers do eat some cooked food. People like Frederic Patenaude and Kevin Gianni include cooked foods in their diets. Others like Swayze Foster or Paul and Yulia Tarbath do not. Some of this is personal preference. Some of it is personal convenience. It is much easier to go with the flow as cooked foods are much easier to get when dinning out. There is also much more info on cooked vegan then on raw. Another factor is that the leaders of the cooked vegan movement like Dr McDougall or Dr Barnard do appear a lot more credible. Let’s face it they look more respectable. Most raw foodist are much more countercultural looking. It is in the nature of adventuring into the unknown. Before Columbus and a few others traveled across the ocean it was considered to be risky and foolish. Now it is commonplace. Raw is a little like that now. It can be slightly risky to those who have not experienced it. For me it is a lot more commonplace. When I started this diet 7 years ago there were hardly any resources out there. Now there are many. As I reflect on this diet (which I often do) there are a couple things that get me thinking regarding whether we are meant to eat cooked food or not. 1) Humans are the only creature on Earth that heats its food. Why is that? None of the animals that are biologically like us eat cooked food. 2) If a food needs to be cooked or processed in order to be edible to us is it really a food we were meant to eat? Not sure. I try cooked foods every once in a while and have always noticed a decreased level of energy reverses after I switch back to raw.

      I do not have all of the answers but I am relying on a level of common sense and experiment as my guide. I find that sometimes too much science can blind us with an overabundance of information. This is why so many eastern cultures turn to meditation to remove some of the clutter from their thinking. I am always looking for the most simplistic approach as I feel humans probably lived this way before all of the science and disease existed. Science has helped us in a great many ways but it may ultimately be the thing that removes humans from the Earth.

      Again thank you and I hope you have an excellent day.


    • billkranker says:


      I am sorry as you may have misunderstood what I meant by edible. I consider coconut oil to be a processed food and as such not an ideal part of your diet. Yes it is a concentrated fat which can be just as unhealthy as any other fat in your diet. My main point is that it does not contain any harmful chemicals like most commercial skin creams do. Thus you will not get cancer from ingesting it. If you use it as a skin cream it is completely safe. I certainly respect Dr. Esselstyn and the work he has done regarding the reversal of heart disease. I can also see why he would be so proactive regarding the use of fats in the diet. But for anyone on a healthy low fat diet the consumption of a small amount of coconut oil should not be an issue. Also the use of it as a skin cream is perfectly safe especially when compared to the toxic alternatives. I use it quite regularly and find it works very well. I also have consumed it with no issues. I do notice if I have too much I will lose my energy. I also notice that it helps my skin even when consumed oraly as well – again less than half a teaspoon. Humans do not digest fats well which is why they end up around our waste and hips.

      Hope that clarifies my last note.


      • Joanne Irwin says:

        It does. Thanks for clarifying, Bill, and appreciate, as well, your in-depth explanation of your raw diet. Certainly sounds as if it’s working for you! Good health and joy!

  3. Shelley says:

    I don’t take the flu shot either. -the reason many people get sick and spread germs is they do not practice proper hygiene and they don’t stay home when they are sick.

    The news doesn’t say how many people got the flu shot and then got the flu and died anyway does it ? I will never EVER forget waiting over an hour in the urgent care waiting room back in 1999 with at least 35 other miserable sick & coughing flu victims. and then getting in to see the doctor who told me most of the people he had seen that day were sick with flu and most of them had HAD THE SHOT !
    no thank you!
    I agree with Bill – with proper rest, fluids and good nutrition the body can take care of the business of fighting off the germs & the toxic accumulation on its own……I would add it is smart to do daily saline nasal rinses during cold and flu season plus frequent hand washing & get some exercise every day. I have not been ill with any cold or flu sine 1999.

    • billkranker says:


      See my reply under Joanne’s post as I do not think the saline nasal rinses are a very good idea. Salt is a poison to humans and thus you may be doing more harm than good with this treatment.


      • Shelley says:

        Bill, I have been washing my nose with warm salt water for 18 years. I just read an article the other day that was talking about how little salt gets absorbed into the body from this practice. A person was worried about too much salt and blood pressure and a doctor was saying the salt does not get absorbed.

    • billkranker says:


      I completely understand. My concern was not so much in the absorption of the salt as it was to killing off the delicate lining of your nose. I assume your purpose in doing this was to eliminate germs which my other reply note to Joanne may explain why this may not be advised in my opinion.


      • Shelley says:

        Bill, if the salt water is not the correct mixture–too salty–then indeed yes it can burn the nose and perhaps harm it. You must use the right amount of water and salt. You have to know how to mix up the correct solution. The saline wash actually stimulates your natural cilia to beat more vigorously and do a better job of clearing the germs and pollution. We have these tiny hairs called cilia in our sinuses and in our respiratory tract that naturally clean out mucus and particles and things that irritate the airways, and putting correctly mixed saltwater in the sinuses actually stimulates those tiny hairs to do a better job of clearing those things in a sort of natural way.
        The nasal rinsing removes ICAM-1, a product naturally present in your nose which is the portal of entry of the cold virus. If you wash out the ICAM-1 then the virus has no doorway by which to enter.
        The salt water solution for nasal rinsing needs to be a mixture of 0.9% non-iodized sodium chloride and purified water – not tap water- warmed to around 98 degrees F/ 37 degrees C, with or without inclusion of a buffering agent such as sodium bicarbonate.
        Flushing the nasal cavity with salt water promotes mucociliary clearance by removing encrusted material. In proper proportion, nasal salt water solution with slight acidic pH functions as an anti-bacterial irrigant. The flow of salt water through the nasal passage flushes the dirt, airborne allergens (dust and pollen), pollutants and bacteria-filled mucus.
        Homemade solutions and most commercial solutions are isotonic (salt concentration equal to that of our body, 0.9%).
        This recipe is from the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Scripps Clinic in San Diego:

        “ENT Solution”
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        1 teaspoon white Karo syrup
        1 pint warm water – 16 ounces

        Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) acts as a buffer. Water tends to be slightly acidic. This occasionally bothers some people. The addition of baking soda brings the pH of the solution back into a physiological range.

        Karo Syrup functions to make the solution more closely matched to our physiological sugar concentration. It sort of makes the water more “slippery” as well and helps moisturize.

    • billkranker says:


      You sound very informed on this subject which is great. If it is working well for you then certainly you should continue on your path.

      My only point was that your body may not need this extra help. If given the proper conditions it should be able to resolve its own issues without all of this extra work.

      Do all germs enter through the nose? What about the mouth? Could the germs be in your food? I had heard at one time from a doctor that you can wipe germs into your eyes and get sick. How do you completely protect against all possibilities?

      I think that we have it backward. Germs are everywhere and on everything. You can try and sterilize your entire world and live in a plastic bubble so that you are absolutely sure that no germs could get to you but what fun would that be. Our body can deal with germs really well. We have so many systems in place for controlling our internal germ population. We need these germs in order to live and we would die without them. So why are we killing them? Just because someone told us that they are evil. Then why is another group telling us we need more of them in our stomach –Activia yogurt??? But these are good germs right! But how can you tell them apart?? What if we accidentally kill the good ones? Yikes!!!

      What did cave people do before all of these chemical cures were available and before we had a doctor on every corner? They did not even have health care! The simple answer (even though we really do not know for sure) is that they likely eat their instinctual diet and got lots of fresh air and exercise. I think it is really that simple. We are just making it more complicated on ourselves.

      If you look at everyone who gets sick you will find that some element of their life is not in sync with nature. Germs are a part of nature but civilized life is not very well aligned with nature. The closer we get to our origins the less we will suffer from illness.

      You can continue to place saline solution into your nose if you wish but it is really not necessary in my opinion.

      Some areas that may get you better results, if you have not done so already, may be to eliminate as many toxins as possible from your life and get as close as possible to your true instinctual diet along with lots of fresh air and exercise. Just my opinion for what it is worth.


      • Shelley says:

        Bill, I agree that germs can get into your body through your mouth & eyes and you can not protect agains all possibilities all the time. But I disagree with your reasoning about cave people.

        cave people did not have amounts of polluants in the air to deal with that we do.
        they also did not live very long–did they?–today we breathe in so much
        pollution . way way more than cave people did. our nose is our “filter” we clean our hair, skina nd teeth so doesn’t it make sense to clean our filter too?

        With increasing pollution and chemicals in our environment, there has been an enormous rise in the number of people who suffer various forms of nasal congestion and respiratory illnesses. Health practitioners throughout the world recommend the regular practice of nasal cleansing using a saline solution as part of a regular regimen of health and wellness, a basic health-maintenance activity equal to flossing your teeth.
        Nose washing with warm salt water is a
        gentle, safe, efficient way to deliver a good cleansing to the nose. The
        Neti pot provides a soothing, gentle stream of salt water, the same concentration as
        tears, flows through your nose, washing away pollens, mucus, viruses and bacteria.

        I taught elem school and for 16 years was fine. Then i transferred to a different school. My classroom in this new-to-me but very OLD school was mold ridden.
        I would catch a cold and it would evolve into a sinus infection. I would then have to see a doctor and get on an antibiotic. I had never had this problem before.

        According to a Mayo Clinic study, as much as 96 percent of people suffering from chronic sinusitis are “fungal sensitized,” meaning they have immune responses triggered by inhaled fungal organisms. That is what happened to me.
        All-natural treatment options for acute sinusitis includes: drinking hot liquids, applying warm compresses, sinus irrigation, aromatherapy steam bath, certain foods such as horseradish and wasabi, eliminating dust, and elevating your head when sleeping
        Here is something my ENT said to me – he sat me down and said : “I’m going to give you the keys to the kingdom: Control the mucus. Mucus is caustic and it creates inflammation if it lingers in your system”. He also said ” That is why nasal rinsing will help you – you must do it everyday for the rest of your life.” I had had the whole allergy work up and was found not to be allergic to anything. But my ENT said when
        looking int my nose ” you have an allergic looking nose- it’s inflamed”. That was back in 1995. A few years later the Mayo Clinic came out with their findings on mold triggering sinus problems. You can never remove all the toxins and molds from the air but you CAN remove them from your nose and that is what I have done and will keep on doing. For me, 3 colds in 18 years is better than 2-4 colds per year-!!!

    • billkranker says:


      The cave people argument was meant to represent earlier people. None of us really knows what cave people did or did not do or how long their life expectancy was so it is a bad example on my part but it was used to illustrate my point that we were able to survive just as most animals do on our natural diet without most of the problems that we suffer from today.

      Salt in any form is a life killer. That is why it is used for the curing of meats and the canning of vegetables. This is also why it hurts us when it gets into an open cut. I am concerned that your daily use of it in your nose will be doing the same thing to your living nose tissue as well. What other conclusion can you make? Salt kills life and your nose is a living thing. The only exceptions regarding salt are for those creatures that are adapted to living in a salt environment which does not include humans.

      The levels of salt that are found in the sweat and tears of most people are not natural but is the consequence of the general populations over consumption of processed salt. The body uses this fluid loss as a way of carrying this toxin out of our body. In the recent past most medical professionals mistakenly recommended that people take in more salt to replace that which was lost through perspiration when in fact the body meant to get rid of it. Salt is also considered an irritant and will cause us to produce mucus as a means of removing it from our system. Most spices such as pepper have the same affect. When you eliminate processed salt and spices from your diet a great many problems go away including coughs and nose and ear issues related to mucus. Healthy levels of sodium can be obtained directly from vegetables like celery which do not cause these types of issues as the body can readily assimilate the sodium in this form. By the way wasabi and horseradish are also irritants and I would not recommend them either. Given common sense does irritating (stimulating) your cilia really seem right?

      Regarding mucus your doctor was right, you want to keep from triggering the body to produce it. Thus stay away from irritants as much as possible. If you are stuck in a toxic or polluted classroom then you should try and remove yourself from that environment. If you can’t then you may need to resort to a crutch like the saline rinse. Regarding most regular pollutants, it will depend on the levels in the air. I would still recommend getting out of the problem instead of putting a “fix” in place.

      You need to be cautious with the advice you get from most medical professionals as they are really, in some cases, sales people. Their profit model includes a high level of sales commission from drugs and medical referrals etc… Is it really unbiased advise that you are receiving? Maybe but maybe not. Remember at one time doctors recommended blood-letting and even cigarettes. Sometimes they can be a little behind in their understanding of physiology.

      Anyway, sorry for playing written tennis with you but I am just offering another view.
      The bottom line is, do we really know what is right if we are not doing exactly what our body requires. I see this in the auto industry a lot. Someone will bring their car in for repair saying that it is not running right. The first thing I always ask is whether all of the maintenance (filters changed, oil changed etc..) has been completed. If it is not up to date how can you expect the car to be running like it should? The same is true of people. How can you expect to have great health if you are still smoking or drinking coffee or soda pop or eating improper foods? These issues need to be fixed first and then we can talk about the other issues like the levels of pollution in the air.

      Hope you have an excellent day!


      • Shelley says:

        Bill-!! think about this please–cave people or even people who were alive 100 years ago did not have to deal with the amount of toxic pollution
        that we have to deal with today. the air was much MUCH cleaner then-! i live in san diego but when i go to los angeles i can
        SEE thick layers of smog in some areas. we have santa ana winds in southern calif and we have wildfires that get out of control and burn whole housing developments and the burning goes on for days! the smoke and pollution these fires cause is horrible.
        100 year ago we did not have the extensive housing tracts blanketing the lands and natural wildfires would occur and burn themselves out much sooner than they do now.

        i left that mold ridden classroom back in 1996 and went to work in a much better school in a classroom with windows that could open and thus the room could be properly ventilated.

        Bill, I have a lot of respect for doctors but do not
        blindly follow what they say. I have had 3 doctors tell me what I am doing is good for me. i had terrible sinus problems and was told i had stage 3 sinus disease.
        i thought i would never be normal in my sinuses. i lived on antibiotics for years! now my allergist tells me i am a “success story” and she wishes all her patients would
        do saline rinses as i do. so yes the salt water rinses are a “crutch” for me but many people do them – you can google ‘nose washing’ and see if you don’t believe me. i eat a low fat vegan diet with no oil or salt added.

        salt is very purifying-for external use. doctors tell people to gargle with warm salt water! i don’t ingest much salt at all! you can poison yourself and die if you eat too much salt or if you drink too much WATER! but salt and water can be helpful!

        I never have smoked, i drink alcohol very seldom and
        i exercise every day. i do not drink coffee or soda pop or eat candy. i swim, walk, do yoga & stretching every day and i meditate. i am the same weight i was in high school.
        my blood pressure is low, my lipids are great, my blood sugar is normal. I feel great, sleep wonderfully and my energy is that of someone 20 years younger. i am very healthy!

    • billkranker says:


      I really appreciate your story. I can fully understand the reasoning behind your use of the saline. Again, I was really just concerned for your long-term welfare with regard to the use of the salt. Certainly you should do what works best for you.

      As a little side note I work in manufacturing management as a profession and also originally worked in a dirty and hazardous environment. My clothes used to smell just from one day at this plant. During the time I worked here is when I transitioned to my current diet. So I worked about 3 years here after going to a low fat raw vegan diet. As with your case I had terrible colds and allergies up until the time I switched my diet and then I had no problems at all even with the toxic air in this environment. It could have just been a fluke. Maybe your saline may have made my health even better. It is always possible. I only know that the diet did make a big difference in this area.

      Luckily I was later put in charge of designing and developing a new factory to replace this 100 year old plant (Which originally built parts for the Dodge Brothers prior to Chrysler’s existence) The new plant is much cleaner. It is certainly much easier to stay well in this cleaner facility but it still has its challenges. We have a large metal furnace area which, although clean, is still a very toxic process.

      I think it is excellent hearing about the level of health that you are maintaining and you are definitely an inspiration. San Diego is also a very nice area. I have some relatives that live in the area. I stayed in Coronado a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

      I hope you have an excellent weekend!!


  4. Jacquelyn Shah says:

    Thank you! I have been following your blog for a few months now & have been in complete agreement with you for a long time. I was more or less “vegetarian” for many years, then more or less “vegan,” and as of this past October almost purely vegan—deviations very small & infrequent. I have had excellent health all my adult life, having had the “flu” (I think that’s what it was, though mild) just once, in 1971. And I’ve only ever had the flu shot once (last year, after succumbing to pressure from my partner & doctor). This year I went back to my previous stance: no shot. I try to include super foods in my diet daily—broccoli, blueberries, greens, etc.—and very little processed foods. I have read books by Fuhrman, McDougall, and many, many others. I’m a firm believer in all that you lay out in your daily blogs.
    Jacquelyn Shah, Ph.D. creative writing, Houston

  5. billkranker says:


    If you really study our physiology, the concept of injecting a toxic substance directly into our blood stream thus bypassing our many safeguards makes absolutely no sense. Your method is the best. Rest, fluids and nutrition. The body can then take care of the business of fighting off the toxic accumulation on its own.

    If you want to do even better at preventing colds and allergies then move to a low fat raw vegan diet per Doug Grahams 80/10/10. I have been following it for about 7 years and have been cold and allergy free.

    I would recommend the following sources for more info:

    Dr Doug Graham at http://www.foodnsport.com
    Swayze Foster at http://www.fitonraw.com
    Ellen Livingston at http://www.livingyoganow.com
    Frederic Patenaude at http://www.fredericpatenaude.com
    for a great resource of info go to http://www.rawfoodexplained.com and search their natural hygiene training program files. There is some info on vaccines there as well.

    Have a great day!!!


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