Tucker's 12-Hour Flu Cure

The burgeoning market for home remedies is a glory to behold. It allows you to bypass the medical establishment, the government-backed insurance system, and conventional wisdom all at once.

But there can be such a blithering array of products available, it's hard to know what to take. And some of them are surely nuts. How can you know what to do. You receive advice from every corner, and a thousand books, but here's one that I've found to be infallible for the flu.

You know the feeling. A creeping ache starts mid-morning, and your are not sure whether it's a muscle strain or something else. Weakness begins to set in, but maybe you are just tired. Then the eyes start to give out and turn a bit red. Fatigue sets in. Throat starts to hurt a bit. You feel a bit chilly and generally blechy.

It's the flu. Will you be down for days? What to do?

At last the answer: Cod Liver Oil. It tastes like an old, dead fish that you scooped off a beach. But it's been used as a medicine for centuries. It's loaded with vitamins A and D in some special combination that has some wham-bam effect on the system. The experts say it has something called Omega 3 fatty acids which do something to zap away other kinds of infecting bad stuff.

Also, some site on the web incomprehensively says: u201CFish oil contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid); both are omega-3 oils. Most fish oil supplements are 18% EPA and 12% DHA, or a total of 30% omega-3. These special omega-3 oils, unlike other omega-3 oils, keep blood triglycerides in check (high triglycerides are generally linked with increased risk of heart disease). EPA and DHA keep blood from clotting too quickly. They also have anti-inflammatory activity. As a result, fish oil is used to help people with various inflammatory conditions, including Crohn''s disease. Fish oil may help people with a wide variety of disorders, including chronic kidney diseases. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may be less likely to develop in those with a greater intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Due to its effects on prostaglandin metabolism, fish oil has helped some people with Raynaud's phenomenon in double blind research. Schizophrenia is linked with abnormalities in fatty acid metabolism, and preliminary research has found fish oil helpful in people with schizophrenia.u201D

Whatever the reason, it works. Pour two tablespoons that into a glass of orange juice, with a splash of vinegar to give the muscles back their strength. Add some echinacea to boost the immunities. Down the hatch, and chase it with some codeine cough syrup. Now crawl into bed and sleep for 10 hours. You wake up well and ready to go. By the afternoon, it's as if you've never been sick at all.

June 5, 2001