In height of flu season, alternative remedies sought for symptom relief

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Inside Savannah’s Brighter Day Food Market, the produce aisle is stocked full, smoothies are being made per usual, but elsewhere shelves are empty.

Rows where relief over-the-counter medication and alternative remedies once sat at the ready, now sit empty, for the time being.

This flu season parents and patients alike are seeking other routes to the path of wellness, and putting aside getting the vaccine or using medicines like Tamiflu.

“We usually have a lot of elderberry tinctures here and syrups which have sold out,” Brighter Day co-owner Janie Brodhead said. “We get them on the shelf and they sell out immediately so we do have elderberry making kit.”

The kit sells for $19.99.

Elderberry can help people relieve their cold and flu-like symptoms.

Another method claiming homeopathic flu relief is Oscillococcinum. At Brighter Day, its popularity combined with a shortage of product is resulting in a rationing of whatever supply they do have.

“We got it on Friday and sold out on Saturday,” Brodhead said.

While the uptick in sales is catching attention on social media, Broadhead says it’s merely history repeating itself.

“Your great-grandmother might have made elderberry syrup. Or she might have put garlic in chicken soup so this is just going back to the remedies that really seem to be working for people.”

WSAV spoke to pharmacist Kaushal Patel at Apollo Pharmacy in Savannah about the reason for natural remedies.

He said there is a greater accessibility to patients, which can results in cheaper solutions, especially for people who don’t have insurance but says people need to take caution when using alternative measures.

“It’s [Oscillococcinum] pretty diluted and it may or may not work therefore I recommend the patients talk to their doctor or their pediatrician before they start their therapy. ”

While he recommends people use good hygiene behavior, like washing hands, adequate sleep and staying away from those who are sick, he does recommend people use essential oils, vitamins, and other natural remedies to help prevent sickness from happening in the first place.

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