Anti-Viral Herbs to Boost Immunity
Virus's are unpredictable! There are hundreds of different virus's that keep mutating and causing infections and illness. These include the common cold, the Flu, Viral Hepatitis, HIV, Epstein Barr, Mono, and many more. Running to the doctor for antibiotics is not one of the best things you can do since it will actually make your immune system weaker. Get informed and prepared for this winter season!
Choosing to have an annual flu shot is no guarantee! It can be 80% or less effective as the strains keep mutating. Virus's can infect all types of life forms - even bacteria itself. They have been described as "organisms on the edge of life" because they carry genetic material and evolve, but they lack cell structure which is generally needed to be considered a 'living' thing.
Virus's can be spread in many ways, like blood-sucking insects (Lyme), by coughing and sneezing (colds, influenza), or unsanitary water and food. Some are transmitted by sexual contact (HIV, Herpes, STD's), and some like viral gastroenteritis (infectious diarrhea) by the fecal-oral route and are passed from person to person by contact or enter the body by food or water.
Are There Effective Anti-Viral Herbs?
Many anti-viral herbs fight viral infections and will boost the immune system, which allows the body to attack viral pathogens. Anti-viral herbs inhibit the development of viruses yet are pretty much harmless to the body. Anti-viral drugs are designed to attack specific pathogens, but they mutate over time and become less effective to treatment. They can also have a number of other health benefits, such as cardio-vascular, digestive, and anti-inflammatory support.
One of my favorites is OREGANO OIL! Medicinal grade oregano oil is distilled to extract the essential oils and preserve it's healing compounds. It is highly concentrated and takes over 1,000 pounds of wild oregano to produce just 1 pound of oregano oil!
Oregano oil benefits are proving to be superior to many antibiotics without the harmful side effects. It has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well. It contains two powerful compounds, carvacrol and thymol. It can reverse infections, as well as allergens, tumors, parasites, and inflammation. There are over 800 scientific studies that reference carvacrol and it's powerful health benefits. Everyone should have some on hand, and take it whenever you travel! You can get them either in liquid gel-caps, or even better is by the dropper bottle. When you place just 2-3 drops UNDER the tongue, it goes immediately into the lymph and blood stream. Then about 4-5 drops in a little juice and water will direct it into the stomach and intestines.
Elderberry Syrup, as well as Elder flowers have a long history of medicinal benefits. It fights infections, including the flu, herpes, viral and bacterial, and respiratory infections. It can be used as a safe treatment in Influenza A and B due to its efficacy on all strains. Elder flower extract helps to decongest the sinus's as well.
Echinacea is a popular anti-viral because of it's ability to stimulate the immune system and reduce viral infections and tumors. 'Echinacein' is the powerful compound in it that inhibits bacteria and virus's from penetrating healthy cells. It is also used to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, improve skin problems, stimulate lymphatic circulation, and help upper respiratory issues. It is best used at the FIRST sign of an ailment and can easily be used every tow hours the first day to help fight off a full-blown cold or flu.
Cat's Claw root and bark have been used for centuries for health problems like fevers, stomach ulcers, digestive problems, leaky gut, IBS, and dysentery. It's also known as a remedy for arthritis. It has antiviral properties and is used as a natural treatment for herpes. Studies show it may be helpful for HIV as well.
Astragalus Root is another powerful anti-viral herb. It is used in Chinese medicine to build the immune system and spleen over time. It has anti-viral properties that may help prevent the common cold and flu. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well. Studies show it's obvious inhibiting effects on Herpes Simplex 1, as well as Coxsackie B virus. It is also an adaptogen which helps lower cortisol.
Olive Leaf and it's anti-viral properties is used for common colds and a range of dangerous virus's, including candida, meningitis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue, hepatitis B, Malaria, gonorrhea, and even shingles! The powerful compounds found in Olive leaf extracts destroy invading organisms and don't allow virus's to replicate and cause infection. In fact a study done my New York University School of Medicine found it reversed many HIV-1 infection-associated changes.
Garlic has been found to be highly effective in killing countless micro-organisms responsible for some of the most common and even the rarest infections, such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, thrush, and herpes. Because of it's anti-viral properties, it is used as a natural ear infection remedy. Some raw benefits include reducing the risk of cancer, controlling hypertension, boosting cardiovascular health and fighting parasites and even hair loss.
To make Garlic Oil, crush garlic cloves and infuse them in a carrier oil like Olive oil. Let it sit for at least 5 hours or overnight, then strain it and keep it in a jar with a lid. You can easily make pickled garlic by placing skinned cloves in a jar and fill it with vinegar! Can sit for weeks and be eaten anytime.
Good 'old Ginger! Ayurvedic medicine has praised ginger's ability to boost the immune system and ease digestive complaints. It is warming tot he body and effective at helping break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs that make you susceptible to viral, fungal, and bacterial infections. It also helps cleanse the lymphatic system, our body's sewer system to cleanse the blood. It is a natural remedy used for nausea, pain alleviation, anti-inflammatory, even diabetes. Lemon-Ginger Tea can be made by adding several slices of fresh ginger and the juice of 1/2 a lemon to a cup of hot water, and add honey to taste.
Licorice Root is another prominent herb in the search for treatment of hepatitis C, HIV, Influenza, and Herpes. The Chinese Journal of Virology published a review confirming it antiviral activity, and noted it's antioxidant and immuno-stimulating effects. It's been used as a natural sore throat remedy, used for ulcers, leaky gut, and helps with adrenal fatigue.
Essential oils of these and other herbs can be used for their antiviral benefits with 3-5 drops diffused in the home, school, or office. You can add some to a warm bath, or mix in a carrier oil to apply directly to the skin.
When using antiviral herbs, they should not be taken for long term, but used for a couple of weeks at a time. Give yourself a break between long doses. If you are pregnant, be cautious in using essential oils. Some of these herbs may interact with medications, so be sure to read up on an herb before using if you are on medications.
So read up and stock your home with a few good antiviral supplements for whenever that first symptom shows up! You'll be glad you did.
Please note: None of this information is intended to replace proper medical treatment when needed, or claims to diagnose, cure, or treat any disease. Please seek the advice of your health professional when needed.
Jane Smolnik is a Naturopathic Doctor and Iridologist with a private practice in Asheville, NC You can find out more info at: www.UltimateHealing.com.