Having been away over the Christmas period, arriving home to headlines about flu epidemics, contact from schools urging us to keep our children home if they had any symptoms of sickness and general stress and panic about the level of debilitating viral infection doing the rounds, lets say it hasn’t been the ideal start to the year!
Coming from a culture of the over-use of antibiotics for many years, its very upsetting for people to hear that when it comes to viral infection, there is nothing that can be done. Rest, take warm drinks and ride it out is the official line. WHAT!!! It doesn’t sit well when we are used to a pill for every ill!! Well the truth is that antibiotics have no impact on viruses and it’s a good thing we are beginning to understand this. However, there is much herbal medicine has to offer in the case of viral infection so YES THERE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO!!
Anti-viral herbs are a classification of herbs that can inhibit the development of viruses, enhance immune function and fight infection, shortening the length of illness. The wonderful thing about using these herbs is that many not only have no side effects but are also anti-inflammatory, support the nervous system, adrenal system and over health and wellbeing of the person. These can be used by all the family and are a good general tonic to promote winter wellness. (Pending there are not underlying health issues or contraindications with pharmaceutical medications taken.)
Elderberry – Sambucus Nigra
I like to refer to this herb as our native echineaca as there are many similarities between the plants. Elderberries are anti-viral, immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory. They have a very long history of traditional use and have have been the subject of research indicating that they are useful in treating both viral and bacterial infection as well as supporting a healthy immune system.
Echineaca is probably one of the best known herbal remedies as it has been marketed well and is widely available. It’s best known for its immune-stimulating properties but also is effective in inhibiting Bacterial and viral illnesses from spreading. Echineaca is also a powerful alternative herb that cleans the blood and supports overall movement towards balanced health.
Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis
This herb is primarily known for its powerful effects on the nervous system, having in particular an impact on symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. It is also a potent anti-viral herb, effective in cases of flu and other viral infections, with much research done to indicate its benefit in cases of herpes. A wonderful example of an anti-viral herb that side-effects include better sleep and less anxiety!!
St. John Wort – Hypericum perforatum
Once again this is a well known herb mainly due to its ability to improve mood. Known as the herb for depression, it is also a potent anti-viral herb and research is ongoing in relation to its possible role in treating viruses such as herpes and HIV. Just to note although St. John’s Wort plays an important role in the natural treatment of depression, it is a widely versatile and beneficial herb and its important for people struggling with depression not to treat this single herb as an anti-depressant as this is an illness that is multi-factorial and often can be treated more effectively with tailored formulas and professional support.
Astragalus – Astragalus Membranaceus
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb will a long history. Known as an immunomodulator and anti-viral herb, it is another go-to herb I use in cases of viral infection. Once again this is a herb that also has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well as adaptogenic properties that lower cortisol levels and support resilience to stress in the system.
Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra
Once again a long standing herb in the traditional Chinese system, licorice has played a role in both medicinal and culinary spheres in our own culture for a long time. A long standing traditional remedies for coughs and sore throats, licorice has been the subject of much research pointing towards its strong anti-viral properties along side additional benefits for pain relief and adaptogenic support once again building resilience to the effects of stress.
So to sum up, there is much you can do to support yourself naturally in the face of the viral epidemic!! As always prevention is better than cure, a strong functioning immune system and a way to ensure proper cleansing and nourishing throughout the year is the best prevention. And when all else fails grab yourself a bottle of anti-viral herbs and get them into you!!
I have written this blog is the light of a large number of enquiries in relation to getting anti-viral herbal support over the last month. I have also launched an online herbal dispensary with FREE ONLINE winter consultation as a way to provide targeted, practitioner grade herbal formula to people without having to come for a full initial consultation. In cases of acute illness like during cold and flu season this works well whereas for more chronic, ongoing issues a professional consultation is advisable. For more information on ordering winter herbal remedies and anti-viral herbal tincture go to https://herbsandhealing.lpages.co/winter-remedies-range/ or visit the ONLINE HERBAL DISPENARY on the website.
Please leave a comment below and let me know how your getting through the winter, if you found this useful and what you’d like to learn more about from a natural healing, herbal perspective.