Top Antiviral Herbs
Whether we are heading into a new school year or into the cold & flu season or right smack in the middle of the holiday season, the question of preventing & treating viruses naturally becomes an important issue.
It would be nice if we could start to lessen the chances of contracting these nasty viruses. Luckily, using natural herbs that are easy to incorporate into our diets is an effective way to dodge or treat the common viruses.
Other added benefits to using natural antiviral herbs: no side effects, low cost, safe for children & elderly.
Before getting into specific anti viral herbal remedies, a few words on viruses.
Viruses are infinitesimally small particles that do nothing more than reproduce.
They are the agents that lead to all kinds of health problems including cold, flu & herpes.
Viruses are different from bacteria though the two can be confused by the general public. Medicine has antibiotics which can be effective against bacteria but not against viruses.
However, there are few medications that deal with viruses. Two of the popular ones are acyclovir for herpes & AZT for AIDS.
Luckily, there are many good antiviral herbs.
The rest of this page discusses anti viral herbs that have general effects against any number of viruses.
Best natural antiviral herbal remedies
* Echinacea may be the best general herbal remedy against viruses. Echinacea works by destroying viruses & boosting the immune system so that your own body can then eliminate the virus. Especially good for flu viruses. Take supplements as directed, especially right before flu & cold season. Take in cycles of 6 weeks on & 6 weeks off as needed.
* Hypoxis Rooper (African Potato) improves the immune system according to research.
* Astragalus is also one of the valuable antiviral herbs due to its ability to boost the immune system. Take as directed when needed.
* Agathosma Betulina (buchu) is a natural antiviral that has antioxidant & antiseptic activity & helps the body rid itself of toxins. Good as a preventive.
* Mentha peperita better known as peppermint supports the body’s immune system. Scientific studies show peppermint’s is one of the anti viral herbs that shows a good effect on tuberculosis. Using peppermint essential oil or drinking lots of peppermint tea are pleasant, economical ways of using peppermint.
* Dragon’s blood is a lesser known herbal remedy for viruses. Especially useful against herpes virus. May be available in pill form. Take as directed.
* Solidago Virgaurea (Goldenrod) is one of the traditional antiviral herbs, used for hundreds of years. It seems to increase the ability of the body to fight infections.
* What could you say about garlic, an herb that has so many beneficial effects that it is treated with a reverence by many peoples of the world. Most people find garlic to be delicious too. This natural antiviral can be used for flu, cold & any number of viruses. Consume it raw or lightly cooked in any number of dishes including salads, stir frys, soups etc. Take supplements as directed making sure that supplement has active ingredients.
* Onions are also an anti viral herb though not as effective as garlic. Certainly you could come up with many dishes that contain garlic & onion which go together very well.
* Schizandra Sinesis is a powerful Chinese herb, an herbal remedy against viruses that protects against toxins and cell damage.
* Goldenseal is also an immune stimulant. Many supplements pair goldenseal with with other antiviral herbs like echinacea for a 1 - 2 punch against viruses.
* Olea Europea (from olive leaf) is a very valuable herb & natural antiviral. It helps fight numerous germs. The positive effects of Olive leaf have recently been proven in a variety of clinical studies. Olive leaf also stimulates the immune system.
It may also help stop the production of enzymes that a retrovirus, such as HIV, needs in order to change the RNA of a healthy cell. I’ve used it in place of root canal surgery to good effect. Take supplements as directed but you may need to double or triple dose the first day you are symptomatic.
* Juniper is also an excellent anti viral herbal remedy, excellent against flu & cold virus. Makes a good cold season tea that could be sipped throughout the day.
* Lemon balm also makes a good anti viral herbal tea & is especially valued as anti-herpes.
* Licorice is yet another herb that makes an excellent tea. Effective anti viral herb against many viruses. Take supplement or make a tea out of licorice root.
* Shiitake mushroom is also one of our favorite antiviral herbs. Consume in various dishes or use supplements as directed.
* Ginger, like garlic is a superb herb with numerous health benefits including its natural antiviral effects. Use as a tea or in numerous dishes. Juice a small slice along with fruits like apples, carrots, celery, [parsley - to taste for a wonderfully healthy concoction.
Other natural anti viral herbs
Some other herbal remedies against viruses are not as well known for that purpose but have been cited as antiviral. They include:
* Cat’s claw
* St. John’s wort
Salvator Giustra is a NYC Teaching Fellow, health researcher, clinical psychotherapist & computer scientist. He currently runs three websites (Healthy World) that advance the idea that good health is based on simple, traditional, commonsense knowledge which research tends to support repeatedly.
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