Nine Natural Remedies To Fight A Viral Infection
Thanks to a little virus the “Happiest Place On Earth” wasn’t so happy. Starting with Tom, our family started “dropping like flies” with the flu three days into our vacation. Luckily, our favorite doctor called in an anti-viral prescription to the local Orlando pharmacy to deliver to our home away from home, Disney’s Port Orleans - Riverside. In my feeble attempt to protect the Walt Disney trip that we had been dreaming and saving for three years, I asked the pharmacy employee if she could also send over some colloidal silver with our anti-viral prescription. She responded that they didn’t have that on hand. I then asked for Monolaurin, liquid Zinc, and Thyme. Each time, she responded that they did not carry them. With a polite pause of hesitation, she asked, “Ma’am, where do you come from?” “Nebraska,” I replied with a smile.
So, You Have A Viral Infection
According to a research article about human viruses, there are well over 200 unique viruses that are known to affect the human body. Although we are most aware of the cold and flu (Influenza A, B, and C) viruses, science is still discovering new viruses each year. Since we are now a “global” community, new unpredicted unique viruses are now shared rapidly through physical contact either by touch or by airborne transmission. My husband swears he got his flu from the Atlanta airport; which makes sense since his flu symptoms appeared three days later. My “Type A” personality is still trying to figure out how to wipe down escalators’ moving hand rails for our next family trip.
The common question we received was, “Didn’t you get the flu shot?” In the Midwest, our high virus time hits hard from November to March. Especially for Influenza A, different vaccines are needed every year because of the viral proteins change. Each time the proteins change, this “reinvented” virus looks like something “new” to the body’s immune system. Every year, the U.S. Public Health Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices predicts what viruses are likely to cause flus in the coming season that is six to nine months away to allow for production time of the flu shot. Sometimes, they can make some pretty good predictions; while other times they can miss the mark completely. Although vaccines are beneficial, it becomes more important in our “global” community to have strong immunity to fend of new viruses. This was very evident on the Disney World transportation systems. There wasn’t one trip on a bus that I didn’t hear someone say that a family member of theirs was back in their room sick with the flu.
Natural Virus Remedies To The Rescue….
So what are you to do if you have a virus? Has your doctor told you to ride it out? Have you taken an anti-viral; yet you still feel sick? Are you looking for some natural remedies to help increase your immunity and help fight off the virus? You are in luck. There are quite a few solutions to your dilemma.
With any cold, flu, or other viral infection, I do first recommend that you see your doctor. Your doctor is your first line of defense. To ease your symptoms, you may try conventional type of medicine that you can get at your local drugstore like antihistamines, anti-inflammatory (aka ibuprofen), and decongestants. Your doctor may also prescribe anti-viral medicine like the popular Tamiflu.
Great news is that there is many virus interventions and immunity assisting plant medicines out there. Even better news is that viruses really don’t develop resistance to them. So, let’s explore some natural treatments for colds and flu viruses. Please remember, there are thousands of combinations of plant medicines that can be created or used to treat infections. I’ll just give you a list of my favorite “top” herbs, spices, vitamins, and minerals for viral infections.
Top Four Vitamins, Minerals, & Food For Viral Infections
Let’s start with some great vitamins and minerals that you can take while you are fighting off a viral infection:
Ester-C (Vitamin C): Tradition has suggested that Vitamin C may prevent colds and flu. The majority of research shows that taking high doses of vitamin C orally might decrease the duration of cold symptoms by one to one and half days in some. To prevent a cold or flu or to help assist during a case of the cold or flu, one can take up to 1,000 milligrams three times a day.
Monolaurin: Monolaurin is a monoglyceride derivative of lauric acid, which is found in coconut and human milk. Preliminary research suggests Monolaurin may have anti-viral activity and immune system stimulus. When taking for a viral infection, adults can take one to two capsules of Monolaurin three times a day.
Silver or Colloidal Hydrosol: According to alternative medicine folklore, Colloidal Silver is used as an anti-viral and a germicide. In 2013, a Boston University in Massachusetts research team found that silver makes antibiotics more effective when used at the same time. For adults, hold under the tongue for 30 seconds 1 teaspoon then swallow. During a virus infection, you can do this action up to seven times a day. For immune support, decrease to five times a day. For maintenance, try one time a day.
Zinc: Using Zinc has been shown in research to show a significant decrease in the duration of symptoms of the common cold. Although the delivery mechanism of Zinc (aka capsules, liquid, lozenges, etc.) may vary the effectiveness; overall, Zinc may be beneficial for modestly reducing the duration of symptoms of the common cold in adults by about one and half days. I prefer Zinc in liquid form because my system doesn’t seem to process the capsules as well. No matter what form you take of Zinc, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Top 5 Herbs, Spices, & Healing Foods:
In my personal herbs and spices library, I literally have pages and pages of notes on different herbs and spices with anti-viral components. Where do I start picking my favorites? When you are sick, you really don’t have time to wait for unique herbs and spices to be delivered or to be found at a specialty store, so I decided to pick oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme for their availability. When used together, they are not only anti-viral, but also have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal abilities that can help with tons of health conditions from strep throat to abdominal pain and even nausea. I’ve added in Star Anise because it has a compound used in Tami-flu.
Oregano: Orally, oregano is used for respiratory tract infections including the flu and cold. Oregano has an active component called, carvacrol, which was found in a 2014 research study to effectively have an anti-viral impact. To get its benefits, drink a cup of Oregano tea, take a capsule, use it in your favorite culinary meal, take a bath, or try aromatherapy with it. To help your body fight off a virus, 200 mg of Oregano three times daily is a great starting point. If your body has problems digesting food for nutrition, Oregano comes in a great extract also.
Rosemary: Known for its memory evoking capabilities, students have used its invigorating piney fragrance when studying. But, Rosemary has much more far reaching benefits including anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, and expectorant. It is celebrated for enhancing the immune system, combating bacterial and viral infections, and relieving respiratory ailments. Take one capsule of 500 mg up to two times daily.
Sage: This warm and spicy herb has a hint of a musky type taste. Made famous in your Grandmother’s homemade Thanksgiving dressing, this attractive herb leaves and its oil is responsible for its pharmacological activity. You can add this to your culinary meals, digest capsules, drink in a tea, or use in aromatherapy. An adult dose for medicinal purposes is about 500 mg taken three times a day.
Star Anise: Star anise is a commanding culinary and medicinal spice that has been used for centuries to treat anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal sicknesses. The shikimic acid in Star Anise is also used as the compound in the anti-viral drug called Tamiflu. Take note of this little powerhouse because it is much cheaper than Tamiflu and you don’t need a prescription. Alternative medicine folklore also has used Star Anise to decrease mucus and congestion because of its strong expectorant properties. Star Anise typically comes in its natural form where you can add it to your dishes or smoothies. It also comes in essential oil form also.
Thyme: Native to Asia and the Mediterranean, this warm somewhat sweet herb has been used for centuries to cure a wide range of illnesses due to its Thymol properties. The Greeks and Romans must have known what they were doing using Thyme for anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and expectorant abilities. It makes a great herbal supplement to take if one has the flu. You can add this to your culinary meals, digest capsules, drink in a tea, or use in aromatherapy. An adult dose for medicinal purposes is about 500 to 1000 mg taken three times a day.
How To Move Forward
Now that you have an overview of different natural treatments for colds and flu viruses, you can start deciding what may be best for you. All of the items that I listed above can be found online, at your local health store, or local healthy grocer.
I encourage you to visit HerbalFarmwife.com throughout the week to see how to incorporate these powerhouse herbs, spices, vitamins, minerals, and foods into natural “do it yourself” remedies. Whether you like medicinal, culinary, juicing, aromatherapy, or topical natural remedies, I’ll try to have something for everyone. Check daily during the week to see what’s new.
By The Way….
Out of our entire family, I never got the flu on vacation. There is something to be said for working on your immunity levels. This year, we were given a free trip back to Orlando, Florida. I think my family may take my advice this time in preparation for the trip. Plus, I think I’ll be packing my carry-on with my favorite herbal remedies this time.
Blessings, Herbal Farmwife
DISCLAIMER: This information should not be considered to be healthcare advice, medical diagnosis, or treatment. This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professionals. Always consult a healthcare professional first before trying any herbs, spices, vitamins, or minerals mentioned in this posting. This information is merely a discussion of “thoughts” among friends. Please note that none of these statements have been evaluated by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration.
2. Treanor, JJ. Influenza virus. In: Principles and Practices of Infectious Diseases, 5th ed. Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2000. pgs. 1823-49.