Given the news lately, the word ‘flu’ seems to be on everyone’s mind. There are many strains of the flu and yours isn’t necessarily the ‘swine’ kind. If you are experiencing fever, body aches, chills, cough, headache, and sore throat then you may want to talk with your doctor. Remember that allergies don’t cause a fever and not all sore throats or headaches are flu related.
To improve your immune system and give it the support you need, consider using natural anti-viral herbs to ward off the flu or in addition to the medications given to you by your healthcare practitioner.
Echinacea is a great anti-viral herb but must be used at the absolute very start of the yucky symptoms. I tell my patients to take Echinacea when they think that maybe they might possibly be getting sick. Not when it’s full-blown. Do not use for longer than 6-8 weeks and do not use it if you have an autoimmune disease.
St. John’s Wort is also an anti-viral herb. Most commonly thought of for depression, this great little remedy works wonders for the flu. Best not to use it if you are already taking an anti-depressant or L-dopa.
Lemon Balm, also anti-viral, has calming and soothing effects especially when sipped as a tea. It is commonly in mixtures for sleep or relaxation but can be used in viral situations.
Licorice (not the candy!) is great for the flu and for coughs. It can also be sipped on as a tea and is commonly found in respiratory mixtures. Do not use licorice for longer than 6 weeks and do not use it if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or are using corticosteroids.
Astragalus, is a great all-around herb for the stressed and tired. It has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine and is great for protecting against the flu. It is an immune-stimulating herb and should not be used if you have an autoimmune disease, or are on a corticosteroid.
Remember to consult with your healthcare practitioner if do get the flu and/or if you are interested in adding these great anti-viral herbs into your treatment. Also, please do not use these herbs if you are pregnant or breast feeding.