We’ve all been here before folks! And just like when SARS, MERS, H1N1 (swine flu), and H5N1 (bird flu) were making the rounds, it’s time, once again, to strap ourselves in, become aware, and get prepared as best we can.
Despite the low chances of an epidemic outbreak here in the States, it’s still good to know what’s what and how to deal with the virus, just in case.
Also, I will no longer be naming the virus directly but I’m assuming by this point, EVERYONE knows what I’m talking about.
With the “C” virus spreading through China like wildfire, it’s more important than ever to boost our immune systems and arm ourselves with a few herbal remedies. Prevention, as best as we can manage it, is key when outbreaks like this happen.
The remedies I discuss below are for those of us wishing to up our defenses while traveling, meeting up with loved ones who have recently been in affected areas, or when out and about in public places.
They are in no way meant to replace a doctor’s care, but they will help give you a bit more resilience.
If you suspect you have contracted the virus, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention so as not to spread it to others.
As of right now, it is believed that the incubation period alone is around 14 days for the virus making it difficult to know who could potentially have it and where they picked it up.
This is another reason why it’s a good idea to implement herbs into your routine along with basic hygiene. They CAN help protect you when you otherwise have no idea what’s going around.
The Best Herbs for Upping Your Defenses Against the “C” Virus
First and foremost…
What is the virus?
This particular virus is a group of viruses known to cause disease in both mammals and birds. In humans, it typically causes the common cold or a mild respiratory infection. However, rarer forms of the virus, like SARS and MERS, can be deadly.
This most recent outbreak of the virus is considered to be one of these rare forms.
It is extremely contagious and causes a respiratory infection with the following symptoms:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Pneumonia (in severe cases)
- Kidney failure (in severe cases)
The virus is even believed to spread via human-human transmission during the 14-day incubation period though this has not yet been confirmed. (as of March 19th, it is known that this virus can be carried and passed to others through asymptomatic people)
It is also believed that for every one person confirmed to be infected, four others may have contracted the virus from that individual. This is what makes superbugs like this so scary! They can spread like crazy.
How is the virus transmitted?
The virus spreads from person to person when you come into contact with someone who is infected, particularly through coughing and sneezing. The virus can float in the air within a range of 3-6 feet of the infected person and land on various surfaces and other people within close proximity.
These germs are then either inhaled or touched by hand and then transferred to the eyes, nose, and mouth thus allowing the virus to take root and flourish.
This is why it’s imperative to wash your hands often and to either cough into your elbow, sneeze into a tissue, or wear a mask.
You can get cold and flu masks HERE.
It’s also a good idea to avoid touching your face until you have washed your hands especially when you have been out of the house or within close proximity to those who may be affected.
Doing these things alone can really cut your chances of contracting the virus just like with any strain of flu during cold and flu season.
Top Herbal Remedies for Preventing and Treating the Virus
The herbs best suited for both helping prevent and treat virus is quite simple:
Elderberry and echinacea.
These two powerhouses have been shown time and again to be effective against various strains of flu virus, which, essentially, is what the virus is.
Sambucus nigra (black elderberry), in particular, has been shown to be an effective preventative of infectious bronchitis virus because it inhibits the virus’s ability to spread by disarming the enzymes the virus uses to penetrate healthy cells. This is also true for other forms of flu virus like the “c” virus.
Elderberry is also known to:
- Be effective against 10 different strains of flu virus
- Boost the immune system
- Cut the duration of colds and flu by up to half
- Effectively fight upper respiratory infections
- Have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties
- Have high vitamin A and C content
I have a whole list of resources on elderberry that you can check out below:
How to Make Simple Elderberry Tincture
DIY Elderberry Syrup for Cold and Flu – Potent, Quick, & Easy!
How to Make an Elderberry Elixir
Cold Bustin’ Elderberry Tea
Natural Cold Remedies – The Healing Power of Elder
The Benefits of Elderberry
To use elderberry, simply take the tincture or syrup 2-3 times daily, especially before going out of the house.
Echinacea purpurea has been used traditionally for:
- Cold sores
- Colds and flu
- Insect bites
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Staph infections
- Strep throat
- Urinary tract infections
- And more!
However, where echinacea really shines is the fact that many flu viruses are susceptible to echinacea extracts due to their significant antiviral activity.
The roots and aerial parts of echinacea purpurea contain potent virucidal properties that fight against influenza, herpes simplex, and other forms of the “c” virus.
The standardized extract has been shown to be effective against HSV-1, respiratory syncytial virus, all tested human and avian strains of influenza A, and influenza B – the works!
It is best to use echinacea purpurea extracts as soon as you notice symptoms since it is less effective against the intracellular virus. However, the extract is still very effective against the transmission of the virus from infected cells which allows the body to fight off infection more quickly and easily and prevents the virus from spreading.
I have a few posts on echinacea that you can check out here:
This is my favorite standardized echinacea purpurea supplement.
To use echinacea extract, simply take 30 drops of tincture twice daily, especially before leaving the house. During illness, take 30 drops of extract every half hour until symptoms ease.
With just these two herbs in your arsenal, you can feel at least a little more protected from circulating viruses.
What have been your favorite herbs to use for the flu? Please share in the comments below!
You may also enjoy reading:
Sources:disclosure and disclaimer.