Fall is approaching and kids are going back to school. This time of year patients often come in with viral infections such as the cold or influenza. We can help our immune systems respond quickly and effectively to these infections. There are many ways to do this and a Naturopathic Doctor can make a plan to keep you healthy this fall and winter. Here I am going to share with you five great herbs for help with viral infections. Herbal medicine is powerful and effective. However, herbs may interact with drugs and some herbs can be unsafe for certain people. So talk to your Naturopathic Doctor for advice on the right herbal preparation for you.
Astragalus- Astragalus has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen the body against diseases. Astragalus has antiviral, antibacterial, and immune enhancing features making it a perfect herb for the fall/winter. This herb is specifically beneficial to weakened individuals with night sweats, frequent infections, poor digestion and lack of vitality.
Licorice- Licorice root is a tasty herb that is great for for boosting the immune system. Licorice is very thick and coats the back of your throat causing direct antiviral and soothing action. It helps calm a cough, support the adrenals and fight infection.
Echinacea- Echinacea root has a long history of use for infections. It enhances the immune system and has numbing properties. A tincture of strong Echinacea be extremely helpful for a sore throat that often accompanies viral infections. It is specifically indicated for exhaustive states with chilliness, offensive discharges, and swollen glands.
These herbs when used in combination have been shown to have additive stimulations effects on immune system function.
Tilgner, Sharol (2009). Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth. Wise Acres Publishing.
Brush, J., Mendenhall, E., Guggenheim, A., Chan, T., Connelly, E., Soumyanath, A., ... & Zwickey, H. (2006). The effect of Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra on CD69 expression and immune cell activation in humans. Phytotherapy Research, 20(8), 687-695.
Zwickey, H., Brush, J., Iacullo, C. M., Connelly, E., Gregory, W. L., Soumyanath, A., & Buresh, R. (2007). The effect of Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra on CD25 expression in humans: a pilot study. Phytotherapy research, 21(11), 1109-1112.