Top 5 Flu-Fighting Herbs
By Nicole Nutter
What’s one thing that everyone in the world has in common? No one likes having the flu. Although there is no way to get rid of it once you have it, there are some quick fixes that have been around for a very long time, and prove to be effective at shortening the length of time you have to suffer through that too-close for comfort relationship with influenza. According to Natural News the top five herbs to ease your flu symptoms are Echinacea, elderberry, ginger, andrographis and boneset. (Don’t worry, we will fill you in on what these are and what they do, just in case you don’t know.)
- Echinacea- This herb assists in the healthy function of the immune system. Echinacea battles an enzyme known as, “hyaluronidase which destroys the body’s defense against diseases,” so consider this herb helpful back up for your body’s front line against illness. Research shows that not only could it help destroy viruses, but may also be able to slow tumor growth.
- Elderberry- In the seventeenth century, elderberry was dubbed “a remedy ‘against all infirmities what-so-ever’” by herbalist John Evelyn. It was used to help sinus infections, as well as your standard cold or flu. It helps to detoxify the body’s tissue and also promotes perspiration. Have you heard the old adage, “he just needs to sweat out that fever?” Well, elderberry makes good on that phrase and does help reduce fever, purify blood, and cleanse the body’s cells. Natural News suggests, “At the first sign of flu symptoms, take a hot infused homemade tea of elderberry tincture, yarrow and peppermint right before bed to induce sweating and promote a good night’s rest.”
- Ginger- for over 2,000 years people have used ginger for the relief of digestive problems, nausea and stomach upset, as well as other health conditions. It’s even been used as an anti-inflammatory and eases symptoms on headaches and menstrual cramps. “Fresh ginger root is a warming botanical,” and because of this it also encourages sweating, and strengthens the immune system. To fight off and kill the flu virus, you can take a high-dose supplement of ginger.
- Andrographis- Originating in India, andrographis was traditionally used in medicine to help sinus and respiratory infections. Recent studies show that it can help “reduce the symptoms of coughs, sore throats, headache and fever.” Patients using this herb also were seen to have about three less days of the flu than those using regular antiviral medication, and so it is thought to also reduce the duration and severity of influenza.
- Boneset- This herb is very strong, and contains approximately 23 nutrients such as vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, chromium, zinc, selenium, niacin and magnesium. Boneset has a history of being used by Native Americans to help relieve aches and pains, and also when healing broken bones. It has a strong bitter taste which stimulates toxin digestion and dries out mucous, and it “has been said by many herbalists to be one of the best choices for herbal ways to help those with the flu.” Perhaps it is most well known for its use to reduce fever but it is also used to help rheumatism, urinary tract infections, bruises, broken bones, jaundice, and respiratory allergies. Natural News recommends drinking boneset as a tea, and it will help to break your fever if you drink about 4 or 5 cups while in bed, because it will promote perspiration.
So whether you want to avoid getting the flu or you want to get rid of the nasty thing, these five herbs should help you. Let us know which one works the best for you, we suggest to try them all!