In recent weeks, there is nowhere you can turn without hearing a sniffle or a deep, loud cough. Those are the sounds of the flu season. Friends, family and co-workers may all be sick, but you don’t have to be. Below are a few natural preventative and treating herbs you can use to fight off the flu or try to treat it. Be sure to let your doctor know what herbs you are planning to take to ensure that they will not react negatively with any medication you may already be taking.
Preventing the flu: First, remember to continue doing the basics. Wash your hands often, drink plenty of fluids, and eat well. If you feel the flu coming on or you would rather be safe than sorry, American Ginseng, or Panax quinquefolius, has been shown to prevent the flu in clinical trials. You can obtain this herb and instructions on how to ingest it in most natural food stores or at New York College’s Syosset main campus Herbal Dispensary. Be sure to make an appointment and have an herbal consult so that the formulations can customized just for you. Also consult with your physician first.
Ginger, although not an herb, is another great preventative. Boil a cut up ginger root in two cups of water along with two to three halves of lemons. Add honey to taste and be sure to drink it right away. It is useless if re-boiled or cold.
To treat the flu: If you are already experiencing symptoms, you can drink the ginger brew listed above. The honey in it will soothe your throat, the ginger and lemon will help strengthen your immune system and the heat of it will make you sweat a bit. All of those are a great way to fight an ordinary cold or the flu.
If you prefer some Herbal Medicine go to a reputable herbal dispensary like new York College or try:
Sambucus spp. (blue or black elderberry). Take as a syrup or a liquid extract—1 to 3 teaspoons, 3 times a day.
Echinacea angustifolia root. Purchase the alcoholic extract from a specific part of a plant —5 milliliters (ml), 3 times a day; or as a capsule—1,000 milligrams (mg), 3 times a day.
Eupatorium perfoliatum (common boneset). —3 ml, 3 times a day.
Andrographis paniculat – 3 ml, 3 times a day; or take a capsule—500 mg, 3 times a day.
Whichever way you decide to treat yourself, be sure to consult a physician first. Some herbs can react poorly with even the most common drugs such as Ibupforen.