Most illnesses are caused by either bacteria or viruses, and things that are effective against one aren’t useful in fighting the others. Many people are more worried about viruses because they aren’t affected by antibiotics. There are a number of widely available herbs that have antiviral properties, however, and some are quite common. Let’s check out the top most common antiviral herbs and how to use them!
4 Antiviral Herbs and How to Use Them
1. Garlic – This common herb is very uncommon because it is one of the few things that has both antibacterial AND antiviral properties. It is also a good antifungal as well. It’s very inexpensive and can be taken either raw or in capsule form. Be aware that many experts think that the “deodorized” forms of garlic may be reduced in potency.
Mince garlic and simmer in chicken broth to sip for warding off colds and flu. You can also sprinkle raw minced garlic over salads and toss it with pasta. Take care with raw garlic though, overconsumption can cause nausea.
2. Ginger – This is another herb with both antiviral and antibacterial properties. In addition, it is a good anti-nausea herb. Long ago, it was a “warming herb” that was said to prevent nausea caused by drinking too much cold water in the heat.
Ginger teas are spicy and very drinkable, especially if sweetened with raw honey for additional germ fighting benefits. In the early stages of a cold or flu, drink this several times a day. It can be taken as a preventative also, if you think you have been exposed. Ginger is quite safe, although not recommended for pregnant women.
3. Astragalus – This is a lesser known herb that is called huang qi in Chinese medicine. It has a sweet root, similar to the related plant licorice. It is a very effective antiviral, especially in staving off cold and flu. It may even work against the Coxsackie B virus, which can cause inflammation of the heart.
You can make a healing decoction by simmering slices of the root in water or buy an over the counter tincture. Astragalus is most effective as a preventative; it is not as useful once the illness is in full force. If you think you’ve been exposed, start taking it.
4. Lemon Balm – The Germans have studied, and documented, the antiviral effects of lemon balm. The creams made from the herb are often prescribed for cold sores and herpes outbreaks. Lemon Balm is easily grown in the garden, but be careful – care must be taken to prevent it from taking over since it spreads quite easily!
It makes a good tea that will combat all sorts of viral infections, including the cold and flu. The tea, or a cream, can be applied to cold sores or other viral lesions such as shingles or chicken pox.
These antiviral herbs will help out with viruses and don’t forget about the antibacterial herbs to help out on bacterial infections!