by Ward W. Bond, PhD
We are living in a day where the cold and flu season is no longer limited to the winter months. It seems like everyone is battling colds, the flu, sinus infections at an alarming rate 365 days of the year. Our bodies have become immune to antibiotics, which are not much use when millions of people are constantly living on them and never replenishing their gut bacteria.
We need to stop arming our medicine cabinets at home with anti-histamines, left over antibiotics that many save for a rainy day (you know you do it, so stop acting innocent), cough medicines and the many Quils we’ve all collected.
What we need to do is stock our medicine cabinets with some natural anti-virals and anti-bacterials. So here is the list!
This is a very popular and powerful immunogenic herb. Research is showing it may help protect your DNA and promote longevity.
“Preliminary research suggests that astragalus may also have powerful anticancer properties. In a study conducted at the University of Texas Medical Center in Houston, researchers found that a water extraction of astragalus restored or enhanced the function of T-cells (white blood cells that play specific roles in the immune system) taken from people with cancer. In some cases, astragalus stimulated the damaged cells to greater activity than found in normal cells taken from healthy individuals.” – The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs by Robert S. McCaleb, Evelyn Leigh, and Krista Morien
Much of the research on astragalus has been focused on its immunostimulatory activity and its apparently remarkable ability to restore the activity of a suppressed immune system. If you are the type you takes antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs at the first sign of sickness, you are reducing the function of your immune system. Clinical research has provided evidence for its usefulness in the prevention of the common cold and as being helpful to cancer therapies. It may be useful as a corresponding treatment during chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immune deficiency syndromes. Astragalus is used to strengthen the immune system over time, building resistance to illness and disease. One of the main uses of this herb is for respiratory illness such as bronchitis, sinus congestion and those with COPD/Emphysema. I personally take this herb on a daily basis for all of its health benefits, especially for longevity.
I travelled to Chile a few years ago and had the pleasure of walking through a fully blooming elderberry tree orchard. The white flowers and the black berries were ready for the picking. Many people know the power of the elderberry and it should one of the top choices for antivirals for the family to use. The most common uses are for colds and flu, sinus infections, and other respiratory disturbances.
The Elderflower has antibacterial and antiviral properties and may also help alleviate some allergies and boost the functioning of the immune system.
How potent is Elderflower? Research in Ireland showed that elderflower extract was effective in killing many common hospital pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)1. This study gave scientific proof of elderflower's antibacterial properties against most gram negative and gram positive bacteria tested that align with traditional medicine uses of the past. Further study of elderflower components showed the potential for antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
The Elderberry is what we’ve come to see in a syrup form. The juice is full of bioflavonoids and other proteins that destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did no
Elderberries are full of antioxidants such as vitamins A and C. Due to the dark color of the berries, an antioxidant called anthrocyanins are responsible for its anti-inflammatory action as well as helping to normalize blood sugar and improve cardiovascular health. The berries also contain Quercetin, a flavonoid which has shown to have anti-cancer benefits in the prostate gland as well as having a powerful anti-histamine action, perfect for those with sinus allergies and infections.
How good is Elderberry/Elderflower? When it’s mentioned in medical journals, it should be worth more than just a passing look. The herb is listed in the CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs as early as 1985, and are listed in the 2000 Mosby's Nursing Drug reference for colds, flu, yeast infections, nasal and chest congestion, and hay fever. In cancer and immunodeficiency diseases, it has determined that elderberry stimulates the body's immune system and in Israel they are treating cancer and AIDS patients with it.
These are just two of the many natural anti-virals available to all of us. I'll be covering more of these incredible God-given remedies.