Herbal interventions for cold and flu treatment are aimed at improving immunity responses to viral pathogens responsible for causing the symptoms in the first place. This is a far cry from Western anti-histamines which simply block the inflammatory pathway without resolving the cause behind the inflammatory response.
Herbs that stimulate the immune system
Boosting your immunity is the first step of fighting against colds and flu. There are several herbs that you can use but one of the most effective treatments is using a combination of the following:
- All species of Echinacea, which are popular in North America. They have an antiviral and bacteriostatic (prevent bacterial proliferation) effect
- Hydrastiscanadensis or golden seal root, which works to dry out the mucosal membranes and inhibits a wide variety of pathogenic microbes
- Larreadivaricata or Chaparral, which exhibits powerful antimicrobial activity and sedation of both the intestinal and respiratory tracts
- Garlic, Allium sativum, which contains sallicin, a proven antibacterial and antiviral agent, specifically the flu virus
- Astralagusmembranicus, which has strong immune-response stimulating effects
Make your own herbal immunostimulant for cold and flu by combining the above herbs in equal amounts. Blend about four ounces of each in one pint of vodka or gin and pour into a wide-mouthed jar. Allow to stand, shaking daily for two weeks, then strain and bottle to be used. Take one teaspoon twice or thrice a day until your symptoms subside. For acute attacks, steep one teaspoon of the concoction in a half cup of boiling water every one or two hours until you feel better.
Diaphoretic flu intervention
Another useful approach to treating colds and flus is induction of perspiration. There are herbs that have warming stimulatory effect in the body classified as diaphoretics, which can greatly help the body rid itself of pathogens that gain entry to the body through your skin pores.
Herbal stimulants which are effective against flu pathogens include cayenne pepper (Capsicum frutescens), ginger root (Zingiberisofficinalis), garlic (Allium sativum) and cinnamon (Cinnamomom cassia). Herbs with diaphoretic effect include elder flower (Sambucusnigra), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), peppermint (Menthapiperita) and boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum).
Boneset was a popular herbal treatment for fevers and influenza especially from 1820 – 1950. It has diaphoretic (sweat-inducing), febrifuge (fever-eliminating) laxative and emetic properties (the latter in large doses). Taken in moderate quantities within warm infusions, it has effective diaphoretic properties. Simply steep an ounce of the dried herb in a pint of boiling water. At the acute cold/fever stage, take a half cup every one or two hours. You should notice perspiration increase within five hours.
Boneset was given its name following its value in treating a dengue fever outbreaksometime in the 19th century in the US, which presented with ‘breakbone’ or attendant bone pains. Medical herbalists in Britain still depend on it for the treatment of fever and influenza or colds. It has a somewhat nauseating and bitter taste which caused it to fall into increasing disuse. Nevertheless, in light of increasing virulence in flu viruses, this old-time effective remedy may prove very useful.
The author is an extensive and passionate researcher of alternative treatments including herbal medicine. In his work, he has discovered many useful herbal treatments and has shared many articles on health and wellness. Click here to find out more about high quality kratom capsules and purchasing options.