Viral infections are a normal part of our lives. But can you kill viruses or not? Let’s find out.
10 Herbal Remedies to Combat the Most Common Viruses
Fortunately, natural remedies have existed for thousands of years to help ward off viral infections. They are often sourced from potent herbs with proven effectiveness in treating different viral infections.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of the handy spices you can prepare for treating mild viral infections. It can also be an effective treatment for reproductive infections, minor febrile illness and hemorrhagic fever like dengue. Taking warm garlic tea twice a day could help combat the viruses in your body.
Fresh ginger root (Zingiber officinale) tea is a popular tonic for reducing the number of sick days. Ginger root decoction helps relieve respiratory symptoms. If you have a fever, runny nose, sore throat and other symptoms of a cold, take ginger tea to help you feel better. If you have recurring colds and viral infections, slip more ginger into your diet for prevention.
Turmeric. The curcumin in turmeric is an effective aid for viral illnesses. It reduces viral activity and prevents their mutation. It also boosts immunity to increase the body’s defenses against infections. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is best mixed with warm milk and honey. Add a pinch of black pepper to increase the absorption of turmeric.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is often used as a food supplement for its overabundance of health benefits. It is useful in preventing viruses from binding to the cell. Elderberry extracts also inhibit the production of enzymes in the cell that the virus depends on to spread. Elderberry extract, or its lozenge, with zinc is potent against all types of viruses.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a valuable remedy for colds, mostly because of its demulcent property. It coats the throat to relieve sore throat and cough. Studies also show that licorice can act against different kinds of viruses. Licorice extract is used to stupor the spread of herpes simplex and hepatitis virus.
Oregano. The cold virus is notorious for causing respiratory infections that spread like wildfire. In little children, coughing and congestion are very difficult to weather, especially at night. Oregano leaves (Origanum vulgare) are a proven remedy in alleviating these symptoms and helping the body to recover quickly.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinales) is a valuable herb in treating mood and brain disorders. It is also an effective one in viral infections like shingles, cold sores, chicken pox and mumps. Drinking a concoction of lemon balm leaves, either fresh or dried, or a lemon balm extract curbs the spread of the virus and alleviates the symptoms.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), more commonly known as coneflower, also makes an excellent tonic during a viral outbreak. Echinacea tea reduces the familiar discomfort of flu and cold and prevents them from developing into serious illnesses. Studies suggest that echinacea is more effective than Tamiflu in treating drug-resistant Influenza virus.
Did you know that Echinacea is one of the most counterfeited natural supplements out there? That’s why I prefer to make home remedies using fresh or dried herbs. I actually grow my own Echinacea, which I bought from this source.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), or holy basil, is highly valued in Ayurvedic medicine for febrile illness. It brings down fever and improves the body’s resistance against infections. Holy basil contains eugenol, an effective antiviral compound that cures flu and may also be an effective treatment against HIV.
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is another effective antiviral herb purported to help combat the SARS-Cov-2 virus. Its bioactive compounds are found to inhibit the early stage, preventing replication. The best way of consuming St. John’s Wort for viral infection is by drinking its infusion or tea. It is also a powerful anxiolytic. St. John’s wort is a potent herb and may interact with medication. Ask your doctor before taking its tincture or as a food supplement.
Homemade Antiviral Syrup
Hydration, rest, warm soup, Vitamin C and hot teas give the body a better chance of fighting viruses. Teas made of potent antiviral herbs impart a healing effect that prevents the spreading of infection.
Honey is often added to teas not only as a natural sweetener but also to boost the therapeutic properties of herbs. It is best against sore and scratchy throat that often accompanies flu and colds. Honey improves the gut flora to strengthen immunity.
Below is my antiviral recipe you should try.
- 10 cloves garlic
- ½ organic orange with peel (or you may use lemon)
- 3-inch fresh ginger root
- ½ cup raw honey
- Crush and chop garlic then set it aside for 10 minutes to allow it to release its healing compounds.
- Finely chop the ginger.
- Slice the unpeeled orange, remove the seeds and chop into smaller pieces.
- Put the chopped orange, ginger and garlic in a mason jar. Pour honey over the ingredients until well covered. You can add more honey to cover them completely if needed.
- Cover with a lid and let it soak.
How to Use
You can take the remedy as soon as you mix it. But for better potency, it is best to let it sit for a longer time. If you want, you can let your remedy ferment. Fermentation will be done after a month or so. But you can still keep it going so that it ages more. The fermentation will make the honey runny and darken the garlic. But this isn’t a cause for concern as it is bound to happen.
Take 2 to 3 tsp of the mixture a day. Use a clean spoon every time to prevent contamination. The mixture can last for about three months on the countertop.
If you don’t feel like eating the spices, you may strain the syrup and just use the liquid part instead. But for a stronger antiviral effect, eating everything in the mixture is the best. You may substitute the orange with any citrus fruit if you want. You can use lemon, lime, or grapefruit.