Find out more about Delialah:
Delialah has a Bachelor's degree in Naturopathic Medicine with a concentration in herbology. She is almost at the completion of her Master's working towards a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.
Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, recent human infections have been diagnosed in the United States and abroad. There are 2 out of the 4 anti-viral drugs used to treat influenza viruses that have been effective in treating this new strain of swine flu. Herbal remedies, although they can not cure the flu, can stimulate the immune system to better combat the effects of the flu while relieving symptoms and speeding recovery. There are a handful of herbs that are well known for their anti-viral and immune-boosting properties.
Echinacea is considered by many to be the best overall herbal remedy against viruses. By helping to destroy the virus and boost the immune system, it allows your body to effectively eliminate the virus in a shorter time span, resulting in less severe symptoms and decreased rate of complications and/or secondary infections. Echinacea works best as a preventative measure and with the possibility of a swine flu pandemic, it may be a good idea to stock up on this herbal remedy.
In a possible pandemic swine flu scenario, there are likely to be shortages of Tamiflu and Relenza, the 2 anti-viral medications that have been proven to be effective in treating the swine flu. Treatment with herbal remedies may become a necessity if the swine flu does in fact emerge into a pandemic. Black elderberry extract has shown promising results in treating influenza viruses.
A small study published years ago showed that 93% of flu patients given Sambucol, a black elderberry extract available at health food stores, were entirely symptom-free within 2 days while those taking a placebo took an average of 6 days to recover. In folk medicine, flowers from the black elder bush were used to calm symptoms associated with colds, flu and sinus problems. Unlike Echinacea, Elderberry is not affective at preventing flu and will only aid in treating the flu symptoms in infected individuals.
While the world anxiously waits to see which directions this swine flu will take, it is never too soon to begin preventative measures. Increase your daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to boost antioxidant intake. Get plenty of rest to improve internal healing systems and engage in aerobic exercise which will strengthen respiratory function. Stop by your local health food store and pick up a few bottles of Sambucol and Echinacea. It’s better to have these items on hand should the need arise to use them.