Herbal Treatments for the Flu

By: Scott Meyers

There are a variety of illnesses a person can come down with throughout the year. One of the most miserable, and unfortunately most common is the flu. While the flu may keep you in bed for a few days, that does not mean you are helpless when it comes to alleviating the symptoms.

There are a few different treatments available. Some prefer to go to their doctor and get tested to make sure they have the flu, and then take prescription medications. Others seem to prefer more holistic or self-healing methods, and herbal treatments. There are a number of herbal remedies that can help with almost all aspects of the flu.

Echinacea is a very popular herbal treatment. This herbal remedy is famous for stimulating the immune system. As one may expect, anything that boosts the immune system's ability to react and respond faster is bound to lead to a faster, less eventful recovery.

For many people, Echinacea also reduces the severity of certain flu-related symptoms. Any reduction in symptoms like congestion, fever, and muscle pain will make getting well much easier. Echinacea comes in different varieties such as liquid, powder, and as a dried root. This type of herb is best used only for short-term duration.

Ginger is another type of herb which may prove useful in treating flu symptoms. This herb has been shown to reduce fever and pain. It also helps many individuals to relax. Getting plenty of rest is vital to a speedy recovery from the flu.

The antiviral properties of ginger make it very useful for getting rid of the flu. Ginger also has a delightful, spicy clean taste and scent. No matter how sick you are feeling, the aroma of ginger works its way in your system to help you feel better.

Elderberry extract is another type of herbal treatment which individuals have used to combat flu symptoms. This herb has been shown to reduce the severity of several flu symptoms quickly and efficiently. Research done during the 1999 - 2000 flu season in Norway revealed patients recovering, on average, four days faster than people that did not take elderberry extract.

According to some studies, Elderberry works its charm by weakening the virus's ability to pierce cell membranes. This herb has been known to work well against influenza strains A and B, as well as several other virii.

No anti-viral arsenal could possibly be complete without Garlic. This pungent bulb has been known for centuries to cure everything from warts to witchcraft. Not surprisingly, when microbes were discovered, the role of Garlic in combating viruses and bacteria received some attention.

In modern times, Garlic is still making headlines. One of the strongest antimicrobial chemicals found in garlic is called Allicin. As bacteria become resistant to our most powerful antibiotics, this natural chemical is proving to vanquish even the most stubborn mutants. Furthermore, raw garlic can prevent all sorts of harmful bacteria from colonizing the digestive tract. Garlic is considered one of the safest herbs, and can be found in almost all kitchens, individuals taking medications or about to undergo surgery should check with their doctors before taking.

While chewing on a fresh clove of garlic is likely to keep just about anything away, the liquid gel form works just as well on many ailments. Some have stated that fresh garlic may be the better variety to take in order to combat the flu. Taking this natural antibiotic is almost certain to yield results for the person suffering with a bout of the flu.

Some people may find that they obtain the best results when combining certain herbs. Teas which contain various herbs can be quite helpful in getting rid of the flu. Peppermint and rosemary combined together in a single tea may have forceful effect on flu symptoms. Like ginger, their aromatic flavor and strong aroma have a way of knocking through congestion and opening up the air passages.

In some cases, herbal treatments have centuries of tradition to attest to their efficacy. Modern scientists are also finding the validation for these traditions in the form of reproducible and predictable results in their laboratories. For someone suffering from the flu, herbal supplements may provide fewer side effects, and make the patient feel more comfortable. These items may provide a natural way to fight the influenza virus, while making the symptoms less severe overall. Nevertheless, it is always important to read about the herbs beforehand to determine which ones to take. It is also important to consult with a doctor to make sure the herbs will not interfere or react with other medications.

Alternative Medicine
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