As the world braces for a potential avian flu pandemic in the near future, people everywhere are wondering what they can do to protect themselves. As we’ve all seen during the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, we cannot expect the Government to handle a widespread emergency effectively. There are only small shops of Tamiflu available, and its effectiveness during a bird flu pandemic is questionable. While conventional medicine does not offer a lot of options to treat viruses, some natural remedies are known to have antiviral effects. These remedies were often used for centuries with little or no side effects. There are ways we can learn about now in order to strengthen ourselves in the event of an epidemic. These remedies may be useful also for the common flu that we deal with every year.
During the last pandemic in 1918, India lost 18 million people for flu. The grass that has been credited with the end of the epidemic in India at that time was andrographis paniculata. Andrographis has been used traditionally in China and India for viral infections and respiratory tract. Its effectiveness is supported by modern research. Andrographolides in this herb can enhance immune system function. Can increase the production of white blood cells, activate the lymphatic system and stimulate interferon production by the cells of the body. Interferon kills viruses and stops their growth. This herb can help our immune system fight more effectively against viruses. Andrographis is often combined with Siberian ginseng to boost his immune system enhancing effects. This herb has proven to be effective in fighting bacterial pneumonia and viral, what are the complications that often follow the flu or colds.
Another herb that has been traditionally used to treat viral conditions is isatis. It was commonly used in Asia recently during the outbreak of SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome) who lived. It is also used for people with other viral diseases, and AIDS and hepatitis c.
An herb commonly used here in the United States, elderberry, has antiviral effects, which makes it useful for treating colds and flus. Elderberry virus prevents the cells of our body, making it difficult for them to invade and start replication.
The herbal formula, Gan Mao Ling, is frequently used to prevent colds and flu at the first signs of an outbreak. Is more useful when taken right when a person begins to feel chilled and feverish. It also has been shown to reduce the duration of influenza, once the person is already sick. Yinchiao San is a formula that can help towards the beginning of a cold or flu, just when a person starts feeling feverish with a sore throat.
Many essential oils used in aromatherapy have antiviral effects. Eucalyptus oil, lemon oil, ravensara oil, geranium oil and Thyme oil have antiviral properties. These oils can be used in a blend of massage diluted in a carrier oil, or can be found in an oil burner, so you breathe in antiviral oils through the lungs. A few drops can also be added to bath water. Essential oils are the most powerful natural medicine infection fighters. Do not discount their power simply because they smell beautiful.
Digestive enzymes when taken between meals, are absorbed through the gut into the bloodstream. These enzymes can help to break down proteins that consist of viruses and can help destroy or inactivate them.
As you can see, there are many natural methods to increase our strength and helps fight influenza and other viral diseases every day for common ailments and also in case of a pandemic emergency.