Herbal healing has been around for centuries and even in today's high-tech society, it has an important role in keeping us disease-free and healthy. A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods says that elderberry extract is an effective way to block viruses from entering, or even attaching to, healthy cells. Researchers applied a serum made from elderberries directly onto cells before, during, and even after they had been infected with the influenza virus.
"We found that the serum had a direct antiviral effect against the flu virus," said lead researcher Dr. Golnoosh Torabian. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD., author of "From Fatigued to Fantastic," tells Newsmax that he is "concerned" about the possible spread of the coronavirus and says, according to research by the National Institutes of Health, elderberry extract is also effective in inhibiting this particular novel virus.
"The form I would recommend is called Virapro," he says. "It not only contains elderberry, but also zinc, vitamins C and D, and retinol, which are critical for immunity."
Dr. Ellen Kamhi, Ph.D., author of "The Natural Medicine Chest," says it's important to shore up our immune systems whenever there is a threat of a viral invasion.
"The best approach is to do all you can do to help support the immune system since it controls our ability to fend off illness, whether it be a deadly disease, or even the common cold," she tells Newsmax. Eat a healthy diet and reduce stress, while enlisting herbs as part of your anti-germ warfare, she says. "Besides elderberry, technically called Sambucus nigra, which has been proven not only to prevent the flu but to reduce its symptoms, there is an arsenal of herbs to help you stay well."
Astragalus. One study by the National Cancer Institute demonstrated astragalus' ability to strengthen the body's immune response, especially against viral infections.
Echinacea. This well-respected and researched herb is an immune stimulant that increases the activity of white blood cells.
Garlic. Garlic has been used for centuries as food and as medicine, according to Healthline. It enhances the immune system by boosting the disease-fighting response of white blood cells thanks to its sulfur compounds. Studies show that garlic not only reduces the length and symptoms of illness, it can also prevent you from getting sick in the first place. One study showed that the group who took garlic regularly had a 63% lower risk of getting a cold, and their colds were 70% shorter. Garlic supplements, such as Aged Garlic Extract or AGE, retain the medicinal benefits of raw or cooked garlic against colds and flu.
Oil of Oregano. Chock-full of disease-fighting vitamins and minerals, this herbal blend contains many active chemicals that provide beneficial support to our bodies, says Kamhi. "It is exceptional in its ability to destroy several different kinds of microorganisms including bacteria, fungus, virus and parasites," she says.
Rosemary. This herb has been used as an anti-infective agent since ancient times. Kamhi reveals that it was burned in hospitals and sick rooms to purify the air and fight infections. "It was also used in courts to keep the judge and jurors from contracting plagues and fevers that the prisoner's brought up from the dungeons," she says.
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