Natural herbal remedies have been used since ancient times to treat the symptoms and cause of various illnesses including viral infections.
With the novel corona virus pandemic sweeping the globe it’s important now more than ever to understand what you can do naturally to be proactive and take more control over your own health and body.
Firstly let’s explore what exactly is a virus and why unfortunately modern pharmaceuticals can do little to treat a virus once you have one. Antibiotics do not work on viruses. Vaccines are also unpredictable, and viruses learn and mutate to avoid the vaccine-induced immune responses often times leading to chronic infections.
What Is a Virus?
Dr Josh Axe describes as virus as ”A virus is a small infectious agent that can only replicate inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms — humans, animals, plants and microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea. They’re found in almost every ecosystem on Earth, and they’re the most abundant type of biological entity.
Viruses can spread in a multitude of ways but most commonly are spread by coughing and sneezing.
So what does nature provide to help us fight back? An abundance of antiviral herbs with incredible potency and efficacy even when compared to pharmaceutical grade medicines.
Antiviral herbs work twofold, they stop the spread of the virus in your body and boost the immune system, which is then able to send a immune response to fight the viral pathogens.
This natural antiviral response can even be better than over the counter antivirals which are designed to attack specific known pathogens, because as we said viruses mutate and change.
Here’s our pick of natures best antiviral herbs, that not only boost your immunity and help fight viral infections but offer a wide range of health benefits including all being anti-inflammatory. Link to inflammation blog post
Antiviral herb top contender - Turmeric
Rounding out top position is Turmeric which has been called by many the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. This root has been widely studied by science for its incredible healing properties. It has very powerful compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects whilst also being a very strong antioxidant.
Used for centuries in Ayuverdic medicine as a natural cold and flu remedy and a cure-all drink for any ailment, try mixing into coconut milk or almond milk for a wonderful, quick and effective relief of any virus related symptoms.
You can drink natural Turmeric root powder stirred into a milk or water as much as you need whilst feeling ill.
There are also curcumin capsules available however you need to regulate how many of these you take, so always read the directions and talk to your practitioner.
No 2. Oregano
Oregano is an antiviral herb powerhouse and said to be one of natures most powerful antiviral agents. Oregano essential oil is proving to be superior to some modern antibiotics without the common side effects of these drugs.
The power of this antiviral herb comes from its two powerful compounds carvacrol and thymol, both of which have powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
Carvacol has been know to reverses viral infections, as well as allergies, tumors, parasites and disease-causing inflammation.
Avoid oregano oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
No 3. Ginger
Ginger is a very powerful and aromatic root. The aromatic smell comes from essential oils and phenolic compounds such as gingerols and shogaols in the root. Gingerols increase the movement of the gastrointestinal tract. It also has analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
This long-time favourite antiviral herb demonstrates antiviral activity against colds and flu. An animal study found gingerroot to have antiviral action against the avian flu, while other research shows activity against the herpes simplex virus.
Hence why we have included it in most of our blends.
No 4. Cinnamon
Even traditional Western Medicine recognizes the antiviral nature of cinnamon. For example, cinnamon has been shown in studies to have an antiviral effect on HIV and herpes. The active, antiviral ingredient in cinnamon is called ‘Cinnzeylanine’ and it keeps the herpes virus from replicating.
This blog presents cases for just how Cinnamon kills viruses across a multitude of case studies.
Delicious and incredible this herb deserves its place on this list.
No 5. Garlic
Garlic has been used for thousands of years to help fight a vast number of illnesses. Garlic produces a chemical called allicin, which is what gives it its powerful smell and makes it effective as an antibacterial and antiviral food. A scientific study of 146 adults showed that taking high doses of Allicin for 12 weeks reduced the chances of catching a cold by 64%, and if a cold did set in, the symptoms were reduced by 70% in the study group
To make a garlic oil infusion at home, crush garlic cloves and add them to a carrier oil (like olive oil). Let the mixture sit for about five hours, and then strain the bits of garlic and keep the oil in a jar with a lid. This infusion can also be used as an antiviral herb for cold sores when used topically.
You can also swallow a raw clove of garlic; you might need to cut it in half if it’s too large. Bite down once to release the allicin; then swallow with water like a pill.
No 6. Star anise
Your antiviral medicine cabinet won’t be complete until you’ve added this licorice-like aromatic oil to it. That’s because star anise is one of the most powerful antiviral remedies available.
This oil is not suitable for internal use and is best diluted in fractionated coconut oil and applied to the skin or diffused in the air to help kill viruses. Star anise contains a potent antiviral substance known as shikimic acid, which the pharmaceutical industry synthesised to create flu drugs.
We feature this herb in our Chicory Chai Latte for just this purpose.
No 7. Basil
Many types of basil, including the sweet and holy varieties, may fight certain viral infections.
For example, one test-tube study found that sweet basil extracts, including compounds like apigenin and ursolic acid, exhibited potent effects against herpes viruses, hepatitis B, and enterovirus.
Holy basil, also known as tulsi, has been shown to increase immunity, which may help fight viral infections.
In a 4-week study in 24 healthy adults, supplementing with 300 mg of holy basil extract significantly increased levels of helper T cells and natural killer cells, both of which are immune cells that help protect and defend your body from viral infections.
Get your daily does of Tulsi with our incredibly potent Matcha Tulsi Latte Blend.
Ways to use antiviral herbs
Antiviral herbs in herbal teas
Herbal teas such as our Zandi range are a great way to incorporate the antiviral benefits into every day. Steep one teaspoon of our blends into hot milk or water. You can also steep 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried herbs into hot water for 5-10 minutes.
To upgrade the strength you can opt for a herbal infusion where you leave a cup of herbs in water for around 7-8 hours. Keep it in a air-tight container and drink it cold or heated. Because the infusions are stronger than the teas, don’t drink more than one cup a day.
Infused into oil
To incorporate antiviral herbs into your cooking you could infuse herbs into a carrier oil over several hours. Coconut, olive or jojoba oil are good oils for this purpose. Take about ½ cup of herbs and mix into 1 cup of oil then leave it somewhere warm and sunny for 12 hours. Once your herbs have infused with the oil, drain the leaves out of the oil and keep the oil for cooking or topical application to get rid of infections.
Essential oils are the most potent way to receive antiviral herbal properties. Be sure to always purchase organic and pure oils from a reputable company.
To use essential oils for their antiviral properties, diffuse 3–5 drops in your home, add 2–3 drops to warm bath water or mix 1–2 drops with a carrier oil and apply the mixture directly to the skin.
Massaging essential oils into your feet, abdomen and chest is useful when fighting a fever or flu symptoms
Herbal essential oils and infusions are extremely potent and should not be taken for long periods of time. Giving yourself a break from doses is important.
If you are pregnant, be cautious of using essential oils and reach out to your health care provider before doing so.
Some of these antiviral herbs interact with medications, so read up on an herb before you begin consuming its extract or essential oil.
Zandi was founded to empower you to take control of your health and wellbeing, with an underlying value of fighting inflammation in your body for optimum health and wellness.
We believe in food as medicine.
We believe enjoying beneficial plants everyday makes healthy, happy, humans that live longer.
The information contained regarding this product is intended for education and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace medical care. The product described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease.