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Herbs to the Rescue – natures antibiotics

Published November 3rd, 2009 in Hormones for His & Her Health

Herbs to the Rescue – natures antibiotics

By Tammera J. Karr, MSHN, CNC, CNW, CNH 2009©

It happened this week… At first you thought it was only a headache but as the day wore on your brain stopped working, the chills came on and everything began to ache. The flu – anyone of a hundred wee beasties has come to visit and you are the host. Oh Goodie.

The man is not sick because he has an illness; he has an illness because he is sickChinese proverb

By Tammera J. Karr, MSHN, CNC, CNW, CNH 2009©

It happened this week… At first you thought it was only a headache but as the day wore on your brain stopped working, the chills came on and everything began to ache. The flu – anyone of a hundred wee beasties has come to visit and you are the host. Oh Goodie.

The man is not sick because he has an illness; he has an illness because he is sickChinese proverb

For those who have chosen not to get the potentially dangerous flu vaccine, what are the alternatives to prescription or over the counter drugs? Herbs the original medicine. Every culture has a vast pharmacopeia of herbs to help the body fight off foreign invaders. This natural pharmacy has been relegated to the fringes of quacks and oddballs over the last four decades in favor of trendy designer drugs. But the side effects of these drugs opens ups a Pandora’s box of health challenges as time goes by because they treat symptoms, unlike herbs that build the bodies resistance through nutrients, vitamins, phytochemicals, tannins and a host of ingredients that we are not even aware of yet. Viruses do not become resistant to Herbs like antibiotics, because herbs make your own immune system stronger without.

Here are a few of the herbs we keep on hand for the cold and flu season in addition to our enzymes and probiotics.

  • Oregano oil – The oil from oregano leaf helps eliminate bacteria and fungi, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. Research suggests that oregano oil inhibits unfriendly parasites, fungi and yeasts.
  • Garlic – is widely researched in the United States and abroad and is one of the most revered botanical foods. Garlic strengthens the immune system, by working against immune invaders and attacking bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Use fresh in broths. Add liberally to vegetables, meats, always use fresh not dried or canned.
  • Grapefruit seed extract – Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic.  Of all herbs, it is perhaps the only true antibiotic.
  • Horehound – has used internally to treat upper respiratory congestion, whooping cough, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis and diarrhea. This herb is intended for short term use and some medications may interact. Be warned a strong tea taken twice daily for two to three days is all you will likely need and it tastes offal but IT WORKS!
  • Chinese Herbs (by Paul C. Robbins, L.Ac Roseburg Oregon) A master Chinese Herbalist has the ability of compounding a tea formula best suited for your health. These herbs heal, nourish of the and build the body back up naturally and effectively.
  • Chili peppers – use liberally in foods you are preparing and especially in soups. Chilies have the highest natural vitamin C content. Acts as a vassal dilator opening blood vessels.
  • Gypsy Cold Care® tea (available in most natural food stores) Handy to have at work when the first symptoms are apparent, eg. tightening in the chest, stuffy nose, runny nose.

Also available in Throat Coat® and Breath Easy®

  • Rosemary – Natural antioxidant, it’s essential oils are also antiviral and microbial. Add liberally to chicken stock for healing broths. The essential oils placed on the chest help to open air ways.
  • Ginger – Ginger is used as an antioxidant; in the prevention of motion and morning sickness, relieve sore throat, nausea, vomiting and headaches.
  • Peppermint – helps to south upset stomachs and open air ways. Adding this to the horehound herb tea will help improve the flavor.
  • Goldenseal – Useful in the case of sore throat, bladder infection – should not be used by those who are pregnant.

Last but far from least is the warm healing benefits of homemade chicken soup – fat included and organic.  Researchers have found that the fat from organically raised chickens is one of the reasons it is so beneficial for getting rid of a cold or flu bug. Grandmas chicken soup for the common cold was real! Combine this with garlic, celery, carrots, onion, mushrooms, chilies, rosemary, pinch of sage, oregano and thyme and you have the makings for a rich soup that heals the body.

If you are prone to chest and head congestion I advise you, to avoid eggs and dairy during the cooler months as they encourage mucus and phlegm build up.  Gluten also is an antagonist for some so limit it as well.

To your good health, Food Truly is Your First Medicine.

** All herbs should be used with caution by anyone who is pregnant or lactating, on anticoagulants or who has sever immune impairment. Please consult a Master Herbalist, Chinese Herbalist or Natural Health Practitioner if you are inexperienced with the use of herbs.

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