Catching the flu is quite a common occurrence during this time of year; preventing ever getting one in the first instance is the best practice, but if you work quickly at the onset of the flu you can stop the virus from getting any worse. Here are several specific herbs and vitamins which can help curb the growth of any flu.
As far as vitamins are concerned, Vitamin A, D, E and C are all essential for a healthy immune system, so addition of any or all of these would prove to be most beneficial in killing the flu. If you decide to take Vitamin C in high doses, be sure to wean off the dose in halves rather than simply stopping taking them or your immune system could suffer.
COQ10 is a supplement that has been proven to improve the immune system so it would always be a welcome addition to any flu prevention remedy. Echinacea and garlic are both known to improve a flu situation; Echinacea has been proven to reduce the length of time a virus lives and garlic is anti-viral, anti-fungal and antibacterial. While Echinacea comes in pill and tea form, garlic can be taken in pill form or chewed raw. Garlic can fight any virus as well as kill any bacteria that you might come in contact with, so it is a great addition as well. Selenium and Zinc have proven effective qualities for fighting colds and are also great as topical treatments on herpes. There is a long held belief that the use of Zinc and Selenium could also prevent the replication of the herpes virus. White blood cell counts are reliant on selenium to work properly.
St. John’s Wort has been used to maintain a healthy immune system, which helps to avoid catching any viruses. Using Probiotics is another popular method to ensuring that optimal health is achieved and sustained. Probiotics are especially useful for the digestive system and work to keep intestinal tracks working properly through keeping a healthy balance of bacteria present. Colloidal silver is also known to prevent enzymes from viruses building up, killing their ability to use oxygen and grow; this is also helpful for killing any bacteria.
Green tea has been used for thousands of years and is known to be able to offset viral infections through the strong flavonoids it contains. Olive leaf extract is also an effective tool for preventing virus growth and has been proven in studies showing over 95% success rate in helping aid a rapid recovery for the respiratory tracts and viral skin infections such as herpes. Liquorice root has been proven to be more effective at fighting and preventing the SARS virus than four different antiviral drugs, reducing replication and cell absorption which renders the virus unable to penetrate cells. It is also being used to treat HIV.
Elderberry has been known for thousands of years as well and has been studied through double blind trials which confirmed its ability to enhance immunity and reduce influenza symptoms as well as the speed a person recovers from a flu virus. Echinacea inhibits the ability a virus would otherwise have to penetrate healthy cells as it contains very strong antioxidants. It is also known to slow down and decrease the replication of herpes. Pau d’Arco is a holistic medicine used by indigenous cultures for millennia. It contains a compound called lapacho which has been proven to be effective in fighting many viruses including herpes types I and II, polio and influenza, inhibiting replication.
The best defense against catching a flu virus will always be to maintain good prevention measures; eat healthy, exercise often to help your immune system stay healthy and make sure to sleep the recommended 6-8 hours a night.