Viruses are microscopic germs that invade the cells of our body and cause illness. These malicious particles are different from bacteria. Many find viruses more dangerous because they cannot be vanquished by antibiotics. To aggravate the matter, there are thousands of viruses that cause a wide range of diseases in humans. The influenza virus, for example, causes flu and polioviruses and can sneak into the central nervous system and cause paralysis.
However, you can heave a sigh of relief in knowing that most viruses are benign, cannot go past the body’s natural barriers or are killed by our immune system. What’s more interesting is that antiviral remedies can be found all around us in nature.
This article aims to educate everyone about natural antiviral treatments so that you can supplement your diet with immunity boosting foods that will help you win in the fight against viruses.
Garlic will almost always appear in every natural antiviral remedy list. This wonder herb is also antibacterial and antifungal. It’s inexpensive and can be found in your kitchen. Many drug companies produce “deodorized” garlic supplements, although some experts say that this manufactured form is not as effective as the unaltered plant.
There are hundreds of vitamins and minerals in garlic and it’s very unlikely that there is one active ingredient. It’s important to consume the whole herb so that you can benefit from all these nutrients working together.
For viral infections affecting the skin, wrap crushed garlic in gauze and apply it to the infected area. You can also consume the vegetable by simmering minced garlic in chicken broth. Raw minced garlic can be mixed with salads and pasta or spread on bread.
Ginger has been used to warm the body and prevent nausea for centuries. The herb’s antiviral properties have also come to light over the years. It’s popular for preventing and reducing the duration of the common cold.
The herb can be added to meals, taken in capsule form, and prepared as a tea. Ginger root tea can be quite toothsome and spicy. You can add more healthy benefits and flavor by sweetening it with honey. When you feel like coming down with a cold, drink ginger tea multiple times throughout the day. Ginger is quite safe but it’s not recommended for pregnant women.
For many years, elderberry has been used to combat flu and the common cold. Studies have shown that this fruit contains antiviral, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. Consume this herb to reduce the duration and severity of colds.
Sambucus nigra, the most common variety of elderberry, is non-toxic, but other varieties are known be poisonous (contains substances similar to cyanide). It’s still recommended to slightly cook the berries.
Taking elderberry syrup is the most common method of consumption. During infection, take one to three tablespoons a day. You can also drink elderberry tea. Simply boil the berries in several cups of water, but make sure to use the ripe and black ones. For added flavor and even more health benefits, throw in some basil, ginger or honey.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Some of the diseases that apple cider vinegar can treat include candida, high cholesterol, sinus infection, sore throat, joint pain, allergies, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, gum infection, flu and ear infections. Vinegar is acidic, but apple cider vinegar is different because it is an alkaline food.
Mix eight ounces of water and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Drink the concoction three times a day on an empty stomach. You can add a splash of lemon juice for an extra tang. Apple cider vinegar may also be applied to the skin. Wrap the area with a soft bandage after applying the liquid.
There have been claims that cranberry can prevent and fight against urinary tract infection, but there is also science behind these claims – studies show that cranberry can prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract.
As for its antiviral properties, researchers from academic institutions in New York found that cranberry juice can reduce the infectious effects of viruses by as much as 92%.
Cranberry can be taken as capsules or as a juice drink. Make sure to buy unsweetened cranberry juice if you decide to drink it.
Rosmarinic acid, an active ingredient or oregano, is a strong antioxidant that helps boost the immune system. One study found that oregano’s antioxidants are 42 times more powerful than that of apples.
Oregano’s anti-viral properties have been found to be helpful in treating upper respiratory infections. A study found that a spray containing essential oils from five different plants, including oregano, almost immediately relieved symptoms of upper respiratory infections.
Also, use oregano oil if you come down with a cold or the flu.
When you have an infection, take high-quality oregano oil in capsule form, and if using it topically, use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil to prevent skin irritation.
Natural remedies are safe to the body because they are chemical-free and organic. However, some herbs may cause adverse effects if taken in combination with prescription or over-the-counter medicine. If you’re pregnant or are breastfeeding, consult your physician before administering natural treatments.