The common cold is the most prevalent of viruses and affects hundreds of thousands of people every year. There are actually as many as 200 viral strains that affect the body’s respiratory system. This is why we must consume a lot anti-viral foods and herbs.
Conventional medicine available in the market have proven to be effective against the symptoms of this virus. Such as the fever, cough and nasal congestion can comes from flu.
However, alternative or natural medicine have advocated for the outright prevention of the common cold rather than just fighting its symptoms. There are anti-viral foods and herbs that actually provide an all year round protection against viral infection such as the common cold.
Let’s take a look at some of The Best Anti-viral Foods and Herbs
1. Fresh Garlic (Allium sativum)
When consumed regularly garlic can significantly reduce your risk of contracting common cold by about 64%. If you are infected already, then consuming garlic can shortening the duration and prevalence of symptoms by 70%.
Garlic has a concentration of allicin it is an organosulfur compound and is what gives garlic its unique smell.
2. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
This herb has been known for quite some time for its effectiveness against the common cold. Studies have shown that it can boost the body’s immune system which is needed to fight off infections.
Viruses attach themselves to healthy cells by latching and penetrating these cells with its sharp spines. Once the virus is inside the healthy cell it duplicates itself and uses up the cell afterwards the duplicated viruses break out and attack other healthy cells.
What elderberry does is that it destroys the spines of these virus, by doing so the virus cannot penetrate the healthy cell to wreak havoc.
3. Olive Leaf (Olea europaea)
This herb has a polyphenol called oleuropein. Which is effective in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and als it is great in treating some types of cancer. Olive leaf has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and of course anti-viral properties. It has been used in tests against viruses such as herpes, influenza and even HIV – 1.
Oleuropein has shown that it can inhibit these viruses by either stopping entry into healthy cells in a host or by providing a viral enzyme blocker, thereby preventing the duplication of these virus from corrupting healthy RNA/DNA in an attempt to duplicate itself.
4. Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)
Green tea has anti-oxidant properties that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and it dies this by preventing oxidative damage to the arteries. Another benefit of its anti-oxidant property is it helps combat some forms of cancer.
This herb has catechins and these catechins namely; epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have been known to also inhibit the entry of some types of viruses into healthy cells. They have been proven to be effective in combating HIV, influenza, hepatitis B and herpes simplex.
5. Pink Lapacho (Handroanthus impetiginosus)
This herb is also known as pau d’arco. It is a flowering deciduous tree and it is native to Central and South America. The lapacho tree has been used as by natives of this region for a very long time and its bark has been proven to be effective in the treatment of viral respiratory infections.
The bark of this tree has a high concentration of quinoids. This compound helps in inhibiting virus replication especially in strains of herpes, influenza, common cold, vesicular stomatitis, simplex types I and II and poliomyelitis.
This tree also provides a natural immuno-stimulant and expectorant. Enhancing its reputation in effectively fighting the flu and common cold virus infection. The lapacho bark is used in preparing an herbal tea but this tea can be quite bitter. However, the capsule form is also available but it isn’t as effective as the tea.
6. Shiitake Mushrooms (Lentinula edodes)
All edible mushrooms have anti-viral properties. However, studies have shown that shiitake is a very potent mushroom with high anti-viral properties. Studies on the anti-viral effectiveness of shiitake has shown that this mushroom has a minimum of 11 identified compounds that can inhibit viral replication in healthy cells.
7. Liquorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
This herb’s root extract is also known as glycyrrhizin or glycyrrhizic acid. It has very potent anti-viral compounds and has been researched and seen to be very effective in combating HIV, AIDS and SARS.
The glycyrrhizin’s anti-viral property works in three ways:
- It stops the virus from latching on to the membrane of cells.
- It prevents the penetration of the host’s healthy cells by the virus.
- It also prevents replication of those viruses that are in the healthy cells.
Please always seek the medical advice of your doctor before you use any of these anti-viral foods and herbs.