You must reach for what is natural before you ingest the chemicals. You must choose remedies that put you in alignment with nature, remedies that HEAL your body.
I’m going to get straight to the point here. I think there is a lot of uneducated decisions being made, mostly in part to what that government, pharmaceutical companies and doctors are telling us. Did you know that doctors are not required to take part in any nutritional or herbal schooling. That doesn’t even register on my sense meter. Doctors should be prescribing food and herbs, nature provides us with those so aren’t they meant to be?
Before I continue, I will say that my life has been saved by modern medicine and antibiotics on more than one occasion. That by no means makes me feel like chemicals and man made medicines are something that I think we SHOULD be reaching for day to day.
What I want to share with you today, during this cold and flu season, is the difference between pharma and herbal antivirals, how they work and how you should be empowered to reach for a tea or a shot of Fiery Cider Tonic before you grab the Dayquil.
The difference between synthetic pharmaceuticals and herbalism is the pharmaceuticals only treat or suppress your symptoms and the herbs or naturals boost your body’s own immunity and capability to fight off disease and sickness.
In the realm of herbal medicines, some plants will slow or inhibit the absorption or random initial attachment of the viruses, extend the lifespan of infected cells or speed up several aspects of immunity including complimentary antibody and phagocytosis responses.
Phagocytosis is the ingestion of bacteria or other material by phagocytes (a type of cell within the body capable of engulfing and absorbing bacteria and other small cells and particles).
Like antibiotics; antivirals don’t actually kill the virus since the virus only lives as it uses a healthy living cell to replicate. A true antiviral effect would kill the host cell which obviously would be detrimental to the body.
Instead, the herbal antiviral properties include disrupting the replication process, stimulating the immune system and bind certain enzymes to prevent absorption into the host cell. Does that make sense?
Herbal antivirals work best on respiratory viruses like influenza, adenoviruses (like pink eye), rhinoviruses (common cold) and enteric echoviruses (gastro-intestinal).
Here are some examples of antiviral herbs, which you’ll see are pretty easy to locate, nothing too exotic or crazy. You can blend your own tea with these herbs by mixing them with other herbs that are pleasant to the taste buds or you can get them in capsule form from your local drug or supplement store. And, Elderberry Syrup is one of the medicinal potions you can have at your disposal in your herbal medicine cabinet – right there next to Fiery Cider Tonic.
Lemon Balm, Elderberry, Echinacea, St. John’s Wort, Boneset, Garlic, Astragalus, Ginger, Skullcap, Licorice, Yarrow….and that’s just to start.
One of the worst things people can do is sell short the power of herbal remedies to heal their maladies. It’s just like eating healthy food, it’s easier to reach for the quick fix processed food than it is to take the time to make something fresh even though they know it’s the best thing for them. You can’t get hooked on herbs, you can’t overdose on elderberry. You will never have to detox from Skullcap. It’s all kind of a no brainer people.
Can you get what you need from essential oils? Um, yes. Essential oils from plants can be absorbed into your body through airborne processes. Making an herbal steam is not only good for its decongestant and cleansing properties but a great way to absorb the medicinal properties of the oil or herb.
That being said, I would be irresponsible if I were not to share with you my thoughts about the ingestion of essential oils, which seem to be all the trend these days. I AM WARY OF IT! PERIOD! Overuse of essential oils, in any form, can be damaging to your liver. Many of these higher end essential oil companies tell you it’s okay to ingest some of their oils but they are not regulated and managing their suggestions for dosage responsibly. One drop of lemon essential oil is the equivalent of 20 lemons, one drop of peppermint essential is equivalent to 28 cups of leaves. This is not a necessary or safe supplement to be ingesting even once a day.
I urge you to educate yourself on the practical uses for oils in aromatherapy and topical balms but please leave the drops out of your drinking water.
So, where do you start? You start by looking into your own spice cabinet. All those spices and herbs you use to cook with have medicinal qualities too.
To learn more, here are a couple of my favorite resources –
Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs book.
Mountain Rose Herbs for information and purchasing quality herbs.
As for me, you’ll be seeing a lot more of me talking about herbs for vibrant health. I hope this is a good start for you!
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