Herbal Remedies for Flu Season


Elderberry has been used for centuries as a tonic for colds, flu and sinus infections.  It also contains viburnic acid, a compound that encourages perspiration and helps to detox the body.  It is believed that elderberry can help reduce fever, purify the blood, and cleanse the body of pathogens.  All the parts that make up the elder flower have been used medicinally throughout history including the stems, leaves, berries and flowers.  Elderberry extract has proved to be specifically active against the influenza virus by blocking replication very effectively.


Echinacea has been used for more than 400 years to treat infections, snake bites and wounds, as well as a general "cure-all".  Scientific research has shown that the herb can keep immune systems healthy and strong, protecting it from common pathogens like the influenza virus and by slowing tumor growth.  Research shows that Echinacea extract works against an enzyme called hyaluronidase that destroys the body's defenses against diseases. 


This herb is an immune stimulant that has a long history of being used effectively in cases of influenza and fever.  Boneset was traditionally used to treat not only fever and flu but also respiratory allergies, chills, rheumatism, bruises, broken bones, urinary tract infection and jaundice.  Its strong bitter taste helps dry out mucous and stimulate digestion of toxins.  It contains at least 23 nutrients including calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, niacin, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc.


Fresh ginger root is a warming botanical that has been used as a medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions for hundreds of years.  As a powerful anti-inflammatory, ginger has also been widely used to help treat the common cold, flu-like symptoms, headaches and painful periods in women.  The root helps induce sweating and thus helps to release pathogens.  Ginger also helps to strengthen the immune system.  You can make it into a tea, or it can be taking as a high-dose supplement to aid the immune system.  


Andrographis is an herb that is part of Hindu folk medicine that originated in India.  Traditionally used to treat upper respiratory infections and sinusitis, andrographis was shown in a recent study to reduce the symptoms of coughs, sore throats, headache and fever.  Andrographis may help to prevent upper respiratory tract infections if taken during the winter months on a daily basis.  Andrographis may also help reduce the severity and duration of the flu.