The cold and flu are viral infections that infect the respiratory tract.
Viruses are the smallest microbe which infects human. The discovery of viruses are relatively new in medical history; it wasn’t until the 1930-40’s that there were microscopes powerful enough to see viruses. Since then have been over 30k different viruses identified.
Viruses are not living, and it’s really important to stress here, antibiotics are completely ineffective in addressing viral infections. In fact, they will actually make a viral infection worse by killing off the beneficial bacteria you need to help fight the infection.
Antibiotics negatively impact our gut health on an average of 18 months after each use and also increases your chances of recurrent infections
Certain botanicals can actually inhibit viruses from replicating by deprogramming the viruses so that once they penetrate a cell they can’t overtake and reprogram it, halting the progression of a disease.
Other herbs can attack the spikes on the outside of a virus so it can’t attach to the cell, others may prevent a virus from the penetrating a cell. Our botanicals can work on multi-levels to help us prevent or shorten the duration of these illnesses.
For illnesses like the cold and flu self-awareness is really important.
This is the where we may have had an exposure of some kind of indication that we may be coming down with something
It’s the early warning signs where we need to amp up our prevention methods.
One botanical we can use for a multi-level prevention and treatment option is elderberry.
Elderberry works by actually inhibiting viral replication, so it is best taken at the first sign of symptoms to stop the progression of the disease.
This is treating at the root cause. We are not addressing symptoms with elderberry. You may add other botanical to your protocol to address symptoms but we are really looking at inhibiting viral reproduction here.
In a 2016 study evaluating cold symptoms among travelers, elderberry supplementation was compared to placebo.
The elderberry treatment group experienced less total sick days, they also experienced less severe symptoms on a rating scale. Here they are taking elderberry as a preventative when their exposure is higher.
Where people often run into issues when using natural remedies, is dosing, frequency and consistency. As an herbalist and aromatherapist, it is one of the biggest mistakes I see when people find their natural remedies not working.
You can find out more about natural remedies, more herbs to use for the cold and flu, along with other common illness protocol in my functional wellness membership site, Rise UP. You get instant access to herb and essential oil profiles, protocols for common illness, and have access to myself in our private facebook group to ask a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist and Master Herbalist questions on the best natural solutions for the cold, flu, or anything else that might pop up this season. Join us in Rise UP, to get support through the cold and flu season and so much more.