Saturday, October 31, 2009

Some Natural Immunity - Thanks to Mr. Pfeil

Taken From the 9th International Herb Symposium June 19-21 2009
In two parts.

Part I
Top Anti-Viral Herbs for preventing and treating viral infections

  • Garlic
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Lemon balm
  • Astragalus
  • St. John's Wort
  • Spilanthes

More Antiviral Strategeies including non-local herbs (ginger, licorice, lomatium, oliber leaf), mushrooms, supplements, and fermented foods

Part I is taken from the following seminar
"A Holistic Approach to Influenza Pandemics" by Michael Phillips

Part II
Antiviral Herbs

Plants have long been exposed to viral invasions. They have evolved producing antiviral and imune stimulant properties and compounds. Many of the chemicals used by a plant to protect itself from viral infections also have antiviral activity in other species. Lucky for us! Using antiviral herbs in combination with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can help us prevent and reduce the severity of viral attacks.

Antiviral herbs primarily work in two ways:

  1. They stimulate the immune system and thes produce more immune cells and immune chemicals.
  2. They disrupt the replication cycle so the virus cannot survive.

GARLIC (Allium sativum)
Herbalists like to say if you understand garlic you understand 50% of herbal medicine. Simply put, Garlic is like a medicine chest in itself. It is useful for respiratory conditions, digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease, and skin problems. Many of these uses come grom the antimicrobial and immune-stimulation effects of garlic. Garlic was one of the main ingredients in the famous Vinegar of the Four Thieves. In 1772, four grave-robbers raiding plague victim's corpses were amazingly immune to the plague. Their secret was garlic and herb infused vinegar. They ingested it and soaked cloths with it to breathe through.
Garlic attacks bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms directly: it also stimulates the body's natural defenses against these invaders. Garlic's legendary power against infectious disseases is dur to a combination of these properties. So eat lots of garlic!
Fresh garlic is best for infections:

  • You can chop it and infuse it in wine, vinegar, honey
  • Put it through a garlic press and eat in soup, eggs, guacamole, pasta, etc.
  • Mix minced garlic with olive oil and/or butter and eat on bread or veggies

ASTRAGALUS (Astragalus membranaceous)
The root of astragalus stimulates virtually every phase of immune system activity. It increases the number of "stem cells" in the marrow and lymph tissue, and stimulates their development into active immune cells which are released into the body. Research documenting this also demonstrates that astragalus could promote or trigger immune cells from the "resting" state into heightened activity. My favorite way to use astragalus is to cook it in a big pot of soup. Put the big sliced and pressed roots right into the pot and let the medicine be absorbed into the soup broth. Don't try to eat the root like this: even after cooking for a long time it will be too fibrous to chew. You can aslo powder the root and put it in a little nut butter and/or honey. Astragalus can also be made into a tea or tincture.

ELDERBERRY (Sambucus canadensis)
The elder is another one of nature's first aid kits. All parts of the plant can be used, but usually for very different purposes. The best parts of the plant to use for antigiral qualities are the berries. The active ingedients in elderberries help inhibit viruses from enterin into the cells of our body, thus the viruses can not multiply and cause any havoc. My favorite way to prepare elderberries is into syrup. Just the pretty purple color alone can help pick you up on a winter's day! You can use the berries fresh or freeze them then make them into tea, muffins, and pies. I also make an elderberry tincture.

ECHINACEA (Echinacea purpurea)
This plant has long been one of our family's great allies. We use echinacea any time there is hint or chance of infection. Used liberally and at the onset of an infection, it can be very effective. Over 500 scientific studies have documented the chemistry, pharmacology, and clinical applications of echinacea. The most consistently proven effect is in stimulating phagocytosis: that is, encouragng white blood cells and lymphocytes to attack invading organisms. We harvest all parts of the plant at various times of the year. We dry it for use in teas and especially tincture huge batches of it. I tincture the fresh leaves and flowers at their peak in summer and the roots and seeds in the fall. Then after these are strained I combine them to make a potent whole plant preparation.

St. JOHN'S WORT (Hypericum Perforatum)
While commonly being used to alleviate depression, one of the side effects often observed from people taking St. John's Wort on a daily basis is a reduction of viral infections. This herb can be helpful in preventing influenza and is also helpful in the treatment of shingles and chronic fatigue syndrome. This beautiful yellow flower yields a blood-red tincture that can be taken by the dropper to prevent viral infections such as flu. A dropper full in the morning throughout the cold months is adequate for prevention; however increase the dosage if you know you have been exposed.

LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis)
This soothing plant is known for its relaxing and mildly sedating qualities. Lemon balm also has antiviral activity and is specially known for its effectiveness in the treatment of herpes simplex. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in lemon balm due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, sedative, and thyroid-regulating properties. Lemon balm is very tasty and most people enjoy it as a tea. It also makes a delicious glycerite as wall as an effective tincture. Some companies are making it into creams for the treatment of herpes. One of the most effective ways to use it topically is to use the essential oil. This can be very expensive and you have to check to make sure you are getting a pure product. It is often diluted with cheaper oils.

SPILANTHES (Spilanthes Acmella)
Spilanthes is native to South America and Africa, growing in tropical zones as a perennial. It grows quickly and blossoms in red and yellow flower tops. Spilanthes is easily cultivated in northern gardens if treated as an annual. Sometimes called toothache plant, it can be used to numb gums. It increases saliva and can be used as a local anesthetic. It can be used as an antiviral in cases of flu and colds. The leaves and flower heads contain analgesic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial agents. The herb exhibits general immunomodular properties when used internally, boosting production of leukocytes and antiviral interferon, as well as promoting phagocytosis. The leaves may be used topically to treat bacterial and fungal skin diseases such as ringworm.

More Anti-Viral Herbs and Natural Remedies


  • A ginger root tea compress on the chest stimulates blood circulation and helps break up congestion.
  • Possesses potent inhibitory action against various pathogenic organisms including bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus viridans.


  • Licorice root helps prevent and remedy infections, fevers, and inlammation.
  • One of its main active constituents, glycyrrhisin, is 100 times sweeter than sucrose and promotes interferon release
  • Topical applications work well in reducing the pain and healing time of both oral and genital herpes


  • Herbalists regard this northwestern member of the parsley family as one of the most potent anti-viral herbs of all.
  • A phytochemical in lomatium root, called furnacoumarin, has been shown to block viral replication of both DNA and RNA viruses.
  • Useful in treating pneumonia, flus, colds, and bronchitis, as well as viruses such as herpes simplex I and II and hepatitis C.
  • During the 1918 influenza pandemic, the Washoe Indians in Nevada used lomatium root to successfully protect every member of their tribe at the onslaught of symptoms. Indians in other parts of the west where this root did not grow succumbed to the virus in equal proportion as other races.

Olive leaf

  • This Mediterranean herb contains flavanoids (including rutin, luteolin-7-glucoside, and hesperidin flavanol) that work against the common cold, the flu, and other respiratory infections by stimulating the immune system.
  • Another chemical, oleopurien, specifically inhibits viral replication in both plants and animals


  • Reishi has long been known in Chinese Medecine for treating chronic hepatitis and enlarged liver, and is currently recommended for HIV. Known as ling zhi, this venerated mushroom is considered a longevity elixir.
  • Shiitake is considered one of the most prized tonics for the immune system; its anti-viral activity is primarily through the promotion of interferon.


  • Curcumin is the compound that gives turmeric its bright yellow appearance
  • Holds great promise as an agent for reducing the lethal effects of an avian flu cytokine storm.
  • Absorption is increased when administered with piperine (found in peppers)

Star Anise

  • This herb is the raw material for manufacturing the anti-viral medicine Tamiflu.
  • Shikimic acid is extracted from star anise, which undergoes a 17 step chemical process to transform it into the pharmaceutical drug.
  • In Traditional Chinese Medicine star anise is used for clearing mucus congestion from the respiratory tract and to assist with digestion.
  • Any direct anti-viral effects from star anise need to be investigated.


  • This compound is found in large amounts in red wine, grape seeds, and japanese knotweed.
  • Attributed to be the secret behind the "French Paradox": many people of France have a high fat diet, yet have low rates of heart disease.
  • The root of Japanese Knotweed (Poligonum multiflorum) is the richest source of resveratrol.
  • Resveratrol inhibits neuraminidase as well as sends a message to cells to stop manufacturing influenza A virus.

Select Herbal Essential Oils

  • Thyme, Tea tree, rosemary and lavender oils show varying degrees of effectiveness, depending on virus strain.
  • Lemon balm is noted as a topical application to speed healing of herpes lesions. Begamot, eucalyptus, and lemongrass show similar effect against herpes virus.

Grean Tea

  • Rich in a group of chemicals known collectively as catechins.
  • Catechins have demonstrated anti-viral activity, inhibit the enzyme neuraminidase, act as hemagglutinin inhibitors, and reduce the production of TNF and other inflammatory compounds.
  • Studies indicate that green tea is on par with Tamiflu in inhibiting viral activity.

Coconut Oil

  • Rich source of lauric acid, which has been shown to interfere with the reproduction of herpes simplex virus and other enveloped viruses.
  • Similarly, monolaruin disarms viral cell membranes, making coconut butter useful to alleviate viral infection of blood vessels (one cause of hypertension).


  • Vitamin A can help fight off early infections as it enhances the response of white blood cells and stimulates the production of T-cells. People who are deficient in vitamin A are very prone to viral illnesses.
  • Vitamin C, known as absorbic acid, decreases the duration of the common cold and relieves severity of symptoms. This antioxidant helps the body to increase white blood cells, interferon, and antibody response. Good food sources og Vitamin C include kale, parsley, collar greens, broccoli, citrus, and strawberries.
  • Vitamin E, or tocopherol, leads to clinical improvement of influenza-related pneumonia. This vitamin reduces the activity of Influenza A and B viruses in the lungs (of mice) by increasing the production of interferon. Other research suggests vitamin E can improve age-related declines in NK killer cells in the immune system.


  • Low levels of zinc can lead to decreased T lymphocytes and lower thymic hormone, both needed by the body to fight viruses.

Saurkraut and Kimchi

  • Wire services reported last year that chickens infected with avian flu fed "Kinchee Juice" were recovering.
  • This spicy Asian food is fermented assortment of cabbage and other vegetables, akin to European sauerkraut. The lactobacilli that preserve such foods are effective in controlling harmful bacteria in the intestines, decreasing cholesterol in the blood, improving immunity, and anti-cancer functioning.
  • Please take note: there's a a health difference between raw and pasteurized kraut.

Part II is taken from the following seminar
"Antiviral Herbs" by Nancy and Michael Phillips

  • When we get a cold, Carrie-Anne and I Like to use GSE Grapefruit Seed Extract (Nutribiotic is the company) in warm water and I even drink a Turmeric, Garlic, and Cayenne Apple Cider Vinegar Extract. There is Grape Seed Extract as well. Notice the difference between the two in your research on those two.
  • Medicinal mushrooms- I have been in love with this mixture of medicinal mushrooms: "Mushroom Science MaitakeGold404" from Natural Provisions.
  • Essential Oils- Shanti Golds-Cousens said oregano essential oil is the single best way to build the immune system and then proceeded to say that her husband Gabriel Cousens M.D. also agrees.
  • Kimchee- Look at what is in kimchee every time (Pepper, Garlic, Cabbage, Lactobacillis bacteria).

–Piperine from peppers for increased bio-availability of curcumin.

–Garlic as shown above.

–Lactobacillis bacteria as mentioned above.

–Cabbage is rich in the following nutrients:

Vitamin A: responsible for the protection of your skin and eyes.

Vitamin C: an all important anti-oxidant and helps the mitochondria to burn fat.

Vitamin E: a fat soluble anti-oxidant which plays a role in skin integrity.

Vitamin B: helps maintain integrity of nerve endings and boosts energy metabolism.

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