Colds and Flu
The common cold is a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract. There are many different strains of cold virus, some say over 200, which is why we still havent found a cure for this common, annoying and sometimes debilitating condition. Likewise with influenza viruses there are different strains and these can bring different symptoms, usually more severe, such as chills, fever, coughing, headache and aching muscles.
A herbal treatment for colds and flu will generally first try to boost the immune system to prevent the cold infection in the first place and second try to relieve the symptoms once an infection has taken hold. For immune boosters, Astragalus can inhibit viruses and destroy bacteria. It increases the body’s production of immune-boosting white blood cells. Echinacea boosts production of interferon, a protein which helps to kill viruses, as well as white blood cells. For relief from symptoms Ginger is an important herb that can easily incorporated into food and it may have antibacterial and antiviral properties as well as Sage and Garlic which can be used in cooking. Eucalyptus contains a chemical Eucalyptol which loosens phlegm, making coughing easier but it also soothes breething and relieves a blocked nose.