By Kali Pappas, Nutritionist and Blogger at Holistic Chick
Are you a believer in “everything we need to heal is grown right here on earth?” — well as a Holistic Nutritionist and Herbalist, I may be biased to that belief, but in fact it’s not far from the truth. Many important common medications that help save lives and reduce symptoms of various conditions or diseases are in fact derived from plant sources!
“Today, about 40 percent of our prescription medicines come from plant extracts or synthesized plant compounds. Plant-based medicines are everywhere, including the shelves of our local drugstores.”
Looking at this unfortunate percentage alone, is reason to believe we are not giving plants a better opportunity to thrive in the conventional medicine world.
Viruses impose serious global health challenges, forcing an increased need to discover effective and safe alternatives to conventional drugs. As only 40% of our conventional meds are actually coming from plants, shifting focus to the study and development of deriving more plant species may be the answer to our calls for help.
Take antibiotics for example, this drug is used to fight bacterial infections and has been saving numerous lives since its discovery back in 1928.
What many people don’t know about this crucial drug is that it’s based on natural products synthesized by bacteria and fungi. Without the discovery of naturally derived penicillin (the first true antibiotic known to man), many advances in Western medicine may have either been prolonged or not made to this present day, resulting in millions of lives lost.
Unfortunately, antibiotics are not the answer to everything, especially in solving our current global pandemic. This is because they can only target and destroy the growth of bacteria, and are not so helpful in fighting off viral infections such as: coronavirus, and the common cold or flu.
Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot reproduce, therefore they need a host cell in order to replicate and spread. Antiviral herbs come into play with viruses by inhibiting the virus from attaching to your cell walls, therefore slowing or even preventing the spread of infection!
With this knowledge, and no current cure for COVID-19, using herbs may be extremely beneficial in protecting our health! Did you know they work in more than one way? That’s right! In addition to antiviral effects, herbs contain an array of nutrients and beneficial healing properties that can help boost immunity, plus balance and restore the body as a whole.
A rule of thumb in Holistic practice is to look at and treat the body as a whole; your body system is connected and communicates on the same level and so should be treated the same way! Using a natural process to create homeostasis (balance) and heal.
So, what’s the best way to start the healing process? Herbs!
I’ve summed up the top four herbs you should be using during a pandemic, plus the most effective supplements for each one! To help boost your immunity and ward off those icky viruses.
Top 4 antiviral herbs you should be taking:
1. Echinacea → can impair influenza virus among other viruses.
Gaia Herbs — Echinacea Supreme Tincture $14.99
2.Turkey tail → a mushroom that may help target virally infected cells.
Host Defense — Fungi Perfecti Turkey Tail $44.95
3.Astragalus→ studies have shown this herb can interfere with the cell-proliferation cycle once infected.
Solaray — Organically Grown Astragalus $9.55
4.Elderberry → considered a potent antiviral because “It inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells” says Dr. Golnoosh Torabian.
Honey Gardens — Elderberry Syrup $13.99
Herbs are the best natural solution to a healthy healing process. There truly is a herb or herbal remedy for every condition! The best thing about using them is that there are so many great ways to take it than using a pill alone, learn one of my favourite ways below!
Make your own cold herbal infusion with this guide!
What’s a herbal infusion? A similar process to brewing tea, but much stronger! Infusions require more herbs than a traditional bag of tea with a longer steeping time (7 or more hours), depending on if it’s being made as a hot or cold infusion.
I N G R E D I E N T S —
- 1 quart glass jar with airtight seal
- Filtered cold water
- 2 tbsp using dried herbs of your choice
- Some great antiviral herbs that do well in cold infusions include: peppermint leaf, ginger, rosebuds, hibiscus, or marshmallow root
D I R E C T I O N S —
- Place 2 tbsp your choice of herbs in glass jar
- Pour 1 quart filtered cold water over top and seal jar with lid
- Place jar in the fridge and allow to infuse overnight (8–12 hours)
- Wake up in the morning and voila! Strain your herbs and enjoy a cup over ice or heated in the morning to begin your day
- Note: don’t drink more than one cup a day, herbal infusions are very potent!
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