In the midst of cold and flu season, I wanted to tell you a little bit about some of my favorite herbs and other products that can help you fight contagious illnesses as well as other infections. Our children with special needs often have greater difficulty fighting off contagious viruses and bacteria and are more likely to get infections. Because their immune system and body are already overwhelmed, they are also more likely to react negatively to prescription medications which are full of artificial ingredients and chemicals. This is just more reason to keep antiviral herbs and other supplements in your cabinet.
This list is certainly not exhaustive but contains some of the hardest hitters I know:
- Olive Leaf Extract–A natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. This means that it fights viruses, bacteria and fungus in the body. This is one I go to at the first sign of a cold or fever. I take it (or give it to my kids) in tincture (liquid) form several times a day and often my cold or their cold just goes away. It always decreases the length and power of the cold.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract–Another natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. This is well-known for its use with candidiasis or the overgrowth of yeast but is a powerful tool in the fight against strong infections. Liquid format is best but it has a VERY strong flavor so mixing it with cranberry juice or some other dark juice is best.
- Oil of Oregano–There are whole books written about what Oil of Oregano can do. Again, it is a natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. It’s the first thing I reach for if I suspect strep throat.
- Coconut Oil–I use coconut oil inside and out. It is a natural antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial. I use it on my skin as a moisturizer as well as in smoothies, as oil when I’m cooking and so on. The key is to get organic, extra virgin coconut oil. If you don’t like the coconut flavor (not all that great in scrambled eggs for instance), get the kind called RBD. RBD means that it’s been refined to take out the coconut flavor. Coconut oil is outstanding for immune system support as well as fighting infections.
- Garlic-Mullein Oil–This is a combination of garlic, a powerful antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial, and mullein which is a strong antibacterial. This is a great go-to for an earache or mild ear infection.
- Vitamin C–Of course, everyone knows about Vitamin C right? But you may not know that the body can generally handle much more than we get in a daily multi-vitamin. The boys and I take 1000mg daily and that’s a bare minimum. Adults can and often should take several thousand more mg a day. If we’re starting to get sick, I bump up the amount of Vitamin C right away.
- Vitamin D3–Most people these days are low in Vitamin D3. The best way to know is to have a simple blood test run by your doctor but unless you spend at least 30 minutes out in the sun daily, chances are pretty good that you are low in Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 will naturally fight the flu. Because we spend more time indoors in the fall and winter, our Vitamin D levels go down which leaves us more susceptible to the flu. Vitamin D3 does take some time to build up in the body, so start taking it now. Both my boys (ages 6 and 3) and I take 5,000 IU a day. Be sure and get it in liquid format from a high quality source. Each drop is usually 1,000 IU.
There are many herbs and other supplements that can help fight illness and support the immune system but these are my current favorites.
Now, what are you waiting for? If you would like to try the herbal tinctures (grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract, oil of oregano and garlic-mullein oil) from a source that only uses organic and wildcrafted herbs, please let me know. I am a Pure Herbs user and distributor and can get you whatever you need. Wherever you get them, go get them and either start using them in the case of the vitamins and coconut oil, or have them ready to use when illness strikes.