Herbs and Spices

The natural remedies on this website are never intended as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

There are over 180 million people infected with the Hepatitis C virus worldwide.  With this amount of people, Hep C has become an epidemic along with HIV.  Even with all the research into finding a cure for hepatitis C, the result is only partially successful, at best.  That’s right, for those that have access to conventional treatment, approximately 20 – 50% of them do not respond to the available treatment.  I had genotype 1, which is supposed to be the most difficult to cure.

Although, a number of antiviral drugs have been developed, each one only addresses a specific type of virus.  This means that a virus can adapt and become immune to the drug.  As the virus adapts, you have to use stronger drugs and higher doses, which can be detrimental to the body.   It makes sense therefore that we should turn to our Mother Earth for a natural remedy.   There are several herbs that have antiviral properties. Natural antiviral herbs are full spectrum, which means that they address all types of virus.  Since the remedy is a full spectrum the viruses do not develop resistance to them. Natural herbs work with the body to fight the virus and therefore have fewer side effects than antiviral drugs.

Natural antiviral herbs include:  garlic, oregano, Astragalus Root, Cat’s Claw, Cranberry, Elderberry, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Licorice Root, Turmeric, to name just a few.  Antiviral properties can also be found in the essential oil of various herbs, such as orange oil, basil oil, lemon oil, sandalwood oil, eucalyptus oil and their constituents.  Several of the listed herbs/spices we use in cooking can help your body survive the Hep C infection.

In laboratory studies Garlic (Allium sativum) has been proven to have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, especially when eaten raw.  Add it to baked potatoes, sandwiches, salads and fermented vegetables.  Pesto is also a common and delicious way to eat more garlic.

Oregano (Origanum Vulgare) is high in antioxidant activity, due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids and is one of the best antiviral herbs available.  Additionally, it has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against food-borne pathogens.  It is strongly sedative and should not be taken in large doses.  Only high quality oregano essential oil should ever be taken internally. Always consult a naturopathic physician prior to taking any essential oil internally.  Although a mild oregano tea has a soothing effect and aid restful sleep.  If using oregano essential oil topically, use a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation.

Turmeric has been proven to be an antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antibacterial, and immune system stimulant.  It promotes the production and flow of bile, reduces cholesterol, relieves arthritis, and protects against liver damage.  One teaspoon is a good serving size, which can be blended into smoothies or even just stirred into a glass of water.  Curry is a delicious way to add more turmeric to your diet.

According to scientific studies, Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a modulator of the immune system.  This means, if the immune system is overactive, licorice calms it down; if it is under-active, licorice pumps it up.  It increases the number and aggressiveness of white blood cells, stimulates interferon production, and enhances antibody formation.  An antiviral and antibacterial, licorice is commonly used for gastric ulcers as it kills H. pylori that causes ulcers without upsetting the stomach. Steep these antiviral herbs as a tea and drink by itself or blended with other herbal teas. Licorice also has anti-tumor and anti-ulcer benefits and has a long history of use for colds, coughs, and ulcers.  AVOID during pregnancy.

Astragalus Root (Astragalus membranaceus) is one of the antiviral herbs that works by boosting the immune system. This root is known to increase your body’s defense against viruses and can be taken internally as either a capsule, tincture or by adding it to soup.  Astragalus root is best used as prevention so take it before you get sick.  AVOID it if you already have a fever.

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a known antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, and is also known for boosting the immune system to protect your body against illness. Take Cat’s Claw as a tea, tincture, or capsule.  AVOID during pregnancy.

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a potent defense against urinary tract infections due to its ability to make the bladder lining too “slippery” to adhere to. It is full of antioxidants, has antiviral properties and prevents plaque formation on teeth.  It can be taken in a capsule or as juice (get unsweetened).

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is used as a remedy for viral infections like the flu and common cold.  Elder stimulates the circulation, causing sweating and cleansing the body.  Take 1-3 tablespoons of Elderberry syrup per day during infection.  Leaves, roots, seeds, and berries of the raw plant contain cyanide-producing compounds and should not be consumed without cooking properly.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties and is used to prevent and decrease the duration of the common cold.  Ginger can be taken as a tea, in capsule form or added to meals.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) contains an important volatile oil with antiviral properties.  Lemon balm leaf makes a tasty tea that can also relieve upset stomach and promote calm.  It may be unsafe to consume during pregnancy.

At one point I used an antiviral regimen from a Naturopathic Physician’s office that lasted between 80 – 90 days.  It took a lot of discipline and persistence to keep it up consistently.  Consistency is a must if you go into a 3 month regimen.  The Antiviral regimen I used came from An Apple A Day with Dr. Jack Tipps.  Although I did not consult the doctor, the regimen was a standard antiviral regimen promoted at his website in the late 1990’s, which is when I did it.

To your greatest success! ~

Shari

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