For many, the nasty fever and chills experienced during a bad case of the flu are more commonly associated with the winter months—but you can still get a cold when it’s warm!
Surprisingly, there are more than 400 viruses that are capable of causing infections—attacking the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems. Whether it’s pneumonia, an eye infection, strep throat, influenza, gastroenteritis, or the common cold—many find themselves desperately seeking a remedy for their discomfort and pain.
Thankfully, there are many natural antivirals that are able to prevent a virus from developing and can treat viral infections when they do occur. Boost your immune system with these 7 natural antivirals and say goodbye to that stubborn cold!
This member of the legume family is capable of reducing stress and minimizing the effects of aging—but astragalus root also has many antiviral properties. If used regularly, astragalus root can help boost the immune system’s T-cells—which are responsible for killing off other virus-infected cells—effectively preventing the flu and the common cold. Astragalus root can be taken orally or used as a topical ointment for the skin to treat skin wounds or other skin issues.
How to make astragalus root tea:
To make this immune-boosting tonic, simply boil astragalus tea bags for 10 minutes. If you have whole astragalus root, you can also slice the dried roots and simmer 1 tablespoon in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.
This colorful flower’s petals are one of the strongest antiviral agents due to the acids contained within their oils. Calendula oils are extremely effective at fighting off pathogens and contain high amounts of flavonoids—which help protect cells from damaging free radicals. Calendula can also be used to treat pink eye, prevent infections, relieve sore throats, and heal wounds, making it one of the most versatile natural antivirals. You can easily brew a cup of calendula tea to help boost your immune system or make calendula oil to be used topically.
Echinacea, also known as the purple coneflower, is a powerful remedy for respiratory viral infections. Echinacea works by stimulating the body’s immune system in order to ward off any potential infections. Similar to astragalus root, the purple coneflower remedy strengthens T-cells and effectively fights off invasive pathogens. Echinacea can also be used to treat bacterial infections (such as yeast or urinary tract infections), but primarily helps to alleviate upper respiratory infections. You may take echinacea in the form of capsules and tablets or in a tonic. Take this immune booster as soon as you feel a cold coming on. If taken while sick, it can help to greatly reduce the duration of symptoms.
How to make echinacea tea:
Simmer 1/2 cup of echinacea (root, leaves, and flower) in 1 cup of water, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and add two teaspoons of brown rice syrup to taste.
Along with its culinary properties—ginger has been used medicinally for centuries for its many antiviral and healing properties. Ginger works to cleanse the lymphatic system—a portion of the immune system that protects against illnesses and diseases—and is effective at inhibiting common colds, influenza, respiratory syncytial viruses, and the herpes simplex virus. Ginger tea can effectively treat many infections and help ease the symptoms of the flu or a cold—such as a sore throat and coughing—as well as alleviate itchiness associated with chicken pox.
How to make ginger tea:
Scrub, peel, and slice 2 inches of fresh ginger root and simmer in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture into a mug and add lime or lemon juice to taste.
Although lemon balm has major effects on the central nervous system—reducing anxiety and easing depression—the lemon-scented plant also has several antiviral properties which allow it to block the attachment of virus-infected cells onto healthy cells. When used as a herbal remedy, lemon balm is effective at treating the common cold, influenza, chicken pox, warts, mumps, and cold sores.
How to make lemon balm tea:
Steep 1 tablespoon of lemon balm leaves in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste. To use remedy for cold sores, simply cool and apply directly to sores with cotton balls.
A symbol of peace—an olive branch’s miracle leaves can actively fight such viruses as shingles, hepatitis B, candida, pneumonia, chronic fatigue, and meningitis! The main nutrient in olive leaves—oleuropein—actively block viruses from replicating and prompts the immune system to destroy them when they do. Remarkably, olive leaves can counter more than 50 disease-causing organisms! To partake in the benefits, try using olive leaf oil or brew a cup of olive leaf tea.
How to make olive leaf tea:
Oven-dry a handful of olive leaves at 150˚F. Once they are dry, crush them and remove the stalks. Take 1 teaspoon of dried olive leaves and steep them in a mug of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain out the leaves and sweeten to taste as the tonic may be very bitter.
A popular herb for pasta—oregano can also eradicate many viruses, especially those that cause genital herpes, shingles, and cold sores! Oregano oil contains rosmarinic acid, a potent antioxidant that aids in boosting the immune system. Oregano oil has been known to alleviate runny nose, earache, headache, sore throat, and sneezing. For fast relief from these flu and cold symptoms, try oregano oil or make a warm cup of oregano tea!
How to make oregano tea:
Using either 3 teaspoons of fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon of dried leaves, boil them in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. Pour contents in mug and add your choice of vegan sweetener to taste as tea may be bitter.
Warning: Although these natural antivirals have many healing qualities, it is always recommended that you seek approval from your health care provider before consuming or using them as a herbal remedy. Those who are pregnant (or believe they may be pregnant), breastfeeding, currently using prescription drugs, or those with underlying medical conditions should always seek a doctor’s approval before using natural antivirals.
Have you tried any of these natural antivirals to combat unpleasant symptoms?
Related: Raw Vegan Immunity Boosting Elixir