Colds and Flu – The Herbal Approach

The treatment of colds and flu provides a contrast between different approaches to health and illness.

During the time of Pasteur, the debate raged about the nature of infection. He maintained that bacteria was the most important, while his adversary Beauchamp insisted that the immune system and and host resistance was crucial. Pasteur won the debate. But in reality, it’s only half the answer.

Mere suppression of symptoms can waken the immune and nervous systems. One of the beauties of herbs is that they work with both ends of the spectrum. Many have powerful anti-viral and antibacterial effects. Herbal medicines also stimulate, augment and strengthen disease resistance in dozens of ways.

The nose, sinus, throat, bronchi and lungs are the most frequent sites of contagious illness. There are several important antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal respiratory herbs. Drying and toning weak tissues, respiratory astringent herbs are useful for excess mucus condition of the nose, throat or lungs. Thus they are valuable in almost every acute and chronic respiratory condition.

Traditionally plant medicines have been relied upon to reduce fever and clear mucus. Other herbs are used to treat specific sinus, throat or chest complaints. There are many traditional cold formulas. From such herbs and herbal formulas one can expect a shorter duration of colds or flu and less likelihood of recurrence or lingering symptoms. Herbs are an ideal treatment for acute and chronic sinusitis as well.

Antibiotic and demulcent herbs are an effective treatment for sore throat, as well as tonsillitis,used internally and as a local gargle. Herbal medicine also has dozens of remedies for helping the lungs and bronchi, relieving irritation, infection and healing the tissues. Using immune strengthening herbs, one can naturally reduce the frequency of nasty colds or flu.