5 Herbs That Cure The Flu | Rodale News

Herbs are always a good back-up plan when you’ve got the flu, always be careful with choosing the right herbs and dosages though!  -

Ever get a flu shot and then wind up sniffling, sneezing, and sweaty anyway? That’s completely possible, according to new research published in The Lancet. Researchers combed through 31 studies and found that during 12 flu seasons, the most common type of flu shot prevented the flu in just 59 percent of people ages 18 through 64. The less-common live vaccine was more effective, protecting people 83 percent of the time, but it still didn’t provide a 100 percent guarantee of a flu-free winter.

The takeaway? It’s always good to have a plan B. Herbal flu preventives and flu treatments have been around for centuries, explains Eric Yarnell, ND, assistant professor of botanical medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, and they’re easy to get without a prescription. Even some of history’s most virulent flu strains have been tamed by herbs, as detailed in herbalist Kathy Abascal’s book Herbs & Influenza: How Herbs Used in the 1918 Flu Pandemic Can Be Effective Today(Tigana Press, 2006). Through her research, she found that those treated with herbs in the flu pandemic of 1918 had a much higher survival rate compared to those who nixed herbs.

Below are some suggestions from some of the country’s leading herb experts for bolstering your immune system and treat flu symptoms with herbs. If you already have the flu, be sure to keep in contact with your physician, and keep him or her apprised of any herbal or complementary therapies you’re using, as they may interfere with other medications you’re taking.

To prevent flu infection: Yarnell recommends taking immunomodulating herbs, especially Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng), because there are clinical trials showing it can prevent both colds and flu. “This may also help flu vaccines work better, especially in the elderly,” he says. Follow the dosage instructions that come with the product, and continue to use hand washing and other flu-preventing strategies.

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