Herbal Treatment for Preventing Colds and Flu
by Dr. Richard Schulze
Will you get a Cold or Flu this Winter? The odds are YES! The Average American Gets 2.8 colds a year. Dont just sit there sneezing and sniffling. Do something about it!
Are antibiotics the answer? Medical Alert! Last September, the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that Antibiotics have little or no benefit for Colds, Upper Respiratory Tract Infections or Bronchitis. JAMA went on to say the high rate of antibiotic prescribing has even backfired, causing an increase of new harmful drug resistant strains of bacteria.
Doctors continue to write over 12 million prescriptions per year for these drugs, knowing that they are not effective. Some doctors claim that patient expectations are the cause of this drug prescription abuse. It seems that doctors are handing out ineffective and dangerous drugs instead of educating the patient.
The only real way to prevent colds and flu and fight off infection is to have a strong immune system. Curing diseases with drugs often results in a recurrence of the same problem later, because the real cause of the disease wasnt addressed. Worse, because drugs can cause disease organisms to concentrate and mutate (creating resistant strains of pathogens), the disease or infection often recurs with a vengeance. This proves the old saying,
Its not nice to fool Mother Nature.
The only true cure for anything is the one your body creates when you live a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease before it starts. We need a strong, healthy and protecting immune system.
The Herbal Dynamic Duo: Echinacea and Garlic
I spent 20 years in the clinic working with thousands of patients who had a cold or influenza. I witnessed firsthand the effectiveness of Echinacea on a daily basis.
Echinacea (pronounced ek-eh-na-see-a) is both the common name and the botanical Latin name for the plant. There are eight known species which are indigenous only to the United States, although it is now cultivated all over the world. The most common species of Echinacea used today are Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida. Although the root is typically the part of the plant that is used, the entire plant including the seeds, leaves, flower head and stalk are medicinally competent. It is in the same family as the sunflower and looks like a purple petaled smaller cousin. It grows wild in many areas of the Midwest and southern United States. The Echinacea purpurea species can easily be grown in a sunny spot in your backyard.
What makes a plant medicinally effective for treating disease? Its the chemicals in the plant, referred to as phytochemicals (phyto from the Greek word meaning plant). Echinacea contains many phytochemicals such as Polysaccharides, Isobutyl amides, Polyacetylenes, Cichoric Acid, Echinacoside, Cynarin, etc. These chemicals are known to cause the following preventive and disease fighting physiological responses.
- Hyaluronidase inhibitionthis protects your cells by stopping bacteria, viruses and other disease causing organisms from being able to penetrate the cell wall.
- Stimulates and increases the number of leukocytes (white blood cells)These cells (T-cells, B-cells, Granulocytes, Macrophages, etc.) are some of the main components of your immune system. They fight off invaders in many ways.
- Increases phagocytosisthe ability of the above mentioned leukocytes to destroy and dispose of bacteria, viruses, fungus and other disease causing microbes.
- Increases production of gamma globulinsthese are the chemicals that coat the B-cells and are used to make antibodies. Antibodies are chemicals that kill specific bacteria, virus and other pathogens that make you sick.
There are hundreds of other known healing and protecting abilities of Echinacea besides colds, flu, sore throats and upper respiratory infections. A partial list includes inhibiting tumor growth, killing strep and staph bacteria, halting urinary tract infections, healing infected wounds, relieving hives and allergic reactions, stopping allergies, neutralizing toxic and poisonous insect and animal bites and stings, etc.
Garlic is the common name for the Latin botanical name Allium sativum. The medicinal usage of Garlic has been documented, if not worshipped, since the beginning of recorded history. From the Egyptians and Greeks to the Romans, Garlic was used as both food and strong medicine to strengthen and heal the body.
Why Garlic instead of Goldenseal root? The answer is, there really is no contest. Goldenseal is a much milder antibacterial bitter herb. Goldenseal contains phytochemical alkaloids that are moderately antibacterial. Im a big fan of Goldenseal. It is wonderful for use on bacterial infections of the eyes, and mucous membranes of the sinus and throat. It is still a main component in my herbal eyewash, herbal sinus snuff and gargle. It is a wonderful herbal antibacterial that you can use on sensitive areas of the body. But compared to Garlic? GET REAL!
Garlic is one of the strongest medicinal plants on Earth. It can be diluted down to one part in 125,000 and still be effective. In fact, just the odor has proven to be highly antibacterial. It is an extremely effective and a powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic, killing all types of bacteria on contact. Garlic is so esteemed in Russia it has been nicknamed Russian penicillin.
Garlic, as an anti-bacterial, has been proven to destroy many types of bacteria including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Typhoid, Diphtheria, Cholera, E. coli, Bacterial Dysentery, Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Rheumatic bacteria, and others.
Pharmaceutical antibiotics are non-selective in their destruction of bacteria they just destroy it all. This creates many problems because our body has many so-called friendly bacteria that we need for proper metabolic functions. This is why many people, after a course of antibiotics, have digestive problems, constipation, and yeast and fungal overgrowth infections. Our bodies also become immune to these antibiotics over time and sometimes dangerous resistant strains of bacteria are actually created in our body. None of these problems exist when using Garlic because of its natural selective bacterial destruction. In fact, the use of Garlic over time has been proven to enhance the intestinal micro flora.
Garlic has also been proven in the laboratory to be a very powerful anti-viral agent. Many doctors feel its the cure for the common cold. It destroys various viruses that cause upper respiratory infections and influenza. Garlic destroys on contact such viral infections as Measles, Mumps, Mononucleosis, Chicken pox, Herpes simplex #1 and #2, Herpes zoster, Viral Hepatitis, Scarlet fever, Rabies and others. So while some say that the reason you dont catch colds when you eat Garlic is because no one will come near you, remember, Garlic is also a powerful anti-viral agent.
Garlics potent anti-fungal ability is second to none. In the laboratory it has proven to be more potent than most any known anti-fungal drug. Garlic will regulate the overgrowth of Candida albicans.
Garlic thins both red and white blood cells. It is a known fact that most viruses, including the common cold, grow faster and spread from cell to cell more easily when your white blood is thick. Garlic inhibits white blood cells from aggregating which, in turn, stops the advance of a cold or flu.
Echinacea and Garlic: A One - Two Punch for the Common Cold
O.K., so what do we know now? Echinacea will enhance, stimulate and strengthen your immune system to protect you from any attack. If you do get attacked, Garlic will destroy the invader on sight.
So, you may ask, why are almost all the Echinacea products in the health food stores mixed with Goldenseal? Why does the herbal world seem to prefer Goldenseal? All I can say is that there is a difference between what is popular in the herbal product sales world and what is effective in the clinic. A few years ago there were a couple of herbal tonics that mixed Echinacea with Goldenseal that got a lot of attention/hype and therefore a lot of popularity. When this happens, almost all of the other herbal product companies follow suit immediately, even if they know better, to catch the sales wave, like what is recently happening with St. Johns Wort.
In the clinic, fighting real disease in real patients is very different from the reality of marketing herbal products. Working in the clinical trenches for 20 years taught me to never lose sight of my primary focus: To Help My Patients Get Well. I used what worked and threw out the herbal theories, hypotheses and fads that didnt.
There is one more reason to move over to Garlic: Goldenseal is in very short supply. It is on many endangered species lists. Most conscious herbalists have agreed not to use it until it is organically cultivated and available. That will be in a few more years.
Echinacea and Garlic: How to Use Them
The Raw Herb: Echinacea root and Garlic bulb, fresh or dried, can be chewed and eaten raw.
Chew a one inch piece of Echinacea root every waking hour or two. This will make your mouth tingle a lot and take you awhile to pulverize it enough to swallow.
Herbal capsules made from dried and powdered herbs are considered by most clinical herbalists, myself included, to be the least effective way to treat patients. In fact, they often dont work at all.
With Garlic, I dont know if there is a limit. The only sign of overdose is gastric upset and maybe a loss of all your friends.
Dont be a wimp! Last year I received a letter from an elderly woman who was dying from a viral lung infection. Shed had the condition for over a year and all the doctors and drugs had not helped her. The doctors gave her only weeks left to live. She read an article I wrote on Garlic and immediately consumed 47 cloves of raw garlic a day for three days. Shortly thereafter, her so-called incurable viral respiratory infection was gone. By the way, she was 83 years old.
Herbal Tea: Simmer a heaping tablespoon of fresh Echinacea root and a level teaspoon of fresh Garlic bulb in 20 ounces of distilled water. Cool and drink this amount three times daily.
Tinctures: These preparations are very popular amongst clinical herbalists and are, without exception, the strongest, most concentrated, fastest acting way to use herbs. Echinacea tincture is one of the easiest ways to treat a cold and flu. If you want to make your own tincture, just call the toll free number at the end of this article and I will send you free instructions. Be careful when purchasing tinctures: most on the market are of poor quality and will be of little benefit to you.
The tincture dosages I recommend are double what most armchair herbalists suggest, but these are the dosages that created successful healings in my clinic year after year. Echinacea must be taken steadily over a period of about one week for maximum immune protection. You must have a certain amount of the phytochemicals in your bloodstream every day to get maximum results and to supercharge your immune system.
- For preventive immune boosting with no current health problemsUse two dropperfuls, about 60 drops, five times daily until you have consumed two fluid ounces or 60 milliliters. This will take about seven days. Do this at the beginning of each month for the best prevention.
- You have that uh-oh feeling, no specific symptoms but I think Im coming down with something.Use four dropperfuls, about 120 drops, five times daily until you have consumed two fluid ounces or 60 milliliters. This will take three to four days. Start immediately.
- Onset of Fever, Chills or any of the symptoms of a Cold or FluUse four dropperfuls, about 120 drops, eight times daily (or every other waking hour) until you have consumed two fluid ounces or 60 milliliters. This will take about two days. You may continue this dosage for a week and then reduce it.
- High Fever, Sore Throat, Yellow Mucous, Coughing, SneezingUse four dropperfuls, about 120 drops, every hour you are awake (about 16 times a day) until you have consumed two fluid ounces or 60 milliliters. This will take about one day. You may do this for two to three days before you lower your dose.
Note: There are no toxic side effects with Echinacea and no known over dosage. Although health circle rumors abound that if you take too much Echinacea or for too long a period of time you could burn out your immune system, I dont believe them. Over the years in my clinic I had many an Echinacea junkie and never saw one case of a depressed immunity because of their habitbut I did see patients not getting well from not taking enough.
On the other hand, Echinacea is a strong medicinal herb. All medicinal herbs are best used for a period of time and then stopped for a week or two. When a person needs to use an herb indefinitely because the symptoms persist, this is often a sign that the patient is hoping the herb will be a natural magic bullet. The person may not be correcting the underlying causes of their disease by changing their lifestyle, their food program, doing frequent elimination and detoxifying programs, engaging in movement programs and emotional healing. Remember, herbs are but one healing tool in a full spectrum healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Schulze is one of the foremost authorities on Alternative Healing and Herbal Medicine in the world today. He operated an Alternative Medical Clinic for 20 years. During the last decade of his practice, he worked almost exclusively with patients who had life threatening and so-called incurable diseases. To order audiotapes, videotapes and books from Dr. Schulze, call Toll Free (877) Teach Me - (877) 832-2463. Mention this article to receive a Free Patient Handbook.
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