Herbs For Colds

Sometimes a cold is just your body's way of doing its spring cleaning. Throwing off toxins that have built up throughout the long winter months can show up as a slight fever, runny nose, aches and pains, and sneezing. You can help this process along by speeding up the elimination of toxins with herbal support.

Echinacea (Echinacea augustifolia, or Echinacea purpurea) is a flower that has been discovered to be a mild healer and an excellent support herb for cold and flu symptomss. Different types of echinacea are available, and some are not useful in fighting a cold.

Try to obtain echinacea purpura, which is more effective than echinacea angustifolia. Echinacea help boost your body;s white blood cells, which are important in fighting infection. Echinacea work somewhat mildly in the body, so you might have to take it often. You can take two capsules every two to four hours when fighting off a cold.

Echinacea also has an affinity for the respiratory system and helps to dry up a runny nose. This herb is safe for both adults and children. Fighting a cold using combination mixed with golden seal makes an excellent formula, and rose hips contain vitamin C, known for its power to boost the immune system.

A good synergistic combination to fight off cold symptoms includes rose hips, chamomile (calms), yarrow, golden seal, myrrh, peppermint, sage, slippery elm (also eases sore throat), lemon grass, capsicum (stimulates), yerba santa, mullein, and astragalus.

Of course, good old garlic is always a good remedy anytime your immune needs a boost. Throat lozenges with zinc, licorice root, vitamin C, and slippery elm also are helpful for coughs and sore throats. Begin using any or all of these remedies after exposure to anyone contagious. Drink plenty of water to help your body flush out the cold, stay warm, and try a sweat bath.

Cold sores, otherwise known as fever blisters, are the result of the herpes virus, known as herpes simplex. Cold sores usually show up on or around the lips, and can even show up on the nose or face. The ailment is painful and unsightly, and is highly contagious.

The virus lives in the body and manifest itself only when we are under stress and have a lowered immune system. Fighting the herpes virus needs to be approach from the inside, although external application will help the area heal after the virus has been fought.

Prevention is the best remedy for this ailment. Many factors can trigger cold sores, including imbalance of amino acids or a lack of l-lysine (an essential amino acid provided in foods), too much stress, and overexposure to sun. To protect your self, always wear a sunscreen on your face and lips when outdoors, and keep it on continously.

Some trigger foods that can cause an outbreak include almonds, peanuts, citrus fruits, and chocolate. Also keep your immune system up by getting rest. If cold sores are reoccuring, find out why your immune system is so low, and deal with that problem.

If I were struck on a desert island with my choice of one herb to fight cold sores, I would have to choose evening primrose oil. Among its many healing properties, evening primrose oil contains essential fatty acids similiar to essential amino acids that cannot be manufactured by the body.

Evening primrose may help fight the progression of the herpes virus by boosting the immune system. It has been helpful for a variety of other diseases as well, including allergies, asthma, hormone imbalance, multiple sclerosis, obesity, skin and hair problems, eczema, and hyperactivity in children.

White oak bark has astringent qualities that help contract tissues and that help the swelling associated with cold sores. L-lysine or a combination of amino acids containing lysine have helped many not only during time of break-out, but also daily as a preventative measure.

Acidophillus is important in the intestinal system because this good bacteria will help keep viruses at bay. Finally, zinc boosts the immune system and aids in skin healing. A mixture of Chinese and western herbs designed by Chinese herbalist, Sabudi Darmandanda, has been used succesfully by many for both cold sores (herpes simplex) and genital herpes (herpes complex).

The mixture includes; dandelion root, scrute root, purslane herb, pinellia rhizome, indigo herb and root, ginseng root, thlaspi herb, cinnamon twig, bupleurum root, and licorice root. Begin taking this combo at the first sign of an outbreak.

Tea tree oil, vitamin E oil, colloidal silver, and a topical cream called Super Lysine Plus+®, which contains lysine and other healing ingredients for the lips, have all been useful for arresting an outbreak and helping the are heal. (Lysine Plus+ is manufactured by a company in Eugene, Oregon, and is found in most health food stores.)