With winter now finally at our doorsteps and colds and flu imminent, we should take inventory of what medicines we have in our first aid kits when those first symptoms appear.
Herbal medicines has the powerful action of a normal over the counter pharmaceutical drug but without the chemical ingredients. It is also therefore important to be mindful that some of our herbals do have special precautions and counter indications. When you purchase a herbal product, study the insert for safety indications or chat to our registered nurse when you come in to buy it from our health store. If you are still unsure, contact your homeopath for more clarity.
Herbal are also complex in their action and because they are in a “foodstate”, they are accepted more readily by the body and their actions are multiple.
Here is a list of the top three herbals that you can keep at home. Start to use these as soon as symptoms start appearing.
Echinacea is always the first herbal to take in the event of a cold or a flu. There are two species, angustifolia, which is the stronger, and purpura being the weaker alternative.
Echinacea is well documented to raise the immunity, having anti- viral and anti- bacterial actions, as well as being anti- inflammatory. Studies have proven Echinacea safe for use during pregnancy and lactation.
The dosage for an adult is 100 drops per day in divided doses. Hourly dosage seems to be most effective in acute illness. The use of Echinacea in babies in children has been documented as safe from 5kgs. Dosage would be 15 – 50 drops per day in divided dosage with increase in weight in the child.
Just keep in mind that the preparations are often in an alcohol base and it might be advisable to add some boiling water to the drops and give the cooled down mix.
2. OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT
Olive leaf extract boosts immunity as well as destroying bacteria like E Coli as well as Candida species. The active ingredient also interferes with the production of viruses and enters the cell to block replication.
Unlike antibiotics that causes antibiotic resistance, olive leaf is safe and effective for long term use. The leaf also has an antioxidant effect, documented to be stronger than Vitamin C and E.
This herb may be used during pregnancy and lactation, dosage for adults being 75 drops daily in divided dosages. Hourly administering is advisable. Olive leaf can be used in babies from 5kgs, a dosage of 15 drops per day in divided dosages.
3. PELARGONIUM SIDOIDES
Pelargonium can reduce the duration of the common cold and treat symptoms like fever, fatigue, cough, bronchitis, mucous in chest and postnasal drip.
It has anti-effective properties fighting viruses and bacteria as well as stimulating the immune system. Pelargonium is specific for the treatment of acute bronchitis by increasing the body’s natural healing rate and treating the symptoms.
The most well- known product containing Pelargonium is PENTAGEN from Natura. Dosage for an adult is 100 drops daily in divided dosages, 60 drops for children between 6 and 12 and 30 drops for children under 6 years of age. Safety during pregnancy and lactation is not known and should therefore be only taken short term.