Herbal relief for viral infections

Herbal medicines and a few specific nutritional supplements can really help us deal with viruses. Every person is different and if complications arise you will need medical help for complications!

When viral infections take hold, early intervention with herbal medicine can be highly effective at reducing symptoms and complications.

Early Anti-Viral Support

  • Zinc lozengers 4-8 per day or (not both) tablets up to 60mg per day for short term, for adults. For a child dose discuss the options with us.
  • Echinacea tincture—5mls in water daily when viral infections are around. Must be diluted in at least 30 mls of water.
  • System Well- 3 tabs 2-3 x daily for 3 days then 2 tabs daily for a week

In 2009 when the swine flu arrived in NZ we put together our Viral Ease herbal tonic. Since then we have helped people cope with a variety of viruses and the complications that can arise. We want to stress these are NOT preventatives.

Here are our top suggestions:

viral ease image

Bodywise’s famous “Viral Ease” tonic – uses herbs that are well researched and have anti-viral and anti-bacterial actions. Black Elderberry is a key herb in our Viral Ease along with many other powerful anti-viral such as Andrographis, Eupatorium, Baical Scutellaria, Lomatium and more. These herbs can moderate fever, sore throats, pain and gastric symptoms associated with viral conditions.

  • We also advise those who are prone to chest problems such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, that a specific cough mixture is on hand and ready to use.
  • Sinus and lung congestion –  Cough Ease tonic is really important for those prone to chest problems to reduce mucous during the viral infections and ideally ease breathing difficulties. Herbal medicines can be very useful to ease coughs associated with colds and ear;y stages of chest infections and difficulty breathing .
  • Caution here is required as a medical assessment is essential, especially for the young, frail and elderly AND if you are concerned.
  • Lozengers with Elderberry, zinc and echinacea ease throat pain. We love Sambucol lozengers.
  • Probiotics to promote immunity and always after antibiotics or tummy bugs to restore gut flora
  • Aromatherapy herbal sanitisers – are great to carry around to spray areas in need of cleaning and to spray into the air in contained spaces. While they are not alcohol based they can be used in a variety of ways to aide the cleaning of frequently used public spaces.
  • Herbs for Post-Viral Fatigue

Herbal medicine is suitable and safe for children and pregnant mum’s with direction from a herbalist.

Regularly make up the following tea;

SetWidth240-herb-tea-pot-webAdd boiling water to steep the following herbs fresh or dried : elderflower, oregano, sage, yarrow, thyme and lemon balm, drink hot or cold

  • Once cooled a little add: lemon juice, crushed clove of garlic, grated ginger, pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon manuka honey

Make a fresh pot each day. Drink throughout the day either hot or cold, diluted to taste or big drink as a concentrate.

Note: don’t use sage if you are breast-feeding – talk to us and we find suitable herbs for pregnant and breast feeding Mum’s.

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Fevers : are anti-inflammatory medications good for babies & children?  

A fever is the bodies amazing response to an infection commonly from a virus or bacteria. The heat stimulates metabolic processes that increase the protective nature of our immune system. A strong temperature, up to 39 – 40 degrees is most often going to mean that the immune system is healthy and strong and while sometimes uncomfortable it is usually mean the person will bounce back very quickly.

While it is tempting to use pain killers and anti- inflammatory medications, research has shown that not only can these drugs reduce the efficiency of the immune system but it can have other major side effects, especially in children.  You can always do an old fashioned Tepid Sponge

How to give a baby or child a tepid sponge.

A tepid sponge can quietly reduce heat. Place baby in a barely warm bath. They may cry a bit. When you remove them the water will cool on their body and assist in reducing heat.  Place cool flannels on their heads and body, again letting the air cool the water on them.

While very controversial, some folk also swear by homeopathic Belladonna and other homeopathic remedies for the relief of high fevers.

  • Aconitum. For fever that comes on suddenly, often at night, and alternates with chills, heat, and flushing of the face. You may feel anxious, restless and crave cold drinks.
  • Belladonna. For sudden onset of high fever with hot, red face, glassy eyes, lack of thirst, and radiant hot body with cold hands. Often easy to look after if not in to much pain.
  • Bryonia. Can look like Belladonna with fever and painful symptoms that are aggravated by the slightest movement. Even though it very painful, the can be very restless and irritable
  • Gelsemium. For fever accompanied by senations of drowsiness, heaviness and lack of thirst People cannot not think straight. Often associated with a painful head and down the back and spine.

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Adverse drug reactions to nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs –

At Bodywise  we are really concerned because these medications can be very harmful to the liver of  babies & children and the research is there to prove it. They can be used sparingly and as a last resort. 

Check with your Doctor and read the fine print on the product side effects

If your child is suffering any fever & pain   – Bodywise can offer gentle methods to ease and manage these inflammatory fevers.

The following is the conclusion from research performed at: 1Royal Children’s Hospital, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute & the Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Australia and 2Australian Paediatric Pharmacology Research Unit (APPRU), Murdoch Children’s Research Institute & the Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Australia

Adverse drug reactions to nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs, COX-2 inhibitors and paracetamol in paediatric hospital Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2005 June; 59(6): 718–723

“ NSAID exposures are a significant cause of morbidity in children. Both nonselective NSAIDs and the newer COX-2 inhibitors were associated with significant drug reactions. The reactions reported to COX-2 selective inhibitors have not been well documented in paediatrics. A substantial proportion of ADRs reported were preventable, illustrating the difficulty in ensuring appropriate use of drugs readily available over the counter and the care that needs to be taken with paediatric drug selection. The overall severity of these ADRs highlights the need for ongoing, prospective ADR surveillance in paediatrics, including both established and newer agents ”         (ADR = adverse reactions. NSAIDs = anti-inflammatory meds)