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Use Antiviral Herbs to Boost Immune System and Fight Viruses

6. Turkey Tail

Turkey tail mushroom is well-known for its ability to stimulate immune function. It contains polysaccharides that have immune-boosting power when consumed.

When researchers evaluated the immune-modulating effects of turkey tail, they found that it was able to increase antiviral cytokines and had modest effects on growth factors.

Research also suggests that turkey tail is effective against an oral strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV). When it was used in combination with reishi during the 2-month treatment period, the mushrooms improved results in 88 percent of patients.

The most common ways to use turkey tail is in capsule, powder or tea form. Medicinal mushrooms are rising in popularity and can be found easily in your local health food store.

7. Reishi

Reishi mushroom is an adaptogen that helps to strengthen the body’s defenses against infections. It helps to bring the body back to homeostasis and regulate immune function.

Reishi contains two powerful compounds, polysaccharides and triterpenes, which are known for their ability to enhance the immune response and reduce inflammation.

Studies highlight the antiviral effects of turkey tail compounds that are able to block the absorption of virus to the cells.

You can easily find reishi and other medicinal mushrooms in capsule and powder forms in your local health food store.

8. Licorice Root

Licorice root is emerging as a prominent player in the search for treatment and prevention for diseases like hepatitis C, HIV and influenza.

The Chinese Journal of Virology published a review that confirms the antiviral activity of licorice root due to its triterpenoid content. Another 2010 publication notes licorice’s antioxidant, free radical-scavenging and immunostimulating effects.

Some more licorice root benefits include:

  • Sore throat remedy for fast relief
  • Cough natural remedy
  • Protection against leaky gut signs and symptoms
  • Reduce adrenal fatigue
  • Pain relief

9. Olive Leaf

The olive leaf has antiviral properties, giving it the ability to treat the common cold and dangerous viruses, including candida symptoms, meningitis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis B, malaria, gonorrhea and tuberculosis; it also treats dental, ear and urinary tract infections and is a natural treatment for shingles.

Research shows that olive leaf extracts effectively fight against a number of disease-causing microbes, including some viruses that cause influenza and other respiratory infections. The powerful compounds found in olive leaves destroy invading organisms and don’t allow viruses to replicate and cause an infection.

In fact, the olive leaf is so beneficial to our health that treatment with olive leaf extracts reversed many HIV-1 infection-associated changes in a study done at the New York University School of Medicine.

10. Oregano

Oregano is a powerful antiviral agent. Medicinal grade oregano is distilled to extract the essential oil and preserve its healing compounds; in fact, it takes over 1,000 pounds of wild oregano to produce just 1 pound of oregano oil!

Oregano oil benefits are proving to be superior to some antibiotics, without the harmful side effects. That’s because oregano contains two powerful compounds, carvacrol and thymol, that have powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties.

It’s the carvacrol that reverses viral infections, as well as allergies, tumors, parasites and disease-causing inflammation.

11. Sage

Sage is an essential ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. Traditional herbalists value sage for its ability to help fight infections and improve a number of ailments.

Research illustrates that sage has antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show that the diterpenes in sage help to fight viral infections.

One of the best ways to use sage is by drinking sage tea. It has soothing and healing properties, and can be made at home with fresh sage leaves or bought ready-to-serve at your local health food store.

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Written by Rachel Wilson

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