Colds and Flu
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Sonya
Posted on: January 10, 1999

It is true that we are not suppose to take Golden Seal?

Is Golden Seal/Parthenium Extract and Fenugreek & Thyme good to take when you have a cold or the flu?

Many herbalists advise against taking Golden Seal because it is an endangered species, and the argument is that if people stop taking it, the demand and therefore the price will decrease and "poachers" will no longer pick Goldenseal from the wild. Today there are many farms growing Goldenseal. If you are buying it, I advise that you should ensure that the source is a farm and not the woods. If your place of purchase doesn’t know, then for the sake of the endangered plant, it should not be purchased.

Goldenseal is useful for healing mucous membranes. An alternative is plantain (Plantago lanceolata or Plantago major).

It is often said that Goldenseal is a herbal antibiotic, but research does not show this, and herbalists generally do not think it is effective as such. In any case, an antibiotic is not effective for the cold virus. In fact in the early stages of a cold it can dry the mucous membranes too much and inhibit the natural healing process.

Fenugreek is used to soothe and heal the stomach and intestines. Its mucilage content protects the mucous membrane lining. It can be effective in soothing sore throats and bronchial tubes.

Thyme has antibacterial and anti-viral properties. It is effective in colds and coughs. It is especially effective in respiratory tract infections.

For colds and flu, you might want to try a combination of diet, Echinacea, Garlic and licorice.

Echinacea is well studied and well known for stimulating immunity to exert its anti-viral effect. It should be taken every two hours, between meals for best effect. Garlic is anti-viral and antibiotic, especially effective if a fresh clove is taken with meals. Three cloves a day will exert a powerful effect. Licorice exerts an anti-viral effect and helps the body to regain health by supporting the adrenal glands. It can be purchased in the form of a powder or a tincture.

The diet should be high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Sugar products should be avoided because sugar decreases immunity. Foods high in essential fatty acids, such as beans, lentils, sunflower seeds and nuts will promote the health of the body cells.

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