If you’re watching the news in any capacity, it comes as no surprise that people from all over the world are seeking solutions to help fight and protect themselves against viruses. As viruses continue to spread, it too can be tricky to guarantee the availability of modern medical defences when resources become stressed. With this notion in mind, we’ve uncovered a number of naturally derived defences that may help you resist and fight viral infections so that you can get back on your feet sooner.
One of our favourite herbs, Rhodiola Rosea has in recent years been linked to aiding in a multitude of common issues including depression, weight gain, focus and improving energy. A study by Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory at the North Carolina Research Campus, also suggests this super herb can help decrease the infection rate of viruses. In this study, marathon runners who took 600 milligrams of Rhodiola Rosea one month before their race had a higher chance of protection against viral infection after the marathon. This is significant because runners (and other athletes) often become extremely prone to viral sickness after exerting their bodies for an extended period. “Basically after heavy exertion bacteria and viruses can multiply at a higher rate than normal due to factors in the serum-like stress hormones and inflammatory cytokines,” explained David Nieman, director of the ASU lab. While this study is one of the first of its kind, Rhodiola’s ability to protect high-risk exerted bodies could amplify protection rates for average humans everywhere. Rhodiola Rosea can be consumed in tea or tablet form as found in Clariti.
An often overlooked super-booster, olive leaves contain two substances known as elenoic acid and calcium elonate that have both been clinically identified as inhibitors to a wide range of common viruses. This means that they help block the production of enzymes in the body that enable viruses to replicate and spread. Olive leaf extract can be consumed as a daily preventative in capsule or liquid form.
Much like olive leaf, green tea contains flavonoids* known as catechins that are believed to help block the production of virus-spreading enzymes in the body. Beyond this, it is extremely high in antioxidants and can give our bodies a much-needed boost to help fight viral symptoms when we become infected by a virus. It is also listed as a metabolism booster which is vital to maintaining a healthy, well-flushed body. Due to its presence of caffeine, we suggest drinking this tea during the day as a substitute to a cup of coffee.
*What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. There are over 6,000 known types of flavonoids all with sub-groups that determine their action or benefit on the human body.
Arguably one of the oldest viral defences, consuming squeezed, whole or extracted citrus fruits help our bodies fight and prevent contracting viruses by boosting our vitamin C intake. Once sick, vitamin C is significant because it assists in the production of collagen, a protein required to help heal internal and external wounds. As a preventative, it works as an antioxidant that protects our cells from damage caused by free radicals (external pollutants). Best consumed naturally or in tablet (C) form.
A common cooking ingredient, garlic has been linked to fighting many conditions and viral infections. Topically, garlic can completely eradicate skin infections when applied directly to the afflicted area as found in a study by The International Society of Dermatology. In this study, all 23 participants with warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) were able to heal themselves after applying garlic twice daily. Other studies also link garlic to assisting in the protection against influenza A and B, as well as Rhinovirus and other common colds. Garlic can be crushed and applied topically, added to cooking and consumed in tea form.
Another virus-fighting assistant is Australia’s native Eucalyptus. Once crushed and processed into oil, eucalyptus can be diffused or applied to help treat common coughs, clear chest infections, disinfect wounds and even keep away mosquitoes (which are widely known for transmitting viral infections). A study published by Clinical Microbiology & Infection also suggests that eucalyptus oil could possess antibacterial properties against pathogenic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract, including Haemophilus influenzae, and particular strains of streptococcus.
We must always advise that while natural alternatives continue to serve as a positive assistant to the body, these substances are not to be taken as a substitute to a healthy diet, medication, sleep and routine.