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Winter viruses – B V Lamb, Medical Herbalist

Reports from across the UK speak of rapidly debilitating viral attacks that don’t look like the usual ‘winter flu’. Just why do these viruses appear mostly in the winter? The answer may cause you to establish an anti-viral strategy.
    Viruses are mostly opportunistic like a housebreaker who will target a house in darkness with no appearance of occupancy.
    In times past, autumn and winter was a time when people ate less and slept more – a sort of semi-hibernation. The circa-annual rhythm of nature was respected, if not mindfully but circumstantially. Food was in short supply and the nights were long. Nowadays, every day of the year is the same. Electric lights and entertainment have wiped out an innate need to respond to the yearly energy flux. Food stores allow us to eat totally inappropriate foods completely out of season. Several years ago, a woman booked an appointment with me suffering from almost continuous ‘flu-like symptoms all the year round. On taking a case history, I noted that she ate a large salad every day of the year, perceiving it to be ‘healthy’. I supplied a herbal anti-debility tonic and advised against salads except in a narrow band in the summer. She totally regained her health. Recall the advice of Nicolas Culpepper, a famous London herbalist (1616 – 1664): “cucumber is cold in the third degree, if it were one degree colder it would be a poison”. Supermarket salads fly off the shelves in these cold months to aid and abet opportunistic viruses – especially those that target the lungs..
If you want to safeguard against opportunistic winter viruses, eat less but select the warming root vegetables, especially from the moisture-condensing onion family. Garlic, ginger, galangal, pepper, cinnamon, horseradish and chilli peppers are all antiviral and antibacterial and may be used as tasty preventatives.
    By all means exercise moderately (but not late in the evening), and get to bed earlier. Rise earlier too, commensurate with the added energy of ‘an hour before midnight being worth two after’.
A good quality Echinacea builds immunity in children and adults whilst elderberry drops acts similarly for babies.
During the migration west across the United States, it was discovered that dropping a silver dollar into a milk churn caused the milk to remain fresher much longer. These migrants had discovered the antibacterial and antiviral properties of silver. Eating breakfast from a silver (solid or plated) spoon most definitely is a good preventative and what better for a mother to feed her newly weaned baby from a solid silver spoon?
Winter viruses are opportunistic but you can do much to deter them.
Brian V Lamb – Consulting Medical Herbalist

Botanica Comment
We find that supporting the immune system through the winter can reduce and sometimes halt any occurrences of winter influenza and viruses.
You can take a preventative dose (10ml at night) of our proprietary Echinacea, ensure your Vitamin D levels are adequate, and for its powerful immune support, antiviral effects and for those with chronic infections the Pukka Mushroom Gold is very powerful.
Prevention is always more favourable than cure, but if you do come down with a virus, herbs are ideal in this situation.

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