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Antiviral and Antibacterial Superstars

Submitted by on Tuesday, 23 February 20102 Comments

Dripping herbal essence of a vial over a spoonHere are two superstars of prevention for viral and bacterial infections, and they are considered safe to ingest. Some essential oils, while highly antiviral, may not be suitable for ingestion.

Wild Oregano Oil and Olive Leaf Extract
Some health practitioners recommend alternating these two plants to get maximum antiviral and antibacterial protection effect.
One caution is that dormant viruses and bacterial infections such as Lyme’s disease can flare once you start these powerful antiseptic remedies. I suggest you start taking the remedies slowly and build up the dosage depending on how you feel.

Wild Oregano Oil
Oil of wild Mediterranean oregano (as opposed to medicinal oregano) is considered the “premier natural antiseptic” by Dr. Cass Ingram in The Cure is in the Cupboard: How to use Oregano for Better Health. The herb is extracted by distillation in a “proprietary” procedure that has been used for thousands of years. Medical grade oregano oil is made by North American Herb & Spice Company under the trade names OregaMax and Oreganol. Another company that offers pure oregano oil is Ananda Apothecary.

Best of all, wild Mediterranean oregano oil (known as just “oregano oil” from now on in this text) has been shown in study after study to be safe to ingest. Oregano and thyme are both phenolic compounds, but thyme, which is highly antiviral as well, contains large amounts of thymol, a compound that can exhibit significant toxicity. Oregano oil contains carvacrol instead (and very small amounts of thymol), which never crystallizes in the body and stays in liquid form, dissipates quickly, and does not irritate cells, according to Ingram.

Not only does oil of oregano destroy viruses, but according to research from Georgetown University in 2004, it can destroy antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Research has found it is effective at killing every germ to which it was exposed and Medical Science Research reports that it completely destroys a wide range of viruses, including the herpes virus.

Dosage? The directions on the bottle of Oreganol P73 that I have says to take “two to three drops a day or more in water.” We tend to stick to two or three drops a day when we are traveling or think we have been exposed, and add a few drops a day if we don’t feel very well. (The directions further say that you can take the drops under the tongue, but that stings, so I prefer to take the drops in water. Some people find the strong flavor of oregano oil somewhat unpleasant, but remember: it’s good for you!)

Olive Leaf Extract
Scientists have isolated a substance in olive leaf called oleuropein; the active ingredient is elenolic acid. Scientists at Upjohn, a major American pharmaceutical company, demonstrated that elenolic acid inhibited the growth of viruses. In fact, it stopped every virus that it was tested against.

A report from National Institute of Health notes that olive leaf extract is a promising source of natural antivirals, which are safe to use for health and the environment.

How much to take?The bottle I have notes to take 30 to 40 drops a day, two to four times a day. I’d try this out during normal conditions and see how you feel before jumping into taking this many drops when you are traveling or feel yourself exposed.I myself start slowly and build up with this sort of thing because remedies can cause my chronic, low-level Lyme disease to flare up. Other chronic conditions can also “worsen” as the virus or bacteria is being killed off by the olive leaf or oregano oil.

–Excerpt from Natural Flu Protection, by Annie B. Bond (Green Chi Cafe Publishing, 2009).

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).

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