viral infections

  1. Look to nature – not drugs – to fight viral infections

    Beat viruses at their own game by boosting your immunity

    Q: Why don't drugs like antibiotics work on viruses?

    GR: The common cold and other common virulent viruses have been around such a long time, it's amazing that there are really no prescription medications to treat them.

    Quite frankly, it's shocking that Big Pharma hasn't yet come up with a drug for them!

    But actually, there's a good reason for Big Pharma's lack of success when it comes to viral infections: Colds and viruses work on a weakened immune system, and it's almost impossible to IMPROVE the immune system with a drug.

    In fact, the human immune system is almost "immune" to a drug enhancing its powers!

    Often quite the opposite happens. For instance, some cancer patients who survive cancer find their immune systems so weakened by chemotherapy drugs that exposure to a virus is what leads to their demise.

    They actually die from a garden-variety infection... rather than their cancer.

    When it's firing on all cylinders, the human immune system is actually well-armed to fight viruses on its own, without drugs.

    But there are so many things in life that can compromise our immune systems and keep them from running at full speed ahead -- namely, lack of sleep, toxins, inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, and an imbalance in gut bacteria.

    So, the best defense you have against viral infections is simple: Get plenty of restful sleep, detoxify your body, reduce inflammation, and make sure you're getting all the nutrients and "good bugs" you need.

    That being said, there are a few other weapons you can add to your arsenal to give you an extra boost against viruses when you are exposed to them. For instance, we know that compounds called "flavones" -- found in the roots of certain plants (like, say, Chinese skullcap) -- have antiviral as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

    We also know that other compounds -- including the acids in hops, called "humulones" and "lupulones" -- are actually both antiviral and antibacterial.

    Not surprisingly, we're finding out more and more that compounds like these are also showing to be powerful cancer-fighters.

    I'll be honest with you: I don't claim to cure viruses in my clinic. However, I would assert that it is very possible to slow them down and at least put the virus or viral infection into a stalemate with your immune system.

    There are actually many supplements that slow viruses down. I like to use garlic, grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano, and olive leaf extract, among others.

    And, as simple as it may seem, taking just 20 mg of zinc and 1,000 mg of vitamin C over a long period time can keep your immune system strong enough to fight off all kinds of infections.

    Especially this time of year, good cold and flu therapies are worth their weight in gold -- and in the March issue of my Nutrition & Healing newsletter, I'll tip you off to an herbal remedy that I've found to address the virulent viruses that keep us sick all winter.

    Stay tuned -- and, in the meantime, email a question to me at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com. I might choose to answer yours next!

  2. New standards for sinus infections

    I never thought I'd see the day!

    A mainstream medical association is actually urging docs to stop giving out the armloads of meds that usually accompany sinus infections and try a completely natural treatment instead.

    I'd stand up and applaud the Infectious Disease Society of America's newest recommendations, but that would be like applauding an Amtrak train for pulling into the station "only" 16 hours behind schedule (and yes, I've seen it happen).

    Except in this case, the IDSA is several decades late!

    So from the "better late than never" department, the new guidelines call on docs to stop prescribing antibiotics, antihistamines, and nasal decongestants for every patient that walks in with a sniffle, because these drugs simply don't work.

    At best, they bring a whole lot of nothing to the table since up to 98 percent of all sinus infections are viral -- and antibiotics don't make a bit of difference when it comes to viral infections (plus, their overuse leads to the creation of drug-resistant germs).

    At worse, it's a recipe for more misery -- because decongestants and antihistamines can actually make the condition WORSE, not better.

    If you really want a good scare, try reading the warning label on the spray decongestants people shoot up their nose like there's no tomorrow. They can actually cause "rebound" congestion in as little as three days -- which is why people who use these meds can actually end up hooked on them.

    "Nasal spray addiction" might sound ridiculous -- but it's very real.

    Instead of pumping junk up your nose, use plain old sterile water and a nasal irrigator.

    This used to be considered "alternative medicine." Now, it's actually part of the new guidelines -- and if your doctor looks at you funny for even mentioning it, tell him to try to keep up with the times.

  3. A den of disease

    Think your doctor's office is cleaner than a train station restroom? I wouldn't be so sure.

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