Article by Angela Haldane
HERBAL MEDICINE ENHANCES IMMUNE RESISTANCE DURING INFLUENZA PANDEMIC
QUALITY ECHINACEA EXTRACTS ENHANCE IMMUNE RESISTANCE DURING INFLUENZA PANDEMIC
ECHINACEA OPTIMISES IMMUNITY DURING INFLUENZA PANDEMIC
Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu is now widespread in the community. The low level of pre-existing immunity in the general public is a key factor influencing the severity of this pandemic and many people are seeking to optimise their immune system function to help prevent infection or to hasten recovery.
The H1N1 virus is a new influenza strain; therefore the level of public immunity is extremely low. Fortunately there are safe and effective herbal health medicines available to enhance the immune system’s ability to either resist or successfully combat influenza infection.
Current research shows Echinacea purpurea or angustifolia root optimises the function of the immune system (references available upon request). Extensive studies demonstrate that those people who took Echinacea displayed decreased duration and severity of influenza, which is especially important for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Although Echinacea does not give 100% protection from the H1N1 virus, regularly taking a quality Echinacea preparation is a safe and effective measure to enhance resistance, as well as being useful to hasten recovery if infection occurs.
Should the H1N1 virus strike, seek a registered medical herbalist who will formulate an individualised prescription based on current research. It is important to note that research studies indicate that Echinacea root preparations are superior to those made from the flowers or aerial parts. Your local registered medical herbalist can supply you with suitable Echinacea products and other well-researched, high-quality herbal medicines useful to assist recovery from viral infections. To find a registered medical herbalist near you visit www.nzamh.org.nz
Other measures that can improve your chances of avoiding influenza are maintaining the basic hygiene measures outlined by the Ministry of Health and ensuring you follow a healthy diet, rich in iron, zinc and vitamins A,C,E and D.
Rasmussen PL, Phytotherapy in an Influenza Pandemic, Phytonews 32, Phytomed Medicinal Herbs Ltd, Auckland New Zealand. ISSN 1175-0251 June 2009
This reference can be viewed at www.nzamh.org.nz/articles.html
This article has been approved by the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists (NZAMH) for its members to distribute or print in local newspapers to enhance public awareness of herbal medicine and what it can treat based on scientific research studies.