Centuries before the first caveman appeared, viruses existed on earth. In their earliest forms, viruses were harmless messengers delivering hereditary information from newly developed life to its offspring in plants, fungi, protozoa, animals and eventually humans.
As viruses evolved and adapted to environmental changes around them, they ceded their messenger roles to cells and took on a more sinister role of infecting genes. In fact, virus is the Latin word for poison.
A virus is a tiny infectious agent that can only replicate inside the cells of another organism. The virus particle is 100 times smaller than a single bacteria cell. The bacterial cell is more than 10 times smaller than a human cell and a human cell is 10 times smaller than the diameter of a single human hair. These tiny parasites enter cells and reproduce, potentially damaging or killing the cells along the way.
Viruses may lead to mild to severe illnesses in humans, animals and plants. This may include flu or a cold to something more life threatening like HIV/AIDS.
Viruses by themselves are not alive. They cannot grow or multiply on their own and need to enter a human or animal cell and take over the cell to help them multiply. These viruses may also infect bacterial cells.
The virus particle or the virions attack the cell and take over its machinery to carry out their own life processes of multiplication and growth. An infected cell will produce viral particles instead of its usual products.
A virion (virus particle) has three main parts:
Nucleic acid: This is the core of the virus with the DNA or RNA (deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid respectively). The DNA or RNA holds all of the information for the virus and that makes it unique and helps it multiply.
Protein coat (capsid): This is covering over the nucleic acid that protects it.
Lipid membrane (envelope): This covers the capsid. Many viruses do not have this envelope and are called naked viruses.
Viruses are not simply taken into cells. They must first attach to a receptor on the cell surface. Each virus has its specific receptor, usually a vital component of the cell surface. It is the distribution of these receptor molecules on host cells that determines the cell-preference of viruses. For example, the cold and flu virus prefers the mucus lining cells of the lungs and the airways.
These viruses enter the body from the environment or other individuals from soil to water to air via nose, mouth or any breaks in the skin and seek a cell to infect.
A cold or flu virus for example will target cells that line the respiratory (lungs) or digestive (stomach) tracts. The HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) that causes AIDS attacks the T-cells (a type of white blood cell that fights infection and disease) of the immune system.
A healthy immune
system can fight off these viruses very quickly but, the more compromised
the system is, the more deadly the virus attack will be. An unhealthy
sedentary lifestyle accompanied by poor eating
habits, processed and fast foods,
hygiene practises will cause a more serious infection and may even be fatal.
compromise the immune system which can lead to serious virus and
cannot treat viruses but are often mistakenly prescribed as a protective
measure by doctors in case the infection is cause by bacteria. The result of
this is too kill off even more of the friendly bacteria that provide
protection against viruses in the body and this allows an easy gateway for
viruses to enter and take over the system and proliferate if they are
LIFE CYCLE OF A VIRUS
A virus particle attaches to a host cell. This is called the process of adsorption.
The particle injects its DNA or RNA into the host cell called entry.
The invading DNA or RNA takes over the cell and recruits the host’s enzymes.
The cellular enzymes start making new virus particles called replication.
The particles of the virus created by the cell come together to form new viruses. This is called assembly.
The newly formed viruses kill the cell so that they may break free and search for a new host cell. This is called release.
Some viral infections are short-lived, like colds, the flu and sore throats. Others are lifelong: hepatitis and AIDS (which many people believe is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
Throughout history, viral epidemics have plagued mankind and proven more powerful than the mightiest of armies. A flu epidemic wiped out Charlemagne’s army in 876 AD. Thousands of American colonists in the 1720s died after being exposed to a flu virus. The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed more than 22 million people worldwide. The Hong Kong flu killed more than 70,000 Americans in the late 1960s. In the early 1980s, a new viral disease surfaced that still plagues us today: AIDS. In the late 1990s, a lethal, fast-killing virus appeared called ebola. Like AIDS, there is still no cure for ebola.
After finding a cell to enter, the virus taps into that cell’s reproductive equipment to duplicate itself. It makes thousands of copies of itself and in the process, damages or destroys the host cells. All this cellular debris and loose viral particles signal the immune system to fight back. White blood cells zoom to the infected scene, releasing chemical toxins, fever stimulators and other agents built to fight invading viruses. Viruses test the body’s infection-fighting capacity. As a consequence, symptoms including pain, redness, swelling, heat, fever, and rash often result.
Viruses are stubborn and sneaky and possess a keen sense of survival. A virus attempts to bypass the body’s built-in alarm system (the immune system) by growing in areas where the immune system has no access. Viruses also use mutation (altering their identity)resulting in a delayed response by the immune system. They can also cause suppression of the immune system: examples would be HIV and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
TYPES OF VIRUSES
Not all viruses are covered here yet but most of the antiviral natural remedies listed here may help to prevent and treat most types of viruses.
The rhinoviruses (over 100 strains) consist of a single-stranded RNA nucleic acid molecule and are not surrounded by an envelope. This virus is responsible for approximately 50 per cent of common colds and only infects the upper respiratory tract. Once infected, the body makes a specific antibody to avoid re-infection to the particular strain it has encountered. Most people recover within a few days from a cold although a cough may linger on a while. If it does not stop after three weeks it is best to consult a health care professional.
Nature cures to help prevent and fight of colds and coughs
Berries: red, blue and black coloured berries are all rich in powerful antioxidants and can help prevent colds and the influenza viruses from taking hold of the body. Consume one bowl per day.
Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium which is known to improve the immune system function. Consume two brazil nuts daily to prevent colds and influenza.
Chicken broth: A bowl of homemade chicken broth can boost the immune system and help to fight off a viral infection quickly. Chicken broth is a good source of protein, an important nutrient for immune system maintenance. It also contains B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and zinc, all of which strengthen the immune system. It also helps the body stay hydrated, which can speed up the healing process. Take a small bowl or mug of chicken broth several times a day when dealing with symptoms of a cold, including a cough and nasal congestion. many of the other remedies for cold and coughs listed here can be added to chicken broth to provide even more protection and relief from colds and coughs.
Chilli pepper contains capsaicin which helps to boost the immune system. It is also rich in beta-carotene which is essential for a healthy immune system as it helps defend the body against invading pathogens to prevent illness. It also helps to clear congestion, flush out toxins, stimulate the digestion and reduces symptoms of colds and other infections. It is also a good pain reliever, aids blood circulation and prevents diabetes, headaches, heart disease, migraines, prostate cancer, psoriasis and stomach ulcers. To improve immunity, and help with all the above disorders, include at least a pinch or two of hot chilli pepper in the daily diet.
Eucalyptus oil: To relieve headaches from sinus congestion and sooth a sore throat Inhale the infused steam deeply by adding a few drops of the oil to a bowl of just boiled water and leaning over it with a towel over the head .(external use only). Fresh branches from the eucalyptus tree can also be tied together upside down in the shower. NOTE: Not advised for those that suffer with asthma.
Garlic is one of best immune-boosting foods as it has powerful antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral properties that help the body ward off and fight infections. Regular consumption of garlic helps the body fight infections and inflammatory diseases like the common cold, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. It can also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and aid in preventing various types of cancer. To stay healthy, eat one or two raw garlic cloves daily.
Ginger: Apart from being a strong antioxidant, ginger has antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to eliminate congestion, ease a sore throat, kill cold viruses, combat fever, inhibit pancreatic cancer cell growth, inhibit peptic ulcer disease, promote gastric mobility, decrease chronic pain and lower high cholesterol. Drink one to two cups of ginger tea daily to keep the immune system functioning properly.
Green vegetables such as algae, barley grass, cabbage, chlorella, kale, kelp, seaweed, spinach, spirulina and watercress contain components which are important for the immune system to work correctly. Consume one per day to prevent and fight off colds and influenza viruses.
Green tea can boost the immune system as it contains a flavonoid called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and antioxidants that help to fight bacteria and prevent viruses from multiplying. Regular consumption of green tea can also help to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis periodontal disease and strokes. Drink a cup of green tea several times a day. Take with half a freshly squeezed lemon to provide an even more powerful remedy.
Honey, lemon or lime and apple cider vinegar: Daily consumption of honey has been found to strengthen the immune system. Its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties help fight infections from bacteria, fungi, viruses and yeasts. Honey also improves the digestive system, treats acid reflux, soothes a sore throat and a cough, improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity and, externally, heal wounds and scars quickly. Start each day with one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water with half a squeezed lemon or lime and a tablespoon of unpasteurised organic apple cider vinegar to help the body ward off and fight any kind of infection. Manuka or locally sourced honey is best. Locally sourced honey may help to prevent hay fever and other allergies.
Mushrooms have a high antioxidant content and are rich in the essential minerals selenium and copper that are important for the immune system. The best ones to consume for this purpose are maitake, reishi or shiitake mushrooms.
Raw Juice Therapy can successfully treat a cold. The best
organic natural foods to
grapefruit, pineapple, carrot, onion, celery and spinach.NOTE:
Avoid grapefruit if taking any medications.
Swede: This vegetable is high in nutrients that can support the immune system and help to treat the symptoms of colds and coughs. Add to a chicken broth for maximum benefit.
Sweet potatoes are rich in the fat-soluble antioxidant beta-carotene, which protects against damaging free radicals and improves immune cell function. Plus, they have a high amount of vitamin A, which is required for the normal functioning of the immune system and helps develop resistance to infection. In order to absorb the fat soluble nutrients in sweet potatoes always consume them with a little cold pressed oil or with avocado, fish, nuts and seeds. Sweet potatoes also help regulate blood sugar and lower insulin resistance; combat inflammatory problems like asthma, arthritis, and gout; relieve constipation and prevent colon cancer; protect against emphysema and prevent strokes and heart attacks. Eat one-half cup of boiled sweet potatoes daily to improve the immune system and stay healthy.
Turmeric has powerful anti-microbial properties and can help to prevent colds and influenza when a half teaspoon is included in the daily diet. Add to meals or sprinkle on eggs, fish, rice or vegetables. It is particularly good with cauliflower.
Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system. Consuming the richest sources of this vital nutrient is important in preventing and during a cold. Contrary to what people often think oranges are not the best source of this vital vitamin as they only contain 53 mg per 100 grams and can cause stomach upset in some people.
The highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams
Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg
Camu camu berries 532 mg
Rosehips 426 mg
Green chillies 242.5 mg
Guavas 228.3 mg
Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg
Black currants 181 mg
Thyme 160.01 mg
Red chillies 143.7 mg
Drumstick pods 141 mg
Kale 120 mg
Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg
Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg
Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg
Broccoli 89 mg
Brussel sprouts 85 mg
Cloves, saffron 81 mg
Chilli pepper 76 mg
Mustard greens 70 mg
Cress 69 mg
Persimmons fruit 66 mg
Swede 62 mg
Basil 61 mg
Papaya 60 mg
Rosemary 61 mg
Strawberries 58 mg
Chives 58 mg
NOTE: When consuming vitamin C rich foods it is also important to consume the same amount of vitamin E rich foods as they have an opposite effect upon the mineral levels in the body and too much of one will cause an imbalance. It is for that reason that vitamin C supplements should be avoided. Adding some nuts like almonds, brazils or cashew nuts and/or seeds such as flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame or sunflower seeds to the diet at the same time as vitamin C rich foods can help to keep this balance.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is vital for a strong immune system and is often lacking in people in the Northern hemisphere during the colder months which may add the the cold and influenza epidemics that often occur at this time of the year. The body stores vitamin D which it manufactures in the skin using cholesterol and the suns UV rays but only enough for 60 days providing there has been enough skin exposure to the sun. It is wise to consume red krill oil capsules or oily (non-farmed) fish.
Highest sources of vitamin D per serving
Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU
Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU
Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU
Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU
Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU
Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU
Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU
Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU
Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU
Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU
Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU
Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU
Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU
Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU
Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU
Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU
NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms
Wash hands regularly during the cold and influenza seasons especially after touching any surface others may have touched such as door handles, cash machines, money etc. This is especially important before eating or doing anything that involves the hands touching the mouth such as smoking. It is good to get into the habit of washing the hands as soon as getting home so that the cold virus does not infect others in the household. Always use a tissue when sneezing and coughing and dispose of it properly.
Yoghurt with active live cultures provides beneficial bacteria that have many important functions in the body including the manufacture of nutrients and aiding with digestion. They also help to improve the immune system. Consume a pot of plain organic yoghurt daily with breakfast or as a topping on desserts or in sauces or dips instead of cream.
Zinc has been shown to speed up the recovery from colds and coughs.
Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams are:
NOTE: Avoid excess cumin, ginger and turmeric
if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication), or hormone therapies and contraceptive pills
or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen, have heart problems or during the first three months of pregnancy or are breast feeding.
A virus that belongs to a family of non enveloped, linear, positive-sense RNA viruses, Picornaviridae and the genus Enterovirus. They are part of the enterovirus family of viruses (which also includes polioviruses, echovirus and hepatitis A) that live in the human digestive tract. They can spread from person to person, usually on unwashed hands and surfaces contaminated by faeces, where they can live for several days. In cooler climates, outbreaks of coxsackievirus infections most often occur in the summer and autumn, though they cause infections year-round in tropical parts of the world. In most cases, coxsackieviruses cause mild flu-like symptoms and go away without treatment. But in some cases, they can lead to more serious infections. Some infected people may show no symptoms at all whilst others may develop a sudden high fever, headache and muscle aches, sore throat, abdominal discomfort or nausea.
Hand, foot and mouth disease; a type of coxsackievirus syndrome
that causes painful red blisters in the throat and on the tongue, gums, hard palate, inside of the cheeks, the palms of hands and soles of the feet.
Herpangina, an infection of the throat which causes red-ringed blisters and ulcers on the tonsils and soft palate, the fleshy back portion of the roof of the mouth.
Hemorrhagic conjunctivitis; is an infection that affects the whites of the eyes. Hemorrhagic conjunctivitis usually begins as eye pain, followed quickly by red, watery eyes with swelling, light sensitivity and blurred vision.
Occasionally, coxsackieviruses can cause more serious infections that requires immediate medical attention, including:
viral meningitis, an infection of the meninges (the three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord) encephalitis, a brain infection myocarditis, an infection of the heart muscle
Newborns can be infected from their mothers during or shortly after birth and are more at risk for developing serious infection, including myocarditis, hepatitis, and meningoencephalitis (an inflammation of the brain and meninges). In newborns, symptoms can develop within 2 weeks after birth.
The Ebola and Marburg viruses are the only members of a newly identified
family of single-stranded, unsegmented RNA viruses, the filoviridae. This
family is closely related to the rhabdoviridae, which includes the rabies
virus, and the paramyxoviridae. Viruses in this latter family cause
childhood diseases such as
measles. Filoviruses infect humans and other primates.
Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in
Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the
human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats of the
Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola
virus. Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara,
Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a
village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its
The Ebola virus is comprised of five distinct species: Bundibugyo, Ivory
Coast, Reston, Sudan and Zaire. Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire species have
been associated with large Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreaks in Africa,
while the Ivory Coast and Reston species have not The Ebola Reston species,
found in the Philippines, can infect humans, but no illness or death in
humans has been reported to date.
Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the
blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In
Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected
chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines
found dead or ill in the rainforest.
Later Ebola spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission,
resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other
bodily fluids of infected people. Burial ceremonies where mourners have
direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in
the transmission of Ebola. Transmission via infected semen can occur up to
seven weeks after clinical recovery. Little is known of the molecular
biology of these viruses or the mechanisms by which they cause disease.
Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore
throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and
liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. The
incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) varies
between 2 to 21 days. During Ebola outbreaks, the case-fatality rate has
varied from outbreak to outbreak between 25% and 90%.
The seeds of the African
bitter kola tree have properties that can kill the ebola virus.
EBV is responsible for infectious mononucleosis (IM).
The virus has an affinity for the B-lymphocytes of the immune system.
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) belongs to the herpes family of viruses. It is
sometimes referred to as Human Herpes Virus-4 (HHV-4). Epstein-Barr is one
of the most common viruses in humans affecting approximately 95% of adults
by the age of 35-40 years. Transmission of the virus is almost impossible to
prevent but, fortunately, the Epstein Barr virus and infectious
mononucleosis caused by the Epstein Barr virus and are almost never fatal.
The symptoms of infectious mononucleosis usually resolve themselves within
1-2 months. However, once a person is infected with Epstein Barr virus, it
establishes a lifelong infection which can cause recurrent episodes of
mononucleosis symptoms later in life.
After the primary infection, EBV remains within the host for life and is
intermittently shed from the oropharynx (mouth and throat). Therefore
a person might be shedding the virus and passing it to someone else without
realizing it or being symptomatic themselves. Because it is shed from the
oropharynx, it may be passed via kissing or other contact with saliva. EBV
can also be spread via the transfusion of blood products.
Fever is a common symptom of
many ailments; it is also present in infectious mononucleosis caused by the
Epstein Barr virus.
Sore throat: there are many other causes for throat
soreness, however it is also a common sign of mononucleosis.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is an illness characterised by
severe to debilitating fatigue that impairs daily function and is often made
worse by exertion, exercise and other stresses. It may be accompanied by
enlarged, painful lymph nodes, sore throat, headache, painful joints,
abdominal pain, muscle pain, low-grade fever and cognitive difficulty,
especially difficulty concentrating and sleeping.
Swelling in the lymph glands.
Salivary gland swelling.
It is common for those infected by the Epstein Barr virus to
intestinal parasites and
candida. When this is the case intestinal and bowel disorders can be
Prevention of Epstein Barr virus is difficult, because so
many adults are already infected with the virus which is spread through
contact with the saliva of an infected person. Since a very large percentage
of adults are already infected with the dormant virus, no specific
prevention procedures are available. Epstein Barr Virus establishes a
lifelong dormant infection in some cells of the body's immune system.
EBV is associated with other, potentially life-threatening
diseases though including lymphomas and autoimmune diseases. Hodgkins
disease and non-Hodgkins lymphoma are malignant processes whereby cancer
cells arising from the immune and lymphatic systems proliferate beyond
normal levels. Two rare cancers have emerged among some carriers of Epstein
Barr Virus. These are: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Burkitt's lymphoma.
These cancers are rare and may not be caused solely by Epstein Barr Virus.
Although rarely seen, other complications involving the central nervous
system and heart problems may also occur.
Natural treatments for the symptoms of the Epstein Barr virus
Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables while avoiding
sugar, alcohol and coffee will help to support the immune system. Adequate
rest and sleep are also important. Stress, whether physiological or
emotional, takes its toll on the immune function, so any measures that can
reduce or help manage stress are important.
chaparral leaf resin has been shown to have significant anti-viral and
antioxidant activity especially against the Epstein Barr virus. Two active
natural ingredients inhibit the genes responsible for the replication of the
The incubation period of hepatitis A is about 30 (15-50) days and is a self-limiting infection. Acute symptoms are usually mild to moderate. It is spread by faecal-oral contamination and close personal contact.
The incubation period of hepatitis B is approximately 90 (21-180) days. The severity of the chronic symptoms range from moderate to severe. It is commonly transferred through blood (the virus can live up to two weeks outside of the body), blood products, sexual intercourse or close personal contact. About 10 percent of those infected are carriers with no symptoms. About five to 10 percent of those infected suffer from chronic hepatitis development.
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is 50 to 100 times more infectious than human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Globally, in 2013, two billion individuals
have been infected with HBV, which is responsible for nearly 600,000 deaths
The incubation period of hepatitis C is 20-90 days. The symptoms are moderate to severe and become chronic in more than 50 percent of those infected. It is transmitted the same way as hepatitis B. Infected persons may not show symptoms.
Hepatitis D only occurs along with hepatitis B co-infection and has an incubation period of 30-50 days and the symptoms range from moderate to severe. Because it is linked to hepatitis B, it can become chronic. See hepatitis B for transmission.
Unfortunately there is no known cure for hepatitis infections. There are herbs and foods that can help the body slow down replication of the virus, reduce the symptoms and help heal the liver. Supporting the immune system is the best way to make sure the virus is kept in check.
helps maintain a healthy immune system and there is evidence of its role in
inflammatory and metabolic liver disease, including infection with hepatitis
C virus (HCV) and hepatitus B (HBV). Foods rich in vitamin D are: aloe vera, aubergine, carp fish, cod liver oil, eel, eggs, halibut, hemp seeds, krill oil, oily fish, rosehips, sea bass, trout, tuna (fresh), turbot, white bait, wild mushrooms.
For natural foods that support the liver see the Liver page.
It is advisable to cut out alcohol, smoking, drugs and animal fats whilst suffering from hepatitis to enable the liver to heal itself.
Genital herpes is a highly contagious sexually transmitted
disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus Type I (HSV-1) and Type II
(HSV-2). The Type I virus is the same one that causes cold sores on the
mouth, face and lips, although it can also cause sores on the genitals and
Type II virus, however, most often causes sores on the genitals.
Herpes can also spread to the genitals from a
cold sore on the lips if hand washing and other hygiene precautions are not taken. Or it
can be spread though oral or genital sexual contact. The virus does not have
to be in an active state that is, blisters do not have to be present, for a
partner to become infected. The virus can also be passed during the
pre-active state, when there is itching or tingling in the area where the
sores generally appear. Sometimes, the virus can be passed along before the
infected person is even aware that the virus is present. What's more, saliva
also carries the virus.
first episode usually starts within a couple weeks of exposure, and the
initial onset can be pretty bad, including an initial round and then a
second round of painful sores, flu like symptoms, fever and swollen glands.
Sometimes the symptoms are mild, however, and appear as little more than
insect bites or a rash. Herpes spends most of its life dormant. But, like
cold sores, genital herpes recurs, often up to four or five times a year.
Always take care to clean the shower or bath if it is shared with someone who doesn't have the virus and never share towels. Following a shower or bath, make sure to dry the affected area thoroughly, as moisture prolongs symptomatic sores. Patting with
bicarbonate of soda
after a bath will help to dry up sores quickly and helps to kill off the
active herpes virus.
Also called fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1,
which is usually acquired in childhood through contact with infected saliva.
The type 1 virus is believed to lie dormant in certain nerve cells of the
body until it is activated by stress, anxiety, a cold or excessive exposure
to the sun. It causes sores on the external lip or near the mouth or nose
that last anywhere from seven to 14 days.
Always use new toothbrush after the blister has formed and again after the
attack has cleared up. Toothbrushes can harbour the virus.
Cold sores are extremely contagious, avoid kissing and sharing cups, towels
or other such items. Wash hands frequently, especially after touching the
cold sore. And take care not to touch eyes or genitals immediately after
touching the sore. Keep a hand sanitizer with you when out in case a
bathroom is unavailable.
Attempting to camouflage a cold sore with makeup often aggravates the
problem, as the chemicals in makeup can make the sore worse. Sharing
lipstick or makeup can pass the virus to others.
Herpetic Eye Disease
Herpes zoster (shingles virus) and the herpes simplex virus type I (cold
sores) and type II (genital herpes) can also affect the eyes. Usually it
affects the cornea and can be quite painful but it can affect other parts of
the eye such as the retina and cause a macular oedema to develop. Treatment
is usually steroid eye drops but a healthy immune system from a balanced
diet can reduce the severity of the infection. It is important to never
touch the eyes after touching sores from an attack of herpes anywhere else
on the body.
Natures Cures symptoms of Herpes
Glycyrrhizic acid, an ingredient in
liquorice root, kills the cold sore virus cells. Dab some of the
powdered liquorice root on the sore then use petroleum jelly for
Covering a cold sore with petroleum jelly will speed healing
and help protect it from secondary infection with bacteria.
Soak a cotton ball in
milk and apply it to the sore to relieve pain. If this is done as soon
as the tingling is felt before the cold sore surfaces, it can help speed the
healing right from the beginning.
Ice held on to the cold sore just as it is appearing can reduce the
time it takes to heal. But do not use for too long or too often.
peppermint tea helps with the pain caused by herpes blisters.
Using a cotton ball, pat
bicarbonate of soda on the sores to dry them out and decrease itching.
Be careful not to contaminate the bicarbonate of soda so that someone else
can catch the virus from it.
Placing a cold, wet black tea bag directly to the sores has been
known as an alternative treatment to flare-ups.
Fill a plastic bag with crushed ice, wrapping the bag in material the
thickness of a sheet. Apply for 10 or 15 minutes and repeat several times a
day. Make sure and discard any plastic bags after one use. As a precaution,
take care with the amount of time applied, because prolonged exposure to ice
can cause tissue damage.
Foods rich in
vitamin C and
vitamin P (bioflavonoid), consumed 3 times a day at least, will help
treat and can prevent herpes blisters and cold sores.
This is the most common sexually
transmitted infections. There are more than 40 types of HPV
that can infect the genital areas of males and females.
These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. They
can cause serious health problems, including genital warts
andcancerof the penis, vulva, vagina, anus, mouth and throat.
There is no certain way to tell who will develop health
problems from HPV and who will not. In most cases it goes
away by itself before it causes any health problems and most
people who become infected do not even know they have it.
HPV is not the same as herpes or HIV (the virus that causes
AIDS). Both viruses can be passed on during sex, but they
have different symptoms and cause different health problems.
The incubation time (time from
exposure to appearance of warts) may range from a few weeks
to many months or years. Some people harbor the virus and
transmit it to others without ever developing the growths
There can be long-term health effects
of HPV for women, certain strains (unrelated to genital
warts) are associated with Cervical Intraepithelial
Neoplasia (CIN), also known as cervical dysplasia (abnormal
cell growth on the cervix). Unchecked and untreated it can
progress, possibly to cancer; or, it can heal on its own.
The more severe the dysplasia, the more likely it is to
progress to cancer. Mild dysplasia may resolve on its own,
without any treatment.
One way to lower the risk of
contracting HPV is to never engage in unprotected sex but
this is not always safe as sometimes the virus can be
present on the skin in places other than the genitals. A
monogamous partnership with someone who has been tested and
is negative is possibly the only way to remain free of the
virus. There are also vaccines now available to prevent the
contraction. A healthy balanced diet will keep the immune
system strong which can also fight off the virus before it
can cause warts and further damage.
Usually appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area.
They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower.
They can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected
partner even if the infected partner has no signs of genital warts. If left
untreated, they might go away, remain unchanged, or increase in size or
number. The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as
the types that cause cancers.
Genital warts can be treated successfully with a tincture or
paste made of bloodroot or
cancer usually does not cause symptoms until it is quite advanced. For this
reason, it is important for women to get regular screening for cervical
cancer. Screening tests can find early signs of disease so that problems can
be treated early, before they ever turn into cancer.
cancers caused by HPV might not have signs or symptoms until they are
advanced and hard to treat. Other HPV-associated cancers include the vulva,
vagina, penis, anus and oropharynx.
RRP is a
condition in which warts grow in the throat. RRP can occur in children (juvenile-onset)
and adults (adult-onset). These growths can sometimes block the
airway, causing a hoarse voice or trouble breathing.
cases the virus goes away and it does not lead to any health problems.
However, when the virus persists it can cause normal cells to become
abnormal and, most of the time, these changes cannot be seen or felt.
appear within months after getting HPV.
Cancer often takes years, even
decades, to develop after a person gets HPV.
There is no
certain way to know which people infected with HPV will go on to develop
cancer or other health problems. However, persons with weak immune systems (including
persons with HIV) may be less able to fight it off and are more likely
to develop health problems from it.
The phytonutrients found in
rocketare useful in the treatment of recurring respiratory papillomatosis caused
by the Human Papilloma Virus.
Remedy 1. Gently
rough up the outer surface of the wart with an emery board then
place the inside of the
banana skin over the wart and bandage. This should remove the
wart after a few hours.
Remedy 2. Soak a cotton ball in
apple cider vinegarand apply to the wart using duct tape or
medical tape. Leave on over night. Because apple cider vinegar is
very acidic, it may irritate the skin surrounding the wart. If it
becomes too irritating, try apply every other night. This remedy may
also take some time but there should be results after the first week
Remedy 3. Rub freshly cut raw
potatoes on the warts several times a day. This should show
results after two weeks.
Remedy 4. Drinking
aloe vera juice can improve the activity of the immune system,
helping the body fight off the virus that causes warts. Also, apply
the juice directly from the leaves of the plant to the wart is an
Remedy 5. Duct Tape Occlusion
Therapy is a natural wart remedy that is quite often recommended by
medical doctors. The remedy involves placing a piece of duct tape
over the wart for several days or weeks. If the piece of tape should
fall off, replace it with a fresh piece or tape. Some of the wart
may come off with the tape, but the dead cells can be removed with a
pumice stone or emery board if necessary. This is a highly effective
natural wart remedy.
Remedy 6. Rub castor oil on the
warts every day for several months.
Remedy 7. Take one
fig leaf and apply the milk or sap from the leaf to the affected
areas. Do this twice daily until the wart disappears.
Since warts are caused by a viral
infection, boosting the body's immune system is one of the most
effective methods of preventing and treating warts. Consuming foods
high in vitamin C can keep the immune system in good working order.
Some people have also found it helpful to apply vitamin C directly
to the wart as a topical treatment. Also be sure to drink plenty of
bottled mineral water and get sufficient rest.
HIV specifically attacks the
white blood cells of the immune system (CD4+ T-helper cells) and allows other infections and/or diseases to develop such as
fungal infections and
pneumonia. It is estimated
that 34 million people worldwide have been infected by the HIV virus. The majority of people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within a
month or two after the virus enters the body. This illness, known as primary
or acute HIV infection, may last for a few weeks.
The symptoms of HIV usually happen within one or two months of infection but, in some cases, they may not manifest themselves for up to a decade after infection.
Over 50% of people infected with HIV experience Acute Retroviral Syndrome (ARS) whichis a condition that occurs within the first two to four weeks after someone is infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. It is the primary stage of infection and lasts until the body has created antibodies against HIV
During this stage of infection, the virus is duplicating at a rapid rate. Unlike other viruses, the body's immune system is unable to fight off HIV, and the infection can live in cells for long periods of time. Over time, the virus attacks and destroys immune cells, leaving the immune system unable to fight off other diseases and infections. When this happens, HIV infection can lead to the development of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Because of its similar symptoms, HIV is easily confused with colds or influenza and in some cases can even be mistaken for syphilis or hepatitis. It is important to be tested for AIDS by a health practitioner if the following symptoms appear as early treatment is important.
In some people, HIV infection will create no symptoms at all until the damage to the immune system has progressed which is why it is important to be regularly tested if HIV infection may have been contracted through unprotected intercourse or blood contact.
Early signs and symptoms of HIV infection.
Fever is one of the first indicators is often accompanied by sore throat, swollen lymph nodes or weakness.
Swollen lymph glands, muscles aches and joint pain
The lymph glands are mostly situated in the groin, armpits or neck and become activated when there is infection in the body.
Sore throat and headache
Sore throats and headaches can appear before the body has produced HIV antibodies. It takes a few weeks or even a few months for the antibodies to show in a test. A test can be done that can detect viral RNA about nine days after infection.
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
Between 30 and 60% of the people who are infected have short-term nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea in the early period after infection.
Dry cough and shortness of breath
A persistent dry cough can be easily be mistaken as an allergy but can often be an early sign of infection. An insidious cough that goes on for weeks is usually present in patients with advanced HIV infection.
As the body system is wasted by the infection, it generates an inflammatory response, which cause exhaustion. This can be both an early or later sign of HIV.
Skin rash or mouth and genital ulcers
Skin rashes on the arms, legs, face or stomach are usual in HIV or AIDS and can appear early or late throughout the illness.
One of the main indicators of the infection appear to be changes in the nails. Thickening or bending of the nails or staining (dark lines) are often visible. This is usually because of candida infections or other contagious diseases and is cause by a depleted immune system.
Although the symptoms of primary HIV infection may be mild enough to go
unnoticed, the amount of virus in the blood stream (viral load) is
particularly high at this time. As a result, HIV infection spreads more
efficiently during primary infection than during the next stage of
In some people, persistent swelling of lymph nodes occurs during clinical
latent HIV. Otherwise, there are no specific signs and symptoms. HIV remains
in the body, however, as free virus and in infected white blood cells.
Clinical latent infection typically lasts eight to 10 years. A few people
stay in this stage even longer, but others progress to more-severe disease
If the HIV infection is not treated it typically progresses to AIDS in about 10 years. By the time AIDS develops, the immune system has been severely damaged, making the infected person susceptible to opportunistic infections that would not trouble a person with a healthy immune system.
Later signs and symptoms of HIV infection.
Blurred and distorted vision and floaters
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a virus belonging to the herpes family and is a sight-threatening disease frequently associated with HIV infection. It occurs because the compromised immune system cannot cope with this virus which affects the eyes.When CMV invades the retina, it begins to compromise the light-sensitive receptors that enable a person to see. This does not cause any pain, but floaters or small specks may appear and there will be reduced visual acuity (blurred vision) or decreased peripheral vision. Light flashes and sudden vision loss also can occur. The disease usually starts in one eye but often involves both eyes. If left untreated, CMV retinitis can cause a detached retina and blindness in just two to six months. AIDS patients sometimes also experience changes to the retina and optic nerve without clear signs of CMV retinitis.
Unexplained weight loss can be a later sign of infection and it could range from little to extreme. The loss in weight might indicate a secondary infection such as toxoplasmosis, a parasitic illness that can influence the mind; a herpes called cytomegalovirus and simple yeast infections such as thrush.
Half of the HIV infected experience night sweats during the later stages of HIV infection.
Thrush (a mouth yeast infection) can appear in the later stages, but yeast infections in other parts of the body can appear too. It is a common fungus that makes it difficult to swallow because it resides in the oesophagus. See Fungal and Yeast Infections for natural remedies to help the body fight off these infections.
Anxiety or trouble concentrating
HIV related dementia can appear late in the illness. It can cause memory loss and behavioural issues, for example touchiness or resentment.
Cold sores or genital herpes
The cold sores (genital herpes) can be a sign of HIV or ARS. They appear in the later stages. Having herpes is also a risk factor for getting HIV, because it causes ulcers that allow HIV to enter the body through sex. It is reported that people with HIV have severe herpes and get it more often because of the decimated immune system.
Shivering and numbness
Late HIV stages may cause neuropathy, causing shivering and numbness in the limbs. This also happens to diabetes patients. It is because the nerves are being damaged by the infection.
Lighter periods mark the later stages of advanced HIV disease. The earlier ages of menopause (47 to 48 years for infected women against 49 to 51 for uninfected), can also be associated with HIV infection.
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is a serious infection that causes inflammation and fluid build-up in the lungs. It is caused by a fungus called Pneumocystis jiroveci which normally people are able to ward off. However those with an impaired immune system, such as HIV infected individuals, are unable to fight off this infection and in some cases it can be fatal. .
NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR HIV/AIDS
correct the blood count of a person suffering with HIV 4 -6 cups a day of
and beet leaf juice can work within a few days.
Maqui berry is a Chilean 'super fruit' which contains the highest amount
of antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds than any other known natural
food. Regular consumption can reduce
inflammation, promote detoxification and stimulate the immune system to
fight against infection and diseases like HIV/AIDS.
There are three classifications of the influenza virus: A, B and C. The most common cause of the flu is Influenza A. It often occurs in epidemics during the late fall or early winter. The highest incidence of the flu is in school children. The incubation period is 48 hours. Acute symptoms usually subside in two to three days. Chills,
fever, headache and muscular aches and pains are the most common initial symptoms followed by a severe cough. Persons at risk for serious complications include those with chronic pulmonary disease, heart valve disease or heart disease.
A highly infectious virus disease of the respiratory system very common in childhood. It is so common at this stage of life that nearly all children everywhere in the world go through this brief period of red spots. The disease appears in epidemic form, often in the winter season. It can be very unpleasant and possibly lead to serious complications, including blindness and even death.
Measles page for more information
and natural remedies.
Norovirus is a common food-borne
disease and a particular problem in nursing homes, hospitals, cruise ships
and schools. Although unpleasant, the infection usually passes in a few
days. But it can pose a dangerous threat to some people with underlying
Noroviruses are the commonest cause of acute gastroenteritis in humans and are estimated to account for 60% to 85% of all gastroenteritis outbreaks in developing countries. The virus is most commonly spread through an
infected person's faeces or vomit and often by unwashed hands. They are also often transmitted by consumption of contaminated food, particularly oysters, which appear able to concentrate the virus, or exposure to contaminated water.
Oregano contains an element known as carvacrol which acts directly on
the capsid, the tough shell of proteins surrounding the norovirus that
encloses its genetic material. Consuming a tea, made by steeping oregano
leaves in hot water for 15 minutes then straining and sipping slowly, can
help fight off this infection which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
Making a household cleanser and
surface sanitizer using oregano oil or a tea from oregano leaves steeped in
hot water for 20 minutes is especially useful where people may be vulnerable
to the effects of strong bleach or alcohol-based cleaners, such as care
homes, hospitals and schools. See the
Hygiene and Health page.
Shingles is caused by the
herpes varicella-zoster virus and only affects some people that have had
chickenpox as a child. It occupies an area within the nerves of the body and only
appears when the immune system is not at its best and will show as very
sensitive and itchy, and sometimes painful, red rashes which consist of
small blisters. These blisters will always exist on one side of the body
only as the shingles virus hides in the nerves. The blisters will eventually
burst releasing small amounts of fluid which is contagious to someone who
has not previously had chickenpox. When contracted this way the person will
get chickenpox and not shingles in the first instance. The infection usually heals in a
week or so and eventually the scars disappear. Some people suffer from recurrent
shingles attacks especially people taking steroids or with a poor diet and
compromised immune system. Some can be affected by nerve pain after the
shingles attack and may need strong pain relief.
Place three to four
fig leaves in 1 pint of water. Boil for a few minutes, let cool and
remove the leaves. Take a wash cloth and dip in the water and apply to the
aggravate and cause recurrent shingles attacks so avoid processed foods that
almost always contain large amounts of sugar.
People who have had
shingles are more likely to suffer a stroke, compared to those who never had
the disease. Doctors should pay more attention to shingles patients with
risk factors for stroke, such as
hypertension (high blood pressure),
NATURE CURES VIRUS INFECTIONS
The only possible
way to fight off viruses, yeast or bacteria infections is to strengthen the
immune system by undergoing a complete lifestyle change and take the
following 4 steps seriously:
Carotenoid containing foods must be consumed with healthy fatty foods
like plant and nut oils, avocado and nuts. Also the body digests
starches differently, so it is quite crucial not to eat them together at
the same meal. While this is contradictory for 99% of today's recipes,
experimentation with correct food combinations can aid digestion of food and
eliminate excess flatulence and bloating by correcting the balance of
intestinal flora which leads to the ability to fight off any infections and
ultimately will also lead to natural effortless weight loss by metabolising
fats in the body.
than all of this will compromise the system and allow viruses to multiply
rapidly until they seriously damage the cells of vital organs in the body.
The body is such a complex system and the organs are all inextricably linked
by nerves, connective tissues and the veins. Blood carries everything the
body needs to each organ and often, it can be the carrier of adverse
microorganisms such as viruses, pathogenic bacteria and yeasts. So keeping
the intestines and blood healthy and fighting fit is the only way to recover
fast from any viral infection. Trying to attack the virus with powerful
chemicals also attacks the body's healthy cells and again upsets the natural
balance of bacterial flora in the intestines that can do this naturally if
Avoid all yeast and yeast extract products such as
torula yeast or yeast spreads if suffering with a virus
infection as some may aggravate the condition.
Antibiotics are ineffective for viral infections since they work by destroying the specialized structures of
all the bacteria in the body including those essential for processes that
give humans good health. There are many plants with powerful and natural antiviral capabilities in their
flowers, leaves, stems, bark, seeds and roots. Click the blue links to visit each one to find out more.
Natural medicinal herbs and spices that exhibit powerful antiviral properties are:
The seeds of
aubergine are an immune system stimulant. Intake of half a gram to one gram of these seeds daily for three days will help develop immunity against many viruses especially measles for one year.
liquorice root (not the confectionary that shares the same name)
has been a key ingredient in most Chinese herbal formulas for more than
3,000 years. Research indicates that liquorice's two primary
ingredients-glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid boost production of
interferon. Active ingredients hypericin and pseudohypericin, are
display strong antiviral properties enough to overpower herpes simplex
viruses type 1 and 2, certain flu viruses (influenza A and B) and EBV.
Hemp seeds are highly nutritious and contain many important minerals and
fatty acids that can help to boost the immune system.
The medicinal mushrooms, crushed seeds and chopped herbs should be steeped in hot water for 30 minutes, strained off then the liquid drunk as a tea, soup or broth
3 times a day until the infection is gone.
herb roots should be chopped up and simmered for 30 minutes before consuming along with the juice
once a day until the infection is gone.
Add any of these medicinal herbs, spices and
mushrooms to meals and with fruit juices and honey which may help some of
them be more palatable.
Reishi mushrooms can be placed in hot water and taken as tea, hot chocolate, mocha or latte as an alternative to coffee. Avoid reishi mushrooms if taking medication for anti-hypertensive, blood sugar lowering medications and anti-coagulants or are pregnant.
Side effects may cause mouth dryness, bleeding from the nose and bloody stools.
Fever is an elevation in body temperature. It's the body's
protective mechanism against infection. The elevation in temperature
happens when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and
viruses that could harm the body.
Normal body temperature ranges from 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit, but
varies throughout the day. Usually is lower in the early morning and
higher in late afternoon. A fever is consider to be any temperature
above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. One should get concern when
temperature raises above 102 degrees Fahrenheit for an adult and 103
degrees Fahrenheit for children. Often, having high temperature is
helpful for the body; it's the way the body acts to destroy harmful
microbes. In an adult, temperatures under 103 degrees Fahrenheit
encourage the body to create more immune cells. A fever of 104 or
higher can be a risk for people with cardiac problems, since it
accelerates the heart beat and makes it work harder, and can cause
irregular rhythms, chest pain or even heart attack. When a person has
had a fever over 106 degrees for a long period of time, can cause
dehydration and brain damage.
The old saying "feed a cold and starve a fever" is good advice. When
a fever is present only liquids should be drunk.
when suffering a fever supplements containing
zinc, iron causes great tension in a body that is
fighting infection and zinc is not absorbed by the body during fever gingerif taking
anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) or non-steroidal
drugs such as aspirinandibuprofen
or in the first trimester of pregnancy
Daily Morning Liver Cleanser
(to help the body
fight against viruses)
A wholesome healthy diet of
the natural foods below will boost the immune system and help the body to fight off virus,
bacteria infections naturally. If this diet is kept to it will
boost the immune system and protect the intestines and the body from any future attacks and infections indefinitely.
A noticeable difference will be felt within just one week.
Nutrients, Minerals, Protein and
Fibre pages can help you understand body processes and the natural foods it needs to function correctly. The nutritional value of foods is important. Wasting valuable time eating the wrong foods is damaging the body further and allowing viruses,
worms to flourish each time they are consumed. They all reproduce so
fast that just one high sugar and low nutrient meal can help them spread to
other parts of the body and cause immeasurable damage.
Cleanse and Detoxify page to try that regime first which can clear the body of toxins and infection. Then stick to the ANTEDIET religiously. This will ensure the repair of any damage and prevent further illnesses. This is the only solution to avoid and fight off viruses.
To benefit from foods containing
carotenoids like tomatoes & carrots always eat together with fat rich
avocado because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are only
absorbed into the body along with fats and can then assist with the manufacture
of the essential
vitamin A nutrient.
Eating a wide variety daily (not just 5) of
whole grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices per day will set the body on the path to full health
Try steaming a wide selection of the
Drink plenty of bottled mineral
waterto avoid chemicals additives such as fluoride and chlorine and provide more
of the essential
minerals the body needs..
Angelica (dong quai), cumin, ginger, Japanese knotweed, motherwort and turmeric if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) hormone therapies and contraception or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen, have heart problems and during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Chlorella and spirulina if suffering from a seafood or iodine allergy, a metabolic condition called phenylketonuria (PKU), multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. If pregnant or nursing or have hyperthyroidism, consult a healthcare provider before taking spirulina. It may interfere with medications to suppress the immune system.
Devil's claw if diabetic or taking blood pressure or blood-thinning medications.
Grapefruit can interact with many types of medications, such as statins or blood pressure medications amongst others, by reducing or increasing their effectiveness.
Land caltrop can cause foetal miscarriage and must be avoided by pregnant or breast feeding women or individuals with breast or prostate cancer. Excess consumption of land caltrop can cause sleep disturbances and irregular menstruation and high doses may adversely affect the eyes and liver.
Nat H Hawes SNHS Dip (advanced and sports nutrition) is a qualified nutritional and sports therapist and author of the new book, Nature Cures, who has been researching natural foods and their health benefits since 2003 and adding the information to this website, almost daily since then, to help all those that wish to turn to natural food medicines for health issues. Please take a moment to vote for Nature Cures to help her provide this natural health information to even more people.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional.
Nature Cures does not warrant or
assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy,
completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the
outcome of using it.