Thursday, October 1, 2009

Herbs used around the world to protect against swine flu

The October issue of HerbalEGram features an article about how herbs like holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) are being used in countries worldwide to help protect against swine flu. The "International Report on Herbs and Swine Flu" cites statistics from a recent World Health Organization report: "More than 300,000 people around the world are estimated to have contracted Influenza A(H1N1) virus, and at least 3,917 people have died from it." Though a shortage of vaccination is not expected in the U.S., many developing countries will not be able to supply the demand of the their population and as a result "some in these nations are turning to medicinal herbs with immune-boosting properties in attempts to help protect against the virus."

In Bangalore, for example, "people are purchasing Indian tinospora (Tinospora cordifolia), a deciduous climbing shrub with anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects, and immune-boosting properties." In addition, in the "Indian tribal district of Dangs, where medicinal plants grow throughout the forests, the health department is giving tourists an herbal drink also containing Indian tinospora. Prepared by local Ayurvedic doctors, the drink also contains holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), which exhibits adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities, and ginger (Zingiber officinale) root, which has anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory effects and also aids digestion."

>> To find out more about how herbs are being used to help protect against H1N1, click here for the full-length article:

>> If you're interested in learning more about herbal medicine, click here for more information from the American College of Healthcare Sciences.

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