Report from the Herb Conference Presentation in October 2022
Jan Illingworth “Antivirals in your Garden”
Lurking in Melbourne gardens is a plethora of herbs that are good for you. In these times we are after antivirals and the Labiatae family are some of the easiest and best, which includes; basil, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage & the savouries. All easily grown in ground or pots to be picked as needed, either fresh or dried for cooking and medicine.
Full of antioxidants, flavonoids and essential oils that are antimicrobial, make them the perfect herb for any infection and reduced immunity. They are able to dissolve the lipid the pathogen to cause the internal structures to leak out. All labiatae herbs are antiviral to some extent, with the Holy Basil or Tulsi having much research on it to show it to be very powerful against many bacteria and viruses.
Summer Savoury & Sweet Basil is the only two labiatae that are annuals and very good with tomato and in pesto, while the more potent Holy Basil is a perennial in tropical conditions and its strong flavour make it a better tea. Grows in Melbourne, if it is not subjected to the winter colds and frost.
Mints are really good for cooling on those hot days or taken in cases of fever. Research has shown that essential oil of Peppermint hinders the herpes and HIV virus from entering the cells, which is where the virus causes havoc.
Collect the aerial parts to either dry or use fresh by adding a dried tablespoon or handful of fresh to a teapot. To make mixed herbs; combine in equal parts any/all of the dried labiatae herbs with lesser quantities of Tulsi, Rosemary & Sage (too strong a taste), mix in the same amount of dried Parsley. Cook in a tablespoon to any savoury dish.
Calendula is an easy to grow and cheerful garden filler, it is also an antipathogen including herpes. Collect the open flowers after the dew has dried. Let dry on calico in an airy, dark place before throwing 6 or so flowers into a cup of boiling water. Best combined with a handful of Peppermint and Lemon Balm made into a cup which one should drink at the first sign of cold sore or shingles and dab a soaked cotton ball on the pustules. Do this up to 4 times in a day.
Cumquat peel has had good research on its antiviral action, including COVID. In fact most citrus peel and grapefruit seed (GSE) appear in research to be very potent antimicrobials. Stew the peel for 10 minutes to extract constituents to drink as a tea.
Honeysuckle is a robust climber that does well in Melbourne. Pick the flower buds before bursting for a nice cup of tea or buy from Asian Grocers in the tea section. An affinity in Chinese Medicine for lungs and any colds or flu, Honeysuckle has shown research to reduce all corona viruses including COVID by dissolving the outside lipid layer to cause the cytoplasm to pour out. It reduced the infection from 17 days to 3.8 days to show negative virus results.
Antiviral tea; simmer 2 chopped Cumquats for 10 minutes, turn off, add a tablespoon each of Honeysuckle and Calendula flowers and Mint and/or Lemon Balm. Steep for 10 minutes. Can be sweetened with Manuka honey. Have a cup as soon as cold/flu signs occur. Drink a cup every 4 hours until symptoms reduce.
Back in the kitchen, there is a list of culinary spices that have been shown to be antiviral including allspice, clove, cinnamon and mace, which can be all made into chai: boil in a litre of water; 5 cardamoms & cloves with a stick of cinnamon for 10 minutes add a tablespoon of ginger and or turmeric and strong black tea, turn off to steep for 5 minutes before adding honey as desired and milk/ghee or soy. Drink when wanting a warming tonic.
Both garlic and ginger are powerful antivirals, as well as antioxidants that should be eaten daily. Why not make a nice curry with the addition of the immune packed turmeric. Nice Curry: heat up vegetable or peanut oil (high heat level), fry all the C spices; tablespoon each of coriander, cumin seeds, 6 cardamom, 6 cloves & stick cinnamon until popping. Add a big chopped onion and preferred meat, any vegetables, soaked overnight beans or chickpeas, lentils or fish if using, totalling 3 cups. Add in 2 chopped tomatoes, a couple of chopped garlic cloves and knob of ginger. Combine to taste; pepper, mixed herbs, salt, a tablespoon of turmeric and chili if using. Mix in a tin of coconut cream until simmering or instead, one could add a cup of plain yoghurt after the vegetables cooked. Serve with rice, preferable brown.
Another simple remedy for anything that is wrong with you, is Tea, especially Green Tea. Full of antioxidants and has had some positive testing against viruses, taking just 4 cups a day. It didn’t seem to matter if it was a teabag, but I would suggest that loose is better. Why not throw in some labiataes while you’re at it.
Immunity is very important in any health situation. One would not take any treatments without first assisting the immune system. Immune stimulating herbs include Astragalus, Androgaphis and of course Echinacea which is easy enough taken as a supplement. Products high in antioxidant such as fish oils, vitamins especially C, and minerals including Zinc.
To summarise; at the first sign of flu symptoms, have a cup of virus tea, take Echinacea, Vitamin C (maximum dose), fish oils & multi minerals. Rest, take in fresh air and sunshine and eat wholesome foods. Good Health.
Mini Talk November 2020