Daffodils and snowdrops nod sweetly to the hopeful promise of spring. But still the last weeks of winter can seem to drag, especially if you have a stubborn, lingering infection.
This may be considered a minor ailment but can have a major impact on your wellbeing.
In this article I explain exactly how a combination of the right herbs can finally clear lingering or recurring colds, viruses, coughs, sore throat and sinusitis, along with urinary tract infections, mastitis and even a tooth or skin abscess. Discover with me how herbs can help give you the freedom to enjoy your life.
Persistent and recurring bugs and infections
At this time of year, people who become ill may continue to feel under the weather for days and even weeks afterwards. Or the symptoms seem to go away, only to return later – sometimes repeatedly.
When this happens, we easily become emotionally low and frustrated on top of the physical struggle to keep going. Good, vibrant health can feel like a distant memory and a constantly elusive goal. Every aspect of our lives seems to be affected.
Antibiotics may help at first but often their effectiveness seems to fade – and we all know that it’s important to avoid using them too often.
As a herbalist, I am genuinely passionate about helping people reach health, energy and a great quality of life – and I know how powerfully herbs can work to achieve that. That’s why I have created the Expert Herbalist infection range, synthesising the best combinations for boosting immunity and tackling these life- limiting conditions.
Humans and herbs – naturally best friends
We humans have always had a synergistic relationship with nature. It is inherent in our evolution, especially when you consider that farming was introduced a relatively short time ago on the grand scale of our existence on this planet.
In our days of wandering before settling down as farmers, we would have relied on this interdependence to create a powerful medicine chest from foraging wild plants and ingesting berries and roots.
These substances would maintain health and restore it when natural defences were breached by illness.
We are now aware from studying the body that the beneficial immune response occurs naturally when we eat berries. The same immune stimulating effect happens when we take herbs like astragulas , codonopsis, discorea or wild yam.
When these plants are grown wild and under stressful conditions, they become extra potent in stimulating powerful healing and immunity. This is why I chose them for the Expert Herbalist Resist formula, which boosts immunity and helps clear a range of unwanted bacterial infections and viruses from the system
Understanding the body’s natural defences
Within the human body, our major mutual dependence is on natural bacteria. Bacteria protect the entrances to human eco systems like the airlock in a space station.
They provide us with a first line of defence against intruders and, in return, we give them an equally beneficial place to settle in and call home.
Our second level of defence comes from within our own bodies - an immune system that is perfectly balanced. With this we can swiftly remove any invasion from our white blood cells.
Like the rest of nature, to ensure optimum functioning of our defences, our bodies need different phases and cycles for protection, growth, rest, development and reproduction. These phases can easily be disrupted when we experience distress or an unhealthy environment – or simply try to meet the pressures of modern living. And if the body does become unbalanced, then we are susceptible to viruses and infections.
How herbs dismiss infection
The ability to harness nature’s healing element of plants is a craft passed down through generations.
The use of distinctive ‘tastes’ and qualities of herbs to create potent healing is the ‘gong fu’ or studied skill of the herbalist.
It’s interesting that animals also instinctively harness the qualities of plants to keep their system healthy. Cats eat to purge ingested hair by ejecting fur balls; dogs eat grasses to bring up unwanted substances. Even bees feed on mushroom compost to counteract toxins and parasites - all ingrained actions that happen at an intuitive level.
When we have an infection, the body experiences unwanted toxins, a build-up of heat and a stagnation of internal fluids. The right combination of herbs acts to reverse these processes - clear the toxins, cool the heat and get the stagnation moving again.
An effective way to do this is with a purge. So why would a purge help? Well, it can radically eliminate toxins and the accumulation of stagnated movement within the body. You might call it the secret gong fu or ancient knowledge for the speedy release of infection.
Venting the heat that accumulates in infection is equally important. Heat builds up and further weakens the system as it consumes fluids and causes natural flow to shut down, preventing it from moving against viscous fluids like catarrh. Just as we vent our cooking and fires, so we must keep our body’s energy and fluids moving for health.
Ways to put out a candle flame
To help explain the process of venting an infection, let’s consider the analogy of ways to put out a candle flame.
All this illustrates the combined ways in which a carefully selected mix of herbs can deal with the inflammation/infection phenomenon.
When I created the Expert Herbalist infection range of formulas, I drew on my long experience of getting to know the ‘personality’ of herbs and observing what they can do.
The Resist formula is crafted to be flexible. A low dose for immune maintenance heads off colds, virus and various infections, while a higher dose effectively fights them once they have taken hold. The remaining formulas in the range are useful if you have a very specific infection – especially of the lingering or recurring type.
A cough, chesty or dry; sinusitis with blocked nose and painful brow; a sore, raspy, swollen throat - all can be cleared from the body and each has its own formula. Urinary tract infections are often painful and bothersome – and they need careful treatment, especially during pregnancy or later life. That’s why I created three different formulas to choose from.
There is also a remedy for mastitis, since this painful condition in breast tissue can be so miserable for nursing mothers already tired from intermittent sleep. Finally, our Abscess formula is handy for an external abscess, for instance on the skin or a tooth – another painful condition.
I would really like to think that we don’t only sell herbs, but also present nature’s opportunity for you to become well and contented. Everyone benefits when we feel free to become the person we want to be and enjoy the life we want to live.
Yours in humble reverence at the power of nature to heal…
Matthew Jackson (BSc (Hons) Ost, Dip Ac/CHM (China), Pg Dip CHM (OB/GYN), Pg Cert US (MSK) MRCHM, BMUS) is a herbalist, osteopath and acupuncturist with a busy practice in the west of England.