Understanding Our Defense System

As temperatures drop, the risk of viral infections rises. Research shows that viruses thrive in colder conditions, making colds and flus more prevalent during winter time. However, whether a virus successfully infects us largely depends on the strength of our immune system.

So why some people rarely fall ill, others are more prone to catching every bug that comes their way, often experiencing prolonged recovery periods? It’s because our resilience to a pathogen highly depends on the immune system!

In my clinical experience some biggest immune suppressants are stress and body toxicity aka unhealthy terrain. In fact they are biggest root-cause of all illness. Additionally, age plays a significant role, with the youngest and oldest individuals being at the highest risk.

Thus, if you find yourself in any of these categories, strengthening your immune system is a priority before and during the cold season.

Rest: The Cornerstone of Healing

When fighting a viral infection, prioritizing rest is crucial. Your body needs rest to direct the energy to combat the virus fully. If this doesn’t happen, pathogens become chronic, causing continuous malaise and fatigue. So, getting enough sleep, delegating tasks, and avoiding strenuous activity, working half-time until recovery, are some smart measures.

Fever is your friend

Fever is the body’s superpower to combat pathogens. Avoid using antipyretics like panadol and aspirin and let your body do its magic unless it becomes higher than 39 degrees Celsius.

Antiviral herbals

Nature offers a treasure trove of herbs with potential benefits for viral respiratory infections. Here are some of the most studied ones for common cold, Influenza (flu) and COVID:

Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis):

  • Regulates the immune system and reduces inflammation by targeting the production of cytokines and chemokines.
  • Inhibits viral replication by interfering with viral enzymes.
  • Decreases cytokine storm through anti-inflammatory effects on the NF-κB pathway.

Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata):

  • Specific for acute infections, fighting against viruses and bacteria.
  • Reduces inflammation by inhibiting COX-2 and pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  • Increases phagocytic activity of immune cells and disrupts viral envelopes, enhancing pathogen clearance.

Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry):

  • Reduces the duration of colds by enhancing mucosal immunity and stimulating the production of secretory IgA antibodies.
  • Inhibits viral replication by interfering with viral entry into host cells and modulating T cell function.
  • Neutralizes spikes on certain viruses like influenza, preventing them from infecting cells, and reduces cytokine storm.

Houttuynia (Houttuynia cordata):

  • Boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation in the airways by interfering with viral RNA synthesis and inhibiting NF-κB activation.
  • Highly antiviral and antibacterial, suppressing viral replication and enhancing innate immune responses.
  • Facilitates the clearance of respiratory secretions and enhances immune surveillance.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra):

  • Soothes irritation in the throat and cough with its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.
  • Blocks viral attachment to host cells and modulates immune responses by regulating cytokine balance.
  • Inhibits inflammatory mediators like TNF-α and IL-6, reducing inflammation.

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea):

  • Stimulates the immune system to fight off infections by increasing WBC production and enhancing the activity of macrophages and natural killer cells.
  • Modulates immune responses and promotes a balanced immune response by regulating cytokine production.
  • Increases phagocytosis and scavenger receptor expression, enhancing pathogen clearance.

Thuja (Thuja occidentalis):

  • Traditionally used for respiratory issues and exhibits potent antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Inhibits viral replication by interfering with viral DNA polymerase and stimulates interferon production.
  • Exhibits mucolytic activity, facilitating respiratory secretion clearance.

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis):

  • Modulates the immune system and increases energy, enhancing immune surveillance and respiratory function.
  • Regulates inflammatory responses through NF-κB signaling and improves respiratory function by promoting bronchodilation.
  • Enhances immune surveillance by increasing dendritic cell activity.


In addition to herbal remedies, certain nutrients play a crucial role in supporting immune function and combating viral infections. Consider incorporating the following:

Vitamin C: Boosts immune function and reduces the severity and duration of colds. Liposomal vit c has the best bioavailability.

Zinc: Alleviates symptoms and shortens the duration of respiratory tract infections.

• Selenium: Boosts T cell and natural killer cell activity while regulating inflammation.

• Vitamin A: Supports healthy mucosal linings and enhances immune cell function.

These nutrients, when combined with herbal therapies, offer a comprehensive approach to strengthening the immune system and fighting off viral infections effectively.

Dosage Matters

As with any medication or supplement, the dosage of herbs and nutrients matters. It’s best to follow the recommendations of a healthcare professional. However, a general rule for acute infections is higher and frequent doses in acute infections.


Managing viral infections requires a holistic approach that strengthens the immune system and supports the body’s natural defenses. Herbal remedies and nutrient supplementation provide potent antiviral and immune-modulating effects. By prioritizing rest, incorporating herbal therapies, and ensuring adequate nutrient intake, we can empower our bodies to overcome viral infections effectively.

Struggling with a dysregulated immune system? Can’t afford to get sick or feel unwell and need a remedy quickly? I’m here to assist you. My ‘ACUTE’ consultations are ideal for situations like this https://healthyflow.com.au/appointments/. In this 20-minute appointment, I’ll comprehensively assess your symptoms and provide personalized herbal and nutritional recommendations to help you bounce back swiftly.

Share This