Are you prepared to survive an epidemic, pandemic, or potentially virus during a SHTF scenario? When you can’t call 911, the medical preps and skills you have acquired will be all that stands between your family and horrific tragedy.
Stockpiling antiviral herbs and learning how to use them can substantially improve your survival medicine plan. All of the potent herbs featured on our top 10 list help boost the immune system and have often been used as natural antiviral and antibiotics.
Even if you are an urban prepper or apartment prepper you still should have enough space to cultivate these healing antiviral herbs. You can grow them yourself indoors or out, or purchase the dried herbs and add them to your medical preps stockpile.
It is far more difficult to treat a virus after you become infected because the cells in our bodies are already impacted, and the virus uses our cells to replicate.
More than 400 different types of viruses are wafting around in our modern world. The emergence of deadly viruses once thought all but eradicated, like typhoid, cholera, and smallpox, could likely emerge and rapidly spread once again during a long-term disaster.
During a SHTF scenario, something as seemingly mundane as the common cold, flu, or mononucleosis, could wipe out an entire family in a matter of just a few weeks.
Even if you got a flu shot before the apocalyptic event happened, it will likely be only 80% effective against the nearly constantly mutating strains of the influenza virus, and it is only good for one year, anyway.
What Is a Virus?
A virus is a tiny and infectious agent that reproduces only inside of the live cells of other organisms. Viruses can attack and spread not just via people, but through animals and bacterial microorganisms, as well. In fact, viruses are the most prevalent type of biological matter on the planet.
Viruses carry genetic material with them as they replicate and naturally evolve – which is why getting vaccinated against the flu is pretty much a crap shoot.
How Do Viruses Spread?
Viruses can spread in several ways and the reproduction method also vary depending upon the host.
- Viruses can be spread via mosquitoes, ticks, and other blood sucking insects.
- Coughing and sneezing spreads viruses like the common cold, mono, and the flu.
- Some viruses, like infectious diarrhea (viral gastroenteritis) are often transmitted due to poor sanitation issues, when tending to a patient, or between children in a fecal matter to oral process.
- Viruses, especially those that can be infected diarrhea related, can be spread through shared water (swimming, washing, or drinking) contact or food contamination.
- Infected blood transmission is another way viruses can spread, but not in a rapid or multiple infection manner as occurs through coughing, food contamination, or water sharing viruses spread. Infected blood transmission viruses are often spread via sexual contact.
Perhaps the most harrowing aspect of preparing to deal with a virus, both before and during a SHTF event, is that they do NOT respond to antibiotics.
Vaccines are unpredictable, and even if you have been vaccinated against them, your immune systems’ response might still not be strong enough to war off chronic symptoms.
Thankfully, nature offers us a plethora of herbs, roots, and medicinal flowers that we can turn into “medicine” when trips to the emergency room are not possible – or now, if you prefer to treat yourself and your loved ones naturally, as I do.
What Are Antiviral Herbs?
Antiviral herbs diminish the growth of viruses in the body – be it human or animal. Unlike many of the prescription medications we see commercials advertisements for on television, they do not come with a long potentially deadly side effects.
Most antiviral herbs, flowers, and roots help the body combat an attack by viral bacteria and pathogens by boosting the immune system.
In addition to helping fight viral infections, antiviral herbs can also help improve overall health and stamina by bolstering the digestive, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. Antiviral herbs may also boast anti-inflammatory properties as well.
But, just because something is natural does not mean an individual might not have an allergic reaction to it – especially if proper dosage and ingestion guidelines are not followed.
The top 10 antiviral herbs below can help protect your and your loved ones from the severity of symptoms and curtail the duration of the illness being battled.
Top 10 Antiviral Herbs
This shrub style tree produces both berries and flowers that hold medicinal properties – and they taste delicious.
Elderberry syrup is a fabulous fever reduces, and is often used to combat symptoms of the common cold.
Due to the anthocyanidins is contains, elderberry stimulates the immune system, and can aid in the treatment of the flu.
2. Echinacea – Coneflower
This beautiful purple plant has been used in natural remedies to treat avian flu, respiratory syncytial virus, herpes simplex virus, and rhinoviruses.
It might help reduce not only the viral infection symptoms, but tumors as well. The echinacin compound in the medicinal flower reduces or prevents viruses and bacteria from reaching healthy living cells.
Echinacea can also reduce swelling, relieve skin issues, alleviate pain, and combat upper respiratory problems.
3. Mad Dog Skullcap
This Chinese herb has been used as a natural antiviral ingredient for centuries. The root of the skullcap is thought to be the most potent part of the plant.
Skullcap is most often dried and powdered, and put inside capsules or used in tinctures, but can also be made into a tea.
Mad dog skullcap has been used in natural treatments for vesicular stomatitis, respiratory syncytial virus, sendai virus, hepatitis A, B, and C, as well as coliphage MS2.
Not only is garlic a natural antiviral, it also has been known to reduce inflammation, and fight parasites, bacteria, and fungi.
Some cancer patients seeking alternative treatment or natural treatment boosters also consume garlic on a regular basis.
Ginger can help reduce the impact, symptoms and duration of viruses. It may also prevent cells from replicating and spreading the virus.
Ginger might be an inhibitor of the HRSV, a respiratory virus that most heavily impacts babies and young children, as well as influenza A, and the common cold.
It is a base ingredient in the Four Thieves Tonic, also known as fire cider.
6. Olive Leaf
The extract taken from olive tree leaves are thought by some herbalists to be nearly omnipotent virus inhibitors.
Olive leaf extract may help prevent or fight herpes, the flu, polio, and coxsackie. The leaves can also be brewed into a medicinal tea.
In herb form, oregano has benefits, but to get the most from it, the distilled oil version or oregano should be used.
The carvacrol compound in the herb may be the reason oregano is such a powerful viral infection fighter.
Drinking oregano tea or using oregano essential oil can also be an immune system booster, and a natural antiviral fighting herbal remedy ingredient.
The dried flower petals are often used as base ingredients in natural ointments, burn washes, and tinctures to foster better healing.
9. Licorice Root
This root has become one of my recent favorite natural antiviral components. It is now being used not just to treat the flu, but also HIV and hepatitis C, thanks to its effective triterpenoid attributes. Licorice root also boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Because licorice root contains Glycyrrhizin, it does come with a few side effects warnings. When used to excess, licorice root could cause blood pressure to raise and potassium levels to drop, as well as edema.
Because of this compound, it is recommended that folks with liver, kidney, or blood pressure problems, as well as pregnant women only use a licorice root supplement that has this compound removed. Such supplements are commonly called deglycyrrhized licorice.
10. Astragalus Root
This antiviral herb has been known to stimulate the immune system. Astragalus root is also often used as part of natural treatments for both the flu virus and against the common cold.
The root boasts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It may help combat herpes simplex virus type 1.
How to Use Antiviral Herbs, Flowers, and Roots
To make an herbal tea, steep 1 teaspoon of the chosen herb in very hot water for about 5 to 10 minutes.
This type of antiviral herb delivery method of often considered a stronger way to ingest the herb than by brewing a tea, but it takes a lot longer to make.
Steep 1 cup of the chosen herb in water for 5 to 7 hours inside of an airtight jar. You can drink the herbal infusion either hot or cold.
Because of the amount of herbs used and the potency of them after steeping for so long, it is recommended that adults drink no more than one standard coffee cup of the natural medicine concoction daily.
Herbal Infusion Oil
You can make herbal infusion oil using the hot sunshine or your oven – or campfire, as might be necessary during a SHTF situation.
Simply heat the chosen herb in your favorite carrier oil (I use coconut or almond oil) at a ratio of ½ of a cup of herbs to 1 cup of the oil, for about 3 hours at 200 degrees.
To make the herbal infusion using the power of the sun, use the same herb to oil ratio, and place a jar with an airtight lid in a full sun spot for 12 hours.
After removing the oil and herb mixture from either the oven or the sun, strain away the leaves.
Keep the oil in a jar with a firm fitting lid to use topically to treat infection, and as a pain reliever.
Stockpiling prescription medication would be a monumental task. Some preppers purchase fish medications to bolster their medical preps, others order online from foreign pharmacies, and some survival homesteaders grow their own medicines in apothecary patches – and some do all of the above.
We show you no less than 5 ways to make herbal-infused oil here.
No matter which approach you take to developing and stockpiling synthetic or natural antiviral, it would be nearly impossible to argue that medical preps are the most difficult aspect of any survival plan.
I grow a wide range of medicinal herbs, flowers, and roots (as all survival homesteaders should), but, each has its own healing attributes.
While some may be both natural antiviral agents and also hold other medicinal properties, only a select handful possess potent enough antiviral properties to be considered a powerful enough to fight the nasty viruses.
Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, ‘Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out’, Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.