Viruses are tiny infectious agents which live a parasitic life by feeding off a host. They have no ability to produce their own metabolism but rather use the host’s to reproduce and spread their replicas.
The life cycle of a virus is rather simple. Once in the organism, it finds suitable cells and uses them to implement its DNA. The majority of antiviral medications inhibit this form of virus DNA synthesis or other important stages of its life cycle.
There is a common misconception that viruses and bacteria are the same. Not only do they differ in the way they attack hosts but they also have different build-up. Unlike bacteria, viruses are unable to survive on their own. They can’t multiply, reproduce or move outside a living organism. Bacteria are a more complex microorganism which may survive regardless of the host.
For this particular reason, viruses are treated with separate medications and those include both drugs and natural remedies.
Natural antiviral remedies
Antiviral herbs effective in combating viruses include elderberry, echinacea, or calendula. These herbs boost the immune system which, in return, acquires the strength to fight the virus. Garlic, ginger and oregano have a tremendously beneficial effect, too. Garlic is nature’s best antibiotic and antiseptic. This means it cleanses the body and acts as a virus-fighting medicine. Just like garlic, ginger works wonders in antiviral therapy since it kills influenza viruses – the main cause of flu.
Cat’s claw, licorice root, and olive leaf also block viral replication by penetrating into host cells. Olive leaf extracts prevent the viral cells from multiplying and inactivate them. Licorice root may be consumed in the form of tea or extract and is extremely potent, especially in the sense that it boosts the effectiveness of other herbs.
Although herbs are found in nature, it does not imply that they should be abused just because they seem harmless. Any excessive use of these nature’s aids should be taken under supervision or, at least, after a doctor approves of the doses.
These medications belong to a class of antimicrobials, along with antibiotics, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic drugs. Outbreaks of influenza usually occur in certain seasons and many people who suffer from uncomplicated influenza may use over-the-counter drugs.
As certain viruses can become resistant to certain medications, hence any excessive use is not recommendable. The most popular antiviral drugs include Relenza (zanamivir), Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) and Rapivab (peramivir).
These medications should not be taken without a medical supervision as they may have serious side effects. These include nausea, diarrhea, cough, rash, and drowsiness. In case of any unwanted complications, contact the doctor immediately.