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12 Herbal Home Remedies To Fight Bird Flu Or Avian Influenza

Bird flu (Avian influenza) is a viral disease that not only affects birds such as chicken, ducks and geese, but also animals and humans when they come in direct contact with these infected poultry. When infected, humans get symptoms in around 2-8 days ranging from mild to severe.

The mild symptoms of bird flu include fever, chills, runny nose, sore throat and headache while severe symptoms include bleeding from the gums, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, blood in the stool and sleeping difficulties.

Herbal home remedies help reduce the mild symptoms of bird flu. They also help strengthen the immune system, so that the body can fight the infection better. Take a look at a few herbal home remedies that help fight bird flu or avian influenza. Also, remember to consult a medical expert if the symptoms get severe or persists for several days.


1. Turmeric

Curcumin, the principle curcuminoid in turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory property. It helps stimulate the immunoprotective agents and reduce the risk of avian flu inflammation. Also, the antiviral properties of turmeric may help combat avian influenza and reduce the symptoms. [1]

What to do: Either add a pinch of turmeric in a glass of warm water and consume or add a pinch of it to honey and consume daily.


2. Ginger

A study has shown that ginger may have anti-avian influenza potential. The compounds such as gingerols and zingerone in ginger prevent the growth of influenza in the body as well as help boost the immunity to fight against the pathogens. [2]

What to do: Consume ginger tea every morning. You can also add honey or lemon to the mixture and consume for added benefits.


3. Astragalus

Astragalus is known as an immune-enhancing herb that supports the bone marrow by increasing the production of interferon. These signalling proteins help fight pathogens and resist their entry in the body. A study shows that astragalus reduces replication of influenza and promotes an early immune response. [3]

What to do: Astragalus roots are either boiled for tea or added to soups. Caution: astragalus should be taken only after proper consultation with a medical expert. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid its consumption.


4. Echinacea

Echinacea is known as a blood purifier and a natural immune system booster that helps in strengthening the system against this virus. A study has shown that the ethanol extracts of the herb can be effective against avian strains of influenza. [4]

What to do: Boil a few dried or fresh echinacea flowers and prepare a tea. Consume it at least three a day but not in an empty stomach. It is better to consult a medical expert before its consumption.


5. Garlic

Known for its anti-viral and antibiotic properties, garlic has the ability to protect and fight against the bird flu virus. It is regarded as one of the best-known home remedies to treat bird flu. Garlic also helps boost immunity. [5]

What to do: Every morning, consume a clove of garlic with a glass of water to boost immunity. You can also add crushed garlic to your meals.


6. Green tea

Catechins, a phenolic compound in green tea is known for its potent anti-influenza activity in many studies. The compound helps minimise the infectivity of bird influenza and reduce the symptoms. [6]

What to do: Consume green tea at least thrice a day.


7. Forsythia

Forsythiaside A, a phenolic compound in forsythia has strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties against influenza strains. It can help fight avian influenza and boost the immune system. [7]

What to do: The dried fruit of the forsythia flower is mainly used for supplement making. Not much information about the oral consumption of the herb is available. It is better to consult a medical expert before starting on the supplements of forsythia.


8. Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps in eradicating various influenza viruses. Adequate consumption of vitamin C daily helps enhance the immunity and fight multiple pathogens entering the body. A study says that vitamin C may help provide effective containment against avian influenza. [8]

What to do: Include vitamin C rich foods in your diets such as lemon, orange, broccoli, spinach, tomato and other leafy greens.


9. Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper helps dilate the pores of the body and allows sweating. This encourages the release of toxins which further helps fight against the bird flu virus. Cayenne pepper also strengthens the immune system and consuming the herb every day is considered the best bird flu prevention measure.

What to do: Try to include cayenne pepper every day in your diet.


10. Olive leaf extracts

Olive leaf extracts contain both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. They help strengthen the immune system and support the blood and lymphatic systems to fight the bird flu virus. The leaf extracts of olive are regarded as one of the best-known home remedies to treat bird flu. [9]

What to do: Olive leaf extract is available in the market. Use it as instructed by a medical expert. You can also prepare an olive tea by boiling a few dried leaves. Add honey or peppermint for a good taste as olive leaf tastes a bit bitter.


11. Steam

Inhaling steam helps ease the nasal congestion and loosen the mucous. This is the best way to clear the respiratory passage that gets blocked when a person is suffering from avian influenza symptoms.

What to do: Boil water, cover the head with a towel and inhale the steam. Repeat the process twice or thrice a day.


12. Oregano oil

Oregano oil has a primary component called carvacrol which has potent antiviral activity. This is responsible for the natural germ-killing ability of this oil and beating avian flu. [10] many studies suggest that oregano oil can provide rapid relief from the symptoms, but may not help in killing influenza responsible for avian flu.

What to do: Mix a few drops of oregano oil in warm water and inhale. Avoid its oral consumption or applying it directly on the skin.


Common FAQs

1. What is the fastest way to cure bird flu naturally?

By taking vitamin C rich foods, keeping the body hydrated, taking rest, aromatherapy and including herbs in diets such as ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper, one can treat bird flu symptoms in a fastest way.

2. Does bird flu spread by eating chicken?

No, bird flu is not spread by eating chicken or eggs. However, one should cook chicken up to at least 74 degree-Celcius and boil eggs until both the whites and yolk get firm.

3. Can bird flu be cured?

Mild symptoms of bird flu such as runny nose, cough, headache, sore throat can be cured by herbal or home remedies such as ginger, essential oils or steam inhalation. Severe symptoms of avian influenza or bird flu need medicinal treatments.

Story first published: Friday, September 4, 2020, 12:56 [IST]
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