Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Herbs are useful for treating viral infections and immune suppression found in CFS patients.
Many practitioners suggest starting with antiviral herbs, combined with herbs which stimulate the immune system. Useful herbs in this phase are: echinacea, goldenseal, and licorice.
Once the virus is fairly well eliminated, begin to address some of the secondary factors that cause the weakness in the immune system, such as stress-induced weakness, problems in the intestinal tract, heavy metal poisoning (such as dental mercury), and low- level pesticide poisoning.
For the convalescent or chronic phase of CFS, useful herbs include goldenseal, astragalus (dried root), licorice and Siberian ginseng.
In the recovery phase of CFS Panax ginseng and Siberian ginseng are especially useful.
Herbal medicines are slow to act. The time necessary to completely resolve the situation can vary from as short as four to six weeks to as long as twelve to eighteen months depending upon the duration of the illness and other accompanying health problems.
The following herbs are especially useful for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
Echinacea helps protect cells during infection and prevents pathogens, bacteria and viruses from entering. There are many examples of how echinacea was successfully used in strengthening the immune system, warding off the EBS virus and providing relief to the user. Take 15-20 drops in liquid, three times daily for two days. Or, 300 to 325 mg three times daily.
Licorice-300 mg three times daily (20-28 percent glycyrrhizic acid)-do not take with high blood pressure
Lomatium-25 to 35 drops three to four times daily
Astragalus enhances immune function and are good for cold and flu symptoms. It helps to strengthen the production of white blood cells, required for fighting infection and inflammation. Take 150 - 250 milligrams three or four times daily.
Teas brewed from burdock root, dandelion, and red clover promote healing by cleansing the blood and enhancing immune function. Combine or alternate these herbal teas, and drink 4 to 6 cups daily.
Ginkgo biloba improves circulation and brain function.
Chinese (or Korean) ginseng helps the body fight stress and enhances energy. It also fights viral infection and helps support the immune system. This herb is very powerful. Use caution. Select a standardized extract containing 7 percent ginsenosides and begin by taking half the manufacturer's recommended dose, then gradually increase the dosage until you are taking it as directed on the product label.
Siberian ginseng increases the body's resistance to stress, fatigue, and disease. It also has been shown to increase mental alertness, and possesses strong antioxidant properties. Choose a standardized extract containing 0.5 percent eleutheroside E and take 100 to 200 milligrams twice daily, in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Carrot juice, kelp and bee pollen provide energy if fatigue is due to low blood pressure.
Use goldenseal to control infection. At the first signs of a sore throat, take a few drops of alcohol-free goldenseal extract, hold it in your mouth for a moment, then swallow.
Licorice root supports the endocrine system.
Milk thistle protects the liver.
Pau d'arco is good for treating candida infection.
St. Johns wort has antiviral properties. It also is good for mild depression that is the bye product or CFS. Select a product containing 0.3 percent hypericin and take 300 milligrams three times daily.
Skullcap and valerian root improve sleep. Insomnia is another associated condition of CFS.
Ashwaganda is a rejuvenating tonic instrumental in boosting strength, stamina, vigor and sexual energy. It is believed to be useful for balancing life forces. Take-25 mg three times daily (1.7 percent with anolides, 1.5 percent alkaloids)
Cat's claw has anti-inflammatory and immune-promoting properties. Start by taking 250 milligrams of standardized extract three times a day, and gradually increase the dosage over a period of four weeks until you are taking 1,000 milligrams three times daily.
Take one dose of an echinacea and goldenseal combination formula supplying 250 to 500 milligrams of echinacea and 150 to 300 milligrams of goldenseal three times daily for five to ten days. This formula is especially valuable if you are battling an acute infection, such as a sore throat.
Kava kava is a calmative herb that helps ease the anxiety associated with CFS. Choose a product containing 30 percent kavalactones and take 250 milligrams twice daily, the first dose in the middle of the day and the second before bedtime.
Olive leaf has antifungal and antiviral effects. Take 250 milligrams of standardized extract two or three times daily.
Valerian is a good relaxant that improves the quality of sleep. If insomnia is a problem, valerian can help. Studies show that people taking this herb fall asleep faster, wake up fewer times during the night, and feel refreshed upon awakening in the morning. Select a standardized extract containing 0.5 percent isovalerenic acids and take 200 to 400 milligrams half an hour before bedtime.
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