Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

What To Do About Colds and Shingles?

Q: My kids seem to always get colds at the beginning of the school season. Is there something that I can do to do help prevent them?

A: The key to prevention is to keep the immune system strong so that it can fight off anything that starts attacking it. There are many things you can do to help keep your immune system strong. Besides the obvious; a healthy diet and plenty of rest, there are a number of supplements you can take. Acidophilus is always a good choice because it replenishes your “friendly” or “good” bacteria. Vitamin C is important, especially during the cold and flu season. Elderberry has been widely used for prevention of colds. It provides nutrients which strengthen and maintain immunity and healthy respiratory function. It also helps to prevent ear and throat problems. This herb is safe to take on a daily basis and comes in chewable or liquid form for small children. It is also very pleasant tasting.

Q: I just went through a terrible case of shingles and was told that it may re-occur at any time. Is there anything that I can take as a preventative?

A: Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a virus that affects the nerve endings in the skin. It is quite often very painful and can last for several days. It typically occurs in adults who previously contracted chicken pox. The virus lies dormant until there is a weakness in the immune system and then becomes active again. Any type of physical or emotional stress can bring on the symptoms. I recommend that you take a B-Complex on a daily basis for nerve health. L-lysine can be taken for periods on and off to help fight the virus. Once an outbreak occurs, the best remedy I have found is colloidal silver. You can take it orally as well as apply it topically to the outbreak. It is a natural antibiotic that has been shown to quickly and effectively help heal shingles.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.