With a viral infection such as an upper respiratory infection, when people have serious problems, it is usually the secondary bacterial infection that is the main concer. When a virus enters the body, it can lower the immune reponse, causing a secondary infection to start. So even for a cold I also like to add some antibavterial herbs to the antiviral and immunomodulating ones.


If you have heard that goldenseal is dangerous or toxic, it is really not true. Berberine has very low tooxicity. It is contraindicated during pregnancy but not because it is an abortifacient ( it actually relaxes the uterus in animal studies). It is because it is associated with a higher incidence of neo-natal jaudice. It has antibiotic, antifungal, antiparasitic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is especially recommended for sinusitis. You can make a tea of barberry or goldenseal, adding salt to make a saline solution and then use an ear syringe to get it up into the sinus cavities.


TINCTURE : 20 to 30 drops, 2 to 3 times daily.

CAPSULES : 2 capsules of powdered goldenseal, 2 to 3 times daily

NASAL OR THROAT WASH : Steep i teaspoon in I cup hot water for 15minutes, let cool, and gargle, swallowing the liquid.


(Coptis chinesis) I use this herb ( also called huan lian) more than any other berberine-containing plant simply because it has a higher percentage of the constituent than other plants in this category. Additionally it is good to use coptis which is cultivated, in place of goldensealm which has been overharvested in the wild. Make sure to het coptis that is high quality and non-fumigated ( Spring Wind and Herb Pharm are good sources). It is indicated for infections of the gut, urinary tract and liver and is used externally for conjunctivitis. There is an incredibly effective commercial extract of coptis called Huan Lian Su or berberine sulfate. It is useful for acute and chronic allergic rhinitis, urinary tract and upper respiratory tract infections, colitis and traveler’s diarrhea. It is inexpensive, safe and easily absorbed. You can also crush it and put it in nasal sprays fir sinus infections. It is available online.


1 to 2 tablets, 3 times daily


Garlic is one of the best antibacterials available. Make sure to crush it first and then let it sit at least 5 minutes, in order to allow the maximum amount of allicin (the boilogically active component of garlic) to be produced. This way it will have strong killing power for many types of bacteria. Garlic has shown strong activity against infections within an hour of taking it. In addition, garlic tinctures or elixirs are very good for upper respiratory tract infections. You want to be sure to use a product like Garlicin that has an allicin protential written on the bottle to make sure you get a strongly antibacterial product.


TINCTURE: 20 to 30 drops, 2 to 4 times daily

CAPSULES: Follow label directions.


(Eucalytptus globulus) oil Aside from being a strong antibacterial and having some antiviral activity eucalyptus oil is also a mast cell stabilizer, which makes it act kind of like an antihistamine to reduce inflammation and nasal discharge. Eucalyptus is time-honored, proven and one of the best remedies for treating colds and upper respiratory tract symptoms. To make a eucalyptus steam inhalation, pour hot water into a bowl and add 2 to 3 drops of eucalyptus oil. Place your head about 12 inches above the bowl and cover your head with a towel, forming a tent. Keep your eyes shut and breathe deeply through your nose for 1 to 2 minutes. The best cough drop available is called fisherman’s Friend. It has eucalyptus oil, a little cayenne, slippery elm, licorice for expectoration and very little sugar. You can find it in grocery stores but not in health food stores. You should have it on hand during the cold and flu season because it is the most effective, scientificially proven cough drop on the market.


( Inula helenium) is a common harden herb that i often use for infections. It has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity. It is used in Chinese medicine as well as western hebalism. It is a warm and spicy herb that is especially good for the common cold. As an expectorant, it is used for coughs and bronchitis and has strong antibacterial effects angaist Staphylococcus aureus.


TINCTURE : 20 to 30 drops, 2 to 4 times daily

CAPSULES:  Follow label directions.


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