Viral and Bacterial Involvement in Respiratory Infection - McDowell's Herbal Treatments


he whole question about viral and bacterial involvement in respiratory infection is one which has been skewed for a very long time as the medical profession had nothing but antibiotics to offer. Originally the justification was to give the antibiotics just in case a viral infection developed into bacterial one which is of course a possibility as the thickened mucus involved in a viral respiratory infection is an ideal breeding medium for bugs.

However after nearly 50 years of overuse of antibiotics in this manner we now have highly drug resistant strains of bacteria and the cracks in plan A are becoming obvious. Plan A being to give the dog an antibiotic to keep the 0wner feeling reassured that medical help was being given while waiting for the dogs own immunity to overcome the virus.

In fact of course it is the health of the immune system which is what is important. A dog with a healthy immunity will be able to deal with a viral infection quickly and easily and is also much less likely to develop a secondary bacterial infection.

My approach to treating Canine Flu Virus (and also Kennel Cough) is the same as for any respiratory infection.

I treat primarily the immune system and support the health of the other systems and tissues involved. I also encourage owners to allow the infection to run its course to some extent, as one of the immune systems responses hat of elevated temperature, is one of natures tools to destroy viruses. These fragile organisms are very temperature sensitive and are destroyed by elevated body temperature. (By the way they are also destroyed by camphor which saturates intra cellular fluids and kills viruses as they migrate from cell to cell.) There is a marketing opportunity here for camphor bags built into dog collars.

My herbal treatment programs reflect this multi directional approach as follows:

I include the following herbs extracted into an organic cider vinegar base as described on my website:

  • Fresh Garlic as a natural antibiotic and blood cleanser (high in iron and sulphur)
  • Elecampane as a lung tonic to improve the oxygen uptake efficiency in the respiratory system (assists the immunity in oxidation processes involved in fighting both viral and bacterial infection)
  • Fenugreek which is a powerful lymphatic system tonic and specific for the health of mucosal linings in the upper respiratory system (to support the health of mucus linings and help prevent secondary bacterial infection developing)
  • Marshmallow as a demulcent also for the health of mucus linings especially in the bronchiales and lungs.
  • Mullein is specific for irritated nasal passages.
  • Nettle as a high iron tonic to assist the immunity generally.
  • Maritime Pine to build up immunity at the deepest levels.
  • Yarrow as an astringent tonic, blood tonic and a support to red blood cell production.
  • Rosehips as the best upper level immunity tonic high in Iron, Vitamin C, Copper, Cobalt and as an adrenal and kidney tonic.
  • Kelp to provide trace element support to the immune system and;
  • Coltsfoot as a specific assistance to reduce a persistent cough.

These herbs are all extracted into vinegar which in its own right is an antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic and mucus membrane tonic.

All this sounds pretty complex but all the ingredients are safe and natural all work in harmony with your dogs own immunity to both deal with a current infection and to build up the immunity after brush with the flu to healthy levels essentially providing immunity against future infections.

Nowadays the secondary bacterial infections are now more drug resistant than ever before and that generally the modern dog has a much lower immunity generally in the 21st century than ever before, due mostly to human interference with its natural diet and lifestyle.

Sorry about the length of the explanation but Robert hates to miss any opportunity to get the whole (holistic) message across.

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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