Herbal Cabinet Staples

Here are Nature’s Sunshine Products that I think everyone should have on hand. The earlier you can address an issue before a bacteria or virus gains traction – the better!

VS-C – Anti-viral

  • This herbal combination is a staple at our house. It is a gentle but potent anti-viral. VS-C is helpful for viruses for everything from the common cold, flu to HIV. My clients and my family use it for colds, flus, respiratory infections, molluscum, pink eye and ear infections. VS-C is a good option for kids and in addition to capsule form it comes in a sweet tasting liquid with kids dosing provided on the label.
  • It was developed by Dr Wenwie Xie MD for use against herpes simplex. Testing in the US confirmed its effectiveness but because the blend of ten herbs was unable to be translated into a synthetic drug, research was abandoned. Dr Xie was in the United States to assist while testing was going on and once research ended, he admired Nature’s Sunshine so much that he gifted them this formula for free. Dr Xie said that it works better with viruses which are more chronic in nature. He described this blend as bringing the body’s immune system into every cell so that it can hunt down and destroy the hiding viruses.

Garlic – broad-spectrum anti-microbial

  • Garlic is an anti-viral, antibiotic, and antiseptic. Helpful for colds, flus, respiratory infections, sinus, pink eye and ear infections.
  • The first medical textbook known to have discussed its use in medicine was the Collection of Commentaries on the Classic of the Materia Medica (Ben Cao Zhing Zhi Ju), written over 1,500 years ago. A PubMed study (PubMed is the official U.S. Government library of medical research), concluded that supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms. Garlic is a natural blood thinner so people on blood thinners should exercise caution and consult a Doctor before taking it.

Olive leaf extractpotent anti-viral with a strong anti-microbial punch!

  • For kids, reserve for more severe infections. Olive leaf’s primary role is as an anti-viral but it also functions as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and for centuries olives leaves have been used to stimulate the body’s immune system. Research suggests that olive leaf compounds enhance the body’s efforts to fight invading organisms via two different processes. Firstly, they appear to stimulate phagocytosis (the process in which leukocytes engulf and destroy pathogens and debris) and secondly by interfering with the ability of viruses and bacteria to replicate themselves and cause infection.
  • Laboratory studies have demonstrated that oleuropein (the most important constituent of olive leaves), hydroxytyrosol and other compounds found in olive leaves have been shown to be effective against a number of disease-causing microbes, including some viruses that cause influenza.

Echinacea/Goldenseal Combination –immune-stimulating herbal antibiotic

  • This powerful duo is immune stimulating (Echinacea) and infection fighting (Goldenseal). This should not be used for more than 10 days because of the goldenseal. Comes in both capsule and liquid form, with kids dosing provided on the label for the liquid form.
  • A PubMed study found that Echinacea at early onset of cold or flu symptoms was effective for relieving these symptoms. Goldenseal’s active medicinal compounds are the alkaloids berberine and hydrastine. Most of the research has been conducted on berberine, which has antibiotic, immune-system stimulating and anticancer properties. The alkaloids are responsible for the herb’s notably bitter taste.
  • Berberine in goldsenseal can lower blood sugar so if you or your child has low blood sugar take this with orange juice, watermelon etc and pay attention to the response. Eleven countries (but not the United States) now officially recognize berberine and hydrastine as medicine.

Chinese Lung support – works on infection and strengthens lungs

  • This is great during a respiratory infection and while it works on combating infection, it strengthens the lungs at the same time. Not only is it a decongestant and expectorant, it builds and oxygenates the lungs. By dilating bronchioles and increasing blood circulation, it helps restore deep breathing and strengthens the lungs. It enhances the function of the mucous membrane lining and the colon. I have had good success with this blend with clients – from kids to a 78 year old client, for whom it alone cleared up a stubborn cough that had been lingering for months.
  •  I believe this herb is partly the reason why my daughter who got RSV (a serious respiratory condition that can hospitalize babies) at 3 months old, her lungs were congested for 4 months after and she wheezed every day for over a year — and yet today she does not have any lung issues. Today my 5 year old doesn’t have allergies, asthma and respiratory infections don’t go deep when she gets them. While there is no way to be know for sure, I suspect that lung support had a large role to play in this. I never travel without it.

ALJ – for respiratory congestion, colds and seasonal allergies. Great for kids.

  • Available in a liquid, vegitabs, or capsules. For kids, I suggest the liquid.
  • This is one of the best all -round formulas for almost every type of respiratory problem.
  • Helpful for sinus problems and seasonal allergies.
  • Works when when combined with garlic for respiratory infections. [1]

Herbal CA (Calcium)  – mineralizing, supports body during fever

  • It contains many trace elements that  help the body utilize calcium.
  • Good for injuries such as broken bones,  damaged cartilage.
  • Helpful when healing from surgery.
  • Helpful for teeth grinding and tooth decay.
  • Helps enrich breast milk [2].

Golden salve – for skin irritations, infections and dry skin

  • Golden salve is a soothing ointment that moisturizes and smooths dry,  inflamed or chafed skin. It can be used on insect bites and stings, sores, wounds and hemorrhoids. Not recommended for deep wounds.
  • In addition to its antimicrobial properties, it promotes healing of the tissue.
  • It can be mixed with white oak bark to form suppositories for hemorrhoids. [3]

[1], [2] and [3] A Comprehensive Guide to Nature’s Sunshine Products by Steven Horne and Kimberly Balas.