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What is Mono?
Mononucleosis, more commonly referred to as mono, is a viral disease, generally caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It is very common in teenagers, although many children and adults may have had mono as well, sometimes without being aware of it. The symptoms of this illness are similar to those from influenza, although mononucleosis generally lasts much longer. The disease is characterized by severe fatigue, sore throat, fever, headaches, aches, depression, and swollen glands. Although serious complications are rare, mono can last for weeks, even months. Both the liver and the spleen suffer from this disease. Herbs for mononucleosis can be used to help the body defend itself from the virus, quelling symptoms and improving recovery.
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There are a number of immune-boosting herbal remedies for mono. These herbs helps the body naturally fight off a viral infection, clearing and cleansing away harmful microbes.
- Echinacea is the primary herb used to treat infections. Drink echinacea tea regularly throughout the illness
- Goldenseal is also excellent, although it should not be used if pregnant, or for more than one week at a time
- Garlic has a strong anti-microbial effect on the body, fresh garlic being most effective
- Olive leaf extract is often recommended to treat mono
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Herbs to Treat Symptoms
The symptoms of mononucleosis can be severe—long-term fatigue, weakness, fevers, sore throats, and pain. Herbal remedies can bring relief with no adverse effects. Many of these herbs are ideal when blended together.
- Licorice will relieve sore throats, and nourish the adrenal glands; its sweet flavor is also perfect for children (those with high blood pressure should not take licorice)
- Marshmallow has a high mucilage content, and will soothe sore throats
- Boneset is good for aches and pain, and reducing fevers
- Peppermint will sooth nerves and tension and helps with fevers
- Vervain can be used to treat depression originating from mono
Try blending peppermint and boneset as a natural treatment for the aches and fever from the illness. Drink an herbal infusion two times a day when symptoms are at their worst. Infuse two teaspoons of the dried herbs with one cup of boiling water for ten minutes. A tea of marshmallow and licorice can be used in the same way to sooth a sore throat and inflammation. Add vervain to either one of these infusions to help relieve depression.
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Herbs for Recovery
Because mono is such a long-term illness, and relapses are common, it is very important to offer the body the tools it needs to return to a state of health. Try using herbal remedies for mono that will provide valuable nutrition and also liver support.
- Nettle leaf is an incredible source of vitamins and minerals necessary for recovery, drink an herbal tea regularly, or take a tincture in juice once a day
- Oatstraw is also an excellent source of nutrition, and an anti-depressant
- Dandelion provides nutrients, helps to cleanse the body of toxins, and supports the liver
- Milk thistle is good for liver support
Taking herbs for mononucleosis will not only bring relief, but they will enhance the overall well-being of the body. Their use can transform a serious, long-term illness into a less debilitating experience. Always consult a health care professional before using herbal remedies.
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"Infectious Mononucleosis." (WebMD) <webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/infectious-mononucleosis-topic-overview>.
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
Hoffmann, David. "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies." (Element Books, 1996).
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photo by: Nico Nelson (CC/flickr) <flickr.com/photos/33868550@N07/4270804499/>.
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