Garlic & Onions
Garlic is the most studied herb for inhibition of infections, including tuberculosis. According to in vitro studies, garlic extract was able to inhibit the growth of M. tuberculosis, but high concentrations of the extract were needed which may be toxic to humans. According to an animal study, garlic oil (which is more concentrated than the extract) was also shown to inhibit M. tuberculosis, thus reducing TB lesions in the animals. Further studies are needed. Also, it is believed that the antibacterial compound in garlic, allicin, may enhance the action of antibiotics used to treat tuberculosis.
Onions belong to the same family as garlic, the Allium family, and have almost as much antibacterial action as garlic.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is used to strengthen and support the immune system in traditional Chinese medicine. One study provides evidence that Astragalus polysaccharides (APS) and astragalosides (AS) have strong promoting effects on the phagocytosis of M. tuberculosis.
Indian gooseberry has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is rich in vitamin C, an important nutrient needed to fight off infections. This herbal remedy can also be effective in treating tuberculosis symptoms, especially fatigue.
Other herbal remedies for tuberculosis include:
- Sweet coneflower - In vitro studies suggest the active components in this herb inhibits the growth of M. tuberculosis.
- Elecampane - Used by native American Indians to treat lung disorders like TB.
- Licorice - Used by the Chinese to treat TB.
- Eucalyptus - Used in Asia to treat TB.
- Honeysuckle - Honeysuckle has been used for hundreds of years in China to treat a number of respiratory problems, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, and bronchitis. It is very active against several bacteria, including M. tuberculosis.
- Forsythia - This herb, often combined with honeysuckle, has been used clinically to treat TB.
- American ginseng - Strengthens the lungs.
Echinancea - Boosts the immune system.
- Rhodiola - Supports the immune system.