Vitamins and herbs

Mononucleosis can have some awful symptoms that can last for a long time. Because no cure is available, it can be even harder to endure the symptoms of fatigue, sore throat, fever, and muscle ache.

Natural remedies are a good way to help comfort yourself and to encourage your body to start fighting the mono illness. Remember to consult an herbalist or healer for advice before mixing your own remedies.

Here are a few ideas to help get you through those awful symptoms:

Herbal Supplements and Remedies

Cat's Claw: Cat's claw is a naturally appearing plant that is helpful in reducing swelling and pain. Its anti-inflammatory effects will help reduce your sore throat and fever. It will also help to reduce swelling of your spleen. Boil the bark of the cat's claw in lemon juice and drink two to three times a day.

Echinacea and Goldenseal: Both of these plants will help your body to fight the mono virus, as they contain potent antivirals. Take these for one week, then take a week off.

Marshmallow Root and Licorice Root: These roots are excellent for sore throats caused by mono. They have anti-inflammatory effects and can really reduce discomfort. Steep in boiling water for ten minutes to create a soothing tea.

Shiitake mushroom: This mushroom has been used for centuries to help boost the body's immune system. It will help your body produce antibodies more quickly, which will help you fight the symptoms of mono fast. Add this mushroom to some soup, or take some of the tincture orally.

Astragalus: Astragalus is thought to help increase your body's energy stores. Because mono can leave you feeling so tired, this plant can help to give your body the boost it needs to keep fighting. Boil this root and then brew it into a tea, or take one capsule per day.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin A: Vitamin A supplements will help your body to create and reproduce cells correctly, and will boost your immune system. This will encourage your body to form more antibodies to the mono virus, helping you to recover more quickly.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is known to help your body fight off colds. Taking a Vitamin C supplement will help to soothe your sore throat and quicken your overall recovery.

Vitamin C is also a water-soluble vitamin that is a powerful antioxidant. This vitamin strengthens the immune system and protects the body against free radical damage that can easily be caused by mononucleosis.

It helps to hydrate the body, repair damaged tissues, increase collagen production and accelerate healing. Teens and adults should have the daily recommended dosage of 1,000 mg of vitamin C. The foods that are rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits, pineapples, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, and blackberries

Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that helps the body to maintain its immune system. Taking zinc lozenges can help soothe your sore throat and give your body the energy it needs to fight the mono virus.

Vitamin B-12: Known as cobalamin, Vitamin B-12 is water-soluble. This powerhouse vitamin increases red blood cell production, improves nervous system function, strengthens the immune system and repairs damaged tissues.

Additionally, B-12 aids in the healing process, increases energy levels and lowers the risk of developing anemia. The recommended dosage for teens and adults is 2.4 mcg of vitamin B-12 every day.

By adding these foods to the diet, a person can help ensure an adequate supply of B-12 vitamins: rainbow trout, milk, plain yogurt, beef liver, top sirloin beef, white tuna, salmon, breakfast cereals (watch out for the sugar), eggs and roasted chicken.

The Sunshine Vitamin - D: The best place to get vitamin D, the Sunshine vitamin, is directly from the sun. However, this is not always possible, so it can be obtained through daily supplementation at 15 mcg for teens and adults.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and it is used by the body to regulate the immune system, soothe a sore throat, reduce fevers, repair damaged tissues, decrease inflammation and increase energy as it heals wounds.

Eat vitamin D in these foods: fortified orange juice, beef liver, ready-to-eat cereals, milk, tuna fish, salmon, fortified yogurt, sardines, eggs and Swiss cheese.

Vitamin E

Another fat-soluble antioxidant is vitamin E. Most people recognize vitamin E as a healing agent, and it is. It also improves immune system function and protects the body from infections, viruses, diseases and toxins.

It repairs damaged tissues, relieves a sore throat, decreases inflammation, reduces fevers and aids the healing process. If taking vitamin E in supplement form, the recommended daily dosage is 11 mg for teens and 15 mg for adults.

Foods to eat that will supply vitamin E to the body include wheat germ oil, peanut butter, corn oil, hazelnuts, sunflower oil, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, mangoes and kiwi.

Incorporating the appropriate vitamins into the diet not only helps with the recovery from mononucleosis, it also builds the body up to be able to resist infections in the future.

Eat a healthy diet

It is possible to treat mono-related symptoms via non-medicinal routes and through overall care of the body.

•- Stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water or vegetable juice per day. Avoid coffee and alcohol, dehydrating foods such as potato chips, and tobacco.

•- Even though the predominant symptom of mononucleosis is extreme tiredness and excessive sleep, it's important to get some daily exercise - even if minimal - and some fresh air. However, if you have an swollen spleen or liver that is at risk for rupturing as a consequence of mono, avoid intense physical activity/exercise as well as contact sports until the condition passes

•- Since one side effect of mono is stiffness, be sure to stretch your joints and muscles daily, which will also help you sleep better at night and function better during the day

•- Although mono typically causes loss of appetite, it is imperative to keep your immune system as strong and healthy as possible through proper nutrition in order to fight off the infection.

•- Eat plenty of whole and antioxidant-rich foods, lean meats, tofu and beans, reduce trans-fatty acids, and use healthy cooking oils (olive oil or vegetable oil)

•- Avoid sugary foods which depress the body's immune system

•- Supplements should include daily recommended doses of vitamins A, B, C, D, and E

•- To prevent transmitting mono, avoid sharing eating utensils (cutlery, drinking glasses, straws, et cetera) with others

•- Wash hands frequently

•- Since stress makes the body vulnerable to infection, take affirmative steps to avoid stress during this time

•- To soothe sore/swollen throats frequently associated with mono, try gargling with warm salt water

Herbal Remedies for Mono

There are many herbs which strengthen the body's immune system, may reduce mono-related symptoms, and which may help prevent long-term complications related to EBV. One should always consult with a medical professional before using herbs since they can trigger side effects and interact with other medications.

Herbs to Strengthen the Immune System:

•- Echinacea root (Echinacea purpurea), available in capsules, teas, tinctures, and glycerites

•- Lemon Balm leaf, an antiviral herb thought to target the Herpesviridae virus family, of which EBV is a member. Lemon Balm herb is popular due to its lemon taste and is available in teas, tinctures, and glycerites

•- Olive Leaf extract (said to act as a natural antibiotic), available as a tea, powder, capsules, and liquid elixir

•- Ginseng to promote stamina and energy and to oxidize tissues. Available in convenient capsules and in tea and liquid forms

•- Green tea for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting effects

•- Chamomile tea before bed to help the body and mind relax and get a good night's sleep



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