The winter vomiting bug is a name given to seasonal outbreaks of a Norovirus – the same agent for gastroenteritis and sundry digestive system upsets. It presents with stomach pain/cramping, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting with ancillary symptoms of elevated temperature, dehydration and fatigue. It is highly-contagious. Incubation is on average 12-48 hours with the illness normally persisting for 1-3 days but it can with younger and older adults extend for 4-6 days. It is interesting that age can impact on symptoms too with diarrhoea more prevalent in adults and vomiting the prime symptom in children.
Garden treatments: The phytochemicals in elderberries have the ability to disarm viruses including norovirus and many garden grown anti-microbial herbs (oregano. rosemary, lavender, thyme) can also help to damage/destroy viral particles while immunostimulants such as astragalus, andrographis and Echinacea can get your white cell count up to an army.
Echinacea is renowned for fighting infections – it is full of an antibiotic phytochemical called echinacoside capable of destroying/limiting a broad range of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa but also viruses. Echinacea not only agitates the immune system into creating more t-cells (to fight off foreign bodies like viruses) it also boosts the ability of our macrophages to physically destroy and remove viral load from our system.
Thyme is a natural bactericidal and fungicidal but it is also antiviral – its phytochemicals actively killing microbes and triggers the formation of more white blood cells. Oregano acts in a similar way.
Dehydration is an issue so drink plenty of fluids – You could start by having a cup of tea – an amino acid vital to optimal immune system functioning known as L-theanine is abundant in both black and green tea and tea drinkers according to Harvard studies tend to have up to 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood stream. Green tea not only stimulates the liver to secrete interferon but it contains many potent antioxidant compounds to neutralize free radicals that inhibit the healthy functioning of our immune system.