The Art and Science of Herbs


By Alan Inglis, MD

I love it when I can recommend an herbal product made with true high quality, high potency botanical extracts. That’s why the herbs in our proprietary formula are all in extract form.

I also get a kick out of the fact that a good friend some years ago commented that a lot of these herbs look they came right out of the kitchen cupboard. And to that I can only say “Exactly!”.  

First created thousands of years ago, botanical extracts are still a preferred medicinal preparation today.  Their advantages of extracts include the ability to preserve the active constituents in plants, their long shelf life and almost immediate effects.

Here’s a quick run down on the herbs we’ve put together to bolster the high potency vitamin and mineral formulation in Dr. Schnuffie’s Cold + Flu Remedy. Using herbs is both a science and an art. As you can see there is excellent science behind our artful selections.  

A multi-faceted herb with many years of traditional use. The Chinese have been using astragalus for thousands of years to strengthen the immune system. Studies show that this herb can reduce the frequency and duration of colds and the flu by boosting the immune system. "Astragalus has been found to have both antiviral and immune-enhancing properties," says Dr. Randy Horowitz,  medical director at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

Olive leaf from Olea europaea, the olive tree, is native to the Mediterranean world. It has been honored for its medicinal properties since ancient times. Olive leaf extract is anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, antimicrobial and antiviral.  As such, it exhibits in an extensive body of research literature a wide ranging anti-microbial effect. It slows the spread of viruses by actually stopping viral replication and can be useful in fighting both the flu and the common cold.

By all measures this common and popular cooking herb has been designed by nature to help take care of you when you come down a cold or the flu.  The prestigious and exceptionally rigorous German Commission E notes the excellence of thyme for “symptoms of bronchitis . . . catarrhs of the upper respiratory tracts . . . bronchoantispasmodic . . .expectorant . . antibacterial”.

In folk medicine, flowers from the black elder bush have been used to ease flu symptoms, cold and sinus problems for centuries. Elderberry may help treat cold and flu symptoms by reducing congestion and possibly making you sweat more. According to the prestigious, exceptionally rigorous German Commission E, elderberry is good for “COLDS”, period. Enough said.

Rosemary is known especially for its antioxidant properties. It therefore acts generally to protect cells against the oxidative stress of illness. According to the prestigious, exceptionally rigorous German Commission E, rosemary is also good for dyspepsia, or indigestion.

Ginger is highly respected for its ability to support digestion and especially quell nausea. Besides improving digestion, ginger’s principal action also contributes to its ability to battle inflammation, bacteria and viruses. Historically ginger has be used to treat a variety of ailments including bronchitis, colds, flu, headache, and sore throat.

Lemon Balm’s botanical name, Melissa, is Greek for “bee.” Lemon Balm has been cultivated in the Mediterranean region for around 2000 years. The great Greek healer Paracelsus called it the “elixir of life”. Noted mainly as a calmative and a gentle mood support, it is also used for relieving colds, flu and fevers and as an anti-viral agent.

Sarah W