Dear Stephen,
I would like to ask about any good anti-viral herb ‘specific’ against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). I live in a dangerous area in Switzerland for TBE and would like to have something at hand in case I or my little daughter (3 years old) gets infected with the virus. Would you know a herb that could also help prevention? My daughter will go weekly to forest playgroup for the whole year soon. This year is a tough year for ticks due to mild winter (I pulled 49 ticks this week from my cat!). She’s on bee products and astragalus. She caught lyme last year but she’s fine now. So far, these were herbs what I found: 1) Ledum, Motherwort and Black Currant Suggesting: aqueous extract (?) of ledum, motherwort and black currant (all kill TBE in vitro and improve health in infected mice in vivo); 2) Artemisinin Suggested a good antiviral (Flaviridae specific): artemisinin (dosage?); 3) Frozen garlic, echinacea, eleutherococcus, lomatium, cryptolepis (?) (my guesses); 4) TBE vacination? I’m afraid of this alternative that could compromise my daughter’s immune system… She reacts strongly to most vaccines. Thank you again for any precious hint.

Stephen’s response:
Astragalus is probably the best overall thing to take regularly to prevent infection and to minimize tissue damage if infection does occur. It is specific for this condition. Immune enhancers such as eleutherococcus are good as well though for a child I would use a 1:5 tincture NOT the herb pharm formulation made in Germany. Bee products are also exceptionally good for overall immune health in this situation. Again, the astragalus is the best thing overall for her to be taking. If infection does occur resveratrol (knotweed) is specific for the kind of brain inflammation that occurs during TBE infection. The other herbs suggested in the lyme book for lyme neurotoxins are also specific. The use of these herbs will help reduce brain impacts considerably. Direct antivirals: I would use lomatium and andrographis if active infection does occur. Hope this helps!
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