by Dr. Bill Rawls
Understanding which herbs to take for each coinfection can be a daunting task. Luckily, herbal therapy helps to make that process a whole lot easier. Watch as Dr. Bill Rawls discusses how plant chemicals, called phytochemicals, help our bodies respond to a variety of cellular stress factors, including a range of coinfection microbes.
Get our coinfection comparison charts and review your symptoms here.
Question: Should I take different herbs for each coinfection?
Tim Yarborough: From T.S., wondering about all these different coinfections you mentioned. Do you need to use different herbs for each coinfection, or does the herbal protocol you typically recommend help provide support for all of those?
Dr. Bill Rawls: Yeah. That’s a really great thing about herbs. They have so much cross-coverage, and you have to think about the fact that plants are producing antimicrobial substances to protect themselves, so when we take these things in our body, it protects us. So plants are constantly being invaded by all the ranges of bacteria, protozoa, yeast, viruses. So plants are producing, but the plant phytochemicals are selective, and it’s hundreds of them.
So antibiotic, we’ve got one synthetic chemical that’s hitting bacteria in a certain way. Plants, we’ve got hundreds of chemicals that are hitting bacteria and other microbes in a very selective way. So we’re not killing our normal flora, but we have a lot of range. So looking at those studies that I mentioned, taking just two herbs, Japanese knotweed and Chinese skullcap, they had great activity against Borrelia. They had great activity against Bartonella. They had great activity against Babesia. They had great activity against COVID.
So when you look at this range that any herb has, so some are a little better than others, and that’s why we use multiple herbs. Typically, in a protocol, I’ll add anywhere from three to five antimicrobial herbs. And it’s because you can think about it this way: Plants produce chemicals to solve problems. Plants are amazing chemists. They solve problems with chemistry. So they are producing phytochemicals to counteract stress factors in the environment, the natural environment, where the plant is.
So plants like in the Amazon, cat’s claw has lots of microbial stress. Then, it’s producing a widespread range of phytochemicals that affect certain kinds of microbes. You look at herbs like rhodiola, grows in Siberia. Not so much microbe stress there, but a lot of physical stress with a harsh environment. That herb is particularly good for helping us tolerate physical stresses. Pushing our bodies too hard.
So different herbs offer different spectrums of phytochemistry depending on what problems the plant is solving. And therefore, you do get a lot of range, but every herb, every plant on earth has antimicrobial properties. It has to because microbes are so prevalent in the environment. They would not be able to exist without it.