A respiratory infection protocol – 4 Steps to a Quick Recovery

with The Herbal Clinic

A viral respiratory infection is rarely welcomed, particularly at this time when a certain infamous variety is at the forefront of many people’s minds.

The human body is well adapted to bringing back balance and throwing off unwanted pathogens. We have a host of ingenious mechanisms at hand to restore health. All we need to do is to support the body’s defence mechanisms rather than work against them.

This is how we can ensure the most effective immune response, viral removal and speedy recovery.

Planning ahead with an infection protocol allows peace of mind and, in the case of infections, you are already prepared at a time when what you need to be doing is resting not stressing. 

1. Prevention

Taking care of yourself is the number one factor for everybody. Take an honest look at your health status.

Most have one or two areas that could really do with some attention; signs that this is the case include low energy levels, addictions/cravings, anxiety/depression or persistent low-grade health conditions.

Now is a great time to address these. It is often easier to carry on in the groove already cut, but with the world in upheaval why not take the time to find a new track?


  • Address individual imbalances/health concerns.
  • Ensure levels of Vitamins D and C are adequate.
  • Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.
  • Go to bed early – sleep from 10pm when possible as this particularly boosts the immune function.
  • Try making some of the ‘Anti-plague’ recipes from our website.

A Note on Gut Bacteria

In a 2019 study, researchers discovered that healthy gut bacteria send an early warning signal to keeps cells that line the lungs prepared, preventing the flu virus from replicating effectively1.

There was a delayed response from the immune system in mice treated with antibiotics which meant that once the immune system did identify the threat, its response was much stronger, causing other problems.

– Vitamin D: Spend some time outdoors every day. Whenever possible generate some heat in the body with exercise and roll up your sleeves! Vitamin D is produced via exposed skin, even on a cloudy day.

– Vitamin C: Foods high in vitamin C include kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts (steamed or in a soup, rather than boiled – vitamin C is lost in discarding boiling water) yellow peppers, lemons and strawberries.

2. Early Actions

Take action at the very first sign of a respiratory infection – eg. sore throat, fatigue, mucus production. This can often be enough to prevent further symptoms from developing.



  • Rest and sleep – have an early night.
  • Hydrate – drink plenty of warm water and herbal teas. Caffeine is not recommended.
  • Hot mustard foot baths and herbal teas to stimulate the circulation and immune system. One effective combination is equal parts of grated ginger combined with cinnamon (broken quills), cloves (whole), coriander (whole seed), turmeric and honey.
  • Eat only if you are hungry.

3. In Full Swing

Sometimes it is inevitable that a virus will replicate sufficiently to initiate a full immune response with uncomfortable symptoms of cough, fever, aching limbs and fatigue. This response has some surprising beneficial effects, giving the body a deep clean and allowing toxins to be released that may have been held for years. Research suggests that a fever increases our resilience to cancer, possibly by stimulating specific cancer fighting immune cells.

This is the time to settle down and support the body in its efforts to bring back balance.


  • Support, don’t suppress a fever – fever is the body’s way of killing pathogens and activating the immune response. Keep a thermometer in the house and if the fever is significant (above 38ºC) monitor regularly – every hour or two. Usually body temperature will NOT need reducing with aspirin or ibuprofen. Doing so can impair the body’s natural response. Follow the signals from the body: If you feel chilled, wrap up warmly – this will enable the temper-ature to rise effectively. If the temperature rises above 40ºC or continues for longer than a 24-hour period then take action to cool the body. Place cool flannels on the wrists, forehead and ankles, replacing regularly. Drink teas made from a combination of yarrow, limeflower and peppermint; these help to open the pores and encourage sweating. Drink plenty of warm water. Try to use natural fibres such as cotton or wool wherever possible to allow the skin to breathe and the cooling process to occur.
  • Ask for help – Sometimes when you are unwell, it can be difficult to think clearly and know what to do for the best. Have a strategy clearly planned, healthy food and herbs to hand and a practitioner or someone with experience you can call if you need advice or assistance.
  • If any one symptom becomes prominent, choose herbal tinctures/teas to suit the condition. For example, for a dry cough, choose herbs to sooth inflamed tissues, relax the lung airways and encourage mucus production. For excess mucus, choose herbs that encourage it’s expectoration and reduce the production.

4. Recovery

Give yourself time to recover following a viral infection with plenty of rest and TLC. Don’t expect too much too soon.


  • Rest, hydrate, restore.
  • Eat soups, stews and easily digested vegetable meals. Chicken stock or miso-based soups allow nourishment at a deeper level.
  • Practice yoga/tai chi or gentle exercise to get the body moving once more.
  • Seek help or advice to clear any lingering symptoms.

We have experience in dealing with prevention, infection and recovery throughout the corona pandemic.

The Herbal Clinic, 32 King Edward Road, Swansea SA1 4LL 01792 474356


  1. Konrad C. Bradley et al. Microbiota-Driven Tonic Interferon Signals in Lung Stromal Cells Protect from Influenza Virus Infection. Cell reports, volume 28, issue 1, p245-256. July 02, 2019


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