I've heard and seen a lot of reports in the media recently about the emergence of 'super-bugs' and the fact that over-prescribing antibiotics has contributed to the emergence of these antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Scientists agree, that one of the contributing problems is that antibiotics, effective only against bacterial infections are also often being given for diseases caused by viruses. Not only will the antibiotics not be effective against the viral infection, they will also compromise healthy bacteria in our bodies and contribute to mutations in disease-causing bacteria making them resistant to the antibiotics currently available to us.
Fortunately, Chinese herbal medicine has a great track record of dealing with viral infections and has a wide variety of medicinals at its disposal for these conditions. In this tradition, viral infections are classified as 'heat toxins' and herbs to treat viruses are said to 'clear heat and toxins'. In his book Chinese Herbal Patent Medicines, Jake Paul Fratkin, OMD explains it this way:
The concept of heat toxins is as old as the history of Chinese medicine. Originally used to describe a group of symptoms due to a specific etiology, we know from modern clinical application that heat toxins often refer to pathogenic viruses. The numerous herbs chosen to combat viruses ... are remarkably effective and unique to Chinese herbal medicine. Besides treating viruses, many heat toxin herbs also destroy or neutralize bacterial microbes.
Western medicine doctors are quick to prescribe antibiotics for viral infections because they lack awareness of effective alternatives. Chinese herbs for viruses, ...can significantly control mild and serious viral infections. ...
[These] herbal products deal with viral infections and heat toxins in the blood, lymphatic system and liver. This includes pediatric diseases (chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, roseola), hepatitis, herpes simplex and herpes zoster (shingles). They are also effective for viral infections causing tonsillitis, cough, and flu. (p. 80)
If you know that your health problem is related to a virus, consider trying Chinese herbal medicine.