Date: Thu, 1 Sep 1994 10:11:43 -0400
Sender: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list <HERB.TREARN.BITNET>
From: "Carl Strohmenger (HSC)" <cstrohme.CO.MED.USF.EDU>
Subject: Epstein-Barr

Can anyone on the list help with an herbal treatment for Epstein-Barr? Recently, I learned that two of my friends have been diagnosed with this disease. They do not know each other, so I don't think we are dealing with a little cell of the disease, just with 2 isolated cases. They both are feeling very run-down, with no energy to do anything. Their doctors cannot tell them how long, or if, a cure will result.

Any suggestions?


>Can anyone on the list help with an herbal treatment for Epstein-Barr?

Someone else said that the Doctors were of little help. They were right. For this, the Western Medical Priesthood is of little help as of yet. But if they listen, they might learn something. (please listen).

I presume your friends' symptoms are similar to mononucleosis. I had it really really bad! For me, Vitamin A supplements (25,000 units in a big SQUIBB multi-vitamin taken with food twice a day) were really really helpful. Also (but NOT at the same time) freshly squeezed lemon juice with all the pulp but no seeds in 1 glass of COLD Canada Dry Ginger Ale is amazingly helpful (the coldness and the Ginger Ale hide the sour taste and the ginger is good for a sore throat. Quest Vitamins (Vancouver, B.C.) herbal formula Q21 (contents by request) is very helpful, IMHO, for viral infections where you get that chilled feeling. Back in the years when I had mono and later when I had a relapse of what now can only be called EB syndrome (chills, fever, weakness, allergies, sleep problems, mouth sores, ear/nose/throat symptoms, headaches, aches&pains, fatigue and depression) the Q21 formula was not available. Too bad for me. I had to learn the hard way.

It is commonly said that you can't get mono twice. Yet my old doctor said he'd never seen any disease that you couldn't get twice. The typical recovery time is 1 month off work/school, half days for 2 or three months. They say it takes 2 years to recover fully. I think it is more like 7 years. YOU MUST NOT GET CHILLED, DEHYDRATED, OR FATIQUED, or else you will get a relapse. Rest and fluids and vitamins are VERY important. Shift work is a killer here, IMHO.

I found that whole-body roll-up dry saunas were very very helpul. This is an old amazing technique which can be dangerous if not properly done. I am told by an old experienced physiotherapist that this treatment is *so good* that it is even effective for relief from syphilis symptoms. Anyone know about this? I would not know anything about syphilis, but the roll-up treatments were extremely and immediately effective for me for mono.

Now I take daily Garlic, and Vitamin A, D, & E supplements with breakfast. I would recommend this to others. I have had no relapses in about 15 years.

My experience is a long story, but I have condensed my findings here. I sincerely hope it will help others.


>Can anyone on the list help with an herbal treatment for Epstein-Barr?

A friend of mine's son and older daughter simultaneously came down with mononucleosis when they were 16 and 13 respectively. After recovery from that, they had a recurrence which was identified as Epstein-Barr by their pediatrician (apparently the same virus is active in both cases). The pediatrician's recommendation was to treat them with Echinacea (for its immune system boosting and anti-biotic properties) and garlic (anti-viral) as she knew of no allopathic treatment for it. The son, now 18, has tested free of the virus. Although the daughter (15) still has the virus, her symptoms appear to be under control.


>A friend of mine's son and older daughter simultaneously came down with mononucleosis when they were 16 and 13 respectively.

I'm no doctor, but I had this *really* bad at the age of 21. I had a recurrence several *years* later. (First in Edmonton, once in Vancouver). They say you can't get mono twice -- but my old doctor who has seen a lot says he's never seen ANY disease that you can't get twice!

I'll tell you what helped me a lot. First there are some rules:

  1. Don't get tired. Work/school half days for the first several months, or as you can without relapsing. This time varies tremendously between patients from almost nothing to several months to most of a year.
  2. Don't get cold (like all sweaty and then catch a chill in the cold air). In this case, the symptoms of EB can be brought back, just as a chill precipitates a flareup of malaria for those with that disease. This is about the WORST thing you could do for EB.
  3. Don't get dehydrated at all! Room-temp Water. Diluted fruit juice. Watch out here, because TOO MUCH citric acid will make the mouth and throat sore. I read recently of some research where too much orange juice had some interesting side effects.
  4. Don't *just* lie around. The lymph fluid in the body has no pumping system except for the muscles, and the lymph system is the one attacked by EB. GENTLE EXERCISE! moving all muscles but never to the point of pain or exhaustion until you have recovered. Without this gentle exercise, you will get muscle cramps, and especially in the back. But then again, you may cramp up anyway.
  5. Don't allow yourself to get depressed, it's VERY easy to do with this disease beacuse it symptomatically resembles CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and recovery is often so slow in some people.
  6. Cut way down on Coffee and cut out all white sugar.

These things are all good. Now what to do positively:

  1. Drink the juice of 1 whole small lemon each day. You must keep all of the pulp and remove all of the seeds. The lemon juice MUST be fresh squeezed. If it's an hour old, squeeze some more. In order to drink the lemon juice, hide it inside a cool glass of Canada Dry Ginger Ale. It does a good job of
    hiding the sourness, the Ginger is thought to be good for the throat, stomach, intestines and immune system, besides relieving nausea. Let the sugar in the Ginger Ale be the only white sugar you use. Incidentally, Canada Dry is the very best Ginger Ale in the world, IMHO. (Roll the lemons on a hard surface BEFORE squeezing them. I like an ordinary glass lemon-squeezer.)
  2. With breakfast, take a good multivitamin pill with plenty of Vitamin A in it. As an alternative, there are fish-oil and other capsules. I feel this is better (quicker) than getting it from beta-carotene, which stresses the liver to produce the vitamin A anyway. I know it helped me way more than vegetables! Besides, when you have a really sore throat and EB, you can't swallow or digest foods as well. Eat all the green leafy vegetables that you're supposed to eat. Cut down on meat, and make any meat that you eat WELL cooked and chewed extremely well. The last thing you need is undigested meat protein getting all the way to the large intestine.
  3. Sweating really really helps. I found the dry saunas and the steam rooms to be priceless. But -- do your best to avoid getting chilled afterward (lots of time to get dry and gently re-stabilize to room temperature). DON'T DO THE SCANDINAVIAN TRICK OF RUNNING OUT FROM THE SAUNA INTO THE SNOW OR COLD WATER. Cool off gradually and avoid any chill. If you can feel the chill, it's too quick. (That snow trick doesn't *make* you healthy, it just *proves* you're healthy if you can do it.)
  4. Along with #3, keep your body clean. The skin breathes out toxins.
  5. For exercise, try walking as much as you can without getting tired, chilled, or dehydrated. Nothing strenous for the first several months.
  6. In adults, one aspirin a day can do wonders to that little chilled feverish feeling you get (like the chills across the shoulders and down the back).
  7. IF YOU GET SORE THROATS, antibiotics help some people. I prefer the herbal remedies. Check out Golden Seal and QUEST VITAMINS formula Q21 (info on request). No, I don't work for them and I get NO kickbacks. This is just one heck of a good formula, IMHO. Covering the neck with Vick's Vapo Rub and wrapping it in a warm hand towel overnight is really really good for a sore throat that comes along with viruses.

Recovery from this disease takes time, and mistakes set you back. Take it from a guy who knows this disease first hand, and who has beaten it twice. You may find sore, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and under the arms and in the groin area for up to a year afterward.

These are all my opinions and what works for me and my family. We have learned these tricks down through the years and believe in them. Your mileage nay vary (YMMV), as they say.... If you have special problems, like diabetes, for instance, your instructions will obviously have to be modified to suit your special needs. I cannot speak for how the EB disease affects females during and after puberty, but there *must* be some special effect here on the menstrual cycle -- Obviously I have el zippo of personal experience in this case (my daughter was too young when she had EB).

Hope that helps. The intensity of this EB disease varies tremendously from person to person. In some cases it is barely noticed as a cold. In others, the kids swear that they are just about to die. Your throat can get sooo sore that you cannot talk, and even swallowing saliva is very painful. They used to prescribe aspirin for this, but they don't any more for kids because of Ryes Syndrome (sp?). I know the suffering. I was one of the latter really bad cases. My daughter was close to being one of the former (just a little worse than a bad cold). Of course, I was in my 20's and my daughter was only 10. I had EB last about the time she was born.