Coxsackie virus belongs to the family of viruses that originate in the human digestive tract and include both polio and hepatitis A. The virus is contagious and is most often found among children. It is spread from surface to surface by touching. It most commonly causes sore throats, and symptoms will go away without treatment. However, in some cases Coxsackie virus may be more serious, and treatment with herbal remedies may be helpful in relieving symptoms and speeding recovery. Herbs can cause side effects, so consult your health practitioner before using unfamiliar products.
Coxsackie virus most often presents as a mild flu, possibly accompanied by a sore throat. Many children have no symptoms at all and are simply carriers. Sometimes the virus causes high fever, muscle pain, headaches and stomach upset. Milder symptoms can last for about three days and then disappear on their own. More serious forms of Coxsackie virus include hand, foot and mouth disease, where painful blisters appear on these body parts. Additionally, herpangina may develop, with blisters in the throat and upper palate. In rare cases, Coxsackie virus may cause viral meningitis, encephalitis and myocarditis, inflammations of the spinal cord, brain and heart.
Certain Ayurvedic herbal treatments may relieve the symptoms of sore throat during a bout of Coxsackie virus. An herbal mixture of cinnamon and honey soothes and acts as an antiseptic, according to Sebastian Pole in his book "Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice." He recommends boiling 1 g cinnamon stick in a cup of water for a few minutes. After it cools, remove the cinnamon stick, add honey to sweeten and drink three to four times daily. Another herb used in Ayurveda for sore throat is chamomile. Make chamomile tea with prepared tea bags and sip throughout the day to soothe the throat. Some people have an allergic reaction to chamomile in the form of hay fever-like symptoms. If you experience symptoms, stop using it and consult a health practitioner.
Licorice root is used as a treatment for sore throat. It possesses the property of being able to make mucilage, a thin film of mucous that forms, coating the throat, esophagus and digestive tract. Make tea with prepared tea bags and sip throughout the day for pain relief. Do not use licorice root if you have high blood pressure unless under the supervision of a health practitioner.
Garlic is well known for its antibiotic and antiviral properties and makes a soothing tea that not only relieves the pain of a sore throat but may kill the virus, speeding recovery. You can take dried garlic in capsules, though you may have difficulties swallowing them with a sore throat. Children may also have problems swallowing capsules. Make an herbal tea by boiling a 2 to 3 cloves of fresh garlic in 2 cups water for 10 minutes. Allow it to stand another 10 minutes and then remove the garlic. After the tea cools, add honey to sweeten and sip when needed for pain relief. Garlic can thin the blood, so consult your health practitioner if you take blood-thinners before using garlic medicinally.
If you or your child experiences more serious forms of Coxsackie virus, do not self treat. Consult an herbalist or health practitioner experienced in the treatment of the disease. If you suspect meningitis, encephalitis or myocarditis, seek medical attention immediately.
- "Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments"; Andrew Chevallier; 2000
- “Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice”; Sebastian Pole: 2006
- Kids Health: Coxsackie Virus Infections
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Garlic