Coming down with a viral infection, like a cold or flu, can make life miserable. This winter saw serious epidemics of influenza – with three strains of the virus circulating at the same time – and gastroenteritis due to the norovirus or ‘winter vomiting bug’.
In addition, viruses are often responsible for all kinds of respiratory infections, such as sore throats, hard-to-shift coughs and pneumonia. Chronic viral infections can also lead to long-term fatigue, muscle pain and brain fog. Worse still, some strains of flu virus could even invade the brain and trigger Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases.1
Despite the government urging everybody ‘at risk’ to get the flu jab, it has become less and less effective in recent years.2 The latest vaccine is estimated to protect just one in 10 people against the H3N2 strain, known as ‘Aussie flu’.
In the swine flu scare, four years ago, the UK spent £424 million on the Tamiflu drug. But it did little to protect people and shortened symptoms by just one day – while Tamiflu’s side effects included nausea and vomiting, headaches, kidney damage, depression and suicidal thoughts.3
The only reliable defence against viral infections is a strong immune system. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sufficient sleep will go a long way towards keeping your immune system in peak condition. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can still succumb to a viral infection – and that’s when a remarkable and little-known plant extract could come to the rescue.
Takuna, from the specialist herbal company Nutramedix, is one of the many incredible natural medicines to come from the Amazon rainforest. It’s an extract from the bark of a tree called Cecropia strigosa. Native tribes in the jungles of Bolivia, Peru and other parts of tropical South America have traditionally used the Cecropia tree to treat respiratory infections, tummy upsets and various ailments.4
Researchers are just starting to explain and verify some of Cecropia’s uses in traditional medicine, in particular its ability to fight infections.
The Cecropia tree helps calm inflammation, fight infections and lower blood pressure
Indian tribes in the Amazon use Cecropia for its anti-inflammatory properties, typically for rheumatic, kidney and lung inflammations. In Brazil, it’s used for all types of respiratory complaints, such as bronchitis, coughs, whooping cough and pneumonia. In Cuba, Cecropia bark is used to reduce mucus, while the leaves are considered to relieve pain.5
These traditional uses have prompted research into the active ingredients and biological activity of Cecropia. Studies have revealed that extracts from these plants are rich in a wide variety of health-promoting compounds. Animal studies and human clinical trials suggest they may help lower high blood pressure, reduce high blood-sugar levels, open up the airways in the lungs and help prevent stomach ulcers by regulating acid secretion.6
The traditional use of Cecropia for relieving pain and inflammation has been validated in an animal study, carried out at the University of Guayaquil in Ecuador, using Nutramedix Takuna. The results showed Takuna compared well with a topical, anti-inflammatory gel containing the drug Feldene (piroxicam), in preventing inflammation.7 Takuna is certainly a lot safer than Feldene, which has been linked to increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Rapid relief from cold and flu symptoms
Takuna was formulated for Nutramedix by Dr. William Lee Cowden, a specialist in integrative medicine, who is best known for developing the Cowden protocol for the treatment of Lyme disease, using herbal extracts. In addition to the traditional use of Cecropia to treat viral illnesses, it’s been shown in laboratory tests to destroy strains of the human herpes virus.8 Dr. Cowden was so impressed by Cecropia strigosa’s antiviral properties that he was keen to develop Takuna as a natural treatment for acute and chronic viral infections.
Dr. Cowden recounts how, on the day that he received the first batch of the new extract, his young grandson was coming down with flu. The boy had a temperature of 40°C (104°F), nausea and vomiting, aching limbs and a sore throat.
Dr. Cowden gave him 15 drops of Takuna in a glass of water. Just 30 minutes later, his grandson toddled through into the living room and started playing with his toys. His temperature had dropped to 37.7°C (100°F) and his nausea, aches and sore throat had all disappeared!
Encouraged by this dramatic result, Dr. Cowden gave Takuna to several of his adult patients over the following weeks and found that it reduced or totally resolved cold and flu symptoms in around four to six hours.
Takuna was also found to be helpful in the fight against chronic viral infections, such as cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, HIV and viral hepatitis, meningitis and encephalitis. Practitioners report that Takuna can be effective against some bacterial and fungal infections, too.
Exactly how Takuna works to stop viruses in their tracks is still not fully understood, but it’s likely to have some actions in common with other plants having antiviral activity. These are known to include disruption of the virus’s protein envelope, preventing viral particles from getting inside cells, and stopping viruses from replicating.9
What to take for best results
The recommended dose of Nutramedix Takuna is 15 to 30 drops in a small glass of water (120ml / 4oz). After mixing, wait one minute before drinking. This dose should be taken twice daily as a preventive measure.
The same dose can be taken hourly for acute health challenges (such as the first symptoms of a cold), or as directed by your practitioner. The important thing is not to stop as soon as the symptoms subside, but to continue to take Takuna for a few days more, gradually spacing out the doses, to ensure the virus has been destroyed.
Contraindications: You should not take this product if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. If you’re taking prescription medication or are being treated for any health condition, you are advised to consult your doctor before starting Takuna.
Disclaimer: This article is part of the Agora Health's extensive research archive. The research and information contained in this article was accurate at the the time of publication but may have been updated since the date of publication. Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly The Journal of Natural Health Solutions issue in which this article appears.
Bear in mind the material provided in this content is for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Where can you find the products mentioned in this article?
We are aware that there's no information provided in the issue regarding where to purchase the products featured. This is intentional because government regulations don't allow us to provide you with this information. This means that readers will need to research the availability of these products for themselves at local health food stores or from online sources. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.