Bacterial vs. Viral Infections – How Herbs Help to Defend and Fight Back!

Bacterial vs Viral Infections - Woman sneezing

Cold and flu season keeps us on our toes with the many different “bugs” being passed around: stomach flu, strep throat, sinus infections, common colds… it seems we’re always on watch for the latest sickness.

Many illnesses can be attributed to two types of microbes: viruses and bacteria, and it’s important to know what you’re dealing with, so you can treat and relieve symptoms effectively! Both can make us sick , but what’s the difference?


There are countless types of bacteria that live everywhere, and while some are helpful to our health and live with us in symbiosis (you’ve heard of probiotics, right?), “pathogenic bacteria” can cause illness and infection in humans.

Bacteria are single-celled organisms that can reproduce on their own. While they can enter the body, they don’t enter human cells. Bacterial infections are sometimes contagious and can be spread by contact with infected people or their bodily fluids, or picked up from contaminated water, food, and surfaces. They can also occur when natural bacterial populations in the body grow too large, given the right conditions.  

Some bacterial infections include:

  • strep throat
  • urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • sinus infection
  • ear infections
  • bacterial pneumonia

Bacterial infections range in severity and can be effectively treated through natural approaches – like specific herbs with antibacterial properties or treated with antibiotics in appropriate cases.


The common cold and flu are both viruses, that are even smaller than bacteria, but also come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. They don’t have a cell wall and rely on host cells (like ours!) to survive. Once they get into our cells, they can replicate.

Some viral infections include:

  • influenza (the flu)
  • common cold
  • chickenpox
  • viral pneumonia

Viruses are also contagious and can be easily transmitted the same ways bacteria can. They can also be harder to shake, as they can’t be treated by antibiotics and hide inside cells, which challenges the body’s immune response.

Throat Spray | Vapo Gorge

Fight back against Bacterial and Viral infections Naturally!

Even though many of the contagious bugs being passed around during cold and flu season are viral, secondary bacterial infections can easily arise. Weakened immunity from a cold or flu sets the stage for bacterial infections to set in, that can make themselves known with the appearance of uncomfortable symptoms, like a sore throat, or earache.

Herbs can provide a natural antimicrobial defense (meaning they can fight against both bacteria and/or viruses) – and can be used to encourage an immune response and target infections. The key is to act quickly – as soon as symptoms arise.*

Virafect®  Fever, chills and fatigue are all sure signs that a virus is setting in. This specially formulated viral fighter delivers a potent healing punch, supporting the body in combatting viral infections and helping shorten the duration of upper respiratory tract infections.

Andrographis is the principal active herbal ingredient with a long history of medicinal use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It is valued highly as one of the foremost immune-stimulants and infection fighters – and is blended with 4 other herbal ingredients that enhance its antimicrobial benefits, while also providing anti-inflammatory support.

EchinaSeal® Echinacea is a common herb people reach for when sickness strikes, but EchinaSeal® offers greater support with a complete, synergistic formula. If a tickle appears in the back of the throat, this tincture sets to work to bolster immunity with a proprietary blend of echinacea and fight bacteria with goldenseal – well known for its antibacterial benefits from an abundant alkaloid known as berberine that can help to shorten duration of colds and flu symptoms and secondary infections.

EchinaSeal® formula also features wild indigo, cayenne, propolis and a unique blend of both Echinacea angustifolia, and Echinacea purpurea that work together in synergy for maximum immune support.

Sinafect® inflammation in the sinus cavities from a cold or flu can lead to trapped bacteria, and an uncomfortable sinus infection. Sinafect® tincture – also with goldenseal – can help reduce symptoms of common cold and sinusitis with antihistamine, antibacterial, antiviral properties that can help reduce excess mucous and symptoms of upper respiratory inflammation.

Ear Oil Like sinuses, ears can become breeding grounds for bacteria when inflamed, and ear infections spike when cold & flu season rolls in. Ear Oil is a combination of 4 classic western therapeutic herbs macerated in extra virgin olive oil in a gentle formula that fights off bacterial and fungal ear infections while soothing inflammation in the ear canal.

Stop It Cold® Throat Spray Sore throats, whether from a nagging cough, or infection like strep can be a real pain! Stop It Cold® Throat Spray  can also help provide relief with analgesic propolis and sage, a perennial plant in the mint family with antibacterial properties and propolis, which offers immediate relief from dry, sore throats associated with colds, flu, or bacterial infections like tonsillitis.

Learn more about how herbs can help you to fight back against infection – whether viral or bacterial –  and nip them in the bud!

*discerning between viral and bacterial infections can be tricky (some symptoms are similar, and they can also occur together) and sometimes, require medical care. Be sure to consult with your medical practitioner if symptoms persist or become concerning to see if further treatment is required.

Be Proactive!

Prevention is key when it comes to all aspects of health, and it’s important to be proactive by balancing and strengthening your immune defenses daily with Deep Immune®.

This family of daily immune tonics contain adaptogenic herbs that balance and support bodily systems key to immunity, through the unique actions of adaptogenic herbs, in highly absorbable tinctures.

Deep Immune® can simply be taken twice daily in a little water, with formulas for everyone: Deep Immune Kids, and Deep Immune® Licorice-Free.

Learn more about how to proactively deepen your immunity.

Whether you’re up against a nasty virus, or secondary bacterial infection – herbal preparations can help you body to fight back fast and nip them in the bud!

Related Products

  • Virafect


    $21.99$119.95 Select options

    For treating viral infections related to cold & flu

  • Stop It Cold® (Throat Spray) - By St. Francis Herb Farm

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    $19.99 Add to cart

    For dry, sore throats

  • Sinafect


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    Treats acute and chronic sinusitis

  • EchinaSeal


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    Shortens duration of colds and flu

  • Ear Oil | Huile pour les oreilles

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    For relief of pain associated with ear infections

  • Deep Immune Licorice Free

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    Deep Immune® formula, but without licorice for those with hypertension

  • Deep Immune Kids

    Deep Immune® For Kids

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    A gentle version of Deep Immune® specially adapted to children

  • Deep Immune Alive Award Winner 2022

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