If you’ve made it this long without catching the dreaded lurgy, don’t risk it-give your immune system a boost with these natural remedies.
Unless you sequester yourself away for the rest of winter, there’s a good chance you could come down with a cold. The recycled air at the office, the handrails on the bus, the 4,000 other people at The Ekka-they’re a breading ground for germs and nasties that could get the better of you.
So we’ve done our research and found the best cold and flu prevention remedies so you won’t lose your winning streak against the lurgy this winter.
Echinacea: The wonder drug of the natural remedies, numerous studies have shown that Echinacea contains active substances that boost the immune system, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation. Echinacea is particularly effective in fighting flu and cold viruses, when taken at the first sign of a cold or flu bug by reducing the length and severity of the cold.
Liquid Elderberry extract: Sold at chemists as Sambucol, liquid elderberry extract fights flu directly. Studies have shown that taking it immediately after the first flu symptoms appear will significantly reduce the length and severity of the flu. The compounds in the extract boost the immune system and stop the flu virus from sticking to cells so it is removed from your body faster.
Zinc: A number of studies have found that zinc helps reduce the duration of cold symptoms, especially if people take it within 24 hours after the appearance of cold symptoms. Zinc also reduces the severity of symptoms and decreases the duration of symptoms by three to four days.
Garlic: Perhaps one of the best known natural remedies for the common cold, taking garlic-either fresh chopped garlic or in pill form-can cut the length and severity of a cold in half. The cold-fighting compound in garlic is thought to be allicin, which has demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties. Garlic is also useful for lowering blood glucose levels by increasing the release of insulin into the blood.
Ginseng: Is one of the oldest cold and flu remedies, but new studies have shown that American ginseng contains over thirty different compounds that increase white blood cells and interleukins-proteins the immune system relies on to fight off a cold. Take ginseng when symptoms first appear to reduce the length and severity of a cold.
Unlike over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, natural remedies can be taken year-round, so if you start taking a couple of these supplements now, you’ll give your immune the boost it needs to fight off the germs and nasties you may encounter while you’re out and about.