Supplements to Ward Off Colds

The hangdog doldrums of a cold challenge the best of us to find energy.

Under the weather? Can’t shake it? Recurrent colds or long convalescence signal that the immune system needs a boost.  Stress? Poor nutrition?  A conventional doctor might recommend aspirin or an antihistamine. Antibiotics can treat bacterial infections. There are supplements to strengthen your resilience and shorten the length of the cold if you do succumb. While children tend to get colds more often than adults do, if a cold in either young or old persons hangs on too long, it’s time for action.

Below are useful supplements and reminders of what to do to ward off a cold or hurry it to is end. Find Homeopathy Remedies for Colds, Coughs in another post.

Probiotic

            Take a recommended probiotic to boost your immune system. Echinacea (below) is a natural version of same.

Elderberry Complex

Elderberry supplements are made from the fruit or flowers of elderberry plants, and are often used for colds or flu. Especially useful for upper respiratory tract infections, headaches, 

Elderberries contain natural substances called flavonoids. They seem to help reduce swelling, fight inflammation, and boost the immune system.

Studies have found that elderberry eases flu symptoms like fever, headachesore throatfatiguecough, and body aches. The benefits seem to be greatest when started within 24 to 48 hours after the symptoms begin. One study found that elderberry could cut the duration of flu symptoms by more than 50%.

A few studies have suggested that elderberry could help with bacterial sinusinfections or bronchitis.

Bio-Nutri makes Elderberry Complex, which you can order online. www.bionutri.co.uk

Vitamins

Certain vitamins, minerals, herbs and other substances help the body fight infections. 

There large huge amounts of Vitamin Cin Camu Camu, a powder extract of  Camu camu berries, which come from the Amazon rainforest and are promoted for their antioxidant power and purported anti-viral properties.A National Public Radio report quoted a researcher at Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research who said that every 100 grams of camu camu provides up to six grams of vitamin C, 100 times more than you would get in 100 grams of lemon. This is said to treat herpes and shingles, too. You can find it online

Vitamin Ddeficiency has been found to be the cause of an increase in acute respiratory illnesses. No matter where you live, there is less light in winter and less compulsion to go out: it is cold. Ask at the pharmacy for D3. This often comes in orange-flavoured drops.

Other useful vitamins which boost energy to reduce cold symptoms include the B complex and Zinc.

Echinacea Tincture: 

To prevent colds and viruses when you are feeling run down. This is an herb that stimulates the immune system. Taken at the first sign of a flu-like illness, it can help you fight off the illness. Sometimes you won’t even get the illness. It just goes away. In general, it should be easier for your body to defend itself if you take Echinacea. 

Adults: 1⁄2 dropper-ful 4 times a day.
Children: 1⁄4 dropper-ful, same frequency as above.

Goldenseal Tincture:
Also known as Hydrastis Tincture. For infections, especially with thick, coloured discharges (sinus, sore throats, etc.). This is especially good for sore throats. Does not taste good.You can try taking it in juice, honey or maple syrup, to make it more palatable.
Adults: 1⁄2 dropper-ful 3 times a day, or 4 times a day in severe cases.
Children older than age 2: 1⁄4 dropper-ful, same frequency as above.
CAUTION: Do not take Goldenseal/Hydrastis if you are pregnant or during the first month of breast- feeding.

You can combine Echinacea and Goldensealat the first sign of a cold. Take a dropper-ful of each keep in mouth for 5  minutes and swallow. Repeat every three hours – can continue for three days.

Congestion:Eucalyptus oil: put a few drops into a hot bath or in a bowl of boiled water over which you suspend towel- draped head. (close eyes!) Breathe in the steam. If you don’t have this, try Tiger Balm or Olbas Oil

Decongestant: Slippery Elm

Tisanes for Sore throat: 

Sage tea 

Lemon (fresh squeezed) in hot water

Ginger tea. Peel two inches of fresh ginger and put into two cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes until liquid reduces to one cup. Drink with a bit of honey.

Gargle with Tea Tree oil or Sea Salt, diluted in very warm water. 

Chicken broth, if not vegetarian

Additional help:

increase fluid intake, especially water. Aim for 10 glasses a day

scarf, silk or wool around the neck

Tigerbalm or Vicks vaporub on the chest.

If worried, have your thyroid function tested for hypothryoidism

keep moving. In fact, move a lot, to keep all the systems circulating. (unless you have a fever, in which case, bed rest)

wash hands often

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