Cold and flu remedies

Posted By on September 22, 2010

Now that cold and flu season is here this is a good time to stock up on some natural remedies. These can all be found in your local health food store.

First of all, the best thing to do is keep your immune system working well. This will help prevent catching something in the first place. There are herbs like echinacea and astragalus which can help immune function. Keeping lots of healthy flora in the gut can be highly beneficial. Also, studies have shown that taking 500 mg. of vitamin C a day can reduce your chances of catching something by 50%.

But if you do start to get sick, here are a few things you can do…

pelargonium sidoides (umcka)

pelargonium sidoides (umcka)

Umcka – This remedy is made from a plant which grows in South Africa. It has been popular in Europe for a number of years and is now sold in the United States. There have been clinical studies that show it can reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms including sinus and bronchial infections.

Oscillococcinum -This is a homeopathic remedy that can stop the flu bug in its tracks if you use it right away. Some people tell me it stops a cold also, but it is mostly intended for the flu. Even though the directions say to take a whole tube of little pellets at one time… the best way is to take a cap full of pellets every 20 minutes. Remember, you have to catch it early.

Immune Support – This is a liquid mineral formula with only small amounts of four minerals. Zinc and Selenium stop the virus from replicating, sulfur is for inflammation and silver is anti-microbial. I have had incredible results with this if I catch it in the early stages. I usually take a dose every hour for a few doses and it works like a charm.

Virastop – A formula with digestive enzymes which are specific for breaking down the protein coating on many microbes especially viruses… Which then makes it easier for your immune system to fight the virus.

Elderberry – This is an herb which has been shown to have anti-viral properties.  It is available in syrups and lozenges. There are many brands available in the health food stores which are all very good. (for more information, see Amanda’s article on Elderberry)

Wellness Formula – A formula that many people use both for prevention and during acute illness. This can keep your immune system up when used on a regular basis, and can even help you recover faster if you do get sick.

System Well – Another wellness formula with nutrients and herbs working on several systems of the body including cellular, circulatory, digestive, epidermal, lymphatic, respiratory and systemic. This can be used as maintenance or during illness.

Other natural remedies that have an antimicrobial effect are oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract and goldenseal, which are especially helpful for those stubborn bugs that just don’t seem to want to give up.

Also, Keeping your vitamin D levels up has a direct effect on your immune system. New research is showing us that many people have low vitamin D levels. According to some practitioners we need to take a minimum of 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day, especially in the winter. Many doctors have their patients take much more… ranging from 2,000 IU a day up to 10,000 IU… even more during illness. However, it might be a good idea to have your vitamin D levels checked by your health practitioner before taking large doses.

One other thing I would like to mention about the immune system is that when you eat sugar, it can depress your immune system for up to six hours. Stress and lack of sleep also have a negative effect on the immune system. So, like your mother always said… “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

There are many more remedies available at the health food stores both herbal and homeopathic. These are just a few of the more popular ones. I would suggest finding a store close to where you live and dropping in and browsing the immune system section. Talk to someone who works there to see what they like and ask if they have any suggestions. Remember, they cannot diagnose or prescribe, but they can help you choose a remedy.

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