Most of us will experience a cold this holiday season, and most of us will head for the drug store or the local supermarket to search out that perfect intoxicating elixir that will drown the entirety of our symptoms until the very common cold virus has left us completely. But cold medicines come with consequences – especially for people with diabetes or kidney disease, or even for those already taking some form of anti-inflammatory. Nature has a cure for most ailments, and they should be explored before money and health are spent on chemical symptom blockers.
Vitamin C – There has been much evidence over the years that our grandmothers were right when they forced gallons of orange juice down us as children while suffering from colds and flus. Fluids are necessary during those illnesses that frequently attack us during the winter, but orange juice provides a particular boost to our system. Some experts have begun to debate its usefulness, but years of urging grandmothers cannot be wrong. Their advice generally proves more relevant than anyone else selling us information on matters of health, wisdom and living well.
Garlic – It won’t do you any good to go to the doctor for an antibiotic during cold season, as colds are viral and not bacterial infections. Save the antibiotics for a time when your body truly needs it, and invest in about 3 solid, fresh cloves of garlic or the appropriate amount of garlic supplements each day that you suffer from a cold. From the moment you begin to suspect the symptoms of the virus coming on, start popping garlic. It has long been noted and proven as one of nature’s most effective anti-viral treatments. Use it often.
Zinc – Most cold treatments carried by supermarkets and pharmacies that have the title “natural” in them use zinc as a major ingredient. This is because zinc is also a great immune booster, and begins to work effectively right away. Beware of taking too much too often though. It should be used only during the actual cold attack.
Elderberry – This is one of the least talked about, but undoubtedly one of the most effective immune boosters that can be taken on a regular basis. Paired with its more commonly known Echinacea, this herb can be taken in capsule, tea or tincture form, and it is sure to offer support to your already embattled immune system. Both of these wonderful herbs can be taken together at the beginning of cold and flu season. Start fighting colds before they can fight you.
Many health food and grocery stores (even small and privately owned ones) carry herbal teas with these ingredients. Always check to make certain that any of the properties in the herbal supplements or vitamins do not interact with any over-the-counter or prescription medications you already take. You can quickly obtain these warnings and excellent advice from your pharmacist. They are the experts at such topics, and will always respond faster than your busy general practitioner.
Surviving cold season without downing a bottle of phenylpropanolamine (a common cough syrup ingredient linked to stroke and coma) could make you feel better than you have felt in years.