4 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

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Natural Remedies for the Common ColdThis time of year is cold and flu season. It seems that this health problem affects everyone from time to time. The common cold and flu are causes by viruses which are passed from person to person by respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing or touching your mouth or nose after touching a surface containing the virus.

Most viruses that cause the flu or a cold can be managed quite well without too much of a worry. However, the virus can cause serious harm in older people, very young people or individuals who have a compromised immune system.

There are a few natural remedies that can help when you have these kinds of viruses—here are the four best natural remedies which can prevent the flu.

Green Tea

Green tea contains important chemicals called catechins which are beneficial for the stimulation of the immune response necessary to fight and destroy foreign invaders like viruses. Green tea is also very good to help ward off viruses from the upper respiratory tract.

During the cold and flu season, I recommend drinking at least three to four cups of green tea per day. The antioxidants in the green tea will help protect your cells from the inflammation caused from the viruses and help maintain cellular function.

Echinacea

Echinacea is an herbal remedy commonly used to treat the common cold and flu viruses. The herb works by stimulating various aspects of the immune response, more specifically, white blood cell activity. Echinacea mobilizes white blood cells and increases their production and activity.

I recommend taking the two forms of echinacea which are the angustifolia and purpurea varieties. The recommended dosage is 300-500 mg of echinacea extract taken daily.

Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is a yellow-orange pigment found in vegetables and various fruits. It has a strong potential to stimulate the immune system and act as an antioxidant. Much like other nutrients, beta-carotene can increase the white blood cell number and function enabling your immune system the enhanced capability to fight off viruses and prevent the cold.

I recommend taking 200,000-300,000 IU per day with food to prevent the cold.

Selenium

This important trace mineral influences the immune system by improving the function of the thymus gland which produces T-lymphocytes and improve white blood cell numbers and function. Selenium, more importantly, is a pivotal nutrient in the formation of a chemical known as glutathione. Glutathione is a very powerful intracellular antioxidant contained within various immune cells throughout your body. Glutathione is essential for destroying viruses that can take up residence inside the cells of your body.

The recommended dosage for selenium is 200 IU per day with food.

Source(s) for Today’s Article:
“Common cold,” Mayo Clinic web site;http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-cold/DS00056,last accessed November 4, 2013
Murray, M.,et al.,The Encyclopedia of Naturopathic Medicine(Prima Publishing, 1998): 145-161.


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Dr. K.J. McLaughlin, BPE, CSCS, MASc. DC

About the Author, Browse K.J.'s Articles

Dr. K.J.McLaughlin is a chiropractor with 27 years of clinical experience. In addition, he has degrees in physical education, nutrition and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with an interest in anti-aging medicine. He has also spent time studying health promotion and the effect that health education has upon health outcomes. Dr. McLaughlin has a diverse professional background which has involved clinical management, teaching, health promotion and health coaching and brings a unique passion to his work. Email: kj@doctorshealthpress.com