Natural remedies to beat colds and flu effectively help to get rid of not only symptoms, but they also help accelerate the recovery. Even conventional doctors believe that treating colds at an early stage with the help of natural medicine is effective.
One more benefit of natural remedies is that they, unlike synthetic drugs, do not affect the organs of digestion and liver. In addition, as we know, it is much easier to prevent a disease than to treat it.
Therefore, in the cold period, when the body is weakened and less resistant to infection, it is necessary to take some preventive measures, as well as in large quantities to consume vegetables and fruits, complementing the diet with supplements of natural origin.
In this article, we will talk about the most popular and effective natural remedies for the prevention and treatment of colds.
Since time immemorial garlic has been known as an excellent natural remedy.
The unique properties of garlic are due primarily to a combination of organic substances with good therapeutic effect, as well as the content of a number of useful elements, such as oligosaccharides, arginine-rich proteins, selenium, and flavonoids.
Also, garlic is extremely rich in phytoncides – volatile substances that kill pathogens. Therefore, garlic also has a triple effect against infections, as it has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
It is believed that most of the therapeutic effect of garlic is due to its sulfur-containing compound – allicin, which gives garlic its distinctive odour.
Studies have shown that in the body allicin splits into its constituents, one of which is sulfenic acid. This acid reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound.
Although you can eat garlic to prevent colds on a regular basis, I recommend that you pay your attention to supplements.
They contain significantly higher doses of allicin, do not irritate your stomach, and do not have a garlic smell. Garlic 5000 Tablets contain 5,000 mcg of allicin. Just one tablet per day after a meal is capable of reducing the frequency of colds by 60-70%.
Zinc exists in the cells of all living organisms. This nutrient is essential for life. It plays an important role in tissue regeneration.
Zinc has antioxidant properties, and it also increases the resistance to infectious agents. This micro-element significantly reduces the ability of viruses to propagate or spread in the upper respiratory tract.
The most efficient form of zinc for this purpose is zinc acetate and zinc gluconate (although the latter is less effective).
According to the studies, taking large doses of zinc can shorten the cold period by almost half.
Scientists came to this conclusion having tested the ability of widely used medicine containing zinc to fight colds. It was also established that people who regularly consumed zinc with medication, food or supplements for 5 months or more, had colds very rarely.
Studies have shown that when you have the first signs of a cold daily intake of zinc acetate in doses that are seven times higher than that usually recommended, shortens the duration of the cold by 42%.
An adult person needs 10 – 15 mg zinc per day. However the need for it increases during strong physical exertion, mental overstrain, severe stress, and, of course, during respiratory diseases.
To provide our body with zinc, it is necessary to consume foods with a high content of this mineral.
The following products are rich in zinc:
- red meat
- chicken and beef liver
The maximum amount of zinc, several times higher than recommended daily dose, contains in oysters. In vegetable products zinc is contained in smaller quantities. However, it can be found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. 100 grams of these products give us from 30 to 70% of the daily norm of zinc.
To replenish the body’s need for zinc, you can also take supplements.
For example, Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Acetate Lozenges contains 18 mg of zinc acetate. These lozenges deliver positively charged zinc ions to your body, enhancing the immune support.
At the first symptoms of cold, it is recommended that you should take 1 lozenge every 2 hours but not more than 8 lozenges per day. The course of treatment should not exceed 3 consecutive days. When taking the lozenges you can’t chew them. This supplement was purpose designed in the form of lozenges so that they can be dissolved in your mouth, freeing up zinc ions and delivering them to your nose and throat, where the focus of infection is usually located.
You should be aware that taking zinc in large doses can prevent the absorption of copper into the intestinal wall. Therefore, you need to complement your course of treatment with 2-4 milligrams of copper per day.
Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. It is also proven that cod liver oil strengthens the immune system because it contains powerful antioxidants among which is vitamin A.
It is known that this vitamin is necessary for normal function of the liver, which is responsible for immunity. Vitamin A also improves the skin condition, which reacts to changes in weather conditions by losing moisture and peeling off.
Vitamin A normalizes the condition of mucous membranes, which are the first barriers of the body that prevent penetrating of viruses. Recommended daily intake of vitamin A during colds is approximately 15,000 IU.
Cod liver oil is also rich in vitamin D. Studies from Yale University showed that the concentration of vitamin D in the blood directly affects the degree of the body protection against infectious agents.
Artificial increase of its level in the blood by taking medications or supplements can also work as a strong prophylaxis and the therapy of already developed disease.
The received data confirm that in the cold season people should take vitamin D supplement in the amount of 1000-2000 IU per day.
Polyunsaturated fats (among which is omega-3 fatty acid), which are contained in cod liver oil, contribute to the production of prostaglandins. These substances increase immunity, help the body cope with infections, and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
You should balance omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, that’s why simultaneously with the intake of cod liver oil you need to consider including food rich in omega-6 in your diet, for example, liver and egg yolks.
Elderberry extract destroys influenza and herpes viruses. It stimulates the human immune system by increasing the production of protective substances.
For medical purposes, only blossoms and berries are used, after they had undergone a temperature treatment. As a home remedy, you can prepare tea, syrup or tincture out of elderberry.
An alternative is to use the ready-made supplements, which are guaranteed to contain the active ingredients in the exact dosage.
Medicines that contain elderberry extract have a diaphoretic effect, as well as a mild laxative and diuretic effect. This plant is rich in rutin, quercetin and other flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants.
Laboratory studies have shown that elderberry extract destroys influenza viruses, herpes and many forms of bacteria. The membrane of influenza viruses contains a protein called haemagglutinin.
The active substances of elderberry destroy this protein. Thus, the influenza viruses lose the ability to penetrate into the cells of the mucous membranes, multiply and cause the disease.
The elderberry is an effective remedy for a sore throat, fever, and cough caused by the flu. It can be prescribed for a cold caused by bacteria, in addition to antibiotics.
Elderberry extract is available in the form of lozenges, capsules, and syrup. It is recommended that you take elderberry extract in capsules or lozenges 2-3 times a day. If you prefer syrup the recommended dose is one tablespoon 3 times a day. The duration of the course of treatment is 3-4 days.
Glutathione is one of the most powerful natural remedies to fight free radicals. This antioxidant helps our body to alleviate the symptoms of the flu. Therefore, it is recommended that you include products with glutathione into the diet, so that the cold passed faster and without complications.
Glutathione also has a multifaceted therapeutic effect for breathing disorders. It is effective for simple colds and bronchial infections. This substance well complements the action of vitamin C, destroying mucus, and helps people with lung fibrosis.
One of the most effective medications with glutathione is Jarrow Reduced Glutathione. Each capsule contains 500 mg of glutathione. One capsule per day will help speed up recovery from cold and flu and also protect your upper respiratory tract.
Monolaurin is a truly unique chemical compound, which is formed during the breakdown of lauric acid in the human body.
Lauric acid is one of the components of breast milk. This acid is responsible for strengthening the immune system of babies. Besides breast milk, monolaurin is found in large amounts in coconut milk.
In addition to strengthening the immunity, medicines and supplements that contain this substance have a wide range of positive effects on the body – antiviral, antibacterial, parasiticide, antimicrobial, and antifungal.
The main principle of monolaurin’s action in the body is that it completely destructs certain types of viruses, microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and parasites by dissolving their protective lipids in the membrane.
In other words, after taking the medicine, harmful bacteria and other microorganisms become disabling and then they are naturally withdrawn from the body.
In this case, the substance does not affect the natural protective microflora; it detrimentally effects only pathogenic microorganisms.
This gives an indisputable advantage of monolaurin compared to antibiotics and other drugs with antibacterial spectrum.
Lauricidin is one of the most potent forms of monolaurin. This brand offers the best balance between cost and comfort of use. This medication is produced in the form of granules for daily intake within at least 3 months. It helps to significantly strengthen the immune system and overall wellness.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has become a popular remedy for the prevention and treatment of colds. Most of the medicines for colds and flu contain this particular vitamin as an auxiliary component.
According to a recent meta-analysis of 30 previously published studies conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration, a daily (200 mg or more) intake of vitamin C doesn’t help to stop colds or flu, but it helps to alleviate symptoms and shorten the duration of the disease.
But this does not mean that we don’t need vitamin C if the cold has already developed. During the illness ascorbic acid is consumed more quickly by the body, so it is necessary to regularly replenish its reserves. In addition, vitamin C creates an acidic environment in the body that viruses do not like.
It is best to use vitamin C for the cold and flu prevention. Thus, with a daily intake of vitamin C, the risk of colds is reduced by 50%. These results are especially relevant for people exposed to severe physical stress (for example, athletes), as well as long-term exposure to low ambient temperatures.
Experts believe that a healthy person needs 90 mg of ascorbic acid (for men) or 75 mg (for women) per day. Most of the vitamin C should come into the body with food, in particular, you should eat a sufficient amount of fresh fruits and vegetables.
During the period of illness, intake of vitamin C should be increased to at least 100 mg per day. Some experts even recommend super doses of 5-8 grams of vitamin C per day.
However, people with oxalate stones should restrict themselves from taking so much ascorbic acid since ascorbic acid can aggravate this condition.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that you need to consult your doctor before taking any medications. Adhere to the instructions of the drug manufacturers regarding the dosage and methods of taking, or follow the recommendations of your doctor.
The supplements described in this article are safe, but with the simultaneous taking of several supplements, you need to get a consultation with a specialist.
And remember, disease is easier to prevent than to cure, so stick to a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition and take supplements that help to prevent colds and flu.