Herbs and Vitamins for Cold and Flu Season

It may seem a bit early to start worrying with cold and flu season, but the sooner you start boosting your immune system, the better. In fact it doesn’t hurt to keep your immune system up to par all year long.

The cold and flu virus can be spread from person to person by sneezing, coughing, and touch. If you touch someone’s hand that has a cold or flu and then touch your eyes or nose, you can get the cold or flu. These viruses can also live on hard surfaces like countertops, tables, doorknobs, etc. If you work in the public you should wash your hands as frequently as possible. If this is not an option, trying using disinfectant sprays at your desk or work area, and germ killers for your hands that don’t require the use of water.

Vitamin A is known to have antiviral properties but shouldn’t be taken in extremely high doses. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and is therefore stored in your fat cells for later use.

Vitamin C is a great immune system booster and people who take extra daily doses of vitamin C report getting over colds and flu much faster than without taking the vitamin. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin so your body will excrete what it doesn’t use and should be taken daily, year round, to restore your daily amount.

Echinacea has been used for many years as an immune booster. Native Americans would chew on the roots to treat many ailments, including colds and flu.
Echinacea has become one of the best selling herbal remedies on the market because of its ability to strengthen the immune system.

Garlic is good for the respiratory system and many people swear by it’s affects on colds and flu. It contains allicin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Onions offer the same benefits as garlic and both are very good for cooking and readily available at your local supermarket.

Ginger contains a lot of antiviral properties, can be helpful for coughs due to cold and flu, and may induce a mild sedative effect making rest easier.

Elderberry has been shown to prevent cold viruses from invading respiratory cells in studies done in other countries. The Israeli’s patented a drug with elderberry as its main active compound and had very good results during the first bout of cold and flu season.

Anise works as an expectorant to help loosen the phlegm associated with colds and flu. It may also have some antiviral properties as well. You can use crushed aniseed to make a tea.

Goldenseal has antiseptic and immune stimulating properties and may help activate the body’s white blood cells. Many people take goldenseal for respiratory ailments like asthma.

Licorice is an herb that shows up for many ailments so it’s no surprise that it can be used for colds and flu. It helps the body release its own antiviral fighters.

Many people make chicken soup for colds and flu. If you added garlic, onions, and plenty of okra you would have a delicious soup bound to make anyone feel better. If you can stand the spice try adding some red cayenne pepper as well. Red pepper is a great herb for a lot of ailments but can be especially helpful for colds and flu due to its ability to help unclog sinuses and mucous membranes.

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