Natural Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment

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Cold and flu season is upon us once again.  This year, instead of filling your body with chemicals that make you drowsy and useless at work and school, try some of these natural, time tested remedies.  They all have proven evidence of effective cold and flu prevention and treatment.
Elderberry has long been used as a folk remedy for colds, flu and respiratory infections. Studies have shown that elderberry extracts fight off viruses. There is also a compound in elderberry that researchers believe strengthen our immune system. Only use commercially produced elderberry extract as the fresh plant contains cyanide and can result in cyanide poisoning. Use elderberry extract as a natural cold remedy.

Ginger root or ginger tea. Another common folk cold remedy that has been around for a long time. This has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a cold remedy, especially a cold with runny nose and coughs, for ages.

Ginseng and Echinacea; Both of these are common home remedies for the cold and flu. Herbalists recommend taking Echinacea every two or three hours. North American ginseng is a common over the counter ingredient in cold medicines.

Honey is a common proven home remedy for treating coughs. It works by coating the irritated throat. Honey is also believed to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, with dark colored honey being more beneficial.

Vitamin C. We’ve all been told that we need to take vitamin C to prevent colds. A recent study however has shown that taking vitamin C did NOT reduce the incidence of colds, it did however slightly reduce the duration of the cold. This is a common cold remedy, take it if you’ve already got a cold.

Garlic, many cultures around the world have some natural cold remedy involving garlic. Whether eating raw garlic, soup with lots of garlic or garlic infused drinks. Compounds in garlic are believed to have antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Studies have shown that people who take garlic get colds less than half as often as people who do not, and those colds are recovered from very quickly.
Always research any cold and flu treatment before you start using it, and, if unsure, consult your doctor. 

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