Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference: cold symptoms tend to build up slowly over a number days while flu symptoms come on very quickly with greater intensity.
Colds and flu are both viral in origin, and while colds and flu have a lot in common, their symptom pictures can be quite different.
Major differences between colds and flu can include:
[table]Signs & symptoms, Cold, Flu
Fever, Occasional, Often above 38.5 C for 2-4 days
Aches/pains, Slight, Often severe
Fatigue/weakness, Mild, Can last 2-3 weeks
Stuffy nose, Common, Occasional
Sore throat, Common, Occasional
Cough, Hacking, Can be severe[/table]
Treating the symptoms of colds and flu
There are a number of herbal medicines, nutritional supplements and healthy lifestyle choices that can help make you feel better sooner.
Treating symptoms as soon as they appear helps to decrease the severity of symptoms and speeds recovery.
Andrographis – an antiviral for colds & flu
Andrographis has a long traditional use in the treatment of uncomplicated colds, flu and other upper respiratory tract infections (URTI’s). Andrographis is fast acting with powerful antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties and helps stimulate the immune system.
Elder flower to reduce fever
Elder flower has traditionally been used to reduce fevers and decrease mucous production and congestion. Elder flower contains quercetin and rutin, powerful bioflavonoids for anti-inflammatory support.
Olive leaf is important for immune health and contains broad spectrum antimicrobial activity, effective against viruses and bacteria, and is very effective at lowering fevers associated with colds and flu.
Golden seal helps mucous membranes
Golden seal has traditionally been used to restore and maintain the mucous membranes of the respiratory system and provides powerful antimicrobial support. Golden seal relieves the symptoms of mucous membrane irritation and helps to dry up and clear mucous congestion.
Zinc assists in the management of URTI’ and provides relief from the symptoms of colds as well as reducing their severity. Zinc is an essential trace element that plays an important role in the immune response.
Vitamin C – helps you recover from colds and flu
Vitamin C enhances and balances the immune system and is beneficial for the relief of cold and flu symptoms. Regular intake of vitamin C helps to reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms.
Vitamin D3 – extra important in winter
Adequate levels of vitamin D are necessary for a healthy immune system and to enhance the activity and response of white blood cells during an infection. A significant number of Australians are deficient in vitamin D due to inadequate sun exposure, particularly during the winter months.
Lifestyle choices to help you get better
- Sip warm, purified water with fresh lemon and Manuka honey
- Eat Chicken soup
- Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables including garlic and onions
- Reduce simple sugars and refined foods
- Bed rest and sleep
- Drink plenty of water
- Get out into the sun to boost your vitamin D levels
Mr Vitamins recommends Herbs of Gold nutritional supplements for immunity boosting and colds and flu treatment:
Herbs of Gold Colds and Flu Strike
- Herbs of Gold Zinc Forte + C
- Herbs of Gold Vitamin D3 1000
- Herbiotic Golden Seal Complex