Got a cold? Here are a handful of herbs and nutrients that may help you get on top of things again.
The cold and flu season is upon us, and most of us will catch at least one of these minor upper respiratory tract infections at some point over the next few months. If you do, here’s a handful of herbs and nutrients that may help relieve your symptoms or boost your immune health.
1. Andrographis for all round cold relief
Andrographis helps fight a wide variety of symptoms that are characteristic of the common cold, including runny nose, blocked sinuses, inflammation, mild fever and headaches.
It also has analgesic effects to relieve sore throats, including those related to mild tonsillitis and laryngitis, as well of those associated with colds and flu.
In summary, andrographis may help to reduce the severity, duration and frequency of symptoms of colds and other mild viral infections of the upper respiratory tract due to its supportive effects on immune function, and antiviral, anti-inflammatory and fever-reducing properties.
2. Echinacea supports immune health
Echinacea is well known for its immune-supporting properties. It also demonstrates anti-infective and antiviral activity, which may be beneficial when you’re fighting colds and flu or similar mild upper respiratory tract infections.
3. Honeysuckle clears heat
If a cold has you feeling all hot and bothered, you’ll be interested to know that in traditional Chinese medicine, honeysuckle is traditionally used to help clear heat from the body, especially when it’s present in the throat, head or lungs.
4. Olive leaf soothes fevers
The leaves of the same trees that produce olives and olive oil have a long history of use in Western herbal medicine, especially in Greece and other Mediterranean regions. Olive leaf extract may help to manage mild upper respiratory tract infections by reducing mild fevers.
5. Zinc and vitamin C support immune function
Both zinc and vitamin C play important roles in helping to maintain healthy immune function.
For some people, poor resistance to minor infections like colds may be a consequence of inadequate zinc intake.
The issue of low zinc levels primarily affects men, significant percentages of whom don’t consume recommended quantities of zinc in their diets. For example, 37-39% of Australian men aged 19-50 consume inadequate amounts of zinc, as do more than half those in older age groups.
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