Home Remedies For Colds And Influenza

By: The Naturopaths  05-Apr-2012

Colds and Influenza - Old Fashioned Remedies Work the Best

We have all had a cold, cough, sore throat or the flu on occasion and know how it feels. You ache, have stuffiness, a scratchy throat, you cough and may well have various other insufferable nasty cold or flu symptoms.

I find it most interesting that there has never been a medicine found yet to "cure" the common cold. We can land a guy on the moon, we have developed the atom bomb and can fly amazingly large aircraft around the world at great speed with an incredible safety record - yet we can't seem to "cure" people from colds or influenza. All we can do is create drugs to "relieve" the symptoms like cough, stuffiness and aches and pains. Then why not consider natural remedies?

Since no one really has time today to be sick, the pharmaceutical manufacturers promise us instant relief of our suffering. Scores of over-the-counter cold remedies compete for a slice of the multi-million dollar cold remedy industry, but no matter what you take, the symptoms of a cold won't just vanish immediately after you take a drug.

The thing with colds is that they are a collection of any one of 200 or more different viruses. And to "kill" a cold, you will need to accurately determine any one of the several hundred specific viruses implicated that may be causing your particular cold. As you can well imagine, this is just about impossible, and it can be extremely difficult to find a specific substance to universally destroy all cold viruses that doesn't cause major side-effects. So far, no one has managed to succeed to find that "magic silver bullet" to cure colds.

People have come to expect instant relief from cold symptoms, yet taking over the counter cold remedies may actually prolong a person's misery, in my opinion. I have found that the patients I see who are the sickest, are the ones who have a reliance on pharmacy (drug store) preparations every three to four hours. So, what do I recommend that an achy, snuffly, sneezy and generally miserable person should do for the common cold? My best advice follows:

Vitamin C - The Natural Antihistamine

Beef up your intake. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, and it can help counter the congestion, runny nose and watery eyes triggered by substances known as histamines induced by cold viruses. The highest concentration of Vitamin C in your body is in your adrenal glands, and this makes sense because the adrenals help you recover from stressful events. The hormone called cortisol requires plenty of Vitamin C for its production, and cortisol is critical in order to boost your immune system to the max. Poor cortisol levels which occurs in

, will result in a decrease in immune resistance and then you can fall prey much more easily to the common cold. Try one teaspoon of

powder each day, your immune system will really "beef" up. If you want to know a lot more about your immune system, check out


Many people take a mere 500mg daily of Vitamin C - waste of time. Try 2000 - 3000 daily and stand back, you will be pleasantly surprised at how resilient your immune system has become. Why take antihistamines that make you drowsy, when Vitamin C does so much much more?

Zinc Lozenges

Zinc is a very important co-factor for dozens of your body's metabolic processes, and especially when it comes to your immune system. Zinc is very important for the health of the body's mucosal surfaces, particularly the mouth, and recurring mouth ulcers may well result from poor zinc levels. Can't smell? - take zinc.

Drink Water - Lots

Drinking lots of water is especially important if you have a cold or the flu. Dehydration is very real, and please avoid drinks high in sugar, alcohol and caffeine. I recommend at least eight glasses of water if you have a cold which will hydrate your body, because your body will lose plenty of fluid in its virus-fighting metabolic process.

Herbal Teas

I recommend herbal teas (without caffeine) as a substitute instead of just drinking eight glasses of water, you will get a medicinal effect as well as become adequately hydrated. Different herbal remedies have a positive effect on different symptoms of a cold or the flu, and some herbal tea combinations can even treat several symptoms at the same time.

The flavour of herbal teas can be improved with the addition of a little  Manuka honey, and please - never use sugar!

There are a few herbal companies who have patented some excellent herbal mixtures for colds over the years. They all are effective and taste great. If you want to treat a specific symptom, here are a few specific herbal ingredients:

Relieving congestion
Ginger, thyme, or licorice tea

Soothing to the throat
Slippery elm, comfrey, or fenugreek tea

Relieving nausea
Ground fennel, ginger.

Inducing perspiration
Linden tea

Echinacea tea

A great antibiotic as well as immune system booster and helps you get over colds and flu faster or great for building the immune system to ward of colds and flu.There are many good Echinacea teas in health food stores and much easier to make, but if you have your own Echinacea plants, use them, because fresh is always better.

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