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Guest Post: Help or Hype? Treat Your Cold Naturally

Making Master Tonic

Now that cold and flu season is upon us, people are wondering how they can keep themselves healthy, or get rid of their annoying illness, in a more natural way. Many people avoid cold and flu medicines due to their sleep inducing effects. If you are looking for ways to treat yourself in a more natural way, it’s important that you understand what will help you and what is just hype.

1.Omega 3

If you don’t take an Omega 3 supplement, what are you waiting for? Omega 3s have a natural immune-fortifying benefit, helping to keep you healthy all year long. If you don’t enjoy eating fish, Omega 3 capsules are your best alternative for ensuring that you are getting enough of these fatty acids. According to Britain’s Institute of Human Nutrition and School of Medicine, Omega 3s are also great for fighting the flu. You should look for a supplement that contains one or more grams of both DHA and EPA.

2.Echinacea

Echinacea has long been touted as a natural remedy for both colds and the flu; don’t get sucked into the hype. Most products don’t contain enough echinacea to do you any good. In fact, some products don’t contain echinacea in any amount. The worst thing is that echinacea can actually cause side effects that people often find worse than the symptoms they are experiencing with their cold: diarrhea, rashes and wheezing.

3.Vitamin D

To achieve and maintain proper levels of vitamin D in the body, you’d have to get far more sun and eat more fish than you ever will. Vitamin D supplements should be taken all year long. Harvard studies have shown that people with proper levels of vitamin D in their system have boosted immunities and are less likely to catch a cold. If you choose to take a vitamin D supplement, try to take at least 1,000 IU each day.

4.Vitamin C

While everyone needs an adequate amount of vitamin C in their system, there is no proof that extra amounts will help stave off a cold or fight the flu. Your vitamin C should be absorbed from the foods that you eat, not supplements that you take. Add an orange or grapefruit to your breakfast each day, look for fortified orang juice or add a red pepper to your salad. Those who eat healthy have proper amounts of vitamin C in their bodies without needing supplementation. In fact, those who over-indulge in vitamin C are at risk for nausea and kidney stones.

5.Ginseng

Ginseng doesn’t need to be taken all year long, but it should be taken when you feel a cold setting in. Those who took ginseng cut the duration of their colds in half according to a study conducted at the University of Connecticut. Ginseng can increase white blood cell counts and certain proteins that your immune system counts on to work at its full potential. Make sure that the ginseng you take is from a reliable source; counterfeit concoctions are useless.

Many people are confused when it comes to supplementing their diet in order to remain healthy or fight off colds. By following the five tips above, you can be sure that you are taking what you need and avoiding what you don’t.

 

Michelle Winters writes for http://www.edrugstore.md where you can see Edrugstore.md Doctor Videos.

5 comments to Guest Post: Help or Hype? Treat Your Cold Naturally

  • Every try a shot of apple cider vinegar straight? That stuff will MAKE you want to get well soon! I’d rather do a few rouds of tequilla. :)

  • If found both Vitamin C and Echinacea to work very well for me and my body. Your mileage may very.

  • WASAJCO

    Some good ideas, a little old on the info, Vit D, in D3 form ONLY is better supplemented at around 5000IU, go to
    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/ for actual, up to date info. Vit. C causing Kidney stones, BS! Dr. Linus Pauling, the man who received the Nobel prize for his work with Vit. C would laugh this advice out of the room. An overdose, usually referred to as “bowel tolerance” merely causes the squirts. Vit. C is water soluble folks, it rinses out. I am afraid this sounds like the bunk they teach MD’s in the Big Pharma Propaganda institutions, where we get doctors who know only how to drug, cut and radiate. Do your own research, go to: http://www.mercola.com/ and places like the Weston Price Foundation http://www.westonaprice.org/

  • D.

    Informative article. A subject generally out side of my skill sets. Thank you. D.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    There is an old joke about the severity of a cold if you take some magic herbs for it. If you don’t do anything for a cold it will last a week but if you take Apple cider (or whatever your favorite supplement is) it will only last seven days. There are no magic herbs or supplements. There is a MDR (minimum daily requirement) which is scientifically determined and updated when some “real” study warrants it. Beyond that you are delving into quackery, fraud and voodoo. Mega doses of vitamin C or vitamin D aren’t going to make you healthier or do anything for your immune system. Shots of apple cider will not improve your health it will only make your mouth pucker. Eat a varied, diverse diet and do not choose a self limiting fad diet (veganism, paleo diet, etc.) and you will get the vitamins and minerals you need. Everyone gets colds and everyone who gets them endures them for roughly 7 days. Some of use show fewer symptoms or endure the symptoms better then others but we all get them. If you think you don’t get colds and flu and it is because you take some magic supplement you are just kidding yourself.

    There is not a single supplement or health food on the market that will magically make you better or “improve your immune system”. It is pure bunk, snake oil, quackery. The dietary/health food industrial complex is good at keeping the waters murkey and promoting pseudo-studies to show how taking one of their over-priced products will make you a superman or woman. They depend on pseudo-science and ignorance to make billions every year. If you are getting your MDR then from a diet standpoint you are doing everything you can to stay healthy. Vitamins and minerals in excess of the MDR will simply be excreted (except fat soluble vitamins which will be stored in body fat). Some vitamins will cause health problems if taken to excess. Some herbs and supplements available over the counter will make you sick and even kill you.