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Cold and Flu Season: Give Yourself A Health Boost

Echinacea is one of the most commonly used herbal remedies for fighting a cold.
Echinacea is one of the most commonly used herbal remedies for fighting a cold.
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The winter is half-way over and spring is approaching soon, but cold season will linger and it's important to protect and strengthen your immune system now.  Next time instead of grabbing the over the counter medicines that tend to only make you feel worse, head to your local health food store and stock up on some holistic remedy favorites.  Nutritional and holisitc therapies work well for adults and even better for children when used correctly.

There are many home remedies practiced today that can help lessen the severity of the cold or flu, as well as shorten then duration of the sickness.  Using herbal teas such as Echinacea and Goldenseal can help to shorten the duration of a cold or flu with it's cleansing and immune enhancing properties.  Chicken soup with low sodium and broths containing ginger, garlic, and onions help to drain the sinuses and are also natural antibacterial and antiviral remedies.  Whenever possible try to avoid simple sugars found in soda, white breads and pasta, and candy, all of which tend to suppress immunity and worsen symptoms of lethargy.  Limiting dairy products is also important because they only increase mucus.  To help with nasal congestion you can try a humidifier or a warm eucalyptus soak. 

Supplements to look for at your local health food store include:

Echinacea. Known for it's immune strengthening affect, echinacea can effectively decrease the odds of developing the common cold by 58%  and the duration of a cold by 1.4 days according to the Center for Disease Control. Take approximately 10-15 drops in an alcohol free tincture or extract form three times a dat for no less than a week when exposure to the cold or flu is likely.

Zinc.  Zinc lozenges can be purchased today at most pharmacies and grocery stores and come in delicious flavors like cherry or honey lemon.  Supplementing with Zinc can help reduce the duration of the common cold. Give 9-15mg up to three times a day for a least a week.

Astragalus.  This herb is easy to find in teas along with other herbs in a proprietary blend for detoxification and cleansing, but you can also find it in extract form in natural food stores. This herb helps to strengthen the immune system by cleansing the liver and blood and also has male reproductive benefits for men wanting to lessen the risk of prostate cancer.  Take 15 drops of the extract twice a day or if you are drinking in a tea blend, drink at least three cups a day.

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