Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category


January 17, 2013

Common Cold Man Sneezing

Flu season typically peaks
during January and February according to U.S. Department
Of Health and Human Services.

You can help protect against winter colds and Influenza

by following these basic tips…

Flu season typically peaks during January and February according to the U.S. government’s Department of Health and Human Services. Now’s the time to
boost your immune system to optimum levels to fight colds and flu, speed up
recovery and easing symptoms.

These are the main reasons many people get winter colds and flu:

1) We’re indoors with other people while windows and doors are tightly closed.

2) The viruses causing most respiratory infections are continually mutating. Our
immune systems have difficulty responding to these ever-changing germs.

3) Viruses typically survive on non-porous surfaces for hours. For example, If you
turn a door handle recently touched by a sick person, then inadvertently lift your
hand to your nose, you’ve infected yourself.

4) Respiratory viruses, especially Influenza, become airborne when someone
coughs. You only need to inhale a very small amount of the airborn virus to
become sick. Common symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, sore throat
and cough, though they are usually mild and gone within a week.

However, Flu (Influenza) is not as common as colds. The two main types of Influenza viruses “A ” and “B” cause most cases of the flu. The Influenza viruses spread in
the air and direct contact. Flu symptoms are usually debilitating, characterized by sudden onset of chills, fever and muscle aches.

Keep Drinking Warm Liquids Including Herbal Teas and Soup Broths

When you come down with a cold or the flu, your respiratory system works hard
to expel the invading viruses via mucus. Rather than drying those mucus secretions
with OTC antihistamines, it’s better to accelerate the healing process by thinning
them and making it easier to expel them. The best way to thin mucus secretions
is to add water to your system by drinking warm liquids, especially herbal teas and clear soup broth.

Take a hot, steam shower, inhale through your nose if you’re stuffy, or through your mouth for chest congestion. Include aromatherapy by use de-congesting, anti-
microbial herbs including eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary or peppermint leaves.
A warm bath can relax aching muscles and ease chills. add five to eight drops
of plant essential oils For muscle aches, try juniper and ginger.

Some people who use Vitamin C users report a reduced duration and severity
of cold symptoms, indicating that it plays a role in respiratory defense mechanisms. Typical daily doses are 500 to 1000 milligrams a day. Eating Vitamin C-rich foods, such as peppers, blueberries, citrus fruits, strawberries and leafy green vegetables provide good benefits.

Vitamin C helps promote a healthy immune system, as well as vitamin A,
beta carotene, potassium, zinc and selenium.

Natural Nutritional Remedies for Colds and Flu

Certain herbs are beneficial to help decrease the severity of colds and flu
while aiding your body’s healing process.

Echinacea is the most-researched herb for enhancing immune defenses and

to help prevent respiratory tract infections. Several studies support the use of Echinacea for the treatment of viral upper respiratory infections.  The American Botanical Council noted recent studies concluding that Echinacea helped reduce
the duration and incidence of the common cold.

Most experts say that when an Echinacea is taken in adequate and frequent doses
at the onset of symptoms, it can shorten the duration and severity of a cold. Based
on new research, it may also be helpful to start echinacea if you’ve been exposed to someone with a cold and should be taken every two hours while symptoms persist.

Sambucus is better than Elderberry, a traditional European tea brewed with elder flowers and peppermint leaves. However, scientific research has focused specifically on the berry from the black elderberry tree (Sambucus nigra). The extract of

Sambucus black elderberries produces beneficial immune actions and helps fight influenza and other respiratory viruses. Several studies have demonstrated rapid recovery from influenza with Sambucus extract

Ginseng including either Eleuthero Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), American

ginseng (P. quinquefolius) and eleuthero (Siberian ginseng or Eleutherococcus
senticosus) all have been reported useful in fighting respiratory viruses. Such
immune enhancing herbs especially helpful for elderly people. Ginseng is
one of the most recommended cold and flu remedies by herbal experts.

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) also has many properties that can relieve

cold and flu symptoms. It acts as a mild anti-inflammatory, demulcent (soothing
to sore throats), antispasmodic (to relax coughs) and expectorant to expel
respiratory mucus. Herbalists recommend not to take licorice for more than
four to six weeks.  It causes kidneys to retain water and sodium while losing
potassium. Don’t take it at all if you’re pregnant, have high blood pressure or
low blood potassium.

Healthy lifestyle factors influence your immune function…
To avoid getting sick, eat healthy foods. Be sure to emphasize whole grains,

fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Try to sleep at least eight hours a night. Wash your hands often, and sneeze
into your arm, not your hands. Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, which delays respiratory defenses, and only drink alcohol to a minimum because excessive
amounts affect immunity. Exercise regularly, but moderately. If you come down
with a cold, light exercise is beneficial and can help clear respiratory mucus.
If you have a fever, be sure to rest.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.