Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

While there are no known cures for the common cold, many plants and healing herbs can be used to soothe symptoms of the cold or flu. The use of natural alternatives can lessen the duration and severity of a cold. Here are just a few to choose from.

To Boost Your Immunities:

  • Vitamin D3. During the fall and winter months, it is best to increase your intake of vitamin D3. This vitamin not only boosts your immune system, it also helps your body absorb much needed calcium. Vitamin D3 can be taken in amounts up to 3000 mg. It is sometimes recommended that you have your D3 levels checked before increasing your intake.
  • Echinacea. Is a flowering herb that is widely used to improve the body’s natural immune system and prevent colds and flu or at least lessen their duration. Recommended dosages are up to 1200 mg. daily. Do not use for more than 10 days straight.
If You Have Already Caught a Cold:

  • Vitamin C. Immediately increase your intake of vitamin C. Start with 1000 milligrams and adjust accordingly. You can do a vitamin C flush where you increase your intake until you begin to experience loose stools, then begin to decrease the amount you are taking.
  • Olive Leaf Extract. This herb has been shown to be a good antibacterial. It is a good supplement for fighting bacterial and viral infections. Safe doses are up to 750 mg. daily.
  • Goldenseal. Has a long history in treating cold and upper respiratory tract infections. This can safely be taken is dosages up to 750 mg. each day. To increase the effectiveness of goldenseal, it can be taken with Echinacea.
  • Peppermint or Chamomile Tea. For congestion and sore throats, sip on either of these hot teas. For additional relief from sore throats, try adding a teaspoon of honey.
  • Aromatherapy. Essential oils are an excellent way to combat the effects of the common cold. Bring a pan of water to a boil, remove from the heat source. Place in several drops of tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary and / or lavender essential oils. Drape a towel over the pan and your head and breathe in the steam for several minutes. Keep your eyes closed.
As a safety precaution, it is always recommended that you check for any contraindications with current medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements that you may already be taking. In addition, if you have any health conditions, please check the safety of taking any natural supplements.

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