Monday, October 28, 2013

Natural Remedy of the Week: Bounce Back Faster From a Cold or Flu

Cold and flu season is right around the corner so I thought I'd share a few time tested home remedies so you can have them on hand. As you'll see, research shows that they are effective in shortening cold and flu time. So, using these cures, along with rest, fluids and chicken soup and if necessary, over-the-counter medicines will help you feel better faster!

Remedy: Elderberry syrup
Why it works for colds and flu: It’s high in Vitamin C, decreases inflammation and sinus congestion and helps to stop the spread of the cold and flu virus.
What the research says: According to a 2004 study published in The Journal of International Medical Research, when people were given elderberry syrup, (the brand name is Sambucol), 90% felt better after just three days.
Dosing guidelines: Take a dose every couple of hours you are awake when fighting something off. Decrease as you improve.
Eases Symptoms: Reduces inflammation, aches and pains, relieves sinus congestion

Remedy:  Vitamin C
Why it works:  Vitamin C helps reduce the amount of histamines that are released in the body, which can lead to symptoms like sneezing and that runny nose and it stimulates the immune response so your body is able to fight off infection better. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, which means it battles free radicals, a byproduct of our metabolism that can damage healthy cells.
What the research says: A meta-analysis (a statistical way of combining results) of 30 studies done by the Cochrane Database Systematic Review in 2004 found that vitamin C supplementation decreased the duration of colds by 8 percent in adults and 14 percent in children.
Dosing Guidelines: Take 1000 mg. up to three times daily to shorten the duration of a cold. Most of the studies used a dose of 1 g a day.
Eases Symptoms: Improves immune function, reduces sneezing, runny nose.

Remedy: Echinacea
Why it works for a cold: Echinacea boosts the levels of levels of a naturally occurring chemical in the body known as properdin, which helps our cells resist infection.
What the Research Says: According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmalogical Therapy in 2004, it you take Echinacea at the first sign of a cold it can shorten sick time and ease symptoms. 
Dosing Guidelines: 200 mg twice daily for a maximum of two weeks, decreasing as you improve.

Chrystle Fiedler is the author of SCENT TO KILL, (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) the second in the NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY series, DEATH DROPS: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the non-fiction title THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW!COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle’s magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, Better Homes & Gardens and Remedy. Visit  


Linda O. Johnston said...

I've gotten my flu shot, but it's great to have backups in case of catching a cold or another flu variety. Thanks, Chrystle!

Chrystle Fiedler said...

You're very welcome! I'm glad that you liked my writing tips last week too. I had a busy week and only checked them now! I'll be more in touch next time.

Betty Hechtman said...

Good information to know.