With the return of cold temperatures also returns the not so melodic sounds of sneezing and snuffling typically associated with the cold & flu season. Luckily for all of us who prefer natural options, there are a few marvels of nature which can really help us ease the symptoms caused by colds & flu or even prevent them from happening at all. Let’s take a look at these cold & flu superheros:
Gladly for us, this mineral could help shorten the duration of a cold. Taken within the first 24 hours of the start of the symptoms and as long as it lasts, zinc might prevent the cold viruses from multiplying, thus reducing its lifespan. According to Health Canada, zinc is recommended to help maintain immune function. Keep that in mind and keep those zinc lozenges within reach for the cold months to come.
This plant is probably the most popular and renowned natural remedy for fighting off cold & flu. In fact, according to several studies, Echinacea does seem to have an effect on the immune system and might help in preventing and abridging the duration of colds. Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine, it’s generally recommended for all upper respiratory tract infections. It has to be taken at the first sign of infection to ensure a maximal effect. Keep in mind though that different extracts might have a different effect on your symptoms and that herbal remedies might not be successful on everybody. Isn’t it still worth trying though?
Ah! Those famous good bacteria that everyone has been talking about lately might also be heroes in cases of cold & flu. Actually, they are the first line of defense that you can easily integrate into your everyday diet in order to fight off the common cold or flu. Simply put, probiotics help the immune system be at its best; meaning that it can assist your body in defending itself against external infections, whatever they might be. Knowing this, probiotics might just be your new best friends to help you stay in good shape all year round and they are easy to include in your day-to-day routine!
Traditionally used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help with certain conditions as well as frequent colds, astragalus is an herb which is also recommended to help maintain a healthy immune system. A little like echinacea, astragalus should actually be taken when you’re healthy but might be at risk of contracting infections. It’s recommended as a preventive initiative to support your immune system in fighting off cold & flu. You can find astragalus in our Maxi Garlic!
The fact that vitamin C might be helpful for fighting the common cold or flu has been debated many times over the years since it was popularized in the 1970’s. Essential to good health, a deficiency of vitamin C may lead to many undesirable health issues and even scurvy if not resolved. If its effect on cold & flu is not as significant as it was once rumored to be, important intakes of vitamin C might still be helpful in lessening the symptoms and the duration of those infections. That being said, vitamin C won’t keep you from getting sick, but there might be a chance that it will slightly alleviate your runny nose, fever and muscle ache. Moreover, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and is recognized to help to metabolize proteins and fats and in wound healing, keeping you in health which reduces your chances to get sick, why not give it a go then?
Mostly known for its tonic effect, ginseng has been cultivated in China for many centuries now. As it might not have a direct effect on the length or the symptoms associated with colds or the flu, ginseng is an adaptogen root and it could help your body be more resistant to external attacks, especially during the cold & flu season. As chronic stress is known to weaken the immune system, intakes of ginseng might help your body become more resistant to stress and therefore less prone to contracting infections. According to Health Canada, ginseng is also used in Herbal Medicine to help enhance physical capacity and performance. Therefore, it might help you feel more energetic when you’re afflicted with a cold or the flu.
Written by Genevieve Morin for Adrien Gagnon
Entrepreneurial spirit, management has always been her field of study. However, Genevieve found herself navigating through the universe of natural health soon in her career. Strong of her experience in regulatory affairs, she has always had an interest in natural solutions and healthy lifestyle. It’s no surprise that she developed knowledge in natural supplements. Creative at heart, writing is also a passion of hers. Gladly, this passion allows her now to share her knowledge with you.
Adrien Gagnon’s mission is to prevent disease by offering quality products, as well as actively contribute to health education through several consulting services to consumers. Over the past 60+ years, Adrien Gagnon has earned a reputation as a leader in science-based natural health products, offering over 150 natural health products including vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.