I sometimes feel bewildered that scientists are able to get people to the moon but we still have not figured out the best way to treat the common cold and flu. Sure we have remedies that help with symptom control, but none of these actually prevent or shorten the duration of time we are ill. Having said that, in the holistic world, things are a little more optimistic. Put away the pharmaceuticals. here are some of my effective,favorite remedies that work.
Elderberry Extract This botanical is my favorite when it comes to treating colds and flu. There are few antiviral remedies available to us but elder. also known as black elder, is one of them – and it works . The extract of elderberries has been tested repeatedly and found to shorten the duration of symptoms by as much as four days, and the extract has been found effective at fighting up to 10 strains of flu virus. Nearly all of the scientific studies conducted on elderberry have used a commercial product called Sambucol, which is available as a liquid supplement from a number of different companies.
Zinc: Over and over again studies are showing that zinc shortens the duration of the common cold. So the first thing I would do at the sign of a sniffle is take about 25-30 mg of zinc. You do not want to exceed 50mg per day.
Keep a supply of thyme essential oil or dried thyme on hand in the event that you fall ill with either the flu or with a common cold. Thyme has long been known as an expectorant, which makes coughs more productive (that is, it helps clear out your lungs faster so you feel better sooner). You can brew a thyme herbal tea by steeping two teaspoons of fresh thyme in a cup of boiling-hot water for 10 minutes. Or, make a thyme steam bath: Toss either a handful of dried thyme a few drops of thyme essential oil into a bowl of hot water, and lean over the bowl, covering both your head and the bowl with a towel. Inhaling the steam will help loosen mucus in your chest.
Garlic boosts the health of your immune system and a number of studies have found that animals given regular doses of garlic supplements are better able to ward off viruses like the flu and various strains of rhinovirus, the kind responsible for the common cold. In one study from 2001, volunteers who took a daily garlic supplement were less likely to get colds from volunteers taking a placebo, and even when the garlic takers did get sick, they recovered more quickly. For the sake of people who have to talk to you, garlic supplements are probably the kindest way to go. But you can also get the same benefits by chewing on a clove of garlic once a day for prevention or twice a day to get over a cold or flu. Mince a clove of garlic into some honey if the flavor is too overpowering. It’s not clear whether adding more garlic to your cooking affords the same protection, but if you love the flavor, you can add more to your recipes while possibly getting an immune boost.
And finally, as my mama used to say, remember, the best way to stay healthy is to avoid getting sick! Get plenty of fresh air, eat a lot of whole foods, fresh, local and seasonal is best, get a little sunshine, laugh a lot and while saying the prayer or chanting the mantra of your choice, throw salt over you left shoulder and knock on the nearest piece of wood!
To your optimal health!
From the Dr in the Kitchen