Obviously, everyone hates being sick, especially during the holidays when we look forward to spending time with our friends and families. Luckily, there are effective ways to prevent and treat the illnesses that commonly occur during the fall and winter months without having to resort to chemicals and medications. Many of these remedies have been used successfully for centuries, and modern scientific studies are now backing up what thousands, if not millions, of people already know—that natural treatments work.
Of course, the information provided below is not a substitute for medical advice and people should always do their own research and consult medical professionals before using any health-related substance, natural or otherwise. Even natural remedies can have potential side effects or interact with medications.
The following suggestions can help boost your immune response and reduce the symptoms and duration of colds, flu, and other common viruses.
Avoid sugar and refined and processed foods, and get enough sunlight for immune-boosting Vitamin D (or take a supplement if advised to). Sugar has been shown to weaken the immune system and increase the body’s inflammatory response. Colorful fruits and vegetables and mushrooms like shitake are especially beneficial.
Get enough rest and reduce stress when possible. Increase your exercise, which has been shown to boost the immune system’s response, help with sleep, and act as a natural anti-depressant and anti-anxiety remedy. Meditation has also been shown to increase immune response, reduce inflammation, and reduce stress by decreasing the production of cortisol.
This herb supports the immune system and fights against the virus that causes colds and bronchitis. Preparations that use both the root and flowers are the most effective.
Taking 60 milliliters a day for adults (30 milliliters for children) helps facilitate a quicker recovery from the flu. Fans of “The Walking Dead” will remember that elderberry was used successfully in Season Four to fight a virus that threatened to wipe out the group.
The allicin and alliion in garlic are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal—and especially effective against viruses when chewed raw. Odorless capsules are also available.
Also a virus inhibitor, this comes from the inner bark of an Amazonian tree and can help treat colds, influenza, and other viruses.
A 2017 study found that high doses of vitamin C were effective at reducing the symptoms of the common cold when taken within the first few days. However, effective therapeutic doses were found to be 8 grams, which may also cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea.
Zinc tablets have been shown to shorten the length of colds if taken 24 hours after symptoms start.