The Top 5 Natural Cures You Can Use During The Cold and Flu Season

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Discussed are some of the natural cures provided by mother nature to rid of or avoid the common cold or flu. Please keep in mind that these cures may not be applicable in all cases, or may work for everyone or may even be detrimental to your overall health. Also always discuss with your doctor if taking any of these natural cures has any possible interactions with any prescribed medication that you may be currently taking.

Some of the following time honored natural cures has been used as a cure for centuries to prevent the common cold or even the flu. They also reduce the symptoms, or may shorten the duration of the cold based on recent studies. These are a variety of natural herbs, supplements, as well as food remedies, found commonly at your local supermarket or natural health supplement store.

Listed Are Five That Have Received The Best Results

1. Kimchi, Kefir, Sauerkraut, and Yogurt

Kimchi is a spicy fermented side dish from Korea that’s been getting a lot of attention lately, based on recent studies published by the BBC on a report conducted by scientists in Seoul, South Korea. They found that 13 of the 15 chickens infected with the avian flu, started to recover shortly after they were fed a concentrated extract of kimchi. It’s important to note that there has been no published studies of its effects on people affected with the same avian flu. The key ingredient in Kimchi, is a natural organic acid called lactic acid. This is the same acid found in: milk, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, meat, and beer.

2. Elderberry
Another natural cure that has garnered a lot of attention lately is a berry extract from the elderberry (Sambucus nigra), that contains several compounds that’s active against fighting the flu virus. One way it’s effective is by it preventing the virus from attacking the cells. A recent study found there was a 50% reduction in the duration of the flu symptom in adults after taking the elderberry extract.

Most local health stores carry the elderberry juice, or as a syrup or in capsule form suitable for adults and children. Keep in mind only commercially prepared elderberry products should be used, as the plants fresh leaves, flowers, buds, bark, unripe berries, and roots all contain cyanide and thus can result in cyanide poisoning. So it’s obviously not a do it yourself natural cure that you can prepare yourself.

3. Ginseng
Ginseng is a well known herb used in Asia for over 2500 years. It has recently made headlines after a placebo test study published in a Canadian Medical Journal found that the ginseng extract reduced upper respiratory infection in it’s test subject by 25% during a four month period. The treatment group took 2 – 200 mg capsules of the ginseng extract daily for
4 months and reported the symptoms, duration of infections, and infection recurrence reduced during that time.

Ginseng can however have hormonal effects. Some studies also suggested that ginseng can boost one’s estrogen levels, so it shouldn’t be taken as a natural cure for women with breast cancer. Ginseng should also be avoided if you are taking any type of blood sugar medication or antidepressants, which are known as MAO inhibitors.

4. Astragalus
Astragalus does not come with as many warnings as ginseng. The root of astragalus is also a popular traditional Chinese herbal formula. It’s now used in North America to naturally strengthen the immune system as well as preventing colds and the flu. Chinese herbalists will recommend astragalus as an effective immune tonic for those who tend to catch colds frequently.

Early research has proven that astragalus can stimulate the immune function in humans. It can be found as a capsule in health stores or as a dried root in Chinese herbal shops. As it has a mild suitable taste, the dried root is usually added to soups. A typical dose is approximately 9 to 15 grams of the dried root, which equals to about 3 to 4 slices. Traditionally in China, people had astragalus soup at least once a week during the winter. The dose can be adjusted if someone has increased exposure or a compromised immune system, usually taking more. Note: It’s not recommend taking astragalus if you already have the cold or flu.

5. Ginger
Ginger is another popular natural cure. Drinking a cup of hot good ol ginger tea not only invigorates, but it’s also a great cold and flu fighter. The ginger root contains compounds that fights against the rhino-viruses, which is the most common group of cold viruses. Ginger acts as a diaphoretic, which means it fights the common cold by gently raising one’s body temperature and promoting perspiration.
Note: Ginger also works as a blood thinner. So make sure you consult your doctor before using ginger as a tonic if you are already taking blood thinner medication.

Please keep in mind that these natural cures are for general reference information only and is not intended to be in any way a substitute for professional medical advice. As always, please seek the guidance of your physician or any other qualified health professional.

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