It’s that time of year again when the common cold and other infectious ailments are at their highest. None of us want to get sick, so preventive measures is the way to go to avoid the potential risk. There are some simple ways to do this.

Vitamin C is first and foremost for helping the immune system function efficiently. (Check out Melt issue 29 for more detail on what Vitamin C can do for you.)

Garlic, a natural antibiotic, helps combat colds, flu, ear infections and chest congestion. Garlic also contains vitamins A, C, and E, which help to support the immune system. Takes 1-2 Garlic capsules as a preventative measure, or use it liberally in cooking.

Tea is great as a preventative measure as well. Some good ones to use is Lemon, Chamomile, Ginger and Green tea. Tea can help to cleanse the body of excess toxins, which will allow the immune system to function more properly.

Zinc will also help the body to rid itself of toxins.

Ginseng increases immune function and resistance to infection. Ginseng also helps improve energy and stamina.

Another great immune booster is Echinacea. Echinacea activates the immune system to counter both bacterial and viral infections. It is best taken at the onset of symptoms. Echinacea can help protect against staph and strep infections. It can also help relieve swollen lymph nodes.

If you do happen to catch a cold or the flu, in addition to the above here are few recommendations to help you to a speedy recovery.

Licorice root can help reduce throat irritations, lung congestion, coughs and bronchial problems. Licorice produces a protective lining for the stomach; making it a useful remedy in inflammatory stomach conditions.

Fenugreek is a useful herb to help break up phlegm and mucus. Slippery Elm will help remove it from the body.

If you are congested, try using essential oils of Eucalyptus and Peppermint. Blend a few drops of each into some Almond oil and massage on to the chest and back or add a few drops to a bath. The steam will also help to relieve congestion.

Goldenseal enhances the potency of other herbs and strengthens the immune system by acting as an antibiotic. Goldenseal is very powerful and therefore caution is necessary when taking it. Do not take it if you are pregnant, allergic to ragweed or for more than a week at a time. **Be sure to follow the recommended dose carefully.

That goes for any supplements that you begin taking. Also, you should consult your physician before introducing any new supplements to your diet, especially if you are currently on medication, have allergies or any special conditions or needs.


  This article is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical advice if you have any concern about your health or physical condition, and you should always consult your physician before following the recommendations presented here.  

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© Melt Magazine 2004