Colds and the flu are some of the most common illnesses around. But don't worry, there are plenty of remedies to help you feel better fast. This post will share some of our favourite cold and flu remedies to help you feel your best. So, whether you're looking for a natural option or something over-the-counter, read on for some helpful tips.
A cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat. It's usually caused by one of several types of rhinoviruses. A cold is also called an upper respiratory infection. Symptoms include a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and fever. A common cold is usually mild and goes away in a week or two. However, it can sometimes lead to more serious respiratory infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. There is no cure for the common cold, but there are ways to relieve your symptoms. These include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Getting rest
- Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Try using a humidifier
Why Do Colds Occur?
We already know that a virus causes the common cold, and many different types of viruses can cause a cold. Colds are most commonly dispersed through the air when an infected individual sneezes or coughs.
One of the ways that a cold can be spread is through coughing and sneezing. They can also be spread by touching surfaces an infected person has touched and touching your face. Colds are more common in the fall & winter because people spend more time indoors, in close contact with other people. Colds can also be spread more easily in humid conditions. The symptoms of a cold usually appear two to three days after you have been infected, and they can include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Who is Getting More Colds?
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) found that the number of colds per child in families with children can be as high as 12 a year. NIAID also reports an average reduction for people older than 60 with only one common infection each season - even though they still exist!
Children tend to get more colds than adults for a few reasons. First, they have smaller immune systems that are not yet fully developed. This means that they are more exposed to viruses and other infections. In addition, children are often in close contact with other children, who can pass on colds and other illnesses. Children also tend to touch their faces more often than adults, which can help to spread germs. Finally, children generally have less access to good hygiene facilities, such as soap and clean water. These factors contribute to why children tend to get more colds than adults.
Cold remedies: what doesn't work
There are countless cold remedies on the market, ranging from over-the-counter medications to herbal supplements. However, not all of these treatments are backed by science. Many popular cold remedies are ineffective.
Antibiotics are often prescribed for colds but are only effective against bacterial infections. Since viruses cause colds, antibiotics will not help to treat a cold. Taking antibiotics when you don't need them can actually be harmful.
Can help to clear nasal congestion, but they do nothing to shorten the duration of a cold
It can relieve symptoms like sneezing and runny nose but can also cause drowsiness.
While chicken soup has been touted as a cure-all for centuries, there is no evidence that it can help to speed up recovery.
When it comes to cold remedies, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Some people swear by chicken soup, while others tout the benefits of vitamin C. So what works?
Drinking plenty of fluids
One of the best things you can do when you're feeling under the weather is to drink plenty of fluids. They will help keep your throat moist and thin out mucus. In addition, staying hydrated will help prevent dehydration, which can worsen symptoms.
When you're feeling bad, your body needs time to recover. Getting plenty of rest will help to increase your resistance to viruses and speed up the recovery process.
This herbal supplement has been shown to reduce the duration of colds by about one day.
Ginger has been shown to be effective in relieving nausea and vomiting. It may also help to reduce inflammation and pain.
Honey can help to relieve a sore throat and act as an expectorant, helping clear mucus from the respiratory tract.
Garlic has been shown to have antibacterial and also antiviral properties. It may also help to boost the immune system.
Vitamin C is a popular cold remedy, but it has mixed results. Some studies have shown that it can help to reduce the duration of colds, while others have found no benefit.
Zinc is a mineral that has been shown to shorten the duration of colds. It is most effective when taken within 24 hours of the first symptoms.
Andrographis is a plant used for centuries in Asian traditional medicine. Recently, it has gained popularity in the West as a natural remedy for the common cold and flu.
Andrographis is an herb that is very bitter and commonly found in India. It is also widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, Thailand, and China's traditional medicinal systems. It is regarded as a "cold" herb, which is indicated for treating "hot" conditions such as infections.
Several studies have shown that Andrographis can help reduce symptoms' severity and shorten the duration of illness. Additionally, Andrographis has been shown to boost the immune system, making it less likely that you will get sick in the first place.
The Best Andrographis Products
Sisu Cold & Flu Rescue
This unique formula delivers a combination of four powerful ingredients, Ester-C®, Andrographis, NAC, and echinacea, each of which has been proven in human research to lessen the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms as well as boost immune health.
Harmonic Arts Vira Support
Harmonic Arts Vira Support a unique blend of antiviral herbs, including Olive Leaf, Baikal Skullcap, and Andrographis, which are specially formulated to help the body fight off infection and promote healing.
Cold-Pro is a powerful blend of herbs and nutrients that work together to help your body fight off infection and heal faster. Echinacea and goldenseal are two of the most popular and effective herbal remedies for boosting immunity, while vitamin C is an essential nutrient for optimal immune function. Cold-Pro also contains elderberry, which has been shown in clinical studies to shorten the duration of colds and flu by up to four days.
Martin & Pleasance Ki Cold & Flu Attack Formula
Martin & Pleasance has you covered with Ki Cold & Flu Attack Formula. This high-potency, the multi-herb solution contains Andrographis, Ginger, and Zinc to help shortens the duration and severity of symptoms so you can recover quickly.
How I Use It
Today, Andrographis is still used for its purported health benefits, which include supporting the immune system and reducing inflammation. Andrographis is available in powder, tablet, and liquid form. It can be taken alone and also combined with other herbs, such as echinacea. The recommended dosage depends on the form of Andrographis being used. For powder, the usual dose is 3-5 grams per day. The usual dose for tablets and liquids is 300-500 mg daily. Andrographis is generally well tolerated, but side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, and headache. As with any supplement, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking Andrographis to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Toxicity and Side Effects
Andrographis has been shown to have low overall toxicity and is well tolerated in laboratory studies. Digestive discomfort might result from taking too much of this plant. This herb has been used safely in children, but I haven't utilized it clinically with kids because I haven't found a way to administer it successfully due to its harsh flavour.
Who is This Not For?
Research on mice suggested that this herb may have some anti-fertility effects, so I would not suggest it to a woman trying to conceive or pregnant. Andrographis might have lowering blood pressure and thinning effects, affecting those taking medications for these purposes.
* Hopefully, it goes without saying that this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the advice of your naturopathic doctor.
When to take the best cold and flu remedy
When cold and flu season hits, everyone is looking for the best way to avoid getting sick. While there is no surefire way to prevent illness, there are some steps that you can take to lessen your chances of becoming ill. One of the most important things you can do is take a cold and flu remedy as soon as you start feeling sick. The sooner you take medicine, the more effectively it reduces your symptoms. Cold and flu remedies come in many forms, including pills, syrups, and lozenges. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you may need to try a few different types before you find one that works best, especially for you. Generally, it is best to take a cold and flu remedy at the first sign of illness, such as when you start feeling a sore throat or a headache. Taking medicine early can help shorten the duration of your illness and make you feel better faster.
Wishing you a healthy, happy, and sniffle-free fall!