Cold and flu season is upon us once again, and I always like to be well-stocked with natural remedies for our family. My favorite natural remedies get to the root of what causes colds and flus – viruses – rather than merely dealing with the symptoms. Here’s a list of the remedies I like to have on hand and why:
Olive Leaf Extract
This remedy has been used since ancient times and is a very powerful antioxidant. It’s good for everything from achy joints to bolstering the immune system. My favorite brand is Barlean’s, and it comes in a peppermint flavored syrup or in capsule form.
I keep this on hand year round, because it’s a wonderful cocktail of herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are well known for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. From stomach bugs to nasty colds, this formula aggressively combats whatever bug might be going around. Love this stuff!
It’s hard to pronounce, but this homeopathic formula is a perennial best seller for its gentle yet extremely effective formula that combats the flu (whichever strain of the virus it happens to be). If you’re unfamiliar with homeopathy, check out ABC Homeopathy for a helpful explanation. Homeopathy is safe for both children and adults (including pregnant women), so it’s a good option to keep on hand for the whole family. Oscillococcinum is best taken at the first sign of flu-like symptoms, so it won’t work as well if you begin taking it several days into your sickness. But if taken at the beginning, it really does work very well.
I mentioned in My Daily Supplement Regimen how important probiotics are. They populate our intestines with good bacteria, which keeps the bad bacteria in check. Probiotics are one of the best supplements you can take to strengthen your immune system, so it’s especially important to take them during the cold and flu season. By increasing the good bacteria in your gut, cold and flu viruses (bad bacteria) won’t stand a chance. There are a number of good brands. I’m currently using Vitamin Shoppe’s Ultimate 10 probiotics (it was on sale, and the quality is comparable to the more expensive brands). Jarrodophilus is also a very good brand. Make sure the formula you use is a “broad spectrum” probiotic, which means it contains a variety of strains of good bacteria (there’s power in numbers).
Zinc and Elderberry Lozenges
This tasty remedy from Quantum Health contains two potent remedies – zinc and elderberry. Zinc is a very important mineral that helps to strengthen the immune system. It helps to speed healing and reduces the duration of most colds and flus. Elderberries are dark purple berries that are very high in antioxidants and a potent weapon against viruses. One study shows that in 1995 elderberry treatment helped to stop a flu epidemic in Panama. These lozenges taste like sweet tarts (my boys love them), and they are good for both prevention and treatment of colds and flus.
You do not need to take all of these remedies at once! You can take the probiotics and the Wellness Formula regularly for prevention and try the other remedies as needed to discover what works best for you and your family.
If you order from iherb.com, enter coupon code CEC921 at checkout to receive up to $10 off your first order.
Make sure to subscribe below so you don’t miss the other posts in this week’s Anti-Flu Series: “Healing Chicken Noodle Soup” and “Flu-Fighting Tea.” You’ll be well prepared this season for whatever comes around!