Most Common Cold and Flu Natural Remedies
Elderberry – scientifically known as Sambucus Nigra – has been used medicinally as a natural flu remedy since the Roman and Greek empires. Researchers have been studying its overall health benefits for the past two decades.
Elderberry is typically used as an extract, tea or syrup since the tree bark, leaves, flowers and fruit itself can be poisonous if consumed raw.
Native to North America and some parts of Europe, the flavonoids found in blue or black elderberry fruit have proven to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. An abundance of vitamins A, B and C make it a natural immune system booster.
Fighting the Flu with Elderberry
During a flu epidemic in Panama in 1993, researchers found that 90% of those affected improved almost immediately and fully recovered in less than three days when given the elderberry extract. The group given the placebo took twice as many days to show signs of recovery. Their results were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine in 1995.
Elderberry Naturally Eases
- Sore throat
- General aches and fatigue
- Sinus infection
The Journal of International Medical Research published a 2004 study that found elderberry extract shortened the length of colds and flus by more than 50% in their participants.
A 2009 study found that elderberry extract is as effective against the H1N1 virus – also known as Swine Flu – as the two most common pharmaceutical drugs prescribed!
Taking elderberry extract as soon as you begin to exhibit flu-like symptoms has shown to have the best results. The worst symptoms are eased more quickly the sooner it is taken. The most common dosage is one tablespoon of elderberry extract (in syrup form) four times each day. Elderberry lozenges and cough drops are available with added zinc.
Initial research has been in short-term use (less than one week) in the treatment of colds and flu. Long-term use studies have not been done for elderberry extract. Elderberry is often used in candy, wine and jelly but there is no proven benefit when these diluted quantities are consume.
Prevent the Flu Before You Get It!
You can get a cold or flu at any point throughout the year but the winter months leave us particularly vulnerable. Strengthening your immune system remains the single most effective method to guard against viral and bacterial infections that can knock you down for days, even weeks, at a time.
5 Natural Flu Remedies You Shouldn’t Sneeze At
- Water – keeping your body hydrated is one of the easiest methods to protect your body against illness. It is the most natural detoxifier you can give your body! If you still get sick thanks to that co-worker coughing and sneezing all over your office – it prevents the rapid dehydration that often accompanies fever and diarrhea.
- Chicken soup – is not only good for the soul! The medical journal Chest published a study that found chicken soup eased symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Scientists believe it is a combination of the warm vapors inhaled as you sip combined with the antioxidant ingredients – carrots, garlic, onions and so on – typically found in homemade soup. Additionally, if someone makes you soup, you feel better emotionally which has been proven to impact physical health.
- Camu camu – this little-known fruit from the Amazon has been found to contain 30 times the vitamin C found in oranges! The other nutritional benefits include an abundance of beta-carotene, protein, fatty acids, amino acids, calcium, iron, potassium and vitamin B-complex. It is finally becoming available here in the United States and there are no known side effects. It was rated number one in Dr. James Duke’s book Green Pharmacy which rated the efficacy of herbs around the world. Dr. Duke is the retired chief botanist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Coconut oil pulling – swishing a tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil around your mouth for 15 minutes extracts bacteria, toxins and mucus through the soft tissues of your mouth. A natural detoxifier used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat total body health and maintain oral hygiene. Repeated studies have been done connecting mouth bacteria to poor health.
- Probiotics – maintaining a proper balance of good bacteria in your body helps your immune system fight off germs that lead to colds and flu. Adding foods such as yogurt, dark chocolate, sauerkraut, tempeh and pickles to your regular nutrition helps keep your entire body in germ-fighting condition and give your immune system the tools it needs to kick bacterial butt.
Getting plenty of rest when you’re sick is also important. We tend to push ourselves even when we shouldn’t which divides our internal resources between fighting your sickness and keeping your busy life running as usual. Know when you need rest.
Colds and flus are becoming more common – and harder to beat – the more exposure we receive to anti-bacterial products. Our immune systems are no longer accustomed to germs so when we’re exposed to toxins and bacteria our body is unable to fight them effectively.
Scientists are connecting the use of too many antibacterial goods – everything from hand sanitizer to air fresheners and clothing – to the worldwide increase in asthma and allergies diagnosis.
By utilizing natural flu remedies and probiotics before and during your bout with sickness, you help your body do what it does best – keep you well.