On the scale of cold and flu treatments, there are definitely some things that are better than others. Over-the-counter drugs that mask symptoms are on one end of the scale while herbs and healing foods are at the other end. Somewhere in the middle while still beneficial are supplements. They certainly deliver fewer side effects than drugs, but their quality is often questionable. Still, if you’re concerned about a cold and want to prevent it at all costs, supplements could play a role in your battle for wellness. Below are 3 great supplements for fighting a cold and flu.
While the supplements below may offer some benefits, it’s important to remember that they are often recommended (advertised) by someone who is seeking something in return. So be cautious when going to purchase the supplements listed below:
- 1. Echinacea – A personal favorite of mine, Echinacea is great for cold prevention and treatment. This herb has been found to shorten the duration of an illness and lessen the symptoms. While you can find Echinacea in supplement form, I recommend you find the herb rather than a product. You can even grow it yourself. If an herbalist isn’t available and you don’t have a green thumb, a high-quality organic supplement can be a good substitute.
- 2. Zinc - Zinc plays an important role in immune health and has been used specifically to reduce symptoms on the throat—which is why we see it in an increasing number of lozenges. To boost your immune system, try to get zinc from high quality foods like pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, peanuts, and even beef. For a sore throat, organic lozenges are a good choice. You can also utilize one of many remedies for strep throat treatment we outlined in the link provided.
- 3. Vitamin D - Most people in Western societies are deficient in this vitamin. This is especially true during the winter time when no one sees the weak sun, leading to a compromised immune system. The deficiency also has to do with spending too much time indoors and wearing toxic sunscreen. Truthfully, the best way to increase vitamin D consumption is to get some sunshine. The vitamin has been tied to overall wellness in countless studies and certainly has the ability to reduce the risk of flu and colds in people who are deficient, so make sure you are getting enough.
Supplements have their place, to supplement an existing healthful diet and lifestyle. They are no substitute for good foods and herbs—things that can prevent illness and eliminate the need for supplements altogether.