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7 Foods and Herbs to Fight the Common Cold

Elizabeth Renter
November 26th, 2013
Updated 11/26/2013 at 1:06 am
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echinacea immune boosting foods 263x166 7 Foods and Herbs to Fight the Common ColdWhile some people only experience the sniffles during the cold season of sickness, most individuals will undoubtedly battle a nasty cold or even the flu. And while we’re conditioned to praise vaccines and pharmacy solutions to survive, you really don’t have to load up on over-the-counter medications to feel better. There are plenty of foods and herbs that can reduce the severity of your symptoms and even help you get over the cold more quickly.

Here are 7 immune-boosting foods to help you overcome and prevent sickness:

1. Vitamin C- Vitamin C itself is a fantastic tool for boosting overall immunity and fighting upper respiratory symptoms. One study in The Cochrane Library found athletes were able to fight a cold more efficiently while taking a vitamin C supplement. This is important because the athletes tested were endurance athletes, those under significant physical stress.

2. Kiwi- Kiwi fruit benefits are amazing. Kiwis are loaded with vitamin C, fiber, and B-vitamins. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a diet rich in kiwi was able to reduce cold symptoms (head congestion and sore throat) among participants.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar- ACV is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory substance used for countless remedies. Its alkaline state makes it effective at boosting the immune system and preventing disease overall. Mixing it with warm water and a bit of honey can help it go down more easily.

4. Ginger- While we normally think of ginger as a solution for upset stomachs, it can have other soothing benefits as well. In addition to being a powerful cancer fighter and anti-inflammatory food, ginger is great for congestion, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, and can promote perspiration and detoxification. Check out ginger health benefits here.

5. Echinacea- Often found as a tea on grocery store shelves, Echinacea is an herb known as an overall immune-booster as well. Taking it after a cold hits can reduce the duration of your cold by several days. One large clinical study found that Echinacea can reduce the duration of colds by 26%.

6. Oregano oil- Oil of oregano is a powerful healing agent, often sold as a liquid or in supplement capsules. It has been shown to prevent and even wipe out viruses. It is both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory, fighting the virus and the symptoms it brings.

7. Zinc: Found naturally in foods like oats and seeds, zinc is also included in lozenges. It’s an immune-boosting trace element that is known to combat the symptoms of a cold.

You don’t have to invest in pills to make it through a cold, and you certainly don’t need a prescription to fight a virus. These foods and herbs are natural cold busters and can help you triumph this cold season.

From around the web:

  • zimmett

    I use Echinacea as found that if I start to get a cold and take 6 to 8 of these for about 4 days the cold goes away quickly. I also take Zinc daily

  • DelmarJackson

    I am baffled the author left out elderberry. Two laboratories have concluded elderberry has flu fighting capabilities similar and as effective as Tamiflu, and elderberry has hundreds of years of oral history of being used to fight colds.

    You can buy dried European black elderberries on amazon and make a vey large amount of elderberry syrup very inexpensively.

  • Jennings

    A potent killer of influenza and colds is the combination of coconut (its oil is recommended but not essential), olive leaf extract, and oregano oil. Each, on their own is beneficial yet act differently but, together, they are synergistic which is where the potency of the treatment arises. Try not to use as a prophylactic as viruses are adaptable when a much higher dosage will be required. Whenever the sniffles or a sore throat appears or when in the presence of anyone with the cold or influenza then take a small lump of creamed coconut block (found if HFS or on the oriental shelves of supermarkets) which will often prove effective. Normally, a lump of creamed coconut block, two olive leaf capsules, and two oregano oil capsules, will be all that is necessary to cure even the worst symptoms in a few short hours. With this cocktail ready and available there will never be any need to have the flu jab. Finally, it is dosage dependent, meaning the more taken the greater and faster the cure although one small amount is often all that is necessary and no harmful side-effects!

  • amanda mccandliss

    #6. Not the essential oil oregano, right? It says oil of oregano after oregano oil but I want to be sure. Thanks!

    • A. Banks

      You can buy oregano oil in pill form. I prefer the NOW brand. If you can’t find it in the store, I have ordered it from Amazon. I use oregano oil, grapefruit seed oil and olive leaf extract when symptoms of cold or flu start and I am over being sick in a couple days!! Hope this helps you..

      • celiayounger

        Me I ask why are you taking these herbs/extract? I mean : grapefruit seed ??? what is good for? I know oregano oil (and thyme) are antibacterial and antiviral but I never heard about olive leaf extract o grapefruit.