Natural ways to fight colds and flu

Vitamins and minerals can be a powerful addition to your flu-fighting arsenal

Natural ways to fight colds and flu

Source: Best Health magazine, January/February 2013; Image: Thinkstock

Vaccination can help protect you from the flu, as can frequent handwashing. And over-the-counter products can soothe cold and flu symptoms. But natural products can also help. ‘A combination of zinc and vitamin C can be helpful with cold and flu symptoms if you take them as soon as you start feeling ill,’ says Marianne Trevorrow, a nat­uropathic physician in Victoria, and director of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association. Some types of ginseng safely boost immunity for a preventive effect, as do vitamin C and echinacea. Saline irrigation’e.g., HydraSense Congestion Relief’helps decongest nasal passages.

Examples: A. Vogel Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray; Cold-Fx; HydraSense Congestion Relief; Jamieson Flu-Shield; Nature’s Harmony Zinc Lozenges with Vitamin C and Echinacea; Sisu Cold & Flu Rescue with Ester-C

Need to know

Avoid echinacea if you have arthritis, a progressive systemic disease or an autoimmune disorder, or if you are taking immunosuppressants. Certain remedies should not be used by people with impaired liver or renal function, or by people who require anticoagulant therapy; talk to your doctor.

This article was originally titled "Cold and flu fighters" in the January/February 2013 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!