When you get a cold or ﬂu, the symptoms are not a result of the infection: they are your immune system’s response to ﬁght-ing it. For example, a fever means an increase in body temperature, which could deactivate a virus.
Over-the-counter medications can leave you feeling drowsy or can interact with prescription medications you may be taking. There are several natural options that will have you guzzling your morning coffee as if nothing happened.
ELDERBERRY USE AS DIRECTED
The elderberry plant has long been used as a strong ingredient in medicine, as it provides more antioxidant strength than other berry plants. However, only the ripe berries and leaves of this plant are considered edible, while the stem is toxic.
Aside from also being made into wine and purposed as food ﬂavouring, elderberry has been proven to boost the immune system. It can be used to remedy a number of illnesses such as inﬂuenza and swine ﬂu, protect against bacteria and infection, and slow down autoimmune diseases.
Elderberry’s extract, which is called Sambucol, is what provides the righ amounts of antioxidants. The antioxidants are also known as ﬂavanoids, and they work to push our immune system into action. The elderberry’s long list of strong nutrients includes minerals like iron, potassium, phosphorous, and copper, as well as vitamins A, B, and C, proteins, and dietary ﬁbre.
The Journal of International Medical Research published a study that indicates just how effective Sambacol can be when it comes to combating ﬂu symptoms. The study revealed that 93 percent of ﬂu patients given Sambucol were symptom-free within two days. It’s important to note that the study was conducted while an inﬂuenza B outbreak was taking place.
It wasn’t until researcher Erling Thom, with the University of Oslo in Norway, reported a recent study was it clear that it also works against type A ﬂu. His study found similar strong results using 60 patients suffering from the ﬂu. Within the group, half were given Sambucol and the other half a placebo four times a day for ﬁve days. At the end of the study, 90 percent of the participants found themselves entirely cured.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the active compound in elderberry extract, known as Antivirin, is believed to be responsible for most of its effectiveness in the treatment of the ﬂu.
GINSENG USE AS DIRECTED
Ginseng has a variety of health beneﬁts, which is what earned the herb its popularity. Within this family of plants, each type offers different health beneﬁts.
American and Asian ginseng both carry ginsenosides, which is the component that gives ginseng medicinal properties. The great part about ginseng is that it’s also an adaptogen, which means it helps your body to withstand mental and physical strain.
This herb has been included in traditional Chinese medicine for many years due to its ability to prevent infection in the elderly. Ginseng’s strength lies in being able to work ahead of time to prevent colds before their symptoms develop.
A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2005 found that extracts of North American ginseng enhance immune responses and stimulate natural killer cell cytotoxicity. This keeps the body healthy through peak illness periods. Those who were given the North American ginseng extract in a randomized test were able to overcome their colds a third more quickly, and their symptoms subsided dramatically.
"Our results can be compared with those for many of the common antiviral drugs for the treatment of inﬂuenza. The standard extract of North American ginseng was effective in reducing the absolute risk of recurrent colds and the mean number of colds per person," says the Canadian Medical Association.