|Kick a Cold
First, there's the sore throat.
Then the stuffy nose. Postnasal drip. A cough. Yadda yadda, yadda. People
get sick in winter; it is only natural. So let's employ a natural strategy
to fight back at the common cold.
Herbs that Build Immunity
If you tend to get colds and the flu often . astragalus,
elderberries, garlic, shizandra, Siberian ginseng, and of course echinacea
will help build up resistance.
This herb increases the body's production of interferon, which protects
cells from viral and bacterial lung infections. In a huge study conducted
in China in 1981, when more than 1,000 people were given a combination
of interferon and astragalus, they came down with fewer colds than when
given interferon alone.
Echinacea. This wonderful
herb not only enhances immunity but also stops cold and flu viruses from
reproducing once they gain access to a cell. German research has shown
that echinacea stimulates immune-system cells called macrophages (cells
that consume disease-causing microbes).
Elderberries. In one study,
researchers gave elderberry syrup to some members of an Israeli kibbutz
during a flu epidemic. Those who took the syrup got better much sooner
than those taking standard treatments.
Garlic. Numerous scientific
studies support herbalists' claims that garlic is a "natural antibiotic."
Researchers have found it ot be particularly good for fighting strep infections.
In a Russian study, children in the town of Chirchik who were given this
herb were more resistant to a flu epidemic that swept through their town.
Siberian ginseng. When
researchers surveyed residents of the cold regions of north-eastern China,
they found that those who took this herb regularly got far fewer colds
and reported fewer cases of bronchitis.
Herbs That Ease Throat Troubles
Take a look at the labels of
cough medications, and you'll likely find anise, eucalyptus, fennel, and
peppermint, among the others. They make cough remedies tasty, but their
real purpose is to stop your coughing, possibly by shutting down the brain's
coughing center. Here are a few more throat soothers.
Marsh mallow and licorice.
Marsh mallow root was suggested as a cough remedy as long ago as the fourth
century B.C.; licorice has been a favorite cough syrup in China for thousands
Plantain. Research in
Germany, China, and Russia has shown that this herb stops coughing, wheezing,
and chest pain, even from bronchitis.
Slippery elm. Native
Americans have long used the bark of the slippery elm tree to stop coughs.
This practice worked so well that it was adopted by the settlers.
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