Cold and Flu: Alternative Therapies

Who hasn't been told "Don't go outside with wet hair: you'll catch a cold!" Going outside with wet hair is not what causes a cold. It isn't the weather that makes you sick, it's the exposure to a variety of viruses that we come in contact with on a daily basis. Yet some people can remain totally unscathed when exposed to such viruses. For this reason, it is quite possible to treat and prevent the common cold and the flu using alternative therapies such as Herbal medicine, Homeopathy and nutritional supplements.

Herbal medicine is a popular treatment for common colds and flu due to their antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anticatarrhal properties. Herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, licorice, elder, eyebright and elderflower are the most often recommended.

In addition to medicinal herbs, nutritional supplements and minerals have the ability to stimulate immune functions and therefore can help the body deal with the cold and flu. One popular supplement for treating colds is zinc, which is an important nutrient for maintaining a healthy immune system. The latest in the line of treating colds with zinc is an over-the-counter homeopathic cold remedy, Zicam. While Zicam is not a "cure" for the common cold, unlike most over-the-counter and prescription cold remedies that have been designed to temporarily suppress the symptoms of the common cold, Zicam has been proven to help reduce the duration and severity.

Gel Tech LLC, a joint venture between Gum Tech International Inc. and BioDelivery Technologies Inc., recently announced the results of the first independent scientific study on Zicam. According to the study, which appeared in the January 2003 issue of QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, Zicam reduced the duration of the common cold by an average of 78% when taken at the onset.

Maintaining a healthy immune system is generally considered to be the key to avoiding the cold and flu. Proper diet, along with nutritional supplements, and the avoidance of alcohol and tobacco, contribute to enhanced immune functions. If treated at the onset, many of the remedies described above can stop the cold and flu in its tracks.

Additional Net Resources

And of course, what cold remedy would be complete without a nice homemade bowl of chicken soup? Doc Misha's Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine site has two recipes guaranteed to soothe the soul and help cure your cold -

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