According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the flu and cold season peaks in the months of January or February in the United States. Cold and flu are both respiratory illnesses that are contagious. On the other hand, flue is more dangerous than that of common colds. The common symptoms for both illnesses are fatigue, sore throat, cough, and runny nose. Herbal supplements are known to ease these symptoms and may also help one prevent flu and colds. It is however, recommended to consult your physician when symptoms are severe and persistent.
What are the best herbs for the cold and flu season?
Astragalus is an herb which is native to China, Korea and Mongolia. It is known to have an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant property which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many years. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, astragalus is used to protect and support the immune system. This property helps ward off respiratory infections and colds. Astragalus is also an herb that helps to raise the resistance of the body from mental, emotional and physical stress. It is however recommended that you consult your physician for drug interactions as astragalus may interact with drugs used to suppress the immune system.
Echinacea which is a member of the daisy family is used to combat flu, colds and other infections. From an article in Integrative Medicine, there has been scientific evidence that indicate how beneficial is Echinacea in reducing the duration of colds and flu. It has been known that Echinacea appears to work by stimulating phagocytosis. Phagocytosis is the process wherein the body get rid of harmful bacteria. A common side effect of Echinacea is the unpleasant taste in the mouth and is sometimes associated with allergic reactions. It is therefore recommended that you consult your physician before taking herbs for flu and colds.
According to several research studies by the University of Maryland Medical Center, Garlic helps boost the immune system and also helps prevent infections like flu and colds. Although garlic has been known for its culinary use, it has been also used as a medicinal herb since time immemorial. Garlic is also a source of antioxidant, which could help protect the cells from free radicals which might damage them. Whole garlic cloves are used as supplements and are available in extract, tincture, and garlic capsules.
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