American Botanical Council reports that there are several natural options that
may help normal, healthy adults protect against colds and flu, diminish
symptoms, and shorten the intensity and duration of colds and flu.
taken at the first sign of symptoms some herbs have demonstrated benefits.
According to reports there are a handful of herbs with proven safety that can
help improve the bodys immune functions, including echinacea, the
increasingly popular immune booster, elderberry, astragulus, and
the Chinese herb andrographis.
Clinical studies on echinacea
show that it can diminish the symptoms and duration of colds and flu.
[Note] In my personal experience taking echinacea and vitamin C at the
first sign of a cold greatly reduces the severity and duration. On Saturday
morning I woke up feeling miserable, sneezing, coughing, congested, feverish,
and with muscle aches. I immediately began echinacea and vitamin C (Emergen-C,
I sipped it slowly through out the day and another at night). The next morning
I felt much better, and the third day I felt good enough to go out to eat and
meet with friends. The fourth day, I was fine.
In a recent Canadian
clinical trial on an echinacea extract it was shown that the herbal extract
lowered respiratory tract symptoms in people with colds.
In a Norwegian
study scientists were able to demonstrate that patients receiving elderberry
extract recovered from the flu four days earlier than patients in the control
group. Symptoms were also made less severe with no significant side effects
Elderberry is noted for its mildness, safety, and wonderful
taste. Its also a good remedy for children. Clinical and laboratory
research documents the beneficial immune-stimulating properties of elderberry
Andrographis is an herb with a good record of being
scientifically documented for its safety and benefits, but it hasn't become
popular in the United States. It is available from a few manufacturers. Quite a
few published clinical trials show that andrographis is safe and effective in
treating upper respiratory tract infections associated with colds and flus.
In addition, a standardized extract of astragalus, a well-known Chinese
herb, is helpful to take throughout the flu season.
information on the above mentioned herbs, use the following links:
Index of Herbs for