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Like clockwork, the cooler weather months often mean a cold or flu infection. Usually, a flu vaccine should protect you against an influenza infection. Unfortunately, it does not protect you against you the 500+ different viruses that can cause flu-like symptoms. In addition, it usually takes 2 weeks for the flu shot to develop enough antibodies to protect your body from the flu virus, noted by Dr. Villarreal, biological dentist in Newbury Park, CA
Natural Herbs to Protect Yourself Against Cold & Flu Season (2017)
Fortunately, there are many other ways to protect yourself from the cold and flu viruses, including herbs and supplements you can take to enhance the effectiveness of your body’s natural immune system. Here are some herbs known to strengthen the immune system and help defend against colds and flu:
Zingiber officinalis, commonly known as ginger, is a spicy, aromatic root that is readily available and a great remedy for respiratory congestion and cold and flu symptoms. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antipyretic (reduces fever), diaphoretic (induces sweating), and analgesic, all of which help to manage the symptoms of cold and flu.
You can take the liquid extract of fresh Ginger Root, or chop up 1-inch of Dried Ginger Root and steep it in one cup of water for 15 minutes to prepare Ginger tea.
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2. Echinacea purpurea.
Also known as angustifolia, the Echinacea was used by the native people of North America to treat diverse ailments, including swollen glands, sore throat, toothache, and venomous stings or bites. Numerous studies and trials have corroborated the healing attributes of Echinacea with regard to common colds and glandular inflammation, as well as improving immune activity.
The plant can be easily identified by its purple flower with a spiny orange centre. The entire plant can be used for medicinal purposes, though the roots are said to be stronger, with anti-bacteria, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. To prepare the medication, simply draw some liquid extract from the plant or simmer one teaspoon of dried roots in about 2 cups of water for 20 minutes.
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Also known as Sambucus nigra, this tasty dark blue berry has antiviral properties. It is a great immune stimulant that effectively helps to manage cold and flu symptoms, including nasal congestion, fever, mucous damage, coughing, and aches and pains. Elderberry can also be used preventively in lower doses to boost your immunity when the cold and flu season approaches, or when you expect to be in crowds where the risk of infection is quite high.
Elderberry can be used as an alcohol-free glycerite or tincture, or one tablespoon of the dried berries simmered in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.
Other readily herbs to help protect your family against the flu and cold season include the Oregon grape root, Thyme, peppermint, lemon balm, and garlic. Most can be used to prepare some healing tea that you can sip to recover, usually three cups a day.
Dr. David Villarreal offers nutrition counseling in Newbury Park for those looking to make lifestyle changes centered around their diet. Not only will his advice help you lose weight, but will also kickstart your health by increasing your stamina, energy, focus, and self-esteem.