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There are many natural cold flu remedies. Some of which work great and others that are difficult to validate at all. This article will discuss some of the most popular natural cold flu remedies including IV Nutrient therapy.
The cold/flu illness explained
Sometimes it starts with fatigue and other times with a sneeze. Sometimes it is gradual onset and other times it comes on all the sudden. Most of us feel defenseless when we get sick with the cold or flu. The body aches, sore throat, stuffed nose, headaches, cough, etc. Lets look at what causes these symptoms to begin with.
When you are sick there is a battle going on inside your body between the bacteria or virus and your immune system. The fever and body aches you feel are the result of your immune system sending signals to the brain to raise the body tempurature. This increased temperature actually helps to decrease the replication of the bacteria and virus (a critical part in this battle). The stuffed nose, sore throat and sometimes the cough come about from the virus or bacteria causing inflammation in the general nose and throat area. These bugs cling to the mucus membrane in these areas and begin their replication process causing the immune cells to attack. The resulting inflammation, mucus, and soreness are all part of the body's defense mechanisms. As doctor practicing holistic and integrative medicine our job is improve the immune system's activity at killing off the insulting bug and decrease the ability of the bug to replicate. it is a battle of numbers. The sooner the immune cells can replicate and overcome the virus or bacteria, the sooner you get better. Initially the virus or bacteria have an advantage over your immune system. This is where natural cold flu remedies come into play.
Natural cold flu remedies: immune stimulants
An immune stimulant is a medication (natural or pharmaceutical) that will create activation of certain components of the immune system or increase the overall activity of the immune cells. Natural cold flu remedies are generally nonspecific immune system stimulants that increase the activity of the immune system. This creates a greater response to the bug an in-turn you get better quicker. Here are some examples
Mushroom extracts- all mushrooms have polysacarhides which increase immune activity. Maitake, Shiitake, and Coriolus versicolr are some examples.
Astragalas membranaceus- is an herb used for centuries in Chinese medicine used to strenghthen immune function and other organ function.
Vitamin C- IV nutrient therapy is on of the most effective ways to boost immune function quickly and effectively. This method can deliver high doses of Vitamin C (10-50 grams ), and other nutrients, directly into your system.
Natural cold flu remedies: antimicrobials
Contrary to popular believe, most oral antimicrobials do not kill bacteria, they actually stop the replication of the microbe (virus, bacteria, or fungus). This is particularly true for antibiotics. Many natural cold flu remedies work to both kill microbes and decrease the replication of microbes. Here are some examples:
Oregon Grape- the active ingredient for antimicrobial activity is Berberine. It is generally thought to have more affinity to bacteria than viruses. However it can work to both kill bacteria and viruses.
Grapefruit seed extract-Conflicting research on it's benefit but reported to work well against all microbes.
Olive leaf extract-the phenolic components are thought to be that active ingredient and shown to both kill and decrease replication of bacteria, virus, and fungus.
Zinc - A potent antiviral agent.
Whether you are looking for immune stimulation or antimicrobial activity, natural cold flu remedies should be used with care. They are generally safer than their pharmaceutical counterparts but not without risks. One main thing to note is that an ongoing cold flu without any resolution of symptoms. This indicated that something more could be going on and you should seek the care pf a medical professional.
If you would like to learn more about natural cold flu remedies, IV Nutrient Therapy or IV Vitamins, give us a call or click on the link below.