Don’t worry, I won’t get you contaminated! It’s one of the first things that you probably hear, or say, when you feel a flu or cold coming on. Trust me, THIS was the note I had to post on my door today, and I’m hoping the co-workers appreciated it:
So what do you do when you start a new day with the foggy “fun” of the flu? Blogger Maressa Brown tosses us a bone (or 8) to try the next time the cold rears it nasty, cough-filled head
Cayenne pepper: Next time you feel a bug coming on, you might wanna add some spice with that chicken soup! Cayenne pepper specifically, which is considered a powerful immune system enhancer for numerous reasons, including its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, plus its content of immune system-supporting nutrients like beta carotene and Vitamin C.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses. According to Dr. Sears, all you need is 200 mg a day — the equivalent of six servings of fruits and vegetables a day — to ward off colds.
Olive Leaf Extract: Olive leaf extract has been used all over the globe for centuries as a health tonic and all-purpose antioxidant with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that can help promote general health and stave off colds, flu, infection, etc.
Echinacea: Studies suggest echinacea’s phenolic compounds stimulate cells in the body whose primary function is to fight invading particles and organisms. White blood cells and spleen cells increase in number when echinacea is taken. Core body temperature rises. Components of the root, leaves and flowers all contain the immune-stimulating compounds, too, according to Active.com. No wonder it’s often prescribed by docs in Germany to battle colds and flu — and has become so popular here, too!
Garlic: Garlic’s shockingly powerful cold and flu-fighting properties stem from its sulfur-containing compounds like allicin and sulfides, which stimulate the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. Garlic also works as an antioxidant to knock out free radicals in the blood. Awesome!
Elderberry: Elderberry has been used to produce jams, syrups, and wine for years, but it only recently hit started taking off as the active ingredient in immunity-boosting products like Sambucol®. In vitro studies show that elderberries possess antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help quash colds and flu.
Honey: Honey may not necessarily work as a catch-all immunity-booster, but sure is soothing and it has been research-proven to be more effective than dextromethorphan—the active ingredient in most cough medicines— by researchers at Penn State University. But one big disclaimer: Don’t give honey to a baby younger than 1 year old: honey may contain spores of a bacteria that causes botulism, which an infant’s immature immune system can’t handle.
Eleuthero Root Extract (Siberian Ginseng): Research shows the adaptogen eleuthero root, also referred to as Siberian Ginseng, exhibits antioxidant properties and may help treat the common cold by stimulating the immune system. It’s found in a lot of immunity-boosting supplements