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Natural Awakenings National

Natural Defenses: Against Cold and Flu

The same herbs and nutrients that keep winter colds and flu at bay also can bring relief at the same time they work to restore our defenses.

Echinacea has been used by Native Americans for centuries; it increases levels of the natural compound, properdin, which activates the immune system against viruses and bacteria. Garlic and onion, too, have antibacterial properties and help fight infection.

Fresh boiled ginger root, ingested as tea, helps relive pain, acts as an antiseptic and helps soothe a sore throat, especially when combined with honey. Ginger is also a mild sedative, encouraging restorative rest. Zinc and Vitamin C can help nip a cold in the bud and even shorten its duration. Homeopathic remedies for loose cough include Antimonium tartaricum 6c, and Belladonna 6c, which helps bring down fever and ease inflammation.

Sources:, “Homeopathic Medicines” by Dr. Stephen Cummings;, subject articles by Dana Ullman, master of public health.

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