With my favorite mug in hand, filled with tea and honey, I am working through what appears to be a mild cold. On Tuesday I posted a question on Facebook asking for natural cold remedies and the suggestions were wonderful. Some I was aware of and already using, a few others were familiar but needed more looking into.
Here is what I found while researching homeopathic and natural cold remedies. There are a lot, A LOT, of conflicting reports and data, medical papers and research on this subject. It can be overwhelming and if you don’t do your own reading and research, it could be more harmful than helpful. And this, as most of us know, applies to all medicines not just herbs, roots and tonics.
After taking in as much information as I could without loosing my mind, I decided to list out my top findings I thought would be helpful for anyone else looking to nurture themselves naturally this season.
Vitamin C: This has been one of the most widely suggested remedies as long as I can remember. Told to take it at the first sign of sniffles to reduce the length of your cold. Some suggest increasing it everyday for preventative maintenance.
What I found – there is conflicting scientific data proving Vitamin C helps shorten or prevent a cold. Hmmm….no wonder I still got a cold even though I ate a crate full of clementines over the past few weeks.
Zinc: You see the ads for this everywhere these days. Almost as popular as Vitamin C drops are Zinc lozenges and drink mixes with extra zinc added. You can get extra zinc in certain fish, meats and eggs, three things I don’t eat. The claim is that they will have a similar effect as Vitamin C with preventing and shortening colds.
What I found – no evidence proving any effectiveness of zinc against the cold virus or its symptoms.
Black Elderberry: Sambucol is the more popular brand here in the U.S. and I have both the liquid and tablets in my bathroom closet.
What I found – This is the only remedy that has been shown effective against colds and flu. Shown to cut a cold length in half. Touted as one of the super fruits and better than the blueberry or cranberry, elderberries seem to be the winner when it comes to getting over your cold or flu faster. In fact, it appears from what I’ve read, it’s safe to take everyday as a effective immune booster.
I laughed when I saw they offered a version with added Vitamin C & Zinc!
Oscillococcinum: This one I keep seeing pop up in articles and online for a cure of flu symptoms. I haven’t taken the time to look into it until now.
What I found – It’s only manufactured in France by one company, Boiron. It’s starts out as a product of duck liver and heart and gets diluted to the point where there is no trace of a single duck liver or heart molecule in the product. The claim is there’s an imprint in their product of the heart and liver molecules that are effective in easing cold and flu symptoms. Not proven anywhere as of today, it has gone so far that a lawsuit has been brought against the company for false advertising. I guess I won’t be taking any of this regardless of the fact I don’t eat duck liver or hearts. YUCK!
After all I read up on, including those listed above and others like ginseng, echinacea, eucalyptus and Chinese herbs among others, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m making pretty good choices for nurturing my cold symptoms. This is what has been working for me.
Tea, lots of tea! Organic green, chai masala, or red rooibos all with a spoonful of raw honey. Those elderberry tablets that I mentioned were in my closet are now part of my daily routine. Sleep! I normally get around seven hours a night but have added an extra hour to give my body a little more restorative time. Soup, because it’s warm and I get a full meal while keeping me hydrated.
Phew, lots of information here and if you’ve made it this far, tell me what you think. Do you agree? Disagree? Find conflicting credible reports on what I have written here? I’d love to know more!
In the meantime, I need to get to bed!