The common cold is back with a vengeance this year, at least in my
neck of the woods. And, while “it” never really goes away, the common
cold certainly becomes more prevalent during the winter months and is
as dependable as clockwork or rush hour traffic. Researchers are
continually on the lookout for natural and safe ways of managing and
preventing symptoms associated with upper respiratory infections (URIs).
As a result, each year there are more and more holistic and
integrative options to consider if you hope to avoid the seemingly
inevitable coughing, runny nose and sneezing that comes with the
In recent months, five natural remedies have demonstrated efficacy
and safety in protecting against URIs and/or minimizing symptoms
relating to such viral infections.
a standardized Echinacea purpurea extract, reduced “the total number
of cold episodes” and the need for medication in a recent, 4 month
placebo-controlled trial conducted at Cardiff University, UK.
2) Immun Age, a fermented papaya
extract, also showed potential in lowering viral susceptibility by
supporting immune function (lysozyme production and secretary IgA) and
antioxidant expression in the respiratory tract of 90 study volunteers.
3) Kyolic, a popular aged garlic
extract, increased the number of infection fighting cells (Natural
Killer and T cells) and decreased the duration and severity of cold and
flu symptoms in a double-blind trial involving 120 men and women.
4) Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum,
two healthy strains of bacteria or probiotics, lowered the incidence
of cough, fever and school absence in children who were supplemented
with the probiotics instead of a placebo over a 3 month period of time.
5) Finally, if a cold does set in, consuming 10 grams nightly of various types of honey
(citrus, eucalyptus or labiatae) provides symptomatic relief of
“children’s nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to URI”.
Prevention is always best, but safe remedies that can help you ride out
a common cold are always welcome news as well.