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Natural Solutions to Quick Recovery from Common Cold

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Natural Solutions to Quick Recovery from Common Cold

Common Cold is the infection of upper respiratory tract caused by verity of cold viruses. The respiratory symptoms usually include runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and coughing. Other general symptoms of headache, body ache, fever, and fatigue may be experienced during cold as well. However, if any of these symptoms appear in a severe form with exhaustion could be indicative of Flu caused by a Flu virus which is very different from cold virus. Common cold is the main reason of medical visits and missing days of work or school.

Treatment of the common cold is generally to reduce duration and severity of the symptoms. There are wide verity of over the counter drugs to address the symptoms associated with cold, however often many create side effects and interaction with other medicines. Such side effects may include drowsiness, lack of concentration, indigestion, skin irritation, liver and kidney reactions or sensitivity. Furthermore, ingredients used in these medications appear as toxins for our organs and immune system and that interrupt and weaken the body's natural ability to recover even further. Fortunately there are clinically proven natural medicines that shown to reduce duration and severity of common cold symptoms that actually could benefit our immune system rather than weakening it.

Common cold pattern of progress in the body starts when the virus comes in contact with the mucus membrane of our respiratory tract or eyes. The response of the immune system to the virus results in inflammation and appearance of common cold symptoms. Even though the infection begins by the virus, the symptoms occur due to the Immune response within 1-3 days. Once the cells are infected, the virus multiplies itself rapidly and the symptoms progress further. So the most effective way to treat common cold is to start at the onset of the symptoms, instead of waiting until the symptoms are unbearable. Also, strengthening the immune system during the cold and flu season prevents the frequency of the colds and the symptoms will be less intensive.

Clinical studies have found direct relation between the level of blood Vitamin D3 and frequency and duration of certain infection such as cold. Supplementation with vitamin D3 increase the level of Cathelicidin which is a naturally occurring antiviral and anti microbial. In addition, individuals with adequate levels of Vitamin D less frequently affected by seasonal cold. (Request a Vitamin D3 test at Health Palace.)

Vitamin C enhances the immune system in different areas so it can protect us against different infections. Vitamin C is shown to improve the production and function of white blood cells. For instance Vitamin C enhances the ability of a type of white blood cell called Neutrophil to capture and destroy virus. Vitamin C reduces the frequency of catching cold and may reduce the duration of runny nose.

Zinc plays an important role in modulating the immune system and it is shown to provide antiviral benefits. Zinc reduces the possibility of virus attaching itself to the respiratory tract cells, so the virus will not be able to infect the cells and replicate. Zinc also provides anti inflammatory property by reducing the histamine and other inflammatory markers. Large scale studies have shown the significant reduction in duration and severity of common cold symptoms, when supplementing with Zinc in particular zinc lozenges within the first 24 hours of infection. Also Zinc Supplementation was found to reduce the risk of infection.

An Iron binding protein from milk which is called Lactoferrin is found to provide a strong immune support as well as an antimicrobial benefits. Lab researches showed that lactoferrin interrupts the attachment of particular viruses to the cells.

Standardized Andrographis extract provides anti inflammatory properties and it has been found to effectively reduce the cold's symptoms of upper respiratory tract, in addition it is able to provide some preventative benefits. Andrographis stimulates the immune function showing to reverse the action of immune suppressive medications.

Sambucus Nigra (Black Elderberry) traditionally is used for its antiviral and anti bacterial properties. Standardized extract of Sambucus berries and the flowers are used for medicinal purposes. Elderberry also contains flavonoids with antioxidant activity which may help prevent damage to the body's cells. Actually elderberry has much higher flavonol content than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and blackberries. Elderberry extract is available in forms of syrups and lozenges. Studies suggests the elderberry Lozenges are helpful to reduce the symptoms when taken within the first 24 hours of infection, and other lab researches show anti viral and anti bacterial activity of the Elderberry extract in the test tubes.

Among herbs, Echinacea is one of the most studied and used for treatment and prevention of upper respiratory tract infections. Standardized Echinacea Purpurea is shown to increase the number of the white blood cells and their activity against cold virus. However allergy to Echinacea is common in people with allergies to the ragweed family (Asteraceae) So, they should stay away from Echinacea.

Double blind studies Suggest that a Compound called Beta Glucan is able to reduce the symptoms of cold. Beta Glucans are able to enhance the ability of the immune cells including macrophages and natural killer cells. Beta Glucans are usually found in the cell wall of some plants, medicinal mushrooms, and microbes.

Garlic contains a sulfuric compound called allicin with anti viral properties. However, several clinical research show supplementing with allicin is beneficial in reducing frequency of colds and the symptoms suggesting it may act more as a preventative for cold rather than a treatment. The results of the study indicated taking allicin daily for period of 3 months reduces colds by 65% in comparison with control group.

Lifestyle habits such as having a good night sleep shows to reduce the frequency of cold and flu. Adequate sleep positively impacts the immune regulations. Exercise and diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants help to support immune system and that will translate to overall better health with quicker recovery time. Keeping distance from others with cold and flu, frequent hand washing and avoid touching eyes and nose reduce the possibility of transferring virus and reduces the possibility of infection.

Articles and products featured by Health Palace are collected from a variety of sources and are provided as a service by Health Palace. These newsletters, while of potential interest to readers, do not necessarily represent the opinions nor constitute the advice of Health Palace. Presented materials are only for information purposes and do not intent to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References:

1.CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Cold Versus Flu. 2/8/2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/coldflu.htm. Accessed 8/24/2012.

2.CDC. Common Cold and Runny Nose. 5/1/2012a. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/URI/co... Accessed 8/24/2012.

3.NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases). Common Cold: Symptoms. Updated February 11,2011b.http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/commoncold/Pages/symptoms.aspx

4.Simasek M, Blandino DA. Treatment of the common cold. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(4):515-520.

5.Berry DJ, Hesketh K, Power C, Hypponen E. Vitamin D status has a linear association with seasonal infections and lung function in British adults. Br J Nutr. 2011;106(9):1433-40.

6.Cannell JJ, Hollis BW. Use of vitamin D in clinical practice.Altern Med Rev. 2008;13(1):6-20.

7.Beard JA, Bearden A, Striker R. Vitamin D and the anti-viral state. J ClinVirol. 2011;50(3):194-200.

8.Heimer KA, Hart AM, Martin LG, Rubio-Wallace S. Examining the evidence for the use of vitamin C in the prophylaxis and treatment of the common cold. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2009;21(5):295-300.

9.Hemila H. The effect of vitamin C on the common cold: J Pharm Pract. 2011 Apr;24(2):241-2.

10.Anderson R. The Immunostimulatory, Antiinflammatory and Anti-Allergic Properties of Ascorbate. [In eng] AdvNutr Res. 1984 6(19-45.

11.Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;16(2):cd001364.

12.Berlutti F, Pantanella F, Natalizi T, et al. Antiviral Properties of Lactoferrin--a Natural Immunity Molecule. [In eng] Molecules. 2011 16(8): 6992-7018.

13.Lonnerdal B. Nutritional roles of lactoferrin.CurrOpinClinNutrMetab Care. 2009;12(3):293-297.

14.Akbar S. Andrographispaniculata: a review of pharmacological activities and clinical effects. Altern Med Rev. 2011;16(1):66-77.

15.Saxena RC, Singh R, Kumar P, et al. A randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical evaluation of extract of Andrographispaniculata (KalmCold) in patients with uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infection. Phytomedicine. 2010;17(3-4):178-185.

16.Naik SR, Hule A. Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of an extract of andrographolides from Andographispaniculata. Planta Med. 2009;75(8):785-791.

17.Ji LL, Wang Z, Dong F, Zhang WB, Wang ZT. Andrograpanin, a compound isolated from anti-inflammatory traditional Chinese medicine Andrographispaniculata, enhances chemokine SDF-1alpha-induced leukocytes chemotaxis. J Cell Biochem. 2005;95(5):970-978.

18.Josling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. AdvTher. 2001;18(4):189-193.

19.Lissiman E, Bhasale AL, Cohen M. Garlic for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;14(3).

20.Kong F. Pilot clinical study on a proprietary elderberry extract: efficacy in addressing influenza symptoms. Online Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics . 2009;5:32-43.

21.Mikulic-Petkovsek M, Slatnar A, Stampar F, Veberic R. HPLC-MSn identification and quantification of flavanol glycosides in 28 wild and cultivated berry species. Food Chem. 2012;135(4):2138-46.

22.Ulbricht C, Basch E, Cheung L, et al. An evidence-based systematic review of elderberry and elderflower(Sambucus nigra) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Diet Suppl. 2014;11(1):80-120.

23.Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res. 2004;32:132-40.

24.NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases). Common Cold: Prevention. Last Updated April 13, 2011c. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/commoncold/Pages/...

25.Nicas M, Best D.A study quantifying the hand-to-face contact rate and its potential application to predicting respiratory tract infection. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2008;5(6):347-352.

26.Pae M, Meydani SN, Wu D. The role of nutrition in enhancing immunity in aging. Aging Dis. 2012;3(1):91-129.

27.Woelkart K, Linde K, Bauer R. Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Planta Med. 2008;74(6):633-637.

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