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   Jun 03

6 natural ways to fight a cold

There may be no cure for the common cold but that doesn’t mean you can’t come out fighting when the runny nose and sore throat bugs hit this winter.

And rather than filling your body with painkillers and chemical-filled decongestants, consider taking a natural approach this season – there’s plenty of scientific and anecdotal evidence to support the use of herbs, certain foods and other remedies that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help ease symptoms of a cold.

Chicken soup

Grandma’s fix-all really works. A 2012 US study showed that a compound called carnosine in chicken soup helps the immune system fight the early stages of flu.


This can reduce the length and severity of a cold. Researchers in Canada found it can lessen the number of colds kids have a year, and shorten adults’ colds by up to 1.5 days.

Mustard oil

Herbs or veg that are rich in mustard oil can provide relief and help you fight pathogenic organisms that cause infection, research in the Journal of Food Science shows. In herbal medicine, it’s used to break up mucous.


Results are mixed when it comes to how effectives this herb is at treating colds, but it has been found to lessen their duration. A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicing look at people with early symptoms (runny nose, scratchy throat, fever) and found those who drank echinacea tea every day for five days felt better fast than those who didn’t.


An extract of elderberry called sambucol can help to treat symptoms of cold and flu by easing congestion and making you sweat more, plus it’s been shown to shorten the duration of flu by three days, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It can also be beneficial in treating sinus infections, a common side-effect of the common cold.


The beneficial bacteria in yoghurt and fermented foods can stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease, reducing the severity of colds and upper-respiratory infections, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed.

Originally published on bodyandsoul.com

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