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Natural Medicine Cabinet Essentials for the Holidays

Cold season is coming so time to stock up your medicine cabinet with some all time natural medicine favorites. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that you have some natural medicines that support your bodies immunity to send the bugs packing.

Fortunately, there are many natural health products that do just that. As already mentioned in an earlier post, echinacea works very well to stimulate immune cells to eat up viruses more rapidly and with extra strength.

Have some of the liquid tincture available and take as soon as you get the sniffles. I like using the standardized extracts of echinacea purpurea, which ensure the actives are there for effectiveness. Actives should include cichoric acid, alkylamides and polysaccharides.

Elderberry fruit extract is also an alternate essential. Studies show that it contains rich levels of polyphenols, anthocyanins, and polysaccharides that collectively block surface glycoproteins of infuenza viruses and stimulate immune attack against the virus.

Pilot clinical studies have shown that it significantly lessens the symptoms and duration of flu as effective or even better than common anti-viral drugs. Within 48 hours of taking the extract up to 90% of the study participants were symptom free or experienced very mild symptoms, with a very exceptional safety profile.

I like the black elderberry extract syrups, you usually take a tablespoon up to four times daily, during symptoms, to help you cope better with the symptoms, and fight them off quicker. Sambucol is an example of a proprietary product that was used most widely in many clinical studies.

Don't forget about good old zinc lozenges. Zinc is an essential mineral found in many foods such as legumes, whole grains and shellfish. This mineral is strongly associated with our immunity. So not surprisingly taking the lozenges help fight off viruses, particularly common cold, as evidenced by 13 randomized placebo-controlled trials.

Start taking the lozenges as soon as cold symptoms start, and both duration and severity will be dramatically improved. There are many products over the counter available at both health food stores and pharmacies.

There are even lozenges that combine zinc, vitamin C, and echinacea, which may provide for convenience and a synergy of benefits.

I also encourage people to have plenty of herbal teas around, such as peppermint, and or marshmallow root. Drinking tea is soothing in of itself, the actives of peppermint and marshmallow help ease coughing, sore throat, and respiratory symptoms. Add honey to taste and you get extra anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

When selecting any natural health product be sure to choose those products with a NPN, which assures that it has passed Canadian regulatory requirements for safety and effectiveness. Also look for companies that have been around for a while with a proven track record of quality products.

The take home message is that you have many options to choose from when it comes to building your cold bug natural remedies medicine cabinet. Just be sure to have some options on hand so you can feel better as soon as symptoms start.

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