Colds & Flu

Colds & Flu

Colds can be caused by any of a large number of viral infections, and normally last 7-10 days. On the other hand, flu is caused by one of the Influenza group of viruses, and tends to last longer than a cold.


  • Cold symptoms include:
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • General tiredness
  • Mild fever
  • Aching muscles
  • Flu is generally characterised by the following symptoms:
  • High fever
  • Weakness
  • Muscle pain
  • Shivering
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Aching back, arms and legs


  • As both colds and flu are viral, they are commonly spread through people sneezing or Coughing
  • Depleted Immunity may increase susceptibility to colds and flu by allowing infections to take hold more easily, or extending the time it takes to recover

Nutritional & Herbal Support

  • Echinacea has been scientifically proven to enhance Immunity, and may help reduce the severity and duration of infections. It is specifically indicated for individuals suffering from repeated bouts of colds, flu, Bronchitis, Sinusitis and other respiratory infections
  • Vitamin C supports Immunity, and can help reduce the severity and duration of respiratory tract infections. It is best taken with bioflavonoids, which enhance the absorption and utilisation of vitamin C
  • Zinc has many roles in the immune system, and inadequate intake may lower resistance to infection. Supplementation may be particularly beneficial for older people, because the ability to absorb zinc declines with age
  • Olive leaf has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It has traditionally been used to relieve the symptoms of respiratory infections, and is considered especially useful when fever is present. Look for a product providing 5000 mg of organic olive leaf extract, standardised to contain 100 mg of the active component oleuropein
  • Garlic has potent antibiotic and immune-boosting properties, and has traditionally been used to relieve mucus congestion and other symptoms of respiratory infection. Look for a product containing the equivalent of 3 g of fresh garlic bulb. Parsley is sometimes taken at the same time to reduce the odour of garlic
  • Vitamin A is important for the healthy functioning of the respiratory mucous membranes. Cod and halibut liver oils are naturally rich sources of vitamin A
  • If you are susceptible to recurrent respiratory tract infections, take a multivitamin that's been specially formulated with herbs, vitamins and minerals to promote Immune support. Look for a product combining a broad spectrum of nutrients with immune-boosting herbs such as olive leaf, andrographis, echinacea, Siberian ginseng, and shiitake mushroom

Diet & Lifestyle advice

  • Rest when you need to, eat regular small meals, and drink plenty of fluids
  • Get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and their juices. This will ensure you are getting plenty of vitamin C, betacarotene (some of which is converted into vitamin A in the body) and bioflavonoids
  • Many natural therapists recommend avoiding dairy products when you have respiratory infections, believing that they encourage the airways to produce mucus. Even though this advice is controversial, it's worthwhile trying; many sufferers report that avoiding dairy foods helps manage their symptoms
  • Steam inhalations or the use of a humidifier can help break up respiratory mucus and make it easier to expel; eucalyptus oil enhances the effects of the steam
  • Avoid dust, fumes and cigarette smoke
  • Practicing good hygiene helps prevent the spread of infection. Wash your hands carefully, always cover your mouth when you Cough or sneeze, and dispose of used tissues thoughtfully
  • Expectorant herbal Cough mixtures can help clear mucus, relieve Coughing and soothe inflamed and irritated airways. Suitable ingredients for adults include echinacea, eucalyptus oil, licorice, white horehound and ginger. For children, choose a formula that includes echinacea, licorice, thyme and red clover

If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. Information provided is of a general nature and should not replace that of your healthcare professional.

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