Vitamins C and E are antioxidants and fight free radicals. Vitamin C promotes antiviral activity in the immune system and can reduce the severity and duration of infection. It's best to eat foods that contain vitamin C, like strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes and broccoli.
However, for acute infections, it is recommended to take a Vitamin C supplement with food throughout the day. Most practitioners recommend taking as much as your body can absorb (take the maximum dose recommended until you have loose stools, then drop the dosage until your stools return to normal).
-Vitamin A enhances immunity, has antiviral properties, and helps maintain the integrity of the mucous membranes. Carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, spinach and egg yolks are just a few of the vitamin A rich foods already in your refrigerator
-Vitamin B Complex is critical for the functioning immune system. It is especially helpful for those under high amounts of stress. It's great for purifying blood, and is also good for your glandular system. Foods high in vitamin B include green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, eggs and beans.
-b, as used mostly in lozenge form, can hinder the progression of viruses. It is best to use a zinc supplement at the first sign of a cold.
-Astragalus is an herbal immune enhancer that can be taken as a tea or a tincture. You can use it in the beginning of the season for prevention, or in acute cases of a cold or flu.
-Ginger as a tea, in lozenge form, or added to food-helps break up mucous.
-Garlic and Echincea both have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Echinacea is best taken at the first sign of a cold; studies show that it helps make colds shorter and less severe.
-Mushrooms, including maitake, reishi and shiitake, all contain polysaccharides and protein complexes that stimulate the immune cells to produce antimicrobial substances.
-Homeopathic remedy Oscillococcinum has been proven, in random/double blind studies, to reduce symptoms and duration of the flu.
-Clinical studies have shown the effectiveness of Sambucol, a formulation based on an extract of Elderberry, in the treatment of both adults and children with either type A or B influenza.
-YinChiao is a Chinese Herb available in most health food stores that helps decrease the length and intensity of a cold or flu if you start taking it within the first few hours of onset.
These statements are not intended to treat or cure any diseases. They are solely intended for educational purposes, and if you have an infection that lasts for more than a week, you should go to you physician or homeopathic doctor.