How to Ward Off the Winter Sniffles

With winter on our doorstep, you can almost rely on colds and flus becoming the next houseguests. Many of us are concerned about falling victim to these annoying sicknesses, especially if you don’t have time to let a cold or flu slow you down.winter sniffles

You know that the common cold can be one of the most tiring things to go through – especially if you can’t take a sick day off work, or have to run around after your kids all day. Colds can last weeks; wearing your immune system -and energy down.

Flus are often more serious, and can be accompanied with some debilitating symptoms that can include high fever, body aches, chills and extreme fatigue.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t simply stop if you get sick. The good news is that there is a proven and effective natural approach to treating and preventing these common ailments.

Here are some natural treatments that can help to shorten the life of a cold or flu and get you back on your feet:


Curb colds and flus with natural supplements

There is a long list of supplements that can help ward off colds and flus. Immune-boosting supplements may be helpful in fighting off viruses, and strengthening your body’s defence system.

One of the most common questions posed to Emed staff is “What are your best products for colds and flus?” We’ve compiled a list of the top cold and flu formulas to make it easy for you.

Individual Supplements for Cold and Flu Prevention

Certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients are reknowned for their cold and flu-fighting powers. Boost your immune system with these virus-fighting products:

Vitamin C

It is common knowledge that Vitamin C is a powerhouse in protecting the body from colds and flus, however an orange a day definately won’t provide your body with the right amount. So how does Vitamin C work?

In a 1995 analysis of studies exploring the connection between vitamin C and colds, the researchers concluded that taking 1000-6000 mg a day at the onset of cold symptoms reduces the cold’s duration significantly. Other studies have shown that vitamin C helps elderly people to fight severe respiratory infections. Vitamin C also appears to be a natural antihistamine. High doses of the vitamin can block the effect of inflammatory substances produced by the body in response to pollen, pet dander or other allergens.


Echinacea is a natural antibiotic and infection fighter. Echinacea helps to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi and other disease-causing microbes. Echinacea works in the body by stimulating various immune-system cells that are key weapons in the fight against infection.

In one study of people who were susceptible to colds, those who used the herb for eight weeks were 35% less likely to come down with a cold than those given a placebo. Furthermore, they caught colds less often – 40 days elapsed between infections, versus 25 days for the placebo group. Studies confirm that echinacea is also useful if you’re already suffering from the aches, pains, congestion or fever of colds or flu. Overall, symptoms are less severe and subside sooner.


Garlic has been used as a health food for many thousands of years. It is renowned for its antibiotic properties and effects on allergies, cancer and general immunity.

In the body, garlic acts as a powerful antibiotic; improving cardiovascular health and inhibiting carcinogenic activity.

A recent study performed by Peter Josling in East Sussex found that a daily garlic supplement containing allicin (a purified component of garlic) reduced the risk of catching a cold by more than half.

The study found that a daily garlic supplement containing allicin, a purified component of garlic considered to be the major biologically active agent produced by the plant, reduced the risk of catching a cold by more than half.

Taken as a preventative, a good quality garlic supplement can signficantly contribute towards having a health, cold and flu free winter.


Zinc is an essential minerals that is found in almost every cell. It has antioxidant effects and is vital to the body’s resistance to infection. It may also decrease the ability of cold viruses to grow on or bind to the lining of the nose.

Regular supplementation with zinc will help to support immune function, wound healing and general wellbeing.

To relieve symptoms of cold and flus with immediate results, zinc lozenges are the way to go. By dissolving a zinc lozenge under the tongue, rather than swallowing it, sneezing, congestion and throat soreness can be relieved straight away.

Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplementation

Sadly, most of us lack the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to function properly. Poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, sickness and alcohol all deplete our body stores.

Long term nutritional insufficiencies experienced by ‘most people’ promote the development of “long-latency deficiency diseases” such as cancer, neurological deterioration and cardiovasculr disease.

Multivitamin/multimineral supplementation has been shown to improve nutritional status and reduce the risk for chronic diseases, improve mood, potentiate antidepressant drug treatment, alleviate migraine headaches (when used with diet improvment and fatty acids), improve immune function and infectious disease outcomes in the elderly (expecially diabetics), reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with HIV infection, alleviate premenstrual syndrome and bipolar disorder, reduce violence and antisocial behaviour in children and incarcerated young adults (when used with essential fatty acids), and improve scores of intelligence in children.

Ideally, we would all get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients from our diet alone, however this is not the case.

We should all take a multivitamin. This is especially important during the colder months, when our immune system is compromised, and colds and flus run rampant.

Unfortunately, a lot of the multivitamins on the market simply do not hack it. They contain inadequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, or the wrong balance.

Fortunately, Emed has the BEST multivitamin/multimineral supplements available for you.

More handy hints for winter

Stress Less
Chronic stress, such as unemployment or family troubles may substantially increase the risk of catching a cold. Stress management reduces the duration of colds and flus, as well as prevents them.

Try not to get hung up on everything – if you can’t change it, don’t worry about it. Try to relax, and enjoy yourself. Stressing doesn’t help anyone.

Get your Zzzzzzzzzzz’s
Don’t overdo it. Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night. Instead of falling asleep in front of the TV at night, go to bed instead. Adequate sleep makes a huge difference to your health and immunity.

If you have trouble falling asleep, read a book, take a walk, or have a warm bath.

Stay hydrated
Most of us are chronically dehydrated. We need at least 2 litres of water everyday – not every other day. When we are properly hydrated, our body has a better chance of fighting of viruses and infections.

Caffeinated drinks and soft drinks will dehydrate you further, so ensure that you are drinking extra water.

Rug Up
It’s better to be prepared than not. If you are venturing outdoors, take plenty of warmer clothes, socks and shoes. This is especially important for your children too.

Though you won’t catch the cold virus from it being cold outside, a drop in your body temperature can leave you susceptible to an array of illnesses.

Keep moving
Winter is a notorious time for exercise excuses to appear. “It’s too cold”, “It’s too dark”, “I just want to get home” are all common ones.

Join a gym near you so you can exercise indoors. Remember that exercising will only warm you up, so don’t stress about the initial cold start.


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