Herbs and Nutritional Supplements for Supporting Cold & Flu
FLU Season is Here… many of you have unfortunately already experienced this or had a friend or family member sick with the flu. Influenza has limited drug treatment options, which means supportive care is the generally the best medicine unless the patient is very sick and needs hospitalization. You can find more information about the flu and when seeking medical attention is warranted here on the Centers for Disease Control website.
There are a host of herbal and natural products that may help support the immune system during acute illnesses like the cold and flu. Some of them even have documented anti-viral properties. A product want to highlight tonight is Viracid. This is a natural supplement by Ortho Molecular Products containing key herbs and nutrients that target T-cell activation, natural killer (NK) cell activity, thymus hormone secretions, and nutrient balance.1-23 You can find it on my FullScript Store and click on Cold & Flu.
FullScript also stocks other quality brands with similar ingredients such as Immune Support & Berry Well Immune Support (Vital Nutrients), Daily Immune (Pure Encapsulations), and Immune Support Packets (Designs for Health). These are also quality brands that I trust. You will just have to look at the ingredient list and decide what would work best for you and your family.
Check out the ingredients that make up Viracid in the tables below and if you have specific questions about you or your family feel free to set-up up a consult! There are some drug interactions with some ingredients so please reach out for a consult if you would like to discuss your personal situation. The biggest caution for anything that stimulates the immune system is for people taking immunosuppressant medications. Zinc also can impair absorption of other medications and nutrients if taken at the same time.
Next week I’m going to be taking about IgG Protect and Colostrum Concentrate and how it may support the immune system as well!
|Andrographic Paniculata Leaf Extract1,2||Can reduce the intensity and prevalence of symptoms in uncomplicated common cold (headache, nasal, throat, malaise, and temperature).||85mg/day for 5 days|
|Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract3-6||May help prevent upper respiratory tract infections by increasing immune helper cells. In lab studies it shows antibiotic activity.||Powdered root capsules (250 –500 milligrams); Two capsules three times a day|
|Echinacea Purpurea Extract7-8||Treatment at early onset of cold or flu symptoms was effective for relieving symptoms in a shorter period of time than placebo in a controlled study||Echinacea purpurea has been used safely at a dose of 1.8 grams daily for 8 weeks|
|European Elder9||On average, this elderberry extract has reduced the duration of influenza-like symptoms (aches and pains, mucus discharge, nasal congestion, cough, quality of sleep) by about 56%||5.7mg four times a day for 5 days|
|L-Lysine10||A study conducted in China of 88 families found the L-Lysine group to have increased immune cell counts and function.||1000-3000 mg daily|
|Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5)11||Supports white blood cell levels, and immune system energy.||Amounts up to 10 grams have been ingested without significant adverse effects.|
|Vitamin A12||The incidence of acute lower respiratory infection was significantly lower in underweight, supplement-treated children than in underweight children on placebo||Safe up to 10,000 IU/day|
|Vitamin B1213,14||B12 supports immune cell function.||Generally considered safe, even in large doses up to 1032 mcg|
|Vitamin C and Acerola Fruit Extract16-20||In 5 case studies with adults given 1 g/day of vitamin C, decrease in cold duration was only 6%, whereas in two studies with children administered 2 g/day the median decrease was four times higher at 26%.||For acute needs, do not exceed 2000 mg daily (children), 3,000 mg daily in adults for acute illness.|
|Zinc21-23||• Improves our immune cells and their ability to ward off infection|
• Kids who take zinc every day have significantly less colds, less days of schools missed, and less days of antibiotic use Zinc gluconate lozenges significantly reduced the duration of symptoms of the common cold in a controlled trial.
|Zinc acetate/gluconate lozenges provide 9-24 mg of elemental zinc per dose.|
Special thanks to Danielle Baker, PharmD Intern for help compiling this information.
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