Zinc is a co-factor in many enzyme processes in the human body, especially the immune system. When zinc is deficient, immune cells show decreased function.
With strong anti-viral properties, studies have shown zinc supplementation can
help reduce the duration of colds.
Herbs can also help build immunity and assist the body to recover faster from colds. Echinacea is a widely known and popular herb which can help manage and reduce
Another important cold-fighting herb is Astragalus. Considered by many to be even
more potent than Echinacea, this highly popular Chinese herb has been used for centuries for its immune-boosting properties and to manage upper respiratory tract infections associated with colds.
Astragalus increases virus-fighting T-cells in the immune system, helping to fight off the infection and shorten the duration of colds.
We all know how miserable even a simple cold can make you, so it pays to be vigilant; luckily there are some simple strategies to help you avoid (and manage) the sniffles:
The single most important, and yet often neglected, step to cold and flu prevention is good hygiene. When coughs and sneezes seem to be everywhere, it's difficult to know which surfaces we touch might have viruses – but wash or sanitise your hands often and you'll at least avoid transferring them to your eyes, nose or mouth. Keep a hand sanitiser on your desk or in your bag for when you're not near a tap.
Scientists increasingly believe Vitamin D deficiency may have something to do with low immunity to colds, so it's worthwhile ensuring you're getting enough in your daily diet. Cod liver oil supplements – rich in both Vitamin D and helpful Omega 3's – may also be useful to help boost immunity. Eat lots of lean red meat and greens as nutrients such as iron and zinc are important. Herbal supplements such as Echinacea may be useful.
Around the home – and at work too! - make sure your surroundings are hygienic. Bosisto's Eucalyptus Spray kills 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria, with the natural power of eucalyptus oil. With no harmful chemicals, it's safe even to use around young children and perfect for allergy-sufferers. Spray telephone handsets, remotes, door knobs, toys, bins and anywhere little fingers may touch.
Winter 'Comfort Kit'
Ultimately, and despite our best efforts, it's almost inevitable someone in the family will catch a cold. Rather than doing the midnight dash to the pharmacy, be ready to deal with symptoms. You don't need pills and prescriptions either: natural remedies are just as effective, and safer for the entire family. Helpful items include a steam vaporiser, inhalant or eucalyptus oil, chest rub and saline nasal spray.
And don't forget a good digital thermometer.