Com­mon cures for win­ter colds

Stan­dard medicine has long claimed the com­mon cold as one of life’s great­est mys­ter­ies, some­thing we may have to en­dure for eter­nity. Or do we?

Element - - Nutrition - By Brid­get Quick

Cold med­i­ca­tions help to ease the symp­toms of a cold, but they won’t com­bat the virus or help you heal any faster. The good news is that there may be a cure in the works. Science has proven for the first time that the im­mune sys­tem is able to fight off viruses after they’ve in­vaded the cell (previously thought im­pos­si­ble), open­ing the door to com­pletely new ways of look­ing at an­tivi­ral drugs, paving the way for a cure. But, with re­search in early de­vel­op­ment, po­ten­tial treat­ment could be light years away. In the mean­time are we des­tined to suf­fer?

Nat­u­ral medicine claims it is pos­si­ble – with a healthy im­mune sys­tem – to com­bat cold viruses, or at least re­duce their sever­ity and du­ra­tion. Fur­ther­more, emerg­ing bod­ies of clin­i­cal ev­i­dence are now start­ing to back these claims – such as the re­cent re-eval­u­a­tion of the herb echi­nacea, prov­ing that it has sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect in pre­vent­ing colds and also in lim­it­ing their du­ra­tion. With re­search con­clud­ing that echi­nacea reduced the risk of catch­ing a cold by 58 per­cent (ac­cord­ing to meta-analy­ses pub­lished by The Lancet of In­fec­tious Dis­ease).

While con­ven­tional medicine tends to view sin­gu­lar causes for dis­or­ders, nat­u­ral health sys­tems be­lieve that illness re­sults from var­i­ous imbalances in the body, that make you sus­cep­ti­ble to get­ting sick. With fac­tors such as diet, stress lev­els, life­style and hered­i­tary traits play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant part in main­tain­ing bal­ance, ex­plain­ing why some peo­ple rarely, if ever, catch colds while oth­ers seem to be per­ma­nently at­tached to a hand­ker­chief.

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