Cold and Flu Compendium
Foods and Herbs to Prevent Colds and Flus

The following is a list of foods and herbs that help promote a healthy immune system and digestive tract and prevents/eliminates mucus from forming in the body(a condition called catarrh), thereby helping to prevent colds and flus as well.

  • Cayenne pepper and  mustard:  both of which stimulate digestion and enhances absorption

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  • Apples:   have significant antiviral properties; they contain polyphenols that have anti-cancer properties,and the pectin is able to bind to toxic metals; have laxative effect to help bulk out stools, but apple can also  help diarrhea

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  • Carrot, potato peel and onion broth base for soups provides the necessary electrolytes for the eliminative processes.  Add herbs such as parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary for added flavor and nutrients.

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  • Cabbage:  stimulates the immune system and antibody production and, taken as a soup or tea, is a wonderful way to ward off infections such as colds, coughs, and flu.  Its sulphur compounds may confer its antiseptic action in the respiratory system

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  • Garlic, onions and leeks:  anti microbial properties and helps detoxify the body.

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  • Turnips:  root and tops are high in glucosinolates which may block the development of cancer; bactericidal effect, particularly in the respiratory system; turnip juice given by teaspoonful throughout the day is an effective decongestant, especially for children's colds, coughs and phlegm

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  • Echinacea and goldenseal:  both stimulate the immune system.  Echinacea is antibacterial and antiviral; goldenseal is an antibacterial noted for healing irritated mucous membranes.

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  • Foods or herbs high in Vitamin A, C (+ the bioflavonoids), E, calcium and zinc also help boost the immune system.  Natural supplements should be taken when the diet is lacking in Vitamin C complex and zinc. (See Vitamin/mineral Guide for more information)

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  • Eat a fresh green leafy salad before every evening meal.  Add shredded cabbage, turnip and carrots, then toss.  This salad adds extra fiber, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals to help your body utilize the nutrients from the main meal.

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  • Sprouted seeds and grains, and soaked nuts are a wonderful addition to the diet and provide an energy rich source of live enzymes and nutrients.  Great to eat when really fresh vegetables are hard to find and you need an energy boost.  Add some sprouts to the salad above.

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  • Drink plenty of pure or distilled water every day.  Try adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon to "charge" every quart of water you drink.  This will add the necessary electrolytes for improved elimination of toxins and waste matter.  If it's too sour, add a little honey or maple syrup.  Fluids may also be taken in the form of teas, which is a great way to add nutritional and cleansing herbs to your diet.  Raspberry leaf tea is very palatable, loaded with nutritional benefits, and blends well with berry juices or extracts.
  • Herbal combinations:   (10):   black cohosh, blessed thistle, pleurisy root, scullcap (21):  comfrey, lobelia, marshmallow, mullein, slippery elm

    Other Useful Herbs:  Bayberry bark, burdock root, cayenne, comfrey (root), elder flowers and berries, fenugreek, marshmallow, mullein, raspberry, thyme, yarrow, yerba santa

    Vitamins:   Use the antioxidant vitamins -   A, C, E, and F
    Get plenty of fresh air and exercise every day if possible.  Getting outdoors in the fall will help you and your children become acclimated to winter weather.


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