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Acute Immunity: Fighting the Common Cold

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The common cold is one the most widespread illnesses and is a leading cause of visits to the doctor and absenteeism from school and work. Treatment is typically aimed at alleviating symptoms and this approach is largely a reflection of the limitations found in conventional treatments. To date, there is no commonly available medication able to successfully kill the infection or boost the body’s immune response.

By contrast, there are several herbs and nutrients that not only have a long history of traditional use, but are also supported by a growing body of evidence for their use in the common cold. Of particular interest is andrographis (Andrographis paniculata), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), elecampane (Inula helenium) and zinc. These herbs and nutrients have been shown to reduce the risk for infection and, through their immune stimulating and antimicrobial properties, may also be used prophylactically.

In this infographic, we review these important herbs and nutrients and highlight the supportive research and possible mechanisms that underlie their effectiveness in the treatment of common respiratory infections.


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Melissa Lee
Melissa is a designer turned nutritionist, who has combined the two modalities to create purposeful designs for various health publications and websites. Having initially studied Multimedia Systems Design, she then went on to complete a BHSc in Nutritional Medicine which led to her involvement in the integrative medicine industry and eventually to FX Medicine.