Here at the Yankee Homestead, we’re almost completely free of all prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter remedies.
Here’s one of my favorites for treating and preventing colds and the flu, as well as for treating sore throats:
My favorite is the Echinacea Zinc Cherry flavor.
Best price is at Vitacost, but you can find these just about anywhere: health food stores, grocery stores, etc.
My copy of Herbal Drugstore states the following about Echinacea:
This species is the single best-researched herb for helping the body fight colds and flu once they’ve begun to invade. It stimulates white blood cell activity, increases the body’s production of antiviral substances such as interferon, and enhances the ability of immune cells to engulf and destroy invading microbes.
Research has shown that echinacea, when taken as soon as symptoms appear, can shorten the duration and lessen the severity of cold and flu symptoms… (p.180)
There seems to be some debate as to whether or not Zinc actually helps fight off colds, but most sources I trust indicate that it does.
In Prescription for Nutritional Healing the Balchs reports that:
Medical researchers at Dartmouth College gave a group of thirty-five cold sufferers zinc lozenges, and told these individuals to take a lozenge as often as every two hours. Another thirty-five cold sufferers were given placebos. The zinc-takers’ colds subsided in an average of four days, while the control group struggled with their colds for another nine days. (p.211)
My personal experience definitely concurs with the research above, but because I use a variety of treatments (teas, oils, whole food vitamins, etc), it can be hard to pinpoint the exact contribution of each individual remedy.
According to my sources, it’s important to start taking Zinc and Echinacea at the first signs of an oncoming illness, and to take them at regular intervals. I like to keep a small stash of these in my purse, as well as at home in our arsenal of natural remedies.
Mr. Native Texan and I start popping Zand HerbaLozenges at the first sign of oncoming colds, and I swear to you that they help. Even if it’s just the placebo effect, it’s nice to have an option that’s free from typical cough drop ingredients like ascorbic acid, citric acid, corn syrup and sucrose.
Have you tried Zand HerbaLozenges?