Revealed, the cold and flu remedies these nine experts swear by

From a bowl of chicken soup to going to the sauna: Revealed, the cold and flu remedies these nine experts swear by each winter

  • The nine experts ranged from doctors to nutritionist and even a A&E medic
  • One claimed saunas helped beat colds, while most of them praised vitamin C
  • Nutritionist Sarah Flower said pelargonium – a herbal remedy – packs a punch 

As the lurgies start to take hold this autumn, you’re probably wondering what the best cold and flu remedies are.  

Now nine experts, ranging from doctors to nutritionists, have revealed what they take and do during the cold months to avoid becoming ill.

In a piece for Healthista, their answers ranged from eating chicken soup, going to the sauna or spending more time outdoors to get your vitamin D.  

Now nine experts, ranging from doctors to nutritionists, have revealed what they take and do during the cold months to avoid becoming ill – and one said chicken soup!

Dr David Jack – anti-ageing doctor

Which cold and flu remedies do you swear by?

Good old vitamin C has to be my number one. In the winter I make sure I’m getting surplus vitamin C from citrus fruits and supplements. 

I really don’t think you can get enough of it. If I feel a cold or sniffle coming on – I add two Berocca tablets to my shake, which seems to really stop anything nasty in its tracks.

Do you take an precautions to avoid getting sick?

In the wintertime I up my game a little. I am a big fan of antioxidants to help the immune system boost itself – particularly glutathione and vitamins C and E so I’ve added these to my supplement range. 

Berocca has been helping me for years and I really swear by it, particularly when I was working in the NHS and was exposed to all sorts of viruses on a daily basis.

  • Most single women freeze their eggs to avoid ‘panic…

    Men should start a family before they turn 35 to avoid their…

    Utah insurer launches plan to send patients to MEXICO to…

    Boy, 5, may have to avoid scary movies and trick or treaters…

Share this article

I think eating a good range of fruit and vegetables every day is also essential – particularly strongly coloured fruits such as raspberries, blueberries and Concord grapes. 

I eat these on a daily basis, particularly in wintertime when the risk of infections is higher. 

As a rule I try to avoid antibiotics wherever possible and treat things with supportive measures instead.

Dr David Jack – anti-ageing doctor

Sarah Flower – nutritionist

Which cold and flu remedies do you swear by?

I swear by adding a good quality probiotic daily. This not only ensures your bowel is in good health but also boosts your immune system dramatically.

I also highly recommend vitamin D, daily throughout the year for those who don’t spend much time outside, but everyone should take it during the winter months as we do not get vitamin D from the sun in this country during the winter months.

The third is a very good quality fish oil. 

For colds, I also recommend the following:

Pelargonium – This is a herbal remedy that does pack a punch and helps with respiratory infections, sore throats and general cold and flu symptoms. Take this remedy as soon as you begin to feel the onset of illness and continue until you are showing signs of improvement.

Zinc – I always recommend including plenty of zinc-rich foods in your diet, such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, beef, wheat germ and cocoa.

Vitamin C – We know that vitamin C can help fight infection, so increasing our intake by eating plenty of berries, citrus fruits, papayas, broccoli and red peppers will help keep us protected, all year long. 

At the first sign of a cold, I would highly recommend you take vitamin c supplements – either in powder or tablet form to boost the effects.

Do you take an precautions to avoid getting sick?

Hydrate – Keeping yourself well hydrated is absolutely vital to help ‘flush’ out the cold, break down congestion and keep your throat lubricated. 

Try to avoid sugary or milky drinks especially if you have a lot of mucus as this can often make it worse.  

Dr Daniel Glass, a dermatologist, said he finds it ‘beneficial to sweat out a cold in a sauna’

Herbal teas such as sage, ginger, lemon, chamomile, liquorice root, slippery elm and green tea can help ease a sore throat.  

Make a broth – Broth would have traditionally been made using bones and whatever spare vegetables were around. 

Bone stock is packed full of nutrients, including gelatine, collagen and a whole host of vitamin and minerals to help heal and get you back on your feet. 

Sarah Flower – nutritionist

Add some garlic, as it is a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-catarrhal. Don’t fear adding chilli, this acts as a natural decongestant.

Take it easy! – We all think we are invincible and push forward no matter what but there is nothing wrong with taking some time out, turn off the wi-fi, grab the duvet and relax and de-stress. 

This not only feels good but it also boosts your immune system. The perfect excuse for a lazy day!

A breath of fresh air – Our ancestors used to take patients outdoors for at least an hour every day, no matter how sick they were. 

There is a good reason behind this and the reason is vitamin D, which helps to prevent the flu and can also regulate our immune response.  

To gain adequate exposure to the sun’s UVB rays, you need to be in the sun for at least 15 minutes per day. For those unable to do so, a great alternative is opting for vitamin D3 supplements. 

May Simpkin – nutritionist

May Simpkin – nutritionist

Which cold and flu remedies do you swear by?

As soon as I get the feelings at the back of my throat that I may be coming down with a cold, I start taking vitamin C, twice a day. 

I take 1000mg in the morning and 1000mg in the evening. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can help to boost you immune system and ward off a cold, if you can start it before it takes hold.

I also keep my fluids up with plenty of warming herbal teas like ginger or green tea which is rich in antioxidants and make sure I get plenty of vegetables to boost my nutrient intake to help my body fight off any bugs.

Do you take an precautions to avoid getting sick? 

I eat well every day and aim to ensure at least seven portions of vegetables and fruit each day. 

This provides a good level of varied nutrients which will support a healthy immune system. 

My sleep routine is paramount and I try to ensure I go to bed at the same time every night. Sleep is essential for the body to rest and repair so you are prepared for the day ahead.

Dr Rachel Carlton Abrams – holistic health

Dr Rachel Carlton Abrams – holistic health

Which cold and flu remedies do you swear by?

Elderberry and echinacea are as effective as drugs in reducing length and severity of flu symptoms. 

Do you take any precautions to avoid getting sick? 

Eat lots of nutrient rich colored fruits and veggies of the season: winter squash, sweet potatoes, all citrus, kiwi’s, pineapple, guavas, astragalus daily when feeling vulnerable. And sleep lots.

Dr Daniel Glass – dermatologist

Dr Daniel Glass – dermatologist

Which cold and flu remedies do you swear by?

There is evidence suggesting that vitamin C can be beneficial when it comes to fighting off colds and flu because of the way in which it supports our immune system, so I try to incorporate this into my diet whenever I can. 

During the colder months, in addition to eating a diet rich in vitamin c through vegetables and fruits, I also will take a vitamin C supplement to help ward off colds and infections. 

I find it incredibly beneficial to sweat out a cold in a sauna, or eat a bowl of chicken soup as the vegetables included have good nutritional benefits. 

For example, the carrots contain beta-carotene and the celery contains, both of which support the immune system and fight off infections. 

In addition, the onions in chicken soup provide antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation and act as an anti-histamine.

As a general rule, Dr Glass revealed he takes vitamin C all year round. Dr David Jack, an anti-ageing doctor, also swears by the vitamin

Do you take any precautions to avoid getting sick?

I do not do anything too drastic to avoid getting sick, but as a general rule I do take vitamin C all year round and vitamin D during the winter months because of increasing evidence which shows that we have lower levels at this time of year. 

These are both essential vitamins which will help nourish our bodies, boost our immunity and stop us from feeling run down.

In addition, I also ensure that I have a flu jab annually to protect myself from the virus.

Amy Morris – naturopathic nutritionist

Amy Morris – naturopathic nutritionist

Which cold and flu remedies do you swear by?

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids increase airflow and protect lungs from colds and respiratory infections. 

To keep myself healthy over the winter season I make sure my diet is packed full of omega 3 and eat oily fish like salmon and mackerel regularly.

I also believe vitamin D is absolutely critical for a strong immune system. 

Vitamin D is hard to obtain from food, which is why it is a must people supplement with it and, personally, I feel everyone should be supplementing with vitamin D in the winter months. 

Do you take any precautions to avoid getting sick?

I am a huge fan of eating raw garlic given its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. 

At the start of winter I will take one organic garlic clove chopped up finely and swallowed with a glass of purified water, and I will do this daily for a week or so, just to help my body cope with any invaders trying to take hold.

I also ensure my intake of refined sugars and junk food in general remains low to ensure my immune system stays well. 

And I will take a quality probiotic to help further support my immune system, given that 80 per cent of our immune system tissues lie within the gut. 

Dr Deyo Famuboni, GP is pictured left and A&E doctor Dr Julian Nesbitt is pictured right

Dr Deyo Famuboni – GP

Which cold and flu remedies do you swear by?

To ensure I get all the required nutrients, especially on busy days, I take vitamin C, vitamin D and a probiotic regularly. 

Hand washing is key to preventing the spread of winter viruses too. 

Do you take any precautions to avoid getting sick?

Colds are generally self limiting illnesses so whilst the symptoms can be soothed with hot drinks like lemon, ginger and a bit of Manuka honey, the body gets rid of it by itself, bearing in mind the vital nutrients from such a mixture in supporting the immune system. 

If you’re looking for Manuka honey, look for one with a high UMF to ensure it contains high levels of active antibacterial properties.

Nutritionist Sarah Flower said pelargonium – a herbal remedy – packs a punch and helps with respiratory infections, sore throats and general cold and flu symptoms

Dr Julian Nesbitt – A&E doctor

Which cold and flu remedies do you swear by?

Fruit smoothie in the morning, making sure to go to gym for weights and spinning class two to three times a week to battle the blues. 

High intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise releases endorphins in the brain and makes you feel less depressed.

Trying to get plenty of light helps to avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder – if you’re unable to get outside you can buy a special lamp for this. 

Consider supplements with vitamin D. I also eat hearty meals, particularly like casseroles packed with vegetables and flavour, as winter warmers.   

Do you take any precautions or supplements to avoid getting sick?

A pill-combo using zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and Q10, if I feel like I’m getting unwell, works for me but no scientific evidence at this point. 

In winter I may need a vitamin D supplementation if I’m not getting enough sunlight. 

Making sure to get plenty of sleep – the main factor for getting a cold is lack of sleep with a lack of an immune system, drinking in moderation – again as excessive alcohol can make you more likely to get a cold and weaken the immune system, keeping up with exercise to boost your immune system and make you less likely to get a cold.

Dr Sarah Brewer – GP and nutritionist

Dr Sarah Brewer – GP and nutritionist

Which winter health remedies do you swear by?

Healthy diet and lifestyle always come first! Get enough sleep, avoid excess stress, wrap up warm when going out, wash hands regularly etc.

For supplements, vitamin C, vitamin D and an adaptogen such as Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng or Ashwagandha help to maintain good immunity against infections, especially when you are feeling stressed, so that even if you are exposed to a respiratory virus, your body is more likely to fight it off so you don’t develop symptoms. 

Do you take an precautions to avoid getting sick?

I take vitamin D supplements, Siberian ginseng and take extra vitamin C during winter as viruses cannot replicate as efficiently in cells with good vitamin C levels.

This article originally appeared on and has been reproduced with the permission of Healthista

Source: Read Full Article