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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are natural remedies for the common cold?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Dina Savitz

    Naturopath, Personal Trainer

    As an expert on natural health, fitness and well-being, I can work with you to provide a greater understanding of your health concerns. Whether it's … View Profile

    The common cold can be treated effectively using herbal medicine. A really good herb for a cold is Echinacea, which people know a lot about, as it is widely available. It can be taken in high doses when a cold first appears, as well as to boost your immune system to avoid a cold coming on. There are other herbs such as olive leaf extract, elderberry and andrographis, which is a really great herb that is not around as much, but it can help with the virus that causes the common cold.

    Zinc also plays a role in immune health, and it has been shown that it can inhibit the growth of several different viruses including those that cause the common cold.

    The best approach to getting over a cold would be supplementing accordingly, but the biggest thing would be to rest and increase fluids. Lots of pure water and fresh vegetable juices and just making sure they are getting a really good holistic diet rich in natural foods, fruit and vegetables. Avoidance of sugar is also important as sugar can depress the immune system.

  • 1


    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    One such natural remedy to help combat the common cold is to include a wide range of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet everyday. Remember the old “go for 2 and 5” message? Fruits and vegetables have vitamins such as vitamin C as well as antioxidants which can help maintain a healthy immune system. So what is a serve of fruit and veg?

    One serve of fruit = 150g or 1 medium piece (apple, pear, banana, orange) or 2 small pieces (plum, apricots, kiwi fruit) or 1 cup of tinned/canned fruit.

    One serve of vegetables = 1/2 cup of cooked veg (broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, beans, corn, peas) or 1 cup salad vegetables (tomato, lettuce, capsicum, cucumber, red onion, baby spinach)

    As a general rule with my clients I encourage them to choose at least 3 different coloured vegetables at each meal to ensure they are getting a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

    Another nutrient that's important for a healthy immune system is zinc. Zinc is found in lean red meats, some nuts and seeds and some fortified breakfast cereals. Make sure you get adequate zinc from food sources as zinc supplements tend to limit the absorption of other minerals (such as copper). It may not be a glamourous quick fix solution, however, making sure you diet is well balanced and varied should be your first priority rather than taking a supplement.

    For assistance with a healthy diet, look no further than an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). You can find an APD by logging onto:

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