Sudden changes in temperature have a negative effect on our bodies, which are weakened at the end of the year by cumulative tiredness. This makes us more susceptible to colds, ear infections, pharyngitis and sore throats. Echinacea, propolis, vitamin C and grapefruit seed extract can help to protect us from viruses by strengthening our immune system.
Echinacea, to ward off colds and winter viruses
The American Indians who lived on the American Great Plains east of the Rockies used various species of Echinacea to treat a range of health problems, particularly respiratory tract infections and snake bites. In the 20th century, this American plant, which looks like a pink daisy, was abandoned in favor of antibiotics as a treatment for infections. From 1916 to 1950, Echinacea was nonetheless registered on the US National Formulary (an official list of approved medications).
Since then, clinical studies have proven its effectiveness in the prevention of colds, ear infections and ENT infections in general (sore throats, laryngitis, etc.). Ideal as an immune system stimulant, it can take the form of root extract, fluid extract, juice, capsules, infusions (1g of root in a cup, 6 times a day), decoctions, and mother tincture. The World Health Organization recommends 3g per day. It is available in stores that sell organic products and other specialist outlets.
Propolis, action against initial symptoms
Propolis is a natural product collected by bees on the buds of conifers to which they add wax and their salivary secretions. They use it as a coating for their hive to protect them from infections and germs. Propolis is effective against ENT infections, colds, pharyngitis and loss of voice, as well as stopping an infection in the early stages, relieving a nose irritated by a cold and avoiding cross-infection due to its antiseptic effect.
It is effective in preventing or treating an infection in its early stages if taken for 20 to 30 days. It's available in capsules (250 mg each, 2 to 4 per day), mother tincture (1 drop the first day, then 2, then 3… until the 14th day, then reduce the dose) or in powder sachets (50 mg per day). It can also take the form of a nasal spray to relieve an irritated nose or throat. Propolis is sold in pharmacies, organic stores and by beekeepers.
Vitamin C: a boost of energy
Vitamin C is particularly effective in preventing colds in people undertaking vigorous exercise or who are exposed to cold weather or stress. It steadies the immune system. The best source is from food in its natural form. The top 5 in terms of vitamin C concentration are sweet pepper, papaya, kiwi, orange, and mango.
Grapefruit seed extract: a natural antibiotic
It's undoubtedly the most effective product against external aggressive factors. Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, grapefruit seed extract acts on 800 bacterial and viral strains. Used internally, it's effective as a prevention and as a cure for all types of infections for the digestive system, food poisoning, parasitic diseases, diarrhea, ulcers in the stomach and duodenum (it kills the bacterium Helicobacter pylori), yeast infections, colds, ENT infections in general, flu, bronchial infections, chronic tiredness, and weakened immune systems. Product quality is important. It should be free from alcohol, preservatives and additives, and preferably in liquid form. Make sure that Citrus paradisi seeds are used.