With the colder months approaching, start now to plan your strategy to combat winter colds to have a healthy cold and flu season this year. Symptoms of a cold may begin within one to three days after exposure, with most colds lasting from three to seven days. During this time, you may suffer from sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, headaches, watery eyes and fatigue. We can only do things to make the cold sufferer more comfortable during this period, as once started, the cold will always run its course. Preventative action will help you avoid getting the cold in the first place and makes the best place starting point.
Herbal remedies have their place in the prevention of colds. Goldenseal is one such herb readily available in health food stores, the vitamins section of large stores or through Internet shops selling herbal or homeopathic remedies. This small perennial herb originated in North America. The Native Americans used the root of the goldenseal plant to treat wounds because of the potent natural antibiotic properties. Grown commercially for health uses, the yellowish-brown root or rhizome of the Goldenseal plant constitutes the portion of the plant used to create the various forms of herbal preparations. Goldenseal comes in capsule, powder, tincture or tea forms and often appears in other products such as toothpaste, throat spray, mouthwash, eyewash, or homeopathic hay fever, allergy and flu remedies.
Goldenseal gains respect for having the ability to reduce inflammation, especially in the mucous membranes. Reducing the inflammation and swelling of the sinus cavities allows them to drain properly, thus relieving nasal pressure and congestion. Less inflammation allows any mucous secretions to thin, thus making them more easily expelled. The anti-inflammatory properties of goldenseal can function to relieve sinusitis problems as well. Add goldenseal to warm water and use the solution in a neti pot as a nasal irrigation rinse. A few drops of warm goldenseal added to the ear can soothe an earache with its natural antibiotic trait. Following recommended dosage on the product packaging, using goldenseal to reduce inflammation and mucus production will certainly lessen the severity of cold symptoms.
A combination of the two herbs, goldenseal and Echinacea, results in a product reported to give a powerful boost to the immune system in addition to use as cold and flu remedies. Available in combination or individually, these herbal remedies come in drops, capsule or tablet forms. Echinacea does the work of activating the body’s immune defenses, with goldenseal helping to relieve the symptoms. While not recommended to take goldenseal alone for more than a week, the combination of herbs generally has instructions for more frequent dosage as an immune booster dietary supplement. Goldenseal should not be used during pregnancy or by people with high blood pressure. Follow package instructions or use as directed by your health care professional.