Typically I try to stay away from any over-the-counter drugs or anti-inflammatory medications. When attacked by symptoms of the common cold, I do my best to fight my ailments off naturally. However, tough times call for a stronger defense than an orange and a bowl of soup. These are a few of my go-to vitamins and supplements that I use when necessary.
Some of these products advise consumers to use daily. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking, especially if you are on prescription medications. You may find that you only need to take them sparingly in order to appreciate the benefits. Each of these supplements are available at GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and local pharmacies.
Echinacea: Echinacea is typically used to fight off the common cold at the earliest symptoms. Echinacea is an herb t
hat activates chemicals in the body to respond to inflammation. While it is helpful to continue taking Echinacea while you are experiencing upper respiratory problems or other cold symptoms, it works best before the onset of a cold. It has also been revealed that Echinacea is helpful to fight against urinary tract and yeast infections.
I don’t take Echinacea on a regular basis. I found it highly effective this past winter during the flu season. I was also able to fly from a cold to warm climate without experiencing any negative reactions that I usually undergo when there is a dramatic weather change.
Lysine: Lysine is an amino acid we can only obtain from a supplement or nutrition. It helps in the formation of collagen and absorbs calcium for the body’s use. Lysine aids the healing process for individuals who suffer from cold sores. If you don’t experience cold sores, you may find Lysine valuable if you ever have a cut, sore or inflammation in your mouth. Lysine is also
effective in protecting against gum disease.
Papaya Enzyme: Papaya Enzyme is commonly used as a digestive aide. Individuals often take this enzyme after meals, to help sooth the process of digestion. Papaya is effective in reducing heartburn and acid reflux. This enzyme is also beneficial for individuals who suffer from conditions that involve inflammation.
Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that is released by the pineal gland, a gland in the brain that controls our sleeping habits. Melatonin production is based on how much light we are exposed to, so we create more during the winter months. This supplement can be helpful for individuals who work night shifts, suffer from jet lag, or are trying to regulate their sleeping pattern. It is typically taken short term.
Fish Oil: While Fish Oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids we obtain from eating fish, it is likely that this nutrient also contains vitamins such as A, B and iron. The benefits of omega-3s can only be obtained from supplements, which include reduced swelling and inflammation. Fish Oil is used to prevent heart disease and to lower blood pressure through its high level of omega-3s.
Need help keeping your supplements in check? Try out some of these apps to help keep them in order.
Kathryn Troy-Autoimmune Allyby
Exercise Specialist, Age 23, Autoimmune AllyView all Kathryn Troy posts.