Sometimes no matter how hard you try to fight it you could end up with a cold this winter. Some over-the-counter pharmaceuticals may mask the symptoms of colds or flu, but don’t help your body to overcome the illness. Natural herbal supplements like Echinacea, Olive leaf or Elderberry may help to reduce the durations of colds whilst supporting your immunity at the same time.
Echinacea is native to North America and has been used by the American Indians for over 400 years. Research has shown that Echinacea can increase our white blood cell numbers which are the cells that help fight infection. Interestingly, Echinacea was used medicinally until the introduction of antibiotics in the 1950s. Several research studies have shown that taking Echinacea reduces the chance of catching the common cold by 58% and can reduce the length of colds by 1 ½ days.
Olive leaf has been used for healing for thousands of years and was first used by the Ancient Egyptians. The leaf, not the actual fruit, of the olive tree has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties with research showing that one of its active compounds called Oleuropein has strong antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal actions. It is these properties that may help to support our immune system by fighting against viruses which cause respiratory infections and flu.