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Herbal Cold Remedies

January 15, 2014

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More and more peeps are ditching over-the-counter medications and turning to herbal remedies, which fight colds by stimulating the immune system or reducing symptoms. Check out the 411 on these herbal cold remedies.

Echinacea

Echinacea, which is commonly known as the purple coneflower, is one of the top-selling herbs in North America. It's best known for its ability to boost the immune system. Unlike antibiotics, which kill bacteria, echinacea stimulates the production of white blood cells and makes your body more capable of attacking viruses and fighting colds, coughs, flu and other respiratory conditions.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon flavors your latte and sweetens your toast, but it's definitely more than a kitchen spice. It's been used medicinally for thousands of years in preventing infection and fighting poor circulation. The 12th-century German nun and herbalist Hildegaard of Bingen even recommended it as "the universal spice for sinuses" and a treatment for colds, flu, cancer and "inner decay and slime."

Ginger Root

Ginger is generally used to treat an upset stomach, but it also works well with the respiratory system. It fights colds by removing congestion, relieving sinus pain and clearing sore throats. Chinese herbalists discovered its healing properties 2,500 years ago, and have been using it ever since to treat various ailments.

Honey Lemon Tea

If you don't have any of these herbs lying around in your kitchen, then try making this simple tea. Squeeze the juice out of a lemon into a cup of hot water, and add honey to make it less sour. Both honey and lemon are natural agents in soothing a sore throat. Lemons can also cause you to sweat, which helps lower a fever.

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