Let’s face it. We live in a world where bacteria and viruses outnumber people. We’re surrounded. These microbes can cause respiratory illnesses, and our immune system is our shield. When our shields are down, these intruders break in and make us feel miserable.

A sore throat can be the result of many things: a cold, allergies, tonsillitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, environmental pollutants, and even Lyme disease. Although bothersome, some coughing is good for us since it expels the mucus and other foreign material that makes us cough. But a dry or prolonged cough could indicate bronchitis, pleurisy, asthma, or tuberculosis, each of which require a different treatment.

Mucus blocks our nasal passages, causing congestion. Allergies, hay fever, candida albicans, and even vitamin A deficiency or swimming in chlorinated water can cause sinusitis (inflamed sinuses). Sinusitis, in turn, can cause bad breath (halitosis), earache, ringing in the ears, and loss of smell.

Diet Suggestions

A strong immune system is the best defense against cold, flu, and all of its annoying symptoms. Fortify your body with easy-to-digest fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamin C, and avoid dairy products, which stimulate the production of mucus. Lots of fluids, especially pure water, clear broth, vegetable and citrus fruit juices, and herbal teas, help calm a fever, break up mucus, and clear our bodies of toxins.

Foods That Help

 Indeed, hot chicken soup tops the list of remedies for clearing mucus and relieving congestion caused by the common cold, flu, and sinusitis. (Vegetarians can drink hot vegetable broth.)

Also at the top of the list is anything containing vitamin C. The finest sources of vitamin C are acerola cherries, hot red peppers, guava, black currants, kale, parsley, collards, and broccoli. Truth be told, the ever famous orange juice has a mere 50mg/100g of vitamin C, while sweet red peppers contain over 200mg. Nevertheless, the white pith of citrus fruits contains bioflavonoids, which work with vitamin C to fight infection and break down mucus.

Juices: Blackberry and grapefruit juices are used to treat coughs and sore throats.

Vitamin A: Hot red peppers and spirulina are our best sources of the valuable immune supporter provitamin A, along with (in order) carrots, apricots, kale, collards, sweet potatoes, parsley, and spinach.

Elderberry: Elderberry has remarkable properties that actually stop the flu virus from replicating and the lentinan content of the shiitake mushroom stimulates the production of the valuable immune protein interferon.

Propolis: Propolis, a mixture of the flora components gathered by bees, relieves sore throats and sinusitis, and prevents tonsillitis. It is rich in antioxidants and antibiotics that fight the viruses that cause the common cold.

Garlic; Garlic’s antiviral and antibacterial properties work to break down mucus in the sinuses. Garlic can help rebel the initial infection and relieve many of the symptoms of the flu. Fenugreek and mustard seeds are folk remedies known to lessen some symptoms of the common cold.

Nutrients and Herbs That Help

Vitamin C is good for stimulating white blood cells, which helps you feel better quickly. Sucking on zinc lozenges is a proven remedy for  sore throat and is capable of speeding up the recovery time from a cold. Vitamin A boosts immunity to viruses that cause colds, and vitamin E helps protect the lungs against influenza.

Echinacea, goldenseal, ginseng, astragalus, and schisandra are herbs that strengthen the immune system and fight off new infections.

Herbal remedies for the common cold are bayberry, blue vervain, catnip, chamomile, chickweed, feverfew, gentian, ginger, hyssop, licorice root, and St. John’s wort. If fever is one of your symptoms, try olive leaf, and tea made with eyebright, goldenrod, or lavender.

For the flu, try aloe vera juice, astragalus, blue vervain, boneset, catnip, Echinacea, goldenseal, skullcap, and tea made with lemon balm or linden flower. Green tea is also known to suppress the influenza viruses.

Sore throat relief: Whether your sore throat is caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies, or pollutants, one thing for sure: you need soothing relief. Bayberry, black walnut, gotu kola, hawthorn berries, licorice, sage tea, and slippery elm help calm inflamed throats.

Gargling is another method that relieves sore throats, sinusitis, and the flu. Try gargling with a mixture of water and any of the following ingredients: apple cider vinegar, grapefruit seed extract, salt, marshmallow root, myrrh, or tea tree oil.

Cough relief: Many over-the-counter cough medicines contain chloroform, a cancer-causing agent. With so many herbs that can relieve coughs, there is no reason to subject your body to carcinogens contained in seed, comfrey, chickweed, licorice, or thyme. Other herbal remedies for coughs include slippery elm, mullein, black cohosh, blue vervain, red clover, and schisandra.

Congestion relief: Herbs that act as decongestants and clear the sinuses include chili (cayenne), horseradish, ginger, and peppermint tea. Herbal steam treatments using lavender oil, tea tree oil, or eucalyptus relieve head congestion as well as stress that can weaken an immune system.

Recipe

Vitamin A&C Potion

6oz      carrot juice

1oz      red pepper juice, sweet

1oz      spinach juice

1oz      collard greens juice

1oz      kale juice

1tsp     spirulina or other algae powder

Vitamins A and C are the fundamental cold and flu fighters, and these foods are our richest sources of them. To see just how fantastic these sources are, refer to “Nutrient Sources.” Experience how their freshness and living enzymes help to rebuild your immunity. Sip this juice slowly. It is not a cocktail, but potent botanical medicine.

Citrus Flu Tonic

1          grapefruit juiced

2          oranges, juiced

1          lemon, juiced

1          tsp orange rind juice

¼         inch ginger root, minced

2 ml     Echinacea liquid extract (2 dropperfuls)

1 tsp    royal jelly

Cut the grapefruit and orange into eighths, but only after you scrape, scrape, scrape the pulp from inside the rind. Therein rests the miracle flavonoids and their magical curative powers. Buy organic fruits so you can include a bit of rind with its potent essential oils without the pesticides.  Remove as many seeds as possible. Mince the fresh ginger and blend all ingredients until smooth. Royal jelly takes the edge off of the acidic flavor and, as a cousin to bee propolis, adds its own antibacterial capacity to suppress staphylococcus and streptococcus. But you could substitute with honey. A morning drink.