As a Naturopathic physician, I have many options when it comes to treating a cold or flu. There are herbs, nutrients, homeopathic remedies, IV’s and immune boosting shots. The goal is to provide your body with some help to fight the cold or flu virus more quickly. Suppressing the symptoms, like taking cough suppressant or a daytime cold/flu over the counter medication, just temporarily relieves the symptoms of the cold or flu. Once the medication wears off we feel just as bad, because it is not helping our immune system fight off the virus. By suppressing the symptoms, most of us will continue on with our normal routine (going to work or school) and spread our germs to the people we come into contact with, and the best way to treat a cold or flu is by prevention.
There are herbs to treat almost any cold or flu symptom you may be experiencing. There are immune boosting herbs like; garlic which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, and elderberry extract, echinacea and astragalus which all have anti-viral properties. Wild cherry bark, marshmallow, yerba santa, elecampane, and osha root can all help treat a cough. Eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender essential oils all help relieve chest and nasal congestion. There are also many immune boosting nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a very helpful nutrient for nasal or chest congestion. Many companies will combine some of the herbs and nutrients into one product which cuts down on the number of capsules you need to take. I usually recommend ViraCon or Herbal Biotic depending on the patient’s symptoms, it has a nice combination of herbs and nutrients.
Homeopathic remedies are very effective at shortening the length of a cold or flu. These need to be chosen carefully as each remedy will only treat very specific symptoms. It is best to schedule an appointment with your Naturopathic physician for treatment of a cold or flu with a homeopathic remedy, as they have been trained to prescribe the best remedy for your specific cold and flu symptoms.
There are several types of IV’s and shots that can boost your immune function and help speed the course of a cold or flu. At East Valley Naturopathic Doctors we offer immune boosting shots, IV pushes and IV’s. The immune boosting shot contains a homeopathic immune booster and some B-vitamins. The Myer’s IV push contains Vitamin C, B-vitamins and some minerals to help boost immune function. The Super Myer’s IV is a higher potency Myer’s IV push.