Category Archives: Cold and Flu

Natural treatments for colds?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, What are some natural treatments for colds? A: A significant body of research suggests that the herb echinacea can significantly shorten colds and make them less severe. The herb andrographis and the nutritional supplements zinc and vitamin C also seem to help. In addition, there are two treatments that might help…

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Echinacea help cold symptoms?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Does the herb echinacea really help to alleviate cold symptoms? A: Until the 1930s, echinacea was the number-one cold and flu remedy in the United States. It lost its popularity with the arrival of sulfa antibiotics. Ironically, sulfa antibiotics are as ineffective against colds as any other antibiotic, while echinacea does…

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Take echinacea at first sign of a cold?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Is it true that if you take echinacea at the first sign of a cold, you won’t get a full-blown cold? A: Echinacea has been found to reduce the time needed to get well. A study suggests that echinacea can sometimes stop a cold that is just starting. In one study,…

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Echinacea prevents colds?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Can taking echinacea during cold season prevent you from getting a cold at all? A: Several studies have attempted to discover whether the daily use of echinacea can prevent colds from even starting, but the results have not been promising. In fact, one study found indications that regular use of echinacea…

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Best echinacea to take?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Which form of echinacea is best to take and when is it best to start taking it? A: The three species of Echinacea, Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, and Echinacea pallida, are used interchangeably. It can be taken as a powdered extract, alcohol tincture, dried root, or in juice form. Many herbalists…

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Echinacea safe to use?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Is echinacea safe for use when treating colds and flus? A: Echinacea appears to be very safe. Even when taken in very high doses, it does not appear to cause any toxic effects. Also, side effects are rare and usually limited to minor gastrointestinal symptoms, increased urination, and allergic reactions. However,…

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Andrographis a promising treatment for colds?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, I have been hearing a lot about andrographis; is it a promising treatment for colds? A: According to a few well-designed studies, andrographis can reduce the symptoms of colds and possibly prevent colds as well. The greatest improvement in symptoms has been seen in earaches, sleeplessness, nasal drainage, and sore throat….

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How to keep immunity up?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, I travel a lot, and when I do I feel as if I have a cold. I am exposed to a lot of germs in all of these cities. What should I take to stay healthy and keep my immunity up? A: The best approach to not catching colds is proper…

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Build up immune system to avoid constant colds?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, I have 2 daughters, ages three and five. They are constantly getting sick with colds, bronchitis, flus, viruses, respiratory problems, and so on. Is there something they can take to build up their immune system? A: I would suggest first of all to have both of them checked to rule out…

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