The common cold and flu are unfortunately a normal part of life, but it is the strength of our immune system that will determine how our bodies respond to an episode of a cold or flu .1 A healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and natural supplements may help improve and strengthen your overall immune health.1-3
What is the difference between a cold and flu?
The common cold and flu are often used interchangeably but they are quite different in diagnosis and symptoms. The common cold, also known as rhinovirus is associated with headache, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion and malaise.4,5 The flu, also known as influenza can often be more debilitating compared to a cold and be associated with the above symptoms as well as upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), a cough, muscle and joint pain and fever.5,6,7 In any case of influenza you must see your doctor, as this is a more serious condition that requires assessment and care from your health professional. We do not advocate self-prescribing supplements for a case of influenza.
5 Natural remedies for common cold and flu
If you get a nasty common cold or flu this season, try these 5 natural common cold and flu remedies. In mild to moderate cases, these supplements may help you to get through a case of the cold or flu and back to your normal self. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means that we need to get it from our diet on a regular basis. Vitamin C affects the immune system in several different ways and the need for this nutrient increase during a common cold or flu. Vitamin C has been shown to help immune function by protecting the body against viral infections and may also protects the body from harmful compounds, by acting as an antioxidant.10
Wellness Tip: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits, green and red capsicum, red chillies, strawberries, watermelon, mango, cabbage, broccoli, and tomato juice will help to increase vitamin C levels in the body10
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that our bodies can make and, we can get in our diet. Vitamin D has been described as enhancing the immune response in cases of the common cold and flu.10 It may be able to promote immune cells in the body to work more effectively.10
Wellness Tip: Consume foods rich in Vitamin D such as fish (salmon, herring, and tuna), meat (beef liver) and eggs. Also, between 80-100% of Vitamin D needs can be met through adequate and safe sun exposure.
Echinacea is a flowering plant native to America but grown globally. It contains a wide variety of compounds that may help support the immune system and these are usually made available in liquid or capsule form. Reports have shown that the use of echinacea could improve the immune response in a common cold or flu.10 It is thought that echinacea could stimulate cells required in immune system function.
Wellness Tip: Use echinacea as a companion product with Wellgrove Olive Leaf Extract.
Zinc is an essential mineral meaning that we must consume it in our diet for its health benefits. Low zinc levels in the body are correlated with decreased immune function.10 Zinc is involved in many immune functions and is essential for our cells to function properly, particularly our immune specific cells.10
Wellness Tip: Consume these food sources regularly to increase the amount of zinc in your diet such meat, eggs, seafood, legumes, whole grains, and seeds.
5. Olive Leaf Extract
High quality Olive Leaf Extract is packed with antioxidants and its these antioxidants that may have the potential to protect the body against potential infection like the cold and flu by ‘scavenging up’ harmful compounds in the body.8,9 The antioxidant Oleuropein found in Olive Leaf Extract is unique only to olive leaves, meaning you won’t find them in any other food or supplement.
Wellgrove Olive Leaf Extract
Immune Support – Wellgrove Immune Support* helps promote general health and wellbeing and has traditionally been used in Western herbal medicine to help support immune system health. It also helps to relieve symptoms of common colds and flu.*
Wellgrove Immune support* also provides antioxidants that help reduce free radicals formed in the body.
Wellness Tip: Try adding your daily dose of OLE to a juice or smoothie –(link to recipe)
Wellgrove Immune Support* Olive Leaf Extract is available in liquid and capsule form and recommended as a daily natural health and wellness supplement. It is recommended to take 15mL or 2 capsules of Wellgrove Immune Support daily for an adult dose.
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables, adequate sun exposure and natural supplements like Wellgrove Olive leaf extract, echinacea, Vitamin C, D and Zinc all in combination could assist and support immune function*, health and wellbeing.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist talk to your health professional. Please speak to your healthcare professional to make sure olive leaf extract and other supplements are suitable for you.
*Traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine to help support immune system health and help relieve symptoms of common colds and flu.
- Beck A, Lavander O. Host Nutritional Status and its Effect on a Viral Pathogen. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2000;182:S93-6.
- Khomich O, Kochetkov S, Bartosch B, Ivanov A. Redox Biology of Respiratory Viral Infections. Viruses. 2018;10(8):392.
- Wegar-Lucarelli J, Carrau L, Levi L, Rezelj V, Vallet T, Blanc H, et al. Host nutritional status affects alphavirus virulence, transmission, and evolution. PLOS Pathogens. 2019;15(11):e1008089.
- Jacobs SE, Lamson DM, St. George K, & Walsh TJ. Human Rhinoviruses. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2013; 26(1): 135–162. doi:10.1128/cmr.00077-12
- College NR, Walker BR and Ralston SH. Davidson’s Principles and Practices of Medicine. 21 edn. Churchill and Livingstone. 2010. p: 315-316.
- Minodier L, Charrel RN, Ceccaldi, PE, et al. Prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with influenza, clinical significance, and pathophysiology of human influenza viruses in faecal samples: what do we know? Virology Journal. 2015; 12(1). doi:10.1186/s12985-015-0448-4
- Casalengo JS, Eibach D, Valette M, et al. Performance of influenza case definitions for influenza community surveillance: based on the French influenza surveillance network GROG, 2009-2014. 2017;22(14): 30504. 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.14.30504.
- Lee O-H, Lee B-Y. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of individual and combined phenolics in Olea europaea leaf extract. Bioresource technology. 2010;101(10):3751-4.
- Umeno A, Takashima M, Murotomi K, Nakajima Y, Koike T, Matsuo T, et al. Radical-scavenging activity and antioxidative effects of olive leaf components oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol in comparison with homovanillic alcohol. Journal of oleo science. 2015;64(7):793-800.
- Braun L, Cohen M, Arthur R, et al. Herbs and Natural Supplements An evidence-based guide. Vol 2. Elsevier. 2015.