Category Archives: Cold and Flu

Health concerns with andrographis?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Are there any health reasons that one should not take andrographis for colds? A: No significant adverse effects have been reported in human studies of andrographis. In one study, researchers tracked participant reports of side effects, in addition to monitoring lab tests for liver function, complete blood counts, kidney function, and…

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Taking zinc counteract a cold?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Is it true that taking zinc can help you counteract a cold? A: Zinc is a famous natural treatment for colds. In cases of zinc deficiency, the immune system does not function properly. Because zinc is commonly deficient in the diet, nutritional zinc supplements may certainly be useful for those who…

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Best way to take zinc for colds?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, What is the best way to take zinc for colds? I have heard lozenges work well, but that supplemental pills work just as well. A: The most commonly recommended way for Zinc to be used for colds is sucking on high doses of zinc lozenges at the onset of cold symptoms….

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What to take to improve immunity to colds?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, My grandmother is getting older and I am worried that getting colds at her age will be more dangerous. Is there something she can take to improve immunity? A: A famous natural treatment for colds is the use of zinc lozenges. In cases of zinc deficiency, the immune system does not…

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Vitamin C and effectiveness in fighting colds?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, How does Vitamin C factor into immunity and preventing colds? A: Vitamin C is the most famous of all natural treatments for colds. Numerous studies have found that vitamin C supplements taken at a dose of 1,000 mg daily or more can significantly reduce symptoms of colds and help you get…

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Ginseng prevents the common cold and flu?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Can ginseng effectively prevent the common cold and flu? A: Although most people in the West think of ginseng as a stimulant, in Eastern Europe ginseng is widely believed to improve overall immunity to illness. A recent study looked at the potential immune-stimulating effects of Panax ginseng when taken by mouth….

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Elderberry as treatment for the flu?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, What do you know about elderberry as a treatment for colds? How do you use it? A: A recent study suggests that the herb elderberry can significantly reduce the length and severity of flu symptoms. Elderberry-flower tea is made by steeping dried flowers in a cup of boiling water for 10…

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Hazards to taking ginseng for colds?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Are there any hazards to taking ginseng for colds? Which variety is the best to use? A: There are actually three different herbs commonly called ginseng: Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and Siberian “ginseng” (Eleutherococcus senticosus). (The latter herb is actually not ginseng at all, but…

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Conventional medicine versus natural medicine for cold?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, How does natural medicine measure up to conventional medicine for the treatment of colds? A: Conventional medicine can neither cure nor prevent the common cold. Furthermore, none of the over-the-counter treatments have been found to shorten the duration of a cold or even provide significant temporary relief. Natural treatments, such as…

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Taking antibiotics for cold and flu?

Q: Dear Dr. Mao, Is it ever appropriate to take antibiotics for an especially bad cold or flu? A: People often want to take antibiotics for colds, and many physicians will prescribe them—even though antibiotics have no effect on viruses. Many believe that when the mucus turns yellow, it means that a bacterial infection has…

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