Cold and flu season is upon us! The late Fall season through early Spring is typically the peak period for the most commonly-occurring viral infections; influenza-like illnesses including the flu, and upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. Although it can be annoying and downright inconvenient to have a cold or flu – sometimes it’s our body’s way of telling us something important about our current state of health.
A Cleansing Cold?
Toxins can accumulate from years of acidic waste build-up, exposure to environmental chemicals, an unhealthy diet, and/or regular alcohol consumption. Sneezing and coughing, along with a fever, runny nose and watery eyes, can be the body’s way of releasing toxins. This natural cleansing process (along with adequate hydration) can play a vital role in releasing an acidic and overburdened body of a heavy toxic load. Modern medicine continues to offer quick fixes for cold and flu symptoms, but at what cost to the body’s natural cleansing mechanism?
Citrus Soother – A Natural Approach
The use of natural remedies is increasingly supported by enlightened healthcare providers as a safer and healthier alternative to over-the-counter cold and flu medications. One such remedy is Citrus Soother Cold & Flu original and Citrus Soother Decongestant. Citrus Soother Cold & Flu is an effective, delicious-tasting lemon, honey and ginger drink mix fortified with the therapeutic healing power of vitamins C and D, along with immune- boosting Zinc, Elderberry, Lemon balm and Echinacea. Citrus Soother Decongestant offers the same effective drink mix ingredients along with the benefit of Ephedrine, a well-respected nasal and sinus decongestant. Let’s take a look at the individual components that make up both varieties of Citrus Soother, and which type would be an excellent choice to support you through this cold and flu season.
Honey, Lemon and Ginger
Hot or warm tea with honey, lemon and ginger is a popular remedy during winter months. Honey is a home remedy commonly used to treat the symptoms of respiratory infections, particularly scratchy throats and coughs. (Note: Unpasteurized honey should not be given to children younger than 2 years of age.) Lemons are high in vitamin C, and lemon juice’s anti-inflammatory qualities soothe sore throats and irritated membranes. Ginger helps stimulate perspiration and heat, which helps to cleanse the lymphatic system; this will serve to create a slight fever, helping to release toxins. Like lemon, ginger has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger also acts as a cough suppressant and has remarkable sleep-inducing, analgesic properties. In Chinese medicine, ginger is routinely used for its warming properties.
Therapeutic Herbal Extracts of Lemon Balm, Black Elderberry and Echinacea
Recent research suggests that the high molecular weight polysaccharides present in Echinacea purpurea have potent non-specific stimulatory actions on the immune system. (1) Echinacea is generally recommended to be used at the very beginning and throughout the course of an illness, and then tapered off. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), has been traditionally used as an immune strengthening remedy for colds and flu. Several components (e.g., rosemarinic acid and caffeic acid) are reported to possess antibacterial and “viro-stopping” properties. (2) Lemon balm is widely used as a mild sedative to calm the nerves and produce a relaxing sleep – ideal in times of stress and infection. Sleep deprivation is associated with disruptions of immune function. (3) Elderberry binds to and prevents infection with influenza H1N1 virus. (4) Studies suggest that Black Elderberry can inhibit the growth of influenza viruses and shorten the duration of influenza symptoms while enhancing antibody levels against the virus.
Immune-supportive Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc
Vitamin C and zinc are better choices than antihistamines at the start of a cold or flu. Vitamin C and zinc help to overcome an infection by strengthening mucous membranes of the nasal passages and throat from virus penetration. A Cochrane Systematic Review performed a subgroup analysis of 642 very healthy adults engaged in highly physical stressful activities (marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers on subarctic exercises) showed a 50% decrease in the risk of developing a cold among those who took vitamin C supplements. (5) Vitamin D is an important immune regulator, stimulating innate immunity and moderating inflammation, in addition to its well-known effects on bone health. A suboptimal level of vitamin D is associated with a lower production of the anti-microbial proteins that work with immune system cells to kill pathogens. (6)
Ephedrine (naturally found in the Chinese herb Ma Haung) is known worldwide for providing fast, long-lasting relief of nasal swelling and congestion caused by upper respiratory infections, colds & flu, sinusitis and allergies. Citrus Soother Decongestant has all the healing properties of Citrus Soother Cold & Flu, with the added decongestant effects of 8 mg of Ephedrine.
How Does Ephedrine Work?
The decongestant Ephedrine works by narrowing the blood vessels of the nasal lining. This constricts blood flow through swollen mucus membranes which then reduces swelling, widens the airways and relieves pain and pressure associated with head congestion and allergic reactions.
Who Needs Citrus Soother Decongestant?
Citrus Soother Decongestant can help those in need of temporary relief from nasal congestion, sinusitis or those suffering from a sinus headache. Citrus Soother decongestant can also relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever, and help unblock eustachian tubes during flying. If breathing problems due to a cold or flu are stopping you from functioning, a drink of Citrus Soother Decongestant will help you through. (7)
When it comes to fighting colds and flu, nothing has a more soothing and protective effect than a drink made with warmed lemon, honey and ginger. Enjoy a warming cup of Citrus Soother Cold & Flu before bedtime (or anytime) for its immune-boosting and sleep-supportive effects. When it comes to temporary relief from nasal or sinus congestion, turn to Citrus Soother Decongestant.
(2) Wichtl M. “Herbal Drugs & Phyotpharmaceuticals. CRC Press: Boca Raton, 1994.”
(3) Spiegel K, Sheridan JF, Van Cauter E. “Effect of sleep deprivation on response to immunization.” JAMA. 2002; 288:1471-1472.
(4) http://drfisel.com/the_drugless_physician/2010/01 Elderberry & Flu
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15495002 Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold, 2004.
(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19237723 Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level & upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Surve, 2009.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: RoseMarie Pierce, B.Sc. Pharm. – Canada’s First Holistic Pharmacist
RoseMarie Pierce earned her degree in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University in 1972. After extensive studies in herbal and nutritional medicine, RoseMarie integrated these disciplinary practices with her pharmacy education to become Canada’s first Holistic Pharmacist. She is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost integrated health spokespeople. RoseMarie’s core health message focuses on proper digestion and the pH connection to good health! She emphasizes the many powerful ways that balancing our body’s pH impacts the quality of our daily lives.