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Strategies for Dodging Colds, Flu

How you can stay healthy this flu season.

Drs. Kay Judge and Maxine Barish-Wreden

McClatchy Tribune Newspapers

January 7, 2010

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Everyone's trying to stay healthy this flu season, especially with the H1N1 pandemic. Lots of supplements to prevent or treat colds and flu are being peddled to the public.

Here are some things to consider:


So, you've done everything you can to stay well, and you still find yourself down and out with an upper-respiratory infection. Here are a few things that may help:
Echinacea is not advised for people with autoimmune disease like lupus or those with allergies to ragweed. Some data suggest that the herbal combo Andrographis plus Siberian ginseng (sold as the product Kan Jang) can reduce the symptoms and duration of colds and flu.
Zinc nasal sprays are not recommended - in rare instances, they may lead to permanent loss of sense of smell.

Many herbs and supplements interact with prescription meds, so be sure to talk with your doctor before starting anything over the counter.

And, of course, if you have any persistent or worrisome symptoms, check in with your doctor as well.