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All of us have experienced the sore throat, runny nose, aching, and general sense of misery that announce the onset of the common cold. Other familiar signals include a cough, headache, and dry, sore, or sensitive breathing passages. The symptoms of both the common cold and the flu are often used somewhat interchangeably because both are caused by the same family of respiratory viruses. The distinction between the two depends on how severe the infection is and the range of symptoms. The flu, however, is usually more severe, develops quickly, and involves more of the body than a cold. A cold also occurs at any time of year while the flu, by contrast, usually develops in epidemics, normally in late fall and winter.
The flu produces a moderate to high fever, aching muscles, and acute fatigue. Vomiting and diarrhea may also develop and, in extreme cases, the flu may lead to pneumonia in particularly susceptible individuals. Other complications of the flu, although rare, include inflammation of the brain or heart, Reye’s syndrome, and croup. The end result depends upon the organism’s ability to resist by means of its army of defense systems.
Andrographis – Reduces the severity and duration of cold symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, and sleeplessness.
Garden Balsam – Cooling, tonic. The flowers possess marked antibiotic activity against some pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Acts as an emetic, diuretic and laxative.
Garlic – Used extensively for disease prevention. Can be used against infection of all kinds. Strengthens the immune system. Helps to control fevers and combat viruses. Stimulates the lymphatic system to throw off waste materials.
Hibiscus – Used for colds, upper respiratory tract and stomach mucous membrane inflammation, disorders of circulation, for dissolving phlegm, and as a gentle laxative and diuretic.
Indian Laburnum – Preparations from the fruit have demonstrated antimicrobial and antiviral effects.
Monkey Jack Tree – The fruit is believed to act as a tonic for the liver. Both seed and milky latex are purgative.
Safflower – Used as a treatment for colds, flu and fevers. Beneficial in treating and reversing congested and stagnant blood. Aids digestion and improves colon function.
Turmeric – Historically used to treat diarrhea, fever, bronchitis, chronic coughs, parasitic worms, and bladder and kidney inflammations. Considered by herbalists to be a remedy for colds.