Ready for the bad news? There is no cure for the common cold or flu. Both are viral (not bacterial) conditions that simply need to run their course. But there’s good news! There are several steps you can take to a. prevent getting sick in the first place and b. speeding up the process if you do get ill.

Let’s debunk a few “cold” myths before we go any further:

Myth #1 You catch a cold when you’re cold. That’s why we get more colds during these winter months, right? Nope. We get colds in the winter months for one primary reason: proximity. We tend to spend more time inside, near one another, therefore increasing the risk of catching another’s bug.

Myth #2 Antibiotics will cure or speed the healing of my cold or flu. Nope again. Both colds and flues are viral in nature. Antibiotics only work for illnesses that are bacterial (such as staphylococcus and streptococcus).

Now, let’s move on to proactive steps to keep the bugs at bay.

Keep it clean. No, not just a shower-a-day clean, but frequent hand washing throughout the day has proven to reduce the likelihood of catching a bug. The hands are the “middlemen” of colds and flues. You shake one sick person’s hand, touch your eyes or mouth and boom, you’re soon feeling unwell yourself.

Boost it, baby. The first line of defense is always our immune system. When its worn down, we’re more susceptible to illness…it’s that simple. During the winter months, its critical to eat a nutrient-dense diet with as much vitamins and minerals as possible. Vitamins like A, C and E serve as powerful antioxidants.

The same holds true with minerals such as copper, zinc and iron. Not only can a strong immune system protect you from getting sick but it can also lessen the severity of an illness should you get one.

Herb your way to better health. Throughout history, we’ve used powerful herbs, roots and mushrooms as a way to keep our immune system in good shape.

These include:

  • Echinacea root
  • Burdock root
  • Reishi, maitake and chaga mushrooms
  • Licorice root
  • Ashwagandha

Don’t forget to keep the stress at bay too. Studies show to prolong stress can dampen our immune response and leave us vulnerable to more than just increased anxiety.

Check in with our staff at Pangaea for more tips on keeping healthy this winter! We carry an extensive line of supplements and organic products that naturally boost your immune system, including any of the herbs or vitamins mentioned above.