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Influenza

Also indexed as:Flu, H1N1 Virus, Swine Flu
Prepare yourself to fight the flu. Each year the flu hits millions, sometimes lingering for days, sometimes weeks. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Echinacea
3 to 5 ml of liquid formulas or 300 mg of powdered root supplements three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Taking echinacea may help clear flu symptoms faster.
Elderberry
Adults: 4 Tbsp daily of a syrup containing 38% elderberry extract; children: half a dose (2 Tbsp)2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with elderberry may help speed recovery.
Garlic
2.6 grams per day2 stars[2 stars]
Healthy volunteers who supplemented with an aged-garlic extract for 90 days decreased the number of days on which severe cold or influenza symptoms occurred by 58%.
Green Tea Catechins
Gargle with a liquid extract containing 200 mcg per ml three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, elderly nursing home residents in Japan who gargled with a green tea extract were less likely to get the flu than those who gargled without the green tea extract.
Vitamin C
100 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may reduce your flu risk.
Vitamin D
800 IU per day for two years; then 2,000 IU per day after that 2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, long-term vitamin D supplementation for three years significantly reduced flu and cold symptoms.
Asian Ginseng
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Asian ginseng has immune-enhancing properties, which may play a role in preventing infection with the influenza virus.
Boneset
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Boneset has been shown in studies to stimulate immune-cell function, which may explain its traditional use to help fight off minor viral infections, such as the flu.
Eleuthero
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Eleuthero has immune-enhancing properties, which may play a role in preventing infection with the influenza virus.
Goldenseal
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Goldenseal used in combination with wild indigo has been reported to have immune-enhancing effects.
Meadowsweet
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The salicylates in meadowsweet give it a mild anti-inflammatory effect and the potential to reduce fevers during a cold or flu.
Thuja
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Thuja used in combination with wild indigo has been reported to have immune-enhancing effects.
Wild Indigo
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Wild indigo contains polysaccharides and proteins that have been reported to stimulate the immune system. It is often used in combination with herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, or thuja.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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