Table of contents

  • The common cold: What natural resources help?
  • Seven supplements for colds
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberries
  • Umckaloabo (Pelargonium sidoides)
  • Probiotics
  • Food Supplement for the protection and therapy of colds

The common cold: What natural resources help?

When colds and flues minimize grass will help the following tips to stay healthy as long as possible and not be infected:

  • You eat fresh, nutrient-rich, base excess and let Harmful way (alcohol, sugar, sweets, fat meals, cold meats, cheese, fast food)
  • You drink a lot of water and alkaline teas
  • Check whether you have vital substance deficiencies, if Yes, how to fix this
  • Avoid – wherever possible – larger crowds of people, and you go to people who are already sick, out of the way
  • You wash frequently your hands, especially if you were in touch with other people
  • Ventilate regularly in order to avoid dry room air
  • You move a lot in the fresh air
  • From harden in time, with alternating showers and Sauna
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Don’t be stressed, and allow for regular moments of relaxation

But what if the sore throat, the nose runs and the nights, because of the excruciating cough remain sleepless? In drugstores, supermarkets, and pharmacies there are a number of dietary supplements, vitamins, Powders, ointments, drops and effervescent tablets, which should all help with colds. Which help really? And what is the bow reliable?

Seven supplements for colds

To the following featured natural resources or supplements, it for the most part, convincing scientific evidence for its effect against colds:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberries
  • Umckaloabo
  • Probiotics

However, we would like to emphasize that one should expect individual resources alone, never fully against colds or other infectious diseases to protect or relieve. The organism should always be provided with many various measures can be supported and strengthened – see the introductory collection – since you can only develop a holistically healthy body.

Nevertheless, presented below, dietary supplements are a great help and support.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is certainly one of the most well-known means, used against colds – both preventively and in the case of the disease. It is mostly used in the Form of the everywhere-available effervescent tablets. They are dirt cheap and just as cheap, your raw materials: sweeteners, sugar substitutes, acidulants (citric acid), flavors, and synthetic ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).

Vitamin C has also actually about some of the properties, which are suitable for the protection against colds: Vitamin C supports the immune cells and their functions in the fight against pathogens. Also, it promotes the healthy function of the epithelial cells of the skin, so that they will not allow any pathogens in the body.

A total of at least 148 animal studies indicate that Vitamin C administration can protect against infectious diseases. However, it is known that results of animal studies do not in any case be transferred to humans. Therefore, in 2013, a meta-analysis of 29 human studies on the topic of cold protection with Vitamin C carried out. The results were as follows:

  • People who began taking Vitamin C, if you were already a cold, could not notice any major advantages of the Vitamin. Only studies, in which very high doses (3 to 4 g of Vitamin C per day in some studies up to 8 g of Vitamin C per day), were used to inform that Vitamin C could reduce the duration of an existing cold.
  • People who took regular Vitamin C (1 to 2 g per day), so as a preventive measure, can count on – if you catch a cold, but with a shorter cold duration and with a generally milder symptoms.
  • Athletes who regularly Vitamin C revenues, were only half as likely to have a cold as an athlete who took no supplements.

A meta-analysis from the year 2018, confirmed these results.

Conclusion: in the cold time, it might extremely be helpful a day prophylactically 1 to 2 g of Vitamin C to take. One is already sick, then you should have no less Vitamin C, more compatibility, of course.

However, it has been used in the above studies ascorbic acid, so the pure laboratory synthesized Vitamin C. in other studies, it is known that natural Vitamin C, which is present in conjunction with all the other accompanying the vitamin substances-C-rich fruit or Plant (e.g. acerola cherry powder) has a better bioavailability, so that a lower dose is required to achieve the same effect.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin is involved in many body processes, among other things, it is involved during an infection in the regulation of immune cells and can enhance the body’s own defense force.

Vitamin D also increases the body’s production of Cathelicidin, an antimicrobial Stoff in the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, is eliminated with the respiratory air inlet end of bacteria and Flu germs. Understandable that a Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a weakened defence force.

Epidemiological studies showed then little surprise that a low Vitamin D level leads to a higher risk of being infected with a viral disease of the upper respiratory tract. And in an overview of work from the year 2017, revealed that taking Vitamin D kept only the typical asthma symptoms, but colds could be prevented.

Other studies show no protective effect of Vitamin D, which could be attributed to the fact that it is rare, it is checked whether the subjects had a Vitamin D deficiency. However, it is known that, in particular, those people from a Vitamin D Supplement benefit, previously had a corresponding deficiency. Instead, in studies, like all subjects, the same Vitamin D dose, without that individual needs would be taken into account.

Conclusion: from a Vitamin-D intake, benefit to can, let you in front of a Vitamin D-taking your current Vitamin D level to ascertain and determine thereupon, Vitamin D dose for you personally, it is necessary to have your Vitamin D value on a healthy and protective Level to lift.


Zinc plays in almost all areas of the body an extremely important role and is decisive for the efficiency of the immune system responsible. Also, zinc can skin directly into the nose of mucus, the multiplication of colds or flu, inhibit viruses, and reduces inflammation processes in the Airways. Who catch easily colds, you should definitely check their zinc status.

Here, we have previously reported that zinc may protect children against colds and intestinal infections. And in a Review of 2013 showed, on the basis of an analysis of five zinc studies that the intake can be shortened by at least 75 mg of zinc per day (maximum 100 mg) the duration of a cold if you take the zinc Supplement within 24 hours after appearance of the first cold symptoms.

However, such a high zinc doses also have side effects and lead to Nausea, diarrhea, headache, or an altered sense of Taste. The symptoms do not disappear, however, if the zinc intake is paused-however, in terms of the changes in sense of taste, apparently, when a zinc nasal used spray, so this is not recommended.

Conclusion: The above-mentioned zinc dose of 75 to 100 mg should not be longer than one week is taken, is suitable only for therapeutic purposes. If you want to optimize, however, its General supply of Zinc and a lack of prevention, which is much lower dosages (e.g. 20 mg per day) are sufficient.


Taking daily Echinacea (Asteraceae named sun hat) – according to a study from 2007 – then you can reduce to risk to get a cold. Also, the ingestion of plant extracts can reduce in the case of existing cold their duration.

However, the study results are not really consistent and the effects of the Sonnenhutes often weak. A great help you should not expect in terms of cold protection of Echinacea, especially if the cold is already there.

Together with elder medicines berries, however, Echinacea is effective against viruses as well as school medical Anti-virus, as we have described here.

Conclusion: Echinacea – whether in drops or tablet form, should, in General, rather than the so-called immune stimulant for the prevention be considered, which the immune system is encouraged and enabled, active against pathogens. Because of this immune system effect activate Echinacea should not be used in autoimmune diseases.

Also could it come to interactions with immunosuppressive drugs, so that the use of Echinacea should be discussed with the doctor if other drugs are taken or when chronic diseases are present.


Elderberry oxidant properties are berries, in particular, due to their high anthocyanin content, known for their anti. They promote digestion and protect the eyes or the eyesight. In addition, you have an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral – ideal characteristics, in order to expel colds.

In a randomized and controlled study of elderberry berries extract, the duration and intensity of colds better reduce than the used Placebo. In some human studies elderberry preparations were able to improve also the symptoms of existing influenza.

Those who took elderberry extract – a study – was able to shorten the flu by three to four days and also had more flu antibodies in their blood than the participants in the placebo group. We present the study in this article, which also contains the recipe for homemade elderberry syrup.

The number of studies is still small, so that the action of the elder berries for colds and flu is still considered to be occupied. Elderberries should not be eaten raw because they contain substances that strong digestive problems.

Conclusion: elderberry preparations, or even elderberry syrup can – both therapeutically and as preventive together with other measures, are used to colds and flu better and more quickly to survive.

Umckaloabo (Pelargonium sidoides)

Umckaloabo (Pelargonium sidoides) is a now well-known medicinal plant from the South African folk medicine. She also has antimicrobial, antiviral and stimulates the immune system.

The Plant contains, inter alia, the so-called Prodelphinidine substances from the group of tannins, which can prevent bacteria from attaching themselves to the mucous membranes of the throat and lungs. The Transport of mucus and pathogens from the respiratory tract is accelerated.

Umckaloabo extracts are approved for the therapy of acute Bronchitis, since they have the typical cough-the discomfort to subside more quickly. They can even be easily used in children over one year.

Other cold symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, sore throat, and a stuffy and running nose, but also with sinusitis and hay fever Umckaloabo helps most strongly and shortens the duration of illness by at least two days. This involves taking the Umckaloabo extract three times a day (adults 30 drops, depending on the age between 10 and 20 drops) or in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer.

Side effects are virtually unknown. Individual case reports were a possible liver damage By means of the suspect, which was, however, until today, not clearly confirm. Anyone who already has liver damage, it should of course be by any means – whether Orthodox medical or naturopathic methods – careful.

Conclusion: Umckaloabo can be used both preventively as well as therapeutically for colds and other infectious diseases of the respiratory tract. Chronic disease or a liver weakness are already available or already drugs (e.g. blood thinners), should be discussed with the intake of Umckaloabo with the doctor.


Probiotics, preparations with the active (live) or inactivated intestinal bacteria strains, which can have a positive effect on the intestinal flora. Since the intestinal flora is considered to be an important part of the immune system is weakened the defense force with decreasing health of the intestinal flora.

Measures, which contribute to the regulation of the intestinal flora, therefore, also provides protection against colds or other infections is essential. In a study by may 2016, for example, revealed that four-week intake of probiotics (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis), the activity of the immune system (killer cells) increased and the number of cold days decreased.

Even before so-called super agents a healthy intestinal flora can protect, as in a study showed.

In August of 2016, a comprehensive overview of the work in which it evaluated 23 randomized and controlled studies appeared which showed that probiotics can not only reduce in children the common cold risk, but also in athletes and older people.

Athletes are therefore considered as a risk group for colds and flu-like infections, because intense training sessions to a suppression of the immune system and, consequently, to a higher risk of infection. In November of 2016, las in Nutrients , however, that athletes with a probiotic to protect. In the presented study used a preparation containing Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis , and Lactococcus lactis. After 12 weeks of intake during a training camp, the probiotics were protected subjects better from colds, the placebo group became ill, in contrast, significantly more often in infections of the upper respiratory tract.

In a study of 2017 appeared in over 200 subjects (45 years and older), the intake of probiotics (Lactobacillus paracasei) for a period of 12 weeks compared to the placebo group, the no probiotics received – the number of colds significantly reduced. The mirror of the important defence cells increased in the probiotic group, while it remained in the placebo group unchanged.

The Cochrane Collaboration announced, however, after an extensive overview of work from the year 2017, that the evidence for the prevention of diseases, incl. Colds by probiotics yet still thin, since the existing studies of high to wish the rest of the bottle and, therefore, further studies and investigations were needed, until you here a clear statement to make.

The difficulty of unambiguous statements is easily explainable, because there are probiotics in such various dosage forms, qualities and doses that individual studies can hardly be compared. Also of course it depends on the starting situation of the respective people and the state of his gut flora is currently, whether and which probiotics contactor can show the end effect.

Conclusion: high Quality probiotics (such as, for example, the Combi Flora preparations) can, in a holistic approach to the prevention of colds. The disease has broken out already, it should be for the taking, however, already too late because it will take a few days to weeks until the probiotic strains of bacteria strengthened the immune system.

Important in the choice of a particular probiotic only the high total number of bacteria contained. The preparation should also contain as many different strains of bacteria to a broad spectrum of activity to cover.

Food Supplement for the protection and therapy of colds

In summary, high doses of Vitamin C and zinc berries together with elderberry (as an extract or syrup) and Umckaloabo already broken out colds and the flu very helpful. You want to use Echinacea combined with elderberry preparations or for the supportive prevention.

Vitamin D and probiotics should be long-term used to prevent, because they show short-term acute Cold symptoms there is usually no effect.

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