Some of the popular over-the-counter cold remedies contain acetaminophen. This is one of the reasons I don’t own these preparations.
Most people think acetaminophen is safe, because it doesn’t require a prescription. What they don’t know is that you need to be scrupulous about not overdosing. Taking too much can hurt your liver. Actually, this widely used compound is now the leading cause of sudden liver failure in the United States. Acetaminophen also sends more than 78,000 people to the emergency room every year, according to a paper published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
This drug is the reason why all emergency rooms stock a substance called n-acetyl cysteine. This is deployed in the event of an accidental (or intentional) overdose.
Over-the-counter cold formulas do not shorten the duration of an illness. Nor, will they prevent you from getting sicker. They may temporarily relieve symptoms. But, back when I used to take them, I wasn’t sure even sure they did that.
Best Natural Cold Flu Remedies
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Instead of downing a liquid drug concoction, or popping a cold relief pill, our family has joined the growing number of people who use natural remedies when we’re sick, or our children come down with a bug. Many herbs appear to contain anti-viral compounds and natural antibiotics. It’s also believed these plant-based medicines can also spur your immune system to fight illness.
Natural cold flu remedies are time-tested preparations, used for centuries, to treat colds, coughs, joint pain, fever and all the other discomforts that go along with an upper respiratory infection. One popular remedy, once used by Native Americans, is wild cherry bark syrup. This is often included in herbal cold preparations and sore throat teas.
The species of cherry this herb is derived from is Prunus serotina, which grows along the Eastern Seaboard, from Nova Scotia to Florida.
Wild Cherry Bark Syrup Uses
Please understand that I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give medical advice, or promise that any particular product will heal you. All I can do is share my personal stories of using natural remedies, and report on what is already known about various herbs, such as wild cherry bark.
Wild cherry bark has a number of other potential uses besides being one of its main uses as a cold remedy. It can also help with gout and digestive problems, according to the online health site WebMD.
There is even one study, which ran in the medical journal Oncology Reports, showing that wild cherry may be protective against colorectal cancer. Of course, more research is needed to confirm this, but it’s one more bit of evidence indicating natural remedies are good for us, and may have benefits that extend beyond the primary reason we’re taking them.
Wild cherry bark syrup is now widely available online, typically in formulas that often contain other herbs. Most herbalists like to recommend specific blends, containing multiple plants, as it’s believed the different ingredients create a synergy.
Old Indian Wild Cherry Bark Syrup shown here contains wild cherry, as well as echinacea, yerba santa, osha, elecampane, grindelia, horehound, hyssop, platycodon, marshmallow, apricot seed, mullein, licorice root, stinging nettle, white pine bark, angelica, loquat leaf and Zhejiang fritillary bulb.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies, unless under the direction of a health care professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.