First-symptom strategies from the experts

  • Grab a bottle of vitamin C. Take 3–5 grams daily for a few days; it usually does the trick.
  • Take pure arabinogalactans (an immune-boosting nutrient from the larch tree) at the very first sign of a cold. Start with 1 1/2 teaspoons and follow label directions for subsequent doses until you feel better.
  • Ginger tea works wonders. Boil organic ginger root in water for 15 minutes to make a strong tea. Dilute and sip throughout the day.
  • Try elderberry tincture and the patented homeopathic remedy Oscillococcinum. Both have been shown to shorten the flu's duration and intensity when taken at the first symptom.
Sources: Jill Place, RD, alternative medicine dietitian and author based in Los Angeles; Elena Michaels, PhD, CCH, LMFT, a traditional naturopathic clinician based in Santa Clarita, California; Molly Punzo, MD, Easton, Maryland-based naturopath.

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