Avoiding the Common Cold

It’s officially autumn. Though we love golden leaves, curling up on the sofa and swapping sunglasses for a chunky knit, it’s also the season most associated with the common cold.

Runny noses and chesty coughs can become a regular occurrence this season but don’t fret! Protecting yourself from the common cold doesn’t mean hibernating until spring; we’ve put together some common cold prevention methods so you can enjoy a healthy autumn and limit the chances of contracting a winter illness.

Why are winter illnesses a thing?

Illness seems more prevalent during the autumn/winter months and it’s unlikely that you’ll prevent a bout of winter illness altogether, for reasons outside of your control.

People tend to be in more confined spaces and choose to commute, where germs and viruses can spread easily and limited sunlight can cause a lack of vitamin D.

What is the Common Cold?

A cold can appear gradually and it’s an illness that predominantly affects your nose and throat. It’s likely that you’ll be well enough to carry on with most of your daily tasks - like going to work - but you’ll feel unwell.

What symptoms should you look out for?

  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Regular sneezing
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
  • Painful, sore throat
  • Coughing and chestiness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches/pain in the face
  • Increased temperature

You might not experience all of these symptoms, but anyone of them can leave you feeling tired, deflated and not functioning as normal.

Can the Common Cold be Prevented or Controlled?

It’s impossible to completely eradicate any likelihood of catching a common cold, but you can try to avoid catching the common cold by taking the following measures:

  • Washing your hands properly and regularly with warm water and soap
  • Making sure you keep the household items people share clean
  • Trying not to touch your nose and eyes
  • Generally eating/drinking healthily and exercising

You should also try and maintain a balanced immune system. As one of your body’s first lines of defence, your immune system works to protect you from foreign microorganisms and limit infections.

How to Boost your Immune System

    Your immune system is an incredibly complex system with hundreds of different types of cells carrying out lots of different jobs simultaneously.

    Keeping your immune system balanced can reduce your susceptibility to falling ill in the winter.

    Maintaining a healthy diet, limiting your alcohol intake, not smoking, regularly exercising and having a healthy sleeping pattern are all factors that can help to maintain your immune system.

    Adding supplements to a healthy diet can also give your body the extra vitamins and nutrients it needs for better immune system functionality.

    Can garlic boost the immune system?

      Garlic is packed full of nutrients and it’s been used in home-made medicinal recipes and remedies for centuries. Allicin is the main active ingredient in garlic and has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties.

      Studies have been carried out to explore the health benefits of garlic. One research trial involved 146 healthy adults being given either a placebo or daily garlic supplement for 12 weeks between November and February, to see if people were less likely to catch a common cold when taking garlic.

      The results generated showed that the placebo group caught 65 colds over this period, which contributed 366 days of sickness, but the group taking the garlic supplements only contracted 24 colds, which meant 111 sickness days.

      Aged Black Garlic vs White Garlic

      Aged black garlic has the potential to help the immune system and be even more effective than standard white garlic in combating winter illness. This is because it has much higher active SAC and gallic levels. These bioactives have been shown to be ten times more effective than standard white garlic.

      The Best Supplements for Boosting your Immune System

        Vitamin C

        Although research is still ambiguous about whether vitamin C reduces the risk of catching a cold, studies have shown that in a group of adults, there was an 8% reduction in the length of time they had a cold, when taking vitamin C supplements daily. So we can safely assume vitamin C intake is fundamental to keeing your immune system healthy. We recommend you do this by eating fresh fruit. If you do opt for a supplement, use vitamin C derived from a food source rather than the synthetic kind.

        Aged Black Garlic:

        At The Naked Pharmacy, we grow our garlic in Northern Spain, which has ideal conditions for the fermentation period and produces unusually high active allicin levels that convert to the highest standardised strength of SAC at 3%.

        When you compare our Black Garlic product to other similar products, the SAC levels in other products are most likely lower than 3% or not even listed on the label.

        We combine the fermented black garlic powder, packed full of S-allyl cysteine, with naturally occurring vitamins and minerals from organic moringa leaf. Our Black Garlic supplement will:

        • Support immune health
        • Protect cardiovascular system
        • Cleanse the gut

        The research trial we mentioned demonstrates the healing effect of raw garlic on a common cold. Our Black Garlic supplement is ten times more effective than standard raw garlic. It’s also odourless (hooray!) and side-effect free, so you can stay healthy this autumn and embrace all those great outdoor activities.

        If you have any questions about our products, we have a team of Pharmacists who are happy to advise you. Call (+44) 01483 685630 or email pharmacist@thenakedpharmacy.com