When it comes to immune support, garlic, echinacea, vitamin C and zinc are popular natural immune remedies and for good reason. Each plays a different role in supporting the immune response and assisting in the relief of mild upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. Each ingredient and its benefits are explained below.
Garlic and supplementation
Garlic has been used as a food and medicine since antiquity. Garlic helps to support healthy immune function and may help protect against bacteria and other nasties. It may assist in the management of upper respiratory tract infections and relieve uncomfortable cold symptoms including mucous congestion. Sulphur compounds known as allicin and ajoene, which are produced when garlic is crushed or chewed, are believed to be responsible for these effects.1
Echinacea and supplementation
Echinacea helps maintain healthy immune function, especially during a cold. If you fall victim to the common cold, supplementation of echinacea may support the immune system by helping to increase the number of white blood cells, our inbuilt immune army.
Vitamin C and supplementation
Adequate vitamin C is important for maintaining immune function. It’s been shown to stimulate both the production and function of white blood cells in the body, especially neutrophils, lymphocytes and phagocytes. Taking a high strength vitamin C supplement may help reduce the severity, duration and symptoms of the common cold.
Zinc and supplementation
Zinc provides nutritional support for the immune system and a dietary deficiency of zinc may affect healthy immune function. In combination, these four key immune ingredients may help maintain healthy immune function and assist in relieving the symptoms of ailments such as the common cold. They may be of particular benefit as winter approaches, or for year‐round immune support.