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The common cold

All the information you need about the common cold, its symptoms and the remedies available to help

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The cold is a common viral infection that affects most adults at least 2-4 times a year. It can be caused by over 200 different types of viruses and comes with a number of distinct symptoms. Our immune system experts explore the causes and symptoms of the cold as well as recommend the best herbal remedies available. You can also use our Q&A service to ask a question about the common cold.

What is the common cold?

The common cold (also known as nasopharyngitis, rhinopharyngitis, acute coryza,head cold, or simply a cold) is a group of symptoms in the upper respiratory tract caused by a large number of different viruses. Although more than 200 viruses can cause the common cold, the perpetrator is usually the rhinovirus.

A cold begins when a cold virus attaches to the lining of your nose or throat. Your immune system sends white blood cells out to attack this germ. Your nose and throat get inflamed and produce a lot of mucus.

Viral particles often enter the body, but most of the time, do not give any trouble whatsoever, as the cells in the Immune system dispose of the viruses before illness sets in. When the Immune system is weakened however, the body will not be able to clear the viral particles effectively, allowing the viral invasion to spread. A viral infection then results.

What are the symptoms of the common cold?

Chronological course of a cold:

Cold lifecycle

Cold and flu herbal remedies infographic - Click to enlarge

Cold and flu herbal remedies infographic

Body's first defense

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is probably the most famous of all the herbs used for immune function. The most important thing to understand with Echinaforce is that it improves the efficiency of the immune system. This is very different from the commonly held belief that it stimulates the immune system.

Most people do not need their immune system stimulated; often, all that is needed is for the immune system to work more effectively. 

Scientists working in the field of phytotherapy now refer to Echinacea as an immunomodulator rather than an immunostimulant. Echinaforce improves the way the immune system recognises pathogens. Immune system cells respond more rapidly, increasing the chances that the pathogen will be dealt with before it can damage the body. As pathogen recognition is improved, there is less likelihood that healthy cells will be attacked in error.

With the first signs of tickling in the throat, muscle aches, chills, cough or congestion, Echinaforce® Extra comes to the rescue for fast relief. The active components in Echinaforce Extra are clinically proven to inhibit the replication of infectious agents and triple the rate of phagocytosis - the body’s ‘first defense’. 

A.Vogel Echinaforce® Extra-Strength Hot Drink is a natural and effective combination of Echinacea purpurea and Elderberry designed to help combat common cold and flu symptoms and relieve upper respiratory tract infections. 

For the relief of mild cold and flu symptoms use Echinaforce® Original Formula:
Drops are Excellent for people with digestive problems, as they do not need to be digested before the active ingredients are released. Tablets are also available for those who find tablets more convenient. 

Echinaforce® Junior is recommended for children. It has a pleasant, natural orange flavour. The tablets are tooth friendly and the natural lactose-free sweetness will not affect diabetics. 

Symptom Specific Solutions

Bronchosan possesses expectorant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It is especially helpful in situations where there is a loose cough, laryngitis, pharyngitis or general hoarseness. 

Sinna Nasal Spray:

  • Fast-acting
  • Non addictive
  • Safe and effective

When it hurts to swallow because of a sore throat, fast relief is needed to reduce discomfort. A.Vogel Echinaforce® Sore Throat Spray:

  • Fast acting
  • Clinically proven
  • Long nozzle targets affected area efficiently 

This combination of echinacea, peppermint and sage is fast acting, cooling and soothing to the throat. It has been clinically shown to be effective and to have an anesthetic effect that is as powerful as the leading pharmaceutical sore throat medication in Europe.

Prevention Tips

  • wash hands with soap and water regularly to help prevent the spread of infection 
  • get at least 8 hours of restful sleep at night 
  • walk for at least 20 minutes outdoors per day 
  • feed your body whole, natural foods

When to see the doctor?

It is not necessary to seek a healthcare practitioner in case of a cold. However, if you suffer from the following symptoms, you should consult:

  • Acute cold symptoms which affect your body. For example, a fever of 39,5 ºC (103 ºF) or more, chills, sweats or headaches.
  • Nasal secretions for over 10 days, which sometimes become thick and yellow.
  • Persistent earache.
  • A cough that last more than 7 days after disappearance of other symptoms.
  • Persistent tearfulness in children.
  • Wheezing
  • Fast-breathing in children.

What do you think?

Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks Sonia Chartier

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  • Q&A

    Our experts answer your questions on cold and flu  problems.  Learn more

  • The cold life cycle

    Have you been introduced to the cold cycle?

  • Is it a cold or the flu?

    Take a few moments to check if you have the cold or the flu. Make the test

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