Cold & Flu Prevention: Ask an Oakville Pharmacist

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Richard Price

Richard Price is the pharmacist and the owner of the Medicine Shoppe in downtown Oakville for several years. He is always available to answer your pharmaceutical questions. Mr. Price lives in Oakville with his wife and sons.

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If you were to ask any of your family members, friends or colleagues what would you take to alleviate a cold or flu, it is likely that you will get a different answer from each person that you ask. So we ask ourselves other questions, why are there so many ways to deal with a cold or flu and why are there so many different products all touting that they will help?

Since there is no one tried, tested & true way to get rid of a common cold, we are bombarded by an array of products. If one were to mention prevention of a cold or flu then the possibilities for helpful products increases yet again. Preventative strategies include basic hygiene like washing hands frequently and keeping your hands away from your nose and mouth.

Within the herbal and natural product sphere there are many helpful products. The initial herb that people have historically turned to is echinacea to boost their immune systems. More recently a very well advertised product for prevention and treatment has emerged that is a ginseng derivative. Both of these products can work to help your immune system to be able to combat a cold or flu better. They work best when taken on a cycle like taking them for 10 days then giving yourself a 4 day holiday then restarting. This cycle avoids your body realizing that you are helping it and can prevent your body from refusing to use these helpful herbs.

Remember that if you suffer from a medical condition that is attacking your body by the immune system like some types of arthritis and allergies, taking these products may help you fight off a cold, but can make symptoms of these conditions worse.


Then we move along to oregano oil which has direct anti-bacterial properties as well as expectorant (ie. to help you cough) properties. Although the oil has a sharp taste, it has emerged as a helpful herb. It also comes in a capsule form for those that don’t like the sharp taste.

If you have tried any of these and still start to fall ill with a cold or flu then treat each symptom as it arises. One helpful mineral for a sore throat is zinc which works best when taken in a lozenge format. Keep in mind that zinc is a trace mineral so don’t exceed 50mg per day from all sources including your daily vitamin regime.

Remember to always check with your pharmacist to ensure that you are not working against any of the medicines prescribed from your doctor while taking any of these preventative or cold and flu treatment products.



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