Echinaforce is my go to medicine as soon as I feel a cold coming on. I work in a big open plan office and there are regularly colds flying around. I'm positive that there's been many occasions when it's actually prevented a cold and the times when one has taken hold then taking this has definitely lessened it's impact and shortened it to an average of four days. To take it you mix a teaspoon of the tincture into a mug of boiling water. It makes a nice tasting, fruity, comforting drink that you take up to five times a day. I've tried echinacea tablets and drops too in the past but this seems to be the way of taking echinacea that works best for me. As well as echinacea it also contains black elderberry. Although not listed as such on their website I have checked with A Vogel and it is suitable for vegans.
Back when I was a reviewer for Can I Eat It? I tried a selection of Olive Leaf Teas from Miribilia. Hailing from Italy, olive leaf tea has actually been around for centuries. The most tender leaves from organic olives are picked and slowly dried to produce leaves that you simply add boiled water to. The tea boasts many claims such as being extremely high in antioxidants, antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal qualities, an aid to weight loss and as a way of lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It’s said to boost the immune system and all whilst remaining caffeine and tannin free. You can refresh the leaves and get two or three brews out of each portion of leaves. As well as using this to ward of incoming colds I also like to drink this throughout the morning on fast days (I am currently following the 5:2 regime).
Olive Leaf can also be purchased in extract form. I've got into the habit of picking up a bottle of this in December to see me through the festive season and for the last few years I've managed to spend Christmas and New Year cold free which is something which I never thought would happen!
As well as my cough condition I also have issues with my sinuses. When I have a coughing fit my eyes and nose stream almost like an allergy (I've been through allergy tests and nothing has showed up as positive). In the last couple of years I've also developed pretty bad post nasal drip which is a BIG cough trigger. I had been using a neti pot for a while which are a device used to flush out the sinuses originating in India when I discovered NeilMed Sinus Rinse which is much easier to use. To some warm (cooled boiled) water you add a sachet containing sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate and then squirt this up your nose to irrigate your sinuses. It definitely helps and I use it add least once a day. When I have had a cold I've used it up to four times in a day combined with using a steam inhaler with menthol crystals to good effect.
Getting a diagnosis has been great in some ways as at last I have a name and an explanation for what is going on. I was even able to attend a 'cough conference' last October and meet other people with the same condition as well as medical professionals who explained to us all the latest research and testing. Knowing that this is a chronic condition that I will have for life is harder to deal with. This throws up a whole load of emotions from anger to frustration to feeling sorry for myself. I've just been able to access a set of free counselling sessions so I'm hoping that these will help me get my head round this, find some acceptance of it all and make positive steps forward with how I deal with it.