How to Prevent the Common Cold

cold prevention with a flu shot

Flu shots are not effective for preventing the common cold.

Maintaining a healthy immune system is the best protection against the common cold. If you have a history of recurrent colds every year it may be indicative of a weakened immune system

Basically you can experience 3 types of immune failure.


The first is infection, and for many of us, this is the most common evidence of immune breakdown that we’ll face. This is generally experienced in the form of colds and flu, which are disruptive, annoying infections that tend to recur.


The second is allergy. The immune system, which is responsible for what is ‘us’ and what’s foreign, sometimes overreacts and attacks foreign substances that are not genuine threats – cat hair or pollen for example. This usually happens when the immune system is over-exposed to something at a time when it is under nourished, out of balance, or not taken care of properly.

For instance, I have a problem with hay fever. When is it at its worst? When I don’t rest enough, overindulge in food and/or drink (we all have our bad habits), or when I’m going through a bad patch – mentally or physically.

Autoimmune Disorders

The third type of immune dysfunction is autoimmune disorders. It’s like an allergy. Only this time the body mounts a full-blown attack against something that’s not really a threat. Worst of all, it’s not a ‘foreigner’ or outside catalyst such as cat hair or pollen but part of you that gets wiped out. Good examples are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Hashimoto’s disease.

All three manifestations of immune-system weakness need individualized treatment, both for the person and for the particular body system or part involved. Fundamentally, however, the underlying issue is the same for all three – your immune system needs support.

Boost Your Immune System

Ideally, your immune system should be so strong that as soon as a new bug comes in, your body cranks out new antibodies by the zillions and deactivates the bug. You then have immunity, and don’t have to go through fever, muscle ache, headaches and so on.

This is possible. It may take some time to get there (and if you continue smoking, drinking coffee and alcohol, you are just plain irresponsible), but the common cold is not an inevitable fact of life.

It is possible to simply not get ill. I’m getting better and better at it each year, and hopefully so will you and your family. However, if you don’t do something special – conscientious self-care that’s better than average – you’re likely to keep on getting ill just like everyone else.

To boost your immune system start taking Echinacea, Garlic and Astragalus well in advance of the cold and flu season. Take daily doses of vitamin C and try to avoid stressful situations.

Because many common cold viruses are spread by contact with infected secretions, frequently washing your hands, carefully disposing of used tissues, and cleaning items and surfaces can help reduce the spread of cold viruses.


  1. Christina says:

    Hi Di-Di

    What is Astragalus? I am familiar with the other two herbs.

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