Is your home medicine cabinet stocked up for flu season? Even if flu isn’t quite around the corner, catching one off-guard is never fun— and it’s always smart to stock up in advance.

When it comes to natural flu remedies, there’s more than a few you’ll want at your side when the time comes. More importantly, these aren’t good just for when you’re feeling ill: they boost overall immunity, which can have a long list of other benefits, like better energy, less inflammation, and more besides shortening how long you might have the flu!

Vitamin C

Don’t’ have some type of vitamin C in your cabinet? Then it’s definitely time to grab some. It’s no coincidence that doctors recommend rest, staying hydrated, and taking in plenty of vitamin C.

Vitamin C supplements can be especially helpful to stay on top of a cold, or even just for taking care of your basic daily immunity needs— it’s an essential nutrient, after all. Studies show vitamin C is an antioxidant that the body requires for immune defense, and it can even help kill foreign invaders in the body.

Zinc

You might not hear about zinc as often as other important dietary minerals like iron, calcium, or potassium, for example. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less important, especially where immunity is concerned.

As it turns out, scientists show that a lack of zinc can lead to low immune function. So, if you want to keep that immune system in tip-top shape (especially for fighting inflammation), add some zinc supplements to your home remedies list.

Echinacea

No herb is more popular, well-known, or effective for colds and flu than the beautiful flower, echinacea. Want to know what makes this herbal remedy so adept at flu-fighting? Because it boosts immunity, of course!

Research ties echinacea to so many immune benefits: fighting allergies, inflammation, sore throats, upper respiratory infections, and shortening cold and flu duration. If you don’t have it in your arsenal yet, you’re missing out (plus, it makes a killer combo with vitamin C!).

Elderberry

If you don’t have echinacea handy, elderberry comes as a very close second. Kids of all ages might warm up to this home remedy more because it has a sweet berry taste—and is far less bitter!

In herbal supplement form, just about anyone can enjoy elderberry’s immune powers. Most notable is its ability to strengthen immunity when dealing with colds and flu. Research shows it can help slow down a cold and help with symptoms as you recover, too.

Though each of these natural remedies can help strengthen the immune system in its own unique way, you can do one better: try using them in combination!

Of course, talk to your doctor first about using echinacea or elderberry beforehand, and to see if they’re the best complement to your immune health. For the average person, however, these remedies are nature’s gift to immunity in many ways, and they’re known to be quite gentle and safe.

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