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Antibiotics will not cure your cold or flu

Colds and flu are the most frequent illnesses in the Western world. Over our lifetime it’s estimated we will experience 200 to 300 cold infections alone. The toll on the economy - through absences from work and lost productivity- is heavy.

Treating cold or flu symptoms

Most people with symptoms of colds or flu treat themselves with painkillers or natural remedies like  Echinaforce®. But if their symptoms are severe or they don’t feel better in a couple of days, they visit their GP, expecting that antibiotics will help them recover faster. Well why not? Surely using antibiotics to treat your cold or flu will clear it up in no time and make you feel better faster? The answer is no.  The reasons are simple.  Colds and flu are viral infections and antibiotics only kill bacteria, not viruses.

Doctors may sometimes agree to treating a cold or flu using antibiotics if they see that your symptoms are no longer just caused by the virus infecting your body, but are the result of an additional bacterial infection.  Signs of this happening may include an infected throat, or coughing up green, mucky sputum. Antibiotics may be the appropriate treatment in these situations, but not always so.  The problem is that without waiting for laboratory tests, a doctor is not able to tell for certain if you need an antibiotic. In the past, they will have been prescribed ‘just in case’ there is a bacterial infection lurking.

Drug resistance

Today we know that this policy is flawed, and that the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics over the years has led to an alarming increase in bacteria resistant to antibiotic treatment. This means that the bacteria develop a resistance to the drug and don’t die, but keep on growing.  Thus another antibiotic may have to be used, but, and here is the catch, with little antibiotic research and development underway currently, our options on available antibiotics to treat infections are becoming more and more limited. It is not uncommon these days for two, three or even four different antibiotics to be used before a bacterial infection can be treated.

The very drugs that have been used to save millions of lives since the 1940’s have been over-used and misused to such an extent that it is estimated that now 700 000 people die annually and unnecessarily from antibiotic resistant infections that no available drug can treat. The situation is so dire that that figure climbs to an estimated 10 million deaths annually by 2050.  In the EU, 60% of specific types of dangerous bacteria are now untreatable.   This means that if you have the misfortune to pick up one of these bugs, you are going to be very, very ill. Or, it may even kill you.

Natural medicines the solution?

So, with the cold and flu season underway, remember that antibiotics are not the right treatment for colds or flu.  There are other proven, safer and effective ways to prevent and treat cold and flu infections. And the natural medicines world may hold the solution with products like A.Vogel’s Echinaforce®. This is the world’s most researched Echinacea remedy that has been proven in numerous studies to be antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory in the prevention and treatment of colds and flu.

Just last year Sebastian Johnston Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, amazed doctors and medical professionals from around the world when he released results of a meta-analysis showing that Echinaforce® not only prevents cold and flu infections but also helps prevent the complications like tonsillitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, middle ear infections and pneumonia. These are the secondary infections that result in most of us and our children receiving antibiotic treatment as a result of colds and flu.

The best offence is a good defence

Like the saying goes, the best offence is a good defence so the trick is to prevent the cold and flu infections in the first place.  Daily use of Echinaforce® has been clinically shown to strengthen the immune system to resist cold and flu infections. And because it is a natural product made from organically grown fresh Echinacea purpurea plants, bacteria and viruses are unable to develop a resistance to Echinaforce®, so you can use it all year round with confidence.

So before you insist on an antibiotic or accept a script for one, question if you really need one and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about A.Vogel’s Echinaforce®. The fewer antibiotics we use today, the safer our, and our children’s, future health will be.

A.Vogel Echinaforce® is available at pharmacies and health shops nationally in both liquid drops, tablets and chewable orange Junior tablets format for children.