Quercetin for Colds
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment
Quercetin is a natural flavonoid found in many foods and plants. The uses of quercetin for colds have been extensively reviewed over recent years. Many studies have suggested that quercetin can reduce the harmful effects of viruses that cause common colds.
In this article, we’ll discuss the beneficial effects of quercetin for colds according to scientific studies. But before we get started with the benefits of quercetin in colds, it’s important to learn the basics of colds a little bit more. So, let's read on.
Table of contents
- What is cold?
- Symptoms of colds
- Causes of colds
- Risk factors of colds
- Complications of colds
- What is quercetin?
- How quercetin can help with colds
- How to use quercetin
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is cold?
Cold, also known as common cold, is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, particularly the nose and throat caused by viruses. It’s generally harmless but might be annoying for most people. Many types of viruses may cause common colds.
Experiencing two to three colds every year is normal for healthy adults. Young children and infants may experience more recurrent colds. In general, symptoms of common colds disappear with home remedies in seven to ten days without any medical intervention, but if they get worse you may need to consult your healthcare provider.
Symptoms of colds
A cold-causing virus may invade different people in different ways, hence, symptoms may vary from person to person that generally appears after one to three days of exposure to it. Common symptoms may include:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Joints and body aches
- Generally feeling uneasy
Causes of colds
Although rhinoviruses are found the most common, many types of viruses may cause a cold condition. These viruses may spread in the air through droplets when a sick person sneezes, coughs, and talks and then might enter others’ bodies through the nose, mouth, and eyes.
Cold-causing viruses may also spread by sharing objects such as utensils, phones, or toys that are contaminated or by direct hand-to-hand contact with people who have a cold.
Risk factors of colds
There’re some risk factors that may higher the chances of getting cold. They may include:
- Weakened immune response
- Lower age groups especially infants and children
- Some seasonal changes such as starting of winters
- Exposure to crowds
Complications of colds
A cold can involve several other conditions, such as:
- Acute sinusitis
- Inflammation with acute pain and swelling
- Otitis media or ear infection
- Other infections like bronchitis and pneumonia
What is quercetin?
Quercetin is a naturally occurring plant flavonoid found in many herbs and foods including berries, onions, apples, broccoli, green tea, kale, cauliflower, and nuts among others. It has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is commonly used for treating and preventing a range of health conditions including colds, arthritis, diabetes, and issues related to the heart and blood vessels.
How quercetin can help with colds
Quercetin has incredible power to inhibit the growth of viruses that cause common colds such as rhinoviruses and also helps alleviate inflammatory symptoms produced by the organism.
A large number of scientific studies suggested that the therapeutic properties of quercetin are highly effective to reduce viral internalization and replication in the body.
Most studies suggest that quercetin can be used as a viable dietary supplement to combat a broad spectrum of viruses such as rhinovirus, influenza A, and influenza B among others that cause various viral infections including common colds or upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs).
How to use quercetin
Quercetin has been recommended for oral uses as a dietary supplement. Though the actual dose of quercetin supplement may vary from person to person depending on the severity and associated conditions, it has most often been recommended in doses of 250 mg to 500 mg twice a day.
But clinicians may also recommend higher as well as lower doses when necessary. It’s recommended to consult with a qualified natural medicine practitioner to figure out what dose could be the best for your specific condition.
Precautions and side effects
Quercetin is generally safe in recommended doses for up to 12 weeks. Some rare and mild side effects such as headaches and tingling sensations in legs or arms may appear in some people but these aren’t common.
Quercetin may interact with other medications such as antibiotics, warfarin, and drugs that are usually changed by the liver. Besides, people with kidney issues should consult with their healthcare specialists before using quercetin since it may make certain symptoms worse.
Like with all medications and supplements, always ask your healthcare professional prior to using quercetin supplements especially if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or taking medications for any underlying health conditions.
Quercetin is a naturally occurring plant flavonol that is widely found in a variety of plants and foods including berries, nuts, broccoli, kale, apples, green teas, onions, and many more. It possesses excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it highly beneficial for treating a range of viral infections such as colds.
Since colds are caused by viruses, the antiviral effects of quercetin for colds have been reviewed in many scientific studies. Research suggests that the therapeutic actions of quercetin are effective in reducing any type of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and can be used as a viable therapeutic agent to decrease the incidence of colds and influenza.
Though the safety profile of quercetin is excellent and it’s tolerable for most people if taken in recommended doses, some people may experience mild headaches and tingling sensations in the legs and arms. But these side effects are very rare and not common for all.
However, always check with your healthcare professional prior to using quercetin supplements especially if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any kidney issues.
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