Though you can’t beat every bug that comes your way this season, you can stimulate your immune system to help reduce their severity. These products can provide protection and relief:

For centuries this herb has been be-lieved to stimulate the immune system. However, a recent and highly publicized study showed it not to be effective. Yet herbal experts believe that the study was flawed. Researchers studied healthy adults with strong immune systems, not the elderly or people with health concerns whose systems are weaker. And the dosage—900 mg—was too low. At the onset of cold or flu symptoms, try 3,000 mg of echinacea root daily in pill, capsule or liquid form. Do not use for longer than eight weeks followed by a one-week rest period.

Rich in vitamins A and C, this old-fashioned remedy is a powerful immune system stimulant and symptom reliever. Elderberry treats coughs, fever (it makes you perspire), sinus congestion, sore throat pain and swelling. At the first sign of a cold or a flu, take 40 drops of liquid extract or 2,000 to 4,000 mg in teabag or capsule form daily.