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By Yousry Naguib, Ph.D.

Vitamin C – Research studies demonstrated that Vitamin C is
a potent antioxidant protecting against free radical damage, and has the ability
to boost interferon (a natural antiviral substance) and antibodies levels in the
body, and hence maintaining a strong immune system to alleviate allergy
symptoms.

Zinc – Test tube studies showed that zinc
might prevent cold viruses from reproducing themselves. Its beneficial effects
in preventing or treating cold in humans has been demonstrated in only five out
of eleven double-blind, placebo-controlled
studies.

Quercetin, a bioflavonoid, is anti-histaminic
and anti-allergic. It was shown to inhibit mast cells from releasing
inflammatory compounds.

Butterbur (Petasites
hybridus)
—extracts of butterbur have been used in bronchial asthma, and
studies have shown that they inhibit the biosynthesis of the inflammatory
leukotrienes.

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been
popular since ancient Egypt. Both the flowers and berries ease the congestion
and inflammation associated with hay fever.