As the days grow shorter, the mercury falls and winter’s chill spreads across the southern hemisphere, claims for natural “immune boosters” heat up.

From vitamin C and vitamin D to curcumin, dandelion, echinacea, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, zinc, intravenous vitamin drips, meditation, deep breathing, massage and even masturbation, immune-boosting claims are proliferating wildly. They are limited only by fevered imaginations. They are staples of “natural”, “alternative” or “complementary” medicine for protection against colds, flu and other winter viral infections...

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