Oh boy, here we go, cold season. There is a great deal you can do, and NOT do, to avoid or treat colds, so you don’t lose much time to the silly viruses that plague us.
The don’ts with regard to colds and flu:
Don’t Tough it Out
Don’t go to work – no one wants your germs. We always think we need to “work right through” and “tough it out.” I strongly suggest you don’t! You will be better faster for resting for a few days and besides, your colleagues and friends will appreciate it!
So take a few days off; don’t ignore the feelings that you are getting a cold. Rest. Let your body fight the illness, and take all the things you can to help your body: plenty of rest, drink fluids, take Vitamin C, stay warm, take herbs and nutrients that help your immunity. (See the bottom of this blog for things to help!)
If you MUST be at work, keep your distance from everyone, cover your mouth if you sneeze, and be sure to wash your hands. Public health agencies recommend proper hand hygiene as one of the best defenses against the spread of viruses and bacteria.
If you smoke, you may more easily succumb to the viruses that cause colds and flu. This is probably because your lung tissue has been damaged or at least compromised by inhaling nicotine and tobacco. If you have a cold or flu, stop smoking until you are completely better. And why not use that to try to stop smoking entirely!
Don’t Forget To Drink Lots of Liquids!
It is not an “old wives’ tale” about drinking fluids when you have a cold. And even if it were, that might be a good thing – I suspect “old wives” know rather a lot! So drink plenty or chicken broth, water, tea, and fruit juice.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Alcohol is a definite no-no when you are getting a cold. It tends to lower immune response, and also dehydrates you. Yowig down something to make you care less, but it won’t make you feel any better, and will slow down your recovery! The opposite of what you want!
Don’t Fight Sleep
You need more sleep than usual to fight off a virus and all its accompanying inflammation symptoms. You probably feel very tired, so give in gracefully, check out, and sleep!
Don’t Allow Stress
If you endure constant levels of stress, you are more prone to getting a cold or the flu. So if you feel yourself coming down with something, try to eliminate stress.
Don’t Take Too Many Cold Medications, or Mix Them
If you absolutely have to take something to help with your cold, I get it. But decongestants can actually make things worse and inflame your nasal cavities. And beware of mixing over-the-counter drugs, as well. Ask your pharmacist for advice. There are so many natural herbal and nutritional supplements that work better. And they are safer! (Scroll down for tips)
Don’t Take Antibiotics (unless prescribed for a secondary bacterial infection)
The virus that causes the common cold does not respond to antibiotics. Period. And there is evidence that taking antibiotics reduces your immun response, and you want your immunity cracking along at its best! So don’t ask your doc for antibiotics. Instead, try the protocol below that has been serving me, my family, and my clients for many years!
The “do’s”: here are great ways to avoid or treat a cold:
VITAMIN C: Take 2 grams of Ester C, Liposomal Vitamin C, or Calcium Ascorbate (2000 mg, or 4 x 500 mg capsules) straight away. Buffered C (Calcium Ascorbate or Ester C is easier on the gut. Then take 500 mg every hour for the first day, then taper off over three days. But be persistent; you may think you’ve killed the virus, but you may have just subdued it and it will show it’s ugly face again! The Vitamin C supports the immune system to keep the invader out. If you get gassy or get abdominal cramps or diarrhea, take a little less. If you still have symptoms, take a little more. As we get older, it takes more and more C to do the job.
** I take a minimum of 6 grams (12 x 500mg capsules) a day in the summer, 8 grams in the winter, and then much more if I feel the slightest sore throat. You have to ACT FAST. I carry it everywhere… handbags, glove compartment, coat pockets… 🙂
VITAMIN D: 10,000 units per day for three days, then 5,000 per day for two more weeks.
VITAMIN A as Beta Carotene: 25,000 ius; take two immediately on onset of symptoms, then 2 a day for a week. There is no downside; Beta Carotene is water-soluble.
ZINC LOZENGES: Slowly suck a Zinc lozenge, once every two hours for the first day, then three a day till cold symptoms and sore throat are gone
OSCILLOCOCCINUM: If you think it’s flu (body aches as well) take a dose of homeopathic Oscillococcinum every hour, 3 times. Available at health food stores & Amazon. Directions say take entire tube – not necessary. A third of the tube is fine as one dose.
NETI POT with warm salt water plus Olbas oil or a little Tiger’s Balm. Flush out sinus passages and prevent viral spread and replication. Dramatically more effective than antibiotics for sinus infections.
Other good ideas: how to avoid or treat a cold
Echinacea/Goldenseal extract; Take two droppers-full (Zand Insure Herbal or Nature’s Way Echinacea/Goldenseal tincture.) Tincture is better than capsules as you want the herbs to coat the throat- don’t rinse them away! Once every three or four hours the first day, then twice a day for three more days.
Eat lots of garlic and onions; i.e. onion soup with a clove of garlic in it. Onion soup is marvelous for expectoration – clears out the mucus.
Drink lots of liquids, preferably mineral water with lemon. NOT ALCOHOL, as it lowers the immune system.
Good luck avoiding or getting over that cold this fall and winter!