Stop the Common Cold – “So… Very… Cold”

Oh how delightfully blissful we live when we’re in good health, taking care to eat right, exercise, and generally stay on top of our well being.  That’s why it’s so darn frustrating to be stopped in our tracks by that pesky and pervasive virus known as the common cold.  Now I’m somewhat of a health nut…  I say somewhat because I do, on occasion, indulge and compared to some like my dear Aunt and Mother I’m a lightweight when it comes to healthy diet and prevention.  However, I go to great lengths to keep my immune system in tip top shape.  So wasn’t I surprised when those sniffles that I at first believed to be allergies mutated into a full fledged, knock me on my tuchus cold.  Now over the holiday week I’d been on 3 airplanes, mingled with a variety of friends and family and gone through a pretty major temperature drop so I should have boned up on my vitamin C but what I want to talk about in this article is what to do in a healthy way to knock these things out as quickly as possible.

To start I want to promote the product Wellness Formula by Source Naturals (which we don’t even sell so there’s no ulterior motive here).  To go through the list of the 40 immune boosting ingredients would take too much space but this stuff is essential for daily immune system maintenance and when you first feel those symptoms, this herbal supplement can stave off the worst of it fast.  Unfortunately, because I thought it was allergies (and possibly because my giant ego told me there was no way I was getting sick) I failed to start in time but it’s been three days and I’m worlds from where I was Tuesday morning.

Once you’ve got a cold it is recommended you get as much Vitamin C as possible; 5,000 milligrams or more a day.  Find a good supplement but also, because liquids are so important as well consider a lot of fresh grapefruit or orange juice.  Grapefruit is recommended because in addition to the high vitamin C content it helps detoxify the liver.  When taking such high doses you can sometimes get diarrhea so use a calcium ascorbate powder form of vitamin C which is less irritating to the digestive tract.

Zinc is also very important.  A recent study has shown that cold-infected volunteers who sucked on a 23-milligram zinc gluconate lozenge every 2 hours had significantly shorter colds than cold-infected volunteers who sucked on a placebo. Other research has shown that lozenges made only with either zinc gluconate-glycine or zinc acetate shorten the duration of cold symptoms.

Hot fluids and lots of liquid are very important for knocking out a cold.  Because cold viruses grow and multiply when the temperature around them is around 90°F (which is roughly the bodies’ temperature without fever), they are far less comfortable and less likely to replicate so quickly when their environment heats up. Drinking hot fluids will warm your throat as well as impair viral replication and they also have a mild decongestant effect, which helps relieve nasal stuffiness. Taking herbal drinks such as ginger tea is doubly helpful because of their heating effect as well as the antiviral effect.  Soup is essential.  Now I’m sorry my vegetarian friends but chicken soup’s effect on combating a cold is no urban myth.  Studies have shown it works… but take heart, researcher’s suspect that the soup’s cold-fighting powers come not from the chicken but from the vegetables that are usually part of the stock.

Drinking lots of water and fruit and vegetable juice will help to flush toxic by-products out of the body as quickly and efficiently as possible but avoid things like tea and coffee that have diuretic (fluid-eliminating) properties.

Garlic (raw, juiced or supplements) has been used forever in combating and preventing colds.  Recent studies have shown that subjects taking supplements of allicin, the component of garlic considered to be the major biologically active agent produced by the plant, had a reduced risk of catching a cold by more than half.  Those who did catch a cold were more likely to make a speedier recovery and the chances of re-infection following a cold were significantly reduced.

Vitamin A is a nutrient vital to the mucous membranes throughout the respiratory system during a cold or flu. It can be taken in the form of beta carotene (carrot juice) which is a precursor of vitamin A, in higher dosages.

Some general rules to follow while sick: Avoid milk and other dairy products which have been shown in studies to trigger the release of histamine, a chemical that contributes to runny nose and nasal congestion which can make chest, sinus, and nasal congestion worse.  Avoid alcoholic drinks, as these are dehydrating and deplete the body of vitamin C while putting extra strain on the liver, which has to work extra hard to detoxify the body during illness anyway.  If you’re not hungry don’t feel obliged to eat, as long as you drink plenty. Foods should be as light and easily digestible as possible, with a strong emphasis on vegetable soups, broths, salads and lightly cooked fish or chicken.  Avoid high-fat, indigestible foods such as cheese, red meat and pastries.

Basically it’s important to eat a balanced diet. Take supplements as needed to ensure you are receiving the recommended dietary allowances for vitamin A, the vitamin B complex (vitamins Bl, B2, Bs, B6, folic acid), and vitamin C, as well as the minerals zinc and copper.

Be Well,

Juicy Josh


Related Articles: