Colds are caused by any of more than two hundred viruses that infect the upper respiratory tract. Colds are spread through the air, such as by sneezing or coughing, or by contact with a contaminated object. In response to an invasion by a cold virus, the membranes that line the nose and the throat become swollen and start producing additional mucus. The result is congestion, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and a general feeling of malaise-all of which are your body's way of expelling the virus and getting you to slow down and rest. Although colds can come on at any time of the year, they are most common during late fall and winter. They especially target people whose immune systems are depressed, whether from overwork, preexisting disorders, or a lack of good nutrition and exercise.
The best treatment for a cold is to stimulate your body's natural defenses as soon as the familiar symptoms first appear. Once the virus firmly establishes itself in your system, you can use natural therapies that have direct antiviral activity, as well as stimulate your immune system to eradicate the virus. Most colds last three to ten days. Do not take over-the-counter medication. These cold systems are your immune system's attempt to flush out the virus, so medications that suppress them actually prolong your cold or cause recurrence.
Colds can be difficult to distinguish from the flu. For adults, the presence of body aches and a fever usually indicates the flu, although a low-grade fever can sometimes exist alongside a cold. Children, on the other hand, may experience fevers as a normal part of a cold. If your cold symptoms persist, or if they are accompanied by yellow or green mucus, call your doctor. You may have allergies or a different infection, such as sinusitis.
For adults, more than two colds a year may be an induction of underlying toxicity in the body. Some researchers feel that the body uses the cold virus as a way of detoxifying itself through mucus elimination and reduced appetite. In many cases, this could certainly be true. Also, a weakened immune system due to poor lifestyle habits and nutritional deficiencies could be at the root of reoccurring colds.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; the level of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when taking any and all supplements.
Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. & Mark Stengler, N.D.
Super Prescription # 1 Echinacea and Goldenseal - LifeSource Products - See All of our Echinacea/Goldenseal Products. Echinacea and goldenseal combinations are herbs that enhance immune functions, and Echinacea has antiviral properties. Take as directed.
Super Prescription # 2 Lomatium dissectum
Take 500 mg or 2 to 4 ml of the tincture four times daily. Lomatium has strong antiviral effects.
Super Prescription # 3 Vitamin C - LifeSource Products - See All of our Vitamin C Products.
Take 1,000 mg three to four times daily. Reduce the dosage if diarrhea occurs. Vitamin C supports immune system function through increased white blood cell activity.
Super Prescription # 4 Zinc - LifeSource Product Take 15 to 25 mg in zinc lozenge form every two waking hours for four days. Zinc supports immune function and may have antiviral effects. Zinc nasal spray could be even more effective.
Super Prescription # 5 Ginger - LifeSource Products Take 500 mg of the capsule or drink the fresh tea four times daily. Ginger helps with a sore throat and chills.
Super Prescription # 6 Astragalus - LifeSource Product Take 500 to 1,000 mg or 3.0 ml of a tincture two to three times daily. Astragalus is an excellent treatment for preventing the common cold. Do not take Astragalus if you have a fever.
|Super Prescription # 7 Bronchial Support - LifeSource Product
LifeSource's unique bronchial Support formula is designed to loosen phlegm (mucus) & thin bronchial secretions to rid bronchial passageways of bothersome mucus & drain bronchial tubes. It also temporarily relieves bronchial congestion and coughing associated with bronchitis and the common cold. Take as directed on the container.
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph glands
- Loss of appetite
- Mild fever (occasionally, fevers can be higher in children
- Toxicity in the body
- A deficient immune system due to lifestyle factors, nutritional deficiencies, and high-stress levels.
Eat lightly. Steamed vegetables, soups and broths, and herbal teas will let your body focus on healing, instead of digestion. If you lose your appetite, don't force yourself to eat.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of clean water and other fluids (but see the note in the next section about sugar and juice) to cleanse away toxins and to keep the respiratory tract from drying out.
Increase your consumption of ginger, onions, and garlic. Try adding one or both to chicken soup or miso.
Hot water with lemon, honey, and cinnamon is a traditional cold remedy. Drink a cup every two hours to soothe your throat and chest, prevent mucus buildup, and encourage a cleansing sweat.
Foods to Avoid
Sugar decreases the number of white blood cells that your body produces and depresses your immune system, so eliminate refined sugars from your diet for the duration of your illness. Also, be wary of fruit juices. Although they are a traditional treatment for colds, fruit juices-especially orange juice-usually contain far more sugar than they do vitamin C. If you want to drink juice, dilute it first.
Avoid milk and other dairy products while you're sick. They encourage the production of mucus and will only make you feel worse.
- Get plenty of sleep and rest.
- Unless you have a fever, take a brisk walk to keep mucus from settling into your body and to chase away the blues. Don't engage in any vigorous exercise, however.
- Keep a humidifier in your room. The moist air will thin secretions.
- If you have a sore throat, gargle with saltwater.
- Colds can circulate through an entire family-and even come back to you. Break the cycle by keeping your hands clean and flushing tissues after you use them. Encourage your family members to eat well, to get rest, and to wash their hands often during your illness.