It’s that time of the year again.  Yes, you may be thinking holidays and seeing friends and family and eating good food and you would be correct.  And in fact, the next blog I will be writing will focus on how not to overeat during this time.  But in this post I will be focusing on a more important topic . . . cold remedies.

Did you know that according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Americans suffer 1 billion colds annually?    Will you be one of them or are you already and found this blog because you were searching on cold remedies?  If you knew how to reduce your chances, would you take the steps?  If so, then continue reading and I will share with you great timely information on cold remedies as well as how not to get one in the first place.

First, let’s focus on how not to get the cold so you don’t have to worry about any cold remedies.  A cold is a minor infection of the throat and nose. Although colds are usually mild, they are the leading cause of doctor visits and job and school absenteeism. More than 200 different viruses are known to cause symptoms of a cold, although rhinoviruses and coronaviruses cause the majority of colds. Cold symptoms usually last about 1-2 weeks but if you take advantage of the cold remedies that I suggest hear, it could make your life a little easier during that time.

As much as I hope you do not get a cold because I know how miserable that is, after I share with you some ways of preventing a cold, I will share with you some cold remedies because the odds are against you on not getting one because colds are extremely contagious. A cold is transmitted by droplets of fluid that contain the cold virus. These droplets become airborne when an infected person sneezes, coughs or speaks. You contaminate yourself by inhaling these droplets or touching a surface that the viruses have landed on and then touching your eyes or nose.  So that office buddy of yours who thinks they are so dedicated that they come into work with a cold – tell them to stay home and get better (in a nice way), and of course share with them the cold remedies recommended here.

To prevent getting a cold, take these simple precautions:

  • Avoid close contact with people who have a cold – To the extent possible, avoid crowds, and try not to shake hands with people who obviously have a cold or flu.
  • Wash your hands often – The largest contributor to infection by a trigger virus is unwashed hands. Equally as important as washing your hands is making sure they are completely dry. Then, use the disposable towel to open the door out of the washroom. Many ugly microbes lurk on door handles — usually from people who have not properly washed and dried their hands.
  • Do not touch your nose, eyes or mouth. This will help you avoid infecting yourself with germs you may have picked up.
  • Disinfect surfaces that are shared by many people. For instance, the telephone brings you within kissing distance of hundreds or even thousands of people. Who knows what their hygiene habits were? In a typical day we may be exposed to germs from as many as 150 countries or more!

Seems simple enough, right?  Another way to prevent colds is to build up your system with the 10 Essentials for Health and Wellness.  Click HERE to watch the video that explains more about these important essentials.

Now let’s say that despite your best efforts, you do come down with a cold.  Here are some suggested cold remedies.  The first important one is to make sure you have a cold, not the flu.  Antibiotics will not cure a cold. In fact, you cannot cure a cold. But, certain things can help you reduce your discomfort. Some of these cold remedies seem pretty basic but don’t ignore them.  These include:

  • Drink at least eight glasses of water and juice a day. This will help keep you hydrated.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. These promote dehydration.
  • Avoid smoke. It irritates an already sore throat and intensifies a cough.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Use a humidifier – an electric device that puts moisture into the air.

Another important factor when considering cold remedies or even preventing a cold is to consider how much stress you have in your life.  Chronic stress is like slow poison.  Current research shows that stress can suppress your immune system, perhaps opening the door to a number of infectious diseases. There is particularly compelling evidence linking stress to colds and the flu. Although we are continually exposed to such trigger viruses, our immune system normally neutralizes their impact. But when a person is under emotional distress, these defenses can fail.

Your immune system may begin to overreact or not react in time to stop an infection when you are under stress. The source of the stress really does not matter. For instance, time pressure and an injury may seem like entirely different stresses to your mind but they are treated exactly the same way by your body.

So to prevent a cold or great info for cold remedies are adaptogens.  Did you know that adaptogens build a strong defense against stress? Certain adaptogens such as Eleutherococcus have been proven to shorten the frequency, intensity and duration of trigger viruses that cause colds.  Now those are great cold remedies.  Where can you get Adaptogens?  See below for my recommendation.

What about vitamins?  Are they a good part of cold remedies?  Can vitamins shorten infections?
Vitamin C and Echinacea are favorites for protecting against and even treating rhino virus infections. Russell Jaffe, MD, former director of the National Institutes of Health, recommends a loading dose of Vitamin C: one teaspoon of Vitamin C crystals every 15 minutes until you “flush.” By this, he means a complete bowel evacuation. After the flush, he recommends a daily serving of Vitamin C (for one month) that is equivalent to 75% of the amount it took you to flush.

More cold remedies include Echinacea, which is used in a similar way. Significant medical research from Germany suggests that an hourly dose of Echinacea will reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of a virus infection.  So that’s another one to consider for cold remedies.  Taking a gram of Echinacea every hour for three days may even “abort” an infection that has already begun. Continue taking Echinacea three times daily for up to two weeks afterward to prevent a relapse.

When considering cold remedies, know that if you become infected, aggressive nutrition can restore balance to your immune system. Adaptogens and traditional remedies such as Vitamin C and Echinacea may shorten the course of an infection and provide quick relief.

So to recap, to take Control of Your Health

* Wash your hands every few hours and dry them thoroughly.
* Aggressively apply the 10 Essentials; most especially, get your sleep.
* Take a healthy foundation of nutrients:
o A multiple vitamin and mineral supplement
o An Omega-3 fatty acid supplement
o Sublingual Vitamin B-12
o Stress-busting adaptogens
* Use traditional remedies:
o Echinacea hourly for three days, then three times daily for two more weeks
o Vitamin C flush — 75% of “flush” amount daily for one month

I hope these suggestions for cold remedies have been helpful and even more important the suggestions to prevent colds.  And for any friend or co-worker that you come into close contact with who has a cold, of course, keep your distance , but let them know about these cold remedies.

Wishing you the best in health and wellness!