A cold and influenza (“The Flu”) are respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. More than 300 different viruses can cause colds and influenza E.g.adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus, coronavirus. Much smaller than a bacterium, a virus is a tiny cluster of genetic material surrounded by a protein wrapper that uses host cells to create copies of itself -and in so doing, sometimes destroys the host's cells.
Currently there are NO available drugs to kill these viruses. Antibiotics, such as penicillin, have absolutely no effect on viruses, but are none-the-less uselessly prescribed for this purpose (Antibiotic-resistant infections now claim more lives than AIDS, at a cost of $20 billion/year to the American healthcare system Antibiotics administered to animals for meat also contribute to antibiotic resistance).
The most common way to spread a cold/flu virus is by hand-to-hand contact. E.g. you shook the hand of someone with a cold/flu virus who just blew their nose, or you touched something they touched. Cold/flu viruses can live for hours on objects, such as pens, keyboards, coffee mugs, door knobs, telephones, shopping cart handles, etc.making cross-contamination pretty easy. The virus gains access to your body when your contaminated hand touches your nose, mouth or food, or you have an open wound on your hand!
A virus is not as likely to be contracted through coughing, sneezing or kissing, and definitely not from being out in the cold and rain.
A strong immune system will protect you. Conversely a weakened immune system is virtually an open door to a virus. The usual offenders that tear down your immune system include:
- Eating too much sugar and too many grains (convert to sugar in body);
- Not getting enough rest
- Allowing emotional stressors to take over your life
- Vitamin D deficiency. A large study involving 19,000 Americans confirmed that those with lowest D levels were more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza and other respiratory infections.
Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Ginde AA et al, Arch Intern Med.2009;169(4):384-390.
- Use of antibiotics. Abs not only kill pathogenic bacteria, but also your body's probiotic (“good”) bacteria - major players in maintaining your immune system.
A cold will last, at most, a few weeks, but allergy symptoms can last all season.
Cold/flu viruses do not reproduce at higher body temperatures - so a slight fever should help youget rid of the virus quicker. Taking medication that reduces your fever is thus counterproductive.
Use ice compresses to control (not suppress)high temperature -alternatives are an ice-water-filled hot water bottle or a bag of frozen small vegetables, such as peas or corn.
Pain-relief medications work against the body's healing mechanisms
One study showed that people who take aspirin and Tylenol (acetaminophen) suppress their body's ability to produce antibodies to destroy the cold virus
Graham NM et al, Adverse effects of aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen on immune function, viral shedding, and clinical status in rhinovirus-infected volunteers. J Infect Dis.1990 Dec;162(6):1277-82
Aspirin taken to excess has also been linked to lung complications including pulmonary edema (an abnormal build up of fluid in your lungs).
How to PREVENT a cold/flu?
Natural prevention for the common cold:
1. Don't pollute your body with over-the-counter drugs
2. Take care of your health so that you almost never get a cold!
Wash your hands thoroughly before touching food, nose or mouth, but don't be obsessive
If you wash your hands too frequently you can remove protective oils in your skin - which can cause skin to crack or bleed, providing an entry point for potentially harmful microbes.
Keep immune system strong
Immediately address the first 8 areas of the NEWSTARTS plan to strengthen immune system before the virus takes over (Sex isn't mandatory, but will help build your immune system. If you are already ill, you probably won''t feel like adding this to your TTD list!)
Of Special Mention
Obtain enough Vitamin D. This vitamin produces 200 - 300 antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- BEST SOURCE - Direct sun exposure. You're looking for a daily 20-30 mins. or more (individual factors also come into play, such as age, skin color, location) on a lot of bare skin in the 10 am - 2pm range; no glasses, no lotion;
- NEXT BEST SOURCE - Safe indoor tanning machine. For those who live in sunless climes, particularly during winter;
- THIRD SOURCE. Oral vitamin D3 supplements
To understand the importance of this vital vitamin in assisting the immune system and so much more, see
Get enough sleep. "While you are sleeping”, the body is busy with needed maintenance and repair work, and producing a particularly important immuno-enhancing antioxidant, called melatonin. Don't think you can shortchange this vital, nightly system overhaul without compromising your immune system.
Attend to a healthy diet. E.g. eat good fats, fresh, organic fruits, veggies, grass-fed meat and dairy, minimal whole grains and sugar, andNO processed foods, artificial sweeteners, HFCS, MSG, heat-processed (i.e. damaged) polyunsaturated oils;
To avert a cold you feel is coming on, immediately lay off sugar, grains, fruit juice, artificial sweeteners or processed foods. Sugar, in particular, suppresses the immune system. Even grains and fruit juice add to the sugar load when broken down in the body.
A day late and a dollar short, but you should now start to follow the advice given above on
Do NOT take decongestants
A "runny" nose helps clean out upper respiratory infections - Thus, taking a decongestant to stop the "runny" nose symptom is counter-productive in aiding the underlying problem.
Simple/inexpensive yet effective “tricks”
Hydrogen Peroxide - Some people rid themselves of colds and flu within 12 to 14 hours by simply administering a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into each ear. You will hear some bubbling, and possibly feel a slight stinging or warm sensation. Wait 5-10 minutes for the bubbling and stinging to subside, then drain onto a tissue and repeat with the other ear.
For more information on other hydrogen peroxide therapies, see:
Warming socks Treatment. Overnight treatment to cure a cold
Good dietary “Ammunition”
Plenty of fresh, pure water - loosens secretions; urine should be a light, pale yellow;
Add fresh-squeezed juice of half a lemon to your water. Repeat 3-4 times throughout the day until cold symptoms subside, then make it part of your daily cold prevention routine to drink this twice a day (i.e. 1 lemon). Water can be warm, but not too hot (~118 ÂºF destroys enzymes in lemons) and you can add a little raw honey to make it more palatable. Drink through a straw to prevent damage to teeth enamel
• Vitamin C boosts your immune system
• Dislodges phlegm
• Antiseptic to throat. Gargling with strong solution of lemon juice can help kill bacteria causing strep throat
• After metabolism, adds alkalizing minerals to your body
Moderate sugar consumption. Too much sugar can suppress the immune system. Intestinal pathogenic bacteria and fungi (E.g. Candida) thrive on sugar and so to promote a strong immune system, it is essential to maintain a good balance between the probiotic bacteria and potentially pathogenic bacteria and fungi in the gut.
Foods rich in probiotics (good bacteria) - 80% of your immune system resides inside your GI tract:
• Fermented foods - such as raw kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, etc,
• Take a high-quality probiotic - providing daily >30 billion CFU, multiple strains of good bacteria, contains no magnesium stearate or titanium dioxide, independently tested;
Raw, organic eggs from free-range chickens
Raw (unpasteurized), organic milk if available
Animal-based omega-3 fats - Krill oil is absolutely the best omega-3 supplement available;
Mushrooms (Especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake). Contain immune-enhancing beta glucans;
Garlic and onions - garlic is a potent antimicrobial, ideally eaten raw;
High antioxidant herbs and spices. E.g. Turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, cloves
Chicken soup can help reduce your symptoms. Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so that you can expel it more easily.Add onions, garlic, herbs (E.g. Oregon, thyme, sage, marjoram) and spices (incl. ginger and cayenne), sea or Himalayan salt, and of course chicken and some more vegetables to the water.
Supplements (as adjuncts to other measures)
Vitamin C. Potent antioxidant; Take several grams every hour until feeling better, but stop if you get loose stools; acerola is a natural form of vitamin C containing required synergistic bioflavonoids.
Wild Oregano Oil (WOO). immune system booster unparalleled in the plant kingdom; a higher concentration of carvacrol (its most active antimicrobial agent) provides more effectiveness;
Grapefruit seed extract (GSE). A powerful, antiviral, oral “medicine”
Ionic Colloidal Silver (ICS). Antiviral, as well as antibacterial
Bee Propolis. This bee resin is a powerful broad-spectrum antimicrobial compound; the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, compounds that aid immune response and fight cancer;
Olive leaf extract. Known as a natural, non-toxic immune system builder.
A tea made from a combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger. Drink it hot and frequently; makes you sweat, helping eradicate viruses.
If you have a cold or influenza, then the above remedies should take care of it. If you have a bacterial infection, some of the natural antivirals used for cold/flu are also antibiotic:
Examples of bacterial infections. Include sinus, ear and lung infections (bronchitis and pneumonia), which may have the following symptoms:
• Fever over 102 °F (38.9 °C)
• Ear pain;
• Pain around your eyes, especially with green nasal discharge;
• Shortness of breath or persistent uncontrollable cough;
• Persistently coughing up green and yellow sputum;
Attend to Diet, Lifestyle and Emotional State
"The medical kit of the future"
General electrotherapy health benefits. Used systemically and/or locally at specific problem areas of the body, its effective application has many benefits:
|Detoxification||Wellness / Healthy aging||Pain relief|
|Relief from insomnia||Immune system restoral||Anti-Inflammatory|
|Maximizes cellular energy production||Accelerated tissue /bone
|Muscle relaxation / rehabilitation||Increased blood oxygen
There are several reasonably affordable electrotherapy devices available for personal use. The following electrotherapies are those that have received a significant amount of positive feedback:
|Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy|
|Near Infrared (NIR) class 4 laser therapy|
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) applies specific frequency patterns to the head area, with the following benefits:
|Balances neurotransmitters||Relieves pain||Treats depression|
|Substance abuse withdrawal||Relieves insomnia||Relieve stress / anxiety|