At the onset of the cold season this month and in February, health experts have also advised the public to be ready for an increased incidence of colds and flu. The US Center for Disease Control recently announced (via the Medscape Medical News) that “flu is hitting the United States harder than it did at this time last year, but it could be peaking in some parts of the country.”
According to health experts, cold viruses thrive better in cooler temperatures, when there is less humidity in the atmosphere. They do clarify that the cold weather, in itself, does not cause colds.
Over 200 viruses
According to “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” authored by Phyllis Balch, CNC, there are more than 200 viruses that can cause the common cold, which is basically an infection of the upper respiratory tract, but the most common ones are called rhinoviruses.
“Healing with Whole Foods” author Paul Pitchford explained, “exterior diseases first affect the body surfaces that are exposed directly to the environment—the skin and the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and lungs. Thus the most prevalent exterior conditions are the common cold and flu.”
So, what can you do when you already feel the symptoms of colds and flu?
Easy to cure
Pitchford explained that contagious diseases that affect the sinuses, bronchials and throat often have exterior signs in their initial stages. These and all other exterior diseases are usually easy to cure when they are still on the surface of the body. He cited spices and herbs “that are expansive and reach towards the periphery of the body, and those that open (expand) the sweat glands to sweat out the exterior disease factor lodged near the surface. In cases where sweating does not stop the disease, it will at least greatly reduce its progress and strength.”
Pitchford went on to explain, “Sometimes people try to cure the common cold at its onset with strengthening, salty, or building foods such as ginseng, miso or animal products, but these can worsen the existing condition and trap pathogens inside the body because of their strong inner directing effect.”
Here are some natural, albeit, unusual home remedies:
1 Eat less, and use a more simple, liquid-based diet such as vegetable or grain soup if chills predominate over the fever. If the fever predominates, fruits or vegetable juices or fresh fruits are a better alternative, said Pitchford.
2 Helpful foods include bioflavonoid-rich foods such as cabbage with hearts, and green peppers with their insides. Other useful foods are parsley, carrots, broccoli, turnips, kuzu (especially good for treating a stiff or painful upper back or neck from an exterior condition; also useful for measles), parsnips, horseradish, scallions, garlic, lemon juice, grapefruit and most fruits, he added.
3 Take Vitamin C and zinc lozenges at the first sign of a sore throat or stuffiness in the head or nose. This can shorten the duration of a cold, and may even stop it altogether. Take the lozenges every three hours for the first day of cold symptoms, advised Balch.
4 Remain as active as possible, Balch urged. Not only is staying in bed for ordinary sniffles unnecessary, but it will probably make you feel worse. Moving around helps loosen builtup mucus and fluids. Unless you have a fever, a brisk walk or any other type of moderate exercise should make you feel better.
5 Taking antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E, beta carotene, selenium, zinc, fructooligosaccharides and protein can significantly reduce the chance of getting an upper respiratory tract infection, as Balch cited a study done between 1999 and 2000 in Florida showing this.
“This is particularly important for older adults due to the reduced efficiency of their immune systems. It has also proven to be useful in increasing effectiveness of the flu vaccine. This was originally published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,” Balch disclosed.