The Common Cold & Flu

The Common Cold & Flu

Well here in Ontario, Canada we are going through fall. The temperatures keep dropping every day. Even the common cold does not pick a certain season to strike, it seems to happen more often in these fluctuating temperatures. The warnings are out about getting your cold and flu vaccinations.

According to Wikipedia the definition is as follows:

The common cold, also known simply as a cold, is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the nose. The throat, sinuses, and larynx may also be affected. Signs and symptoms may appear less than two days after exposure to the virus. These may include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache, and fever. People usually recover in seven to ten days, but some symptoms may last up to three weeks. Occasionally those with other health problems may develop pneumonia.

The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans. The average adult gets two to three colds a year, while the average child may get six to eight. Infections occur more commonly during the winter. These infections have existed throughout human history.

“Cold” came into use in the 16th century, due to the similarity between its symptoms and those of exposure to cold weather. In the United Kingdom, the Common Cold Unit was set up by the Medical Research Council in 1946 and it was where the rhinovirus was discovered in 1956.

Weather

The traditional theory is that a cold can be “caught” by prolonged exposure to cold weather such as rain or winter conditions, which is how the disease got its name. Some of the viruses that cause the common colds are seasonal, occurring more frequently during cold or wet weather. The reason for the seasonality has not been conclusively determined.

Possible explanations may include cold temperature-induced changes in the respiratory system, decreased immune response, and low humidity causing an increase in viral transmission rates, perhaps due to dry air allowing small viral droplets to disperse farther and stay in the air longer.

The apparent seasonality may also be due to social factors, such as people spending more time indoors, near infected people, and specifically children at school. There is some controversy over the role of low body temperature as a risk factor for the common cold; the majority of the evidence suggests that it may result in greater susceptibility to infection.

Cold-causing viruses can be found in all corners of the world. Rhinoviruses (from the Greek word rhin, meaning “nose”) evolved from enteroviruses, which cause minor infections throughout the human body. They have been identified even in remote areas inside the Amazon. But it’s impossible to tell how long humans have been battling colds. Scientists can’t pinpoint when rhinoviruses evolved: they mutate too quickly and don’t leave a footprint behind in preserved human fossils.

There are many suggestions as to where and how the common cold originated. Some say it’s from horses other’s say it is from birds or they might have sprung up as small groups of humans moved out of isolation and into agricultural communities, where the pathogen became highly adapted to infecting them.

Cold-causing microbes can survive for up to two days outside of the body. Rhinoviruses, which cause 30 to 50 percent of colds, usually live for three hours on your skin or any touchable surface, but can sometimes survive for up to 48 hours. The list of touchable surfaces is a lengthy one: door knobs, computer keyboards, kitchen counters, elevator buttons, light switches, shopping carts, toilet paper rolls—the things we come in contact with on a regular basis. The number of microbes that can grow on these surfaces varies, but each spot can contain several types of microbes.

You can calculate how far away to stand from someone who’s sick. When a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks, they expel virus-containing droplets into the air. These respiratory droplets can travel up to six feet to another person. A recent study found that the largest visible distance over which a sneeze travels is 0.6 meters, which is almost two feet. It did so at 4.5 meters per second, about 15 feet per second. A breath travels the same distance but much slower, at 1.4 meters—4.5 feet—per second. Moral of the story: remain six feet from infected people, and move quickly when they gear up to sneeze.

Contrary to popular belief, stocking up on vitamin C won’t help. Linus Pauling, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, popularized the idea of taking high doses of vitamin C to ward off colds. But when put to the test, this cold remedy doesn’t actually work. If you take at least 0.2 grams of vitamin C every day, you’re not likely to have any fewer colds, but you may have colds that are a day or two shorter. When symptoms start to appear, drizzling packets of Emergen-C into glass after glass of water won’t help either. The vitamin is no more effective than a placebo at reducing how long we suffer from cold symptoms.

Way’s that may help you from getting a cold

Someone in your house has the flu or a cold, and everyone else is scared of catching it. Try these six strategies to stay healthy.

Teach Good Coughing and Sneezing Habits

Colds and flu are spread mostly by direct contact. When a sick person coughs or sneezes, virus droplets can travel 6 feet or more.

If you’re in close quarters, ask the sick person to:

  • Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue and put the tissue in the trash right away.
  • Cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow — not their hand — if they don’t have a tissue. That means fewer germs get on their hands, which means they’re less likely to spread their germs through touch.

Wash Your Hands Often

Washing your hands is the best way to keep from catching a cold. Other than getting a flu vaccine, it’s the best way to prevent the flu, too.

Running your fingertips under water doesn’t count. “The mechanics of the hand-washing make all the difference,” says Terri Remy, MD, medical director of Medical Associates at Beauregard in Alexandria, Va.

Sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while you scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. The forceful rubbing is the most important part in getting rid of the germs. It should take about 20 seconds.

Other clean-hand tips:

  • Wash your hands after handling any item the sick person may have touched, like a dish, cup, or towel.
  • Don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.

Create a Sick Room

Some cold and flu viruses can live on skin and other things a sick person might touch — doorknobs, remote controls, faucet handles — for up to 8 hours. And it would be hard for a healthy person to avoid touching all of those things.

Set aside a room for whoever is sick, says Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, an infectious disease specialist. The sick person can stay there while getting better. Set up the room with everything they might need, like tissues, medicine, a thermometer, and a pitcher or cooler with drinks.

Ideally, just one person would take care of the sick one. Everyone else should stay out of the sick room.

Separate Germs in the Bathroom

If you have more than one bathroom, reserve one just for the sick person. Tell family members to use the other bathroom. If you’re all sharing one bathroom, give whoever is sick a separate towel and washcloth.

Sanitize Shared Items

If you can’t avoid sharing doorknobs and other household items, clean before you touch them. If you want, use a cleaner with ingredients that can kill flu viruses, like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptics with iodine, and alcohol. But good old soap and water also work well.

Take Good Care of Yourself

The best way to keep the flu away is to get the flu vaccine before the season starts. And it wouldn’t hurt to boost your usual wellness routine. “Be conscious about getting enough sleep, adequate nutrition, staying hydrated, getting exercise,” Hoven says. “Whatever [you] do to stay healthy, work a little harder at it.”

How long is a cold or flu contagious?

and the flu are contagious and are caused by viruses. However, the viruses that cause colds (for example, rhinoviruses) are not the same as those that cause the flu (influenza viruses). Although the typical incubation period for influenza is about one to four days, some adults can be contagious from about one day before onset of symptoms for up to two weeks. Other people who develop complications, such as pneumonia, may extend the contagious period for a week or two. For colds, most individuals become contagious about a day before cold symptoms develop and remain contagious for about five to seven days. Some children may pass the flu viruses for longer than seven days (occasionally for two weeks).

Colds are considered upper respiratory infections. The flu may also cause lower respiratory infections.

How will I know if I have a cold or the flu?

Cold Flu Symptoms

  • For both the cold and the flu, early symptoms may be similar. Symptoms and signs include a cough, runny nose, and feeling tired. If you know you have had contact with someone with a cold or the flu in the past few days, you should suspect you may have become infected. However, flu symptoms generally are more intense than cold symptoms. People with flu can develop fever, body aches, chills, and headaches, and some develop nausea and vomiting. Cold symptoms are much milder and usually do not require medical care. However, if you suspect you have the flu, you should seek medical care. The flu often can be diagnosed with rapid tests available to most physicians.

How do cold and flu viruses spread?

A common cold and the flu are easily spread from person to person, the flu most often by droplets produced by coughing and sneezing. Cold viruses in droplets are spread mainly hand-to-hand. These droplets contain the infectious viruses. Occasionally, these droplets land on various surfaces and, depending on the survivability of the virus type, can be transferred when an uninfected individual makes contact with a contaminated surface and subsequently touches his/her mouth or nose.

How to avoid catching a cold

To avoid catching a cold, you need to try your best not to touch anything infected (or at least be clean as possible when you do).

That doesn’t mean wearing gloves or living in a bubble. Here are some easy ways to prevent the spread of colds:

  • Regularly washing your hands. This is particularly pertinent if you’re in a busy workplace or a large household.
  • Keep towels and cups to yourself, especially if you know there’s someone in the house with a cold.
  • Avoid touching your eyes or nose.
  • Keep fit and healthy so your immune system is at its best.

Before cold symptoms start, the virus can still be in the body. That’s why it’s important to practice these habits all the time, rather than just if you see someone sneezing or coughing around you.

Flu vaccines and antibiotics aren’t effective on colds, and vitamin supplements have also been show to have little bearing on whether you get a cold and how long it lasts.

If you do catch one, it will normally go away on its own, but see a GP if these symptoms last for longer than three weeks, or if things get drastically worse quickly. Similarly, if you’re having chest pains or having an underlying medical condition.

Theories on the origins of The Common Cold

Source: Society for General Microbiology Summary:

A virus that causes cold-like symptoms in humans originated in birds and may have crossed the species barrier around 200 years ago, according to an article in the Journal of General Virology. Scientists hope their findings will help us understand how potentially deadly viruses emerge in humans.

Source: German Center for Infection Research Summary:

There are four globally endemic human corona viruses which, together with the better known rhinoviruses, are responsible for causing common colds. Usually, infections with these viruses are harmless to humans. Researchers have now found the source of ‘HCoV-229E,’ one of the four common cold corona viruses, to have originated in camels, just like the dreaded MERS (The Middle East respiratory syndrome)

“In our MERS investigations we examined about 1,000 camels for corona viruses and were surprised to find pathogens that are related to ‘HCoV-229E’, the human common cold virus, in almost six percent of the cases, says Drosten. Further comparative molecular genetic analysis of common cold viruses in bats, humans and dromedaries suggests that this common cold virus was actually transmitted from camels to humans.

The first human to catch a cold appears to have got it from a camel, according to new research.

It means the common cold originates from the same animal as the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, known as MERS.

Researchers at the University Hospital of Bonn in Germany had been investigating MERS when they made the unexpected discovery.

Professor Christian Drosten, one of the team, said: “In our MERS investigations, we examined about 1,000 camels for corona viruses and were surprised to find pathogens that are related to ‘HCoV-229E’, the human common cold virus, in almost six per cent of the cases.

As you read this, five percent of us are waging war against the common cold. Up to a billion colds a year occur in the U.S. alone, causing about 60 million lost days of school and 50 million lost days of work—adding up to $25 billion in lost productivity. To make up for it, Americans spend around $5 billion on over-the-counter remedies.

Colds are the leading cause of visits to the doctor: Antibiotics are prescribed for more than 60 percent of common colds, despite the fact that bacteria are involved in only two percent.

The Cold, Hard Facts

  • A single cold virus can have 16 million offspring within 24 hours.
  • The velocity of a sneeze is about as fast as a professional baseball pitcher can throw a fastball – about 100 miles (150 km) per hour.
  • The longest sneezing bout ever recorded is that of 12-year-old UK schoolgirl Donna Griffiths, who started sneezing on January 13, 1981, and sneezed for 978 days.
  • Some unfortunate people have slipped a disc because they twisted their necks sideways while sneezing.

Popular Cold Myths

You probably have believed one or two of these myths—they’ve been around a long time. So let’s put them to bed!

  1. Being cold causes a cold. Perhaps the most widespread cold myth of all states that exposure to cold temperatures causes people to catch colds. People have believed this folk wisdom for years, including the preacher John Wesley and the popular 18th century doctor William Buchan. This is presumably because colds are much more common in the winter, and cold air often causes a runny nose.However, studies from the 1950s and 1960s showed that when volunteers (actually, prison inmates) were kept chilly or very cold, they were not more susceptible to infection with a cold virus, and when they had a cold, it did not make their colds worse.
  2. Make the most of it. Some people believe that treating cold symptoms is bad for you because they help you recover. But research has shown that about a quarter of people who catch a cold don’t have any symptoms, and beat the virus just as easily. Furthermore, sneezing and runny noses do not eliminate the virus completely, as it is still reproducing in the cells of the nasal lining. In addition, the more you treat your symptoms, the less likely you are to spread your cold.
  3. Feed a cold and starve a fever (or vice versa). The origins of this saying are unclear, but it may have begun as sensible advice that was misinterpreted somewhere along the line. In any case, it probably is not a good idea. Eating well supports your immune system, and you need more fluids than usual when you have a cold if you want to avoid dehydration.
  4. Antibiotics cure the common cold. As noted above, antibiotics usually do not help a cold. Antibiotics work against bacteria, while most colds are viral.The over prescription of unwarranted antibiotics has caused our bodies to develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria. When you really do have a bacterial infection, antibiotics may not be able to treat it. They may actually make colds worse by killing the ‘friendly’ bacteria and creating an environment more hospitable to the virus. And just in case you aren’t already suffering enough, antibiotics can have side effects such as diarrhea and yeast infections.

There is, however, one cold myth that contains a grain of truth: Eat chicken soup. Maimonedes, a 12th-century rabbi and physician, recommended “soup from a fat hen,” and chicken soup has been a traditional cold remedy ever since. While it certainly feels good when you have a dry, ticklish throat, most believe that ‘Jewish penicillin’ has no special powers to cure a cold.

However, a recent scientific study found that “Chicken soup may provide relief from the symptoms of the cold through its synergistic properties” (in other words, the combination of ingredients and the fact that it’s a warm liquid). The study concluded that chicken soup helps the body clear mucus from the bronchial tubes faster and more effectively than other liquids. It does so because inhaling its warm vapors raises the temperature of the nose and loosens thickened secretions.

According to the researchers, the active ingredients in traditional recipes include celery, onions, carrots, parsley, mushrooms, parsnips, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. These are known for their medicinal and antioxidant properties.

In any case, staying well nourished can only help in the fight against your cold.

Cold remedies that work

If you catch a cold, you can expect to be sick for one to two weeks. That doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. Besides getting enough rest, these remedies might help you feel better:

  • Stay hydrated.Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, which can make dehydration worse.
  • Rest.Your body needs to heal.
  • Soothe a sore throat.A saltwater gargle — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water — can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat. Children younger than 6 years are unlikely to be able to gargle properly. You can also try ice chips, sore throat sprays, lozenges or hard candy. Don’t give lozenges or hard candy to children younger than 3 to 4 years old because they can choke on them.
  • Combat stuffiness.Over-the-counter saline nasal drops and sprays can help relieve stuffiness and congestion. In infants, experts recommend putting several saline drops into one nostril, then gently suctioning that nostril with a bulb syringe. To do this, squeeze the bulb, gently place the syringe tip in the nostril about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (about 6 to 12 millimeters) and slowly release the bulb. Saline nasal sprays may be used in older children.
  • Relieve pain.For children 6 months or younger, give only acetaminophen. For children older than 6 months, give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Ask your child’s health care provider for the correct dose for your child’s age and weight. Adults can take acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or aspirin. Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 3, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. This is because aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in such children.
  • Sip warm liquids.A cold remedy used in many cultures, taking in warm liquids, such as chicken soup, tea, or warm apple juice, might be soothing and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow.
  • Add moisture to the air.A cool mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily, and clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t use steam, which hasn’t been shown to help and may cause burns.
  • Try over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medications. For adults and children older than 5, OTC decongestants, antihistamines and pain relievers might offer some symptom relief. However, they won’t prevent a cold or shorten its duration, and most have some side effects. Experts agree that these shouldn’t be given to younger children. Overuse and misuse of these medications can cause serious damage. Take medications only as directed. Some cold remedies contain multiple ingredients, such as a decongestant plus a pain reliever, so read the labels of cold medications you take to make sure you’re not taking too much of any medication.

Cold remedies that don’t work

The list of ineffective cold remedies is long. Some of the more common ones that don’t work include:

  • Antibiotics.These attack bacteria, but they’re no help against cold viruses. Avoid asking your doctor for antibiotics for a cold or using old antibiotics you have on hand. You won’t get well any faster, and inappropriate use of antibiotics contributes to the serious and growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Over-the-counter cold and cough medications in young children. OTC cold and cough medications may cause serious and even life-threatening side effects in children. The FDA warns against their use in children younger than age 6.

Cold remedies with conflicting evidence

In spite of ongoing studies, the scientific jury is still out on some popular cold remedies, such as vitamin C and echinacea. Here’s an update on some common alternative remedies:

  • Vitamin C.It appears that for the most part taking vitamin C won’t help the average person prevent colds. However, taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms. Vitamin C may provide benefit for people at high risk of colds due to frequent exposure — for example, children who attend group child care during the winter.
  • Echinacea.Study results on whether echinacea prevents or shortens colds are mixed. Some studies show no benefit. Others show some reduction in the severity and duration of cold symptoms when taken in the early stages of a cold. Different types of echinacea used in different studies may have contributed to the differing results. Echinacea seems to be most effective if you take it when you notice cold symptoms and continue it for seven to 10 days. It appears to be safe for healthy adults, but it can interact with many drugs. Check with your health care provider before taking echinacea or any other supplement.
  • Zinc.There’s been a lot of talk about taking zinc for colds ever since a 1984 study showed that zinc supplements kept people from getting as sick. Since then, research has turned up mixed results about zinc and colds. Some studies show that zinc lozenges or syrup reduce the length of a cold by one day, especially when taken within 24 hours of the first signs and symptoms of a cold. Zinc also has potentially harmful side effects. Talk to your health care provider before considering the use of zinc to prevent or reduce the length of colds.

Natural Ways to Protect Against Cold and Flu

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure … you’ve heard it a million times, but how does it practically relate to illness prevention? In short, giving the body what it needs and keeping a constant supply of nutrients will help ensure that the body can resist any pathogen it encounters.

Changes to lifestyle will go a long way toward preventing illness, as you support the body to function optimally.

There are four areas so foundational to our immune systems that no natural remedy can replace them. They are, in no particular order:

  1. Prioritizing a nutrient-dense dietAvoiding grains, sugars, and other highly starchy foods ensures that the body is functioning at peak immunity should it encounter a virus or bacteria.
  2. Optimizing vitamin D levels – Studies show that optimizing vitamin D goes a long way to preventing and shortening the duration of illness.
  3. Getting enough sleep Getting enough sleep is also crucial to preventing illness, and even a couple nights of interrupted or not enough sleep can leave the body worn down and unable to resist illness.
  4. Regular exerciseConsistent exercise has also been shown to reduce the number of times a person gets ill per year and the duration. I like to do this simple kettle bell routine at home.

Granted, these are things to do consistently when you are well (no exercising when the flu comes on!). Of course, we can do these and still potentially get sick — although it certainly won’t happen as often — so don’t worry, there are natural ways to heal faster!

What to Do When Illness Strikes: Natural Remedies for Cold, Flu, & Fever

Once you or your child has contracted an illness, there are a lot of natural options that can shorten the duration of the illness and lessen the symptoms, as some of the most readily prescribed options can have serious side effects. I’ve included my whole bag of tricks below, so pick and choose what works for you.

Essential Home Remedies (You Already Have)

  1. Garlic – This health-boosting powerhouse is naturally antibiotic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial, garlic can tackle almost any illness. Read more about its benefits here. For the most potent effect, finely mince 1-2 cloves of garlic and float in a small glass of water. Drink quickly — if you are sick enough, you won’t even notice the taste. NOTE: Pregnant women should not take more than 1 clove of garlic medicinally per day, and children often resist this remedy.
  2. Hydrogen peroxide – At the first sign of sinus infection or ear infection, I put a dropper full of diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide into each ear.
  3. Hot liquids – This one is pretty instinctive, but we load up on hot herbal teas and hot lemon water at first sign of illness. The heat helps boost immune system and a variety of herbs can help with infection. Lemon is also a great natural source of vitamin C.
  4. Cinnamon – Good for more than just stabilizing blood sugar, cinnamon is an effective antiviral and antibiotic. Read about why it works and how to use it here. When sick, mix 1 tablespoon with 1 teaspoon of honey and stir to make a spicy and very effective tea that helps relieve cough and congestion and lower fever.
  5. Face steam – In a pinch, make this herbal steam treatment with kitchen herbs. Boil 1-2 cups of water in a large pot. Remove from heat, add 2 teaspoons each of thyme, some rosemary, and oregano. Cover for 5 minutes with a lid, and then remove lid and put face directly over pot with towel covering your head to hold in the heat. Breathe in the steam as long as you can (aim for 15 minutes). This will help loosen congestion and kill viruses and bacteria in the lungs, bronchials, or sinuses. Alternately, you can use 1/2 cup vinegar in the steam. It won’t smell great, but it will help fight the illness.
  6. Remove white foods – At the first sign of illness, completely remove all white foods from the diet. This includes grains, sugars, milk, cheese, dairy, sweeteners, soda, etc. These foods suppress immune function and slow the body’s healing ability. When you are ill, you don’t actually need to eat a lot of food, as the body needs to focus more on healing than digestion. Eat homemade chicken soup (or keep a quality store-bought broth on hand for a shortcut version) and drink hot liquids to keep strength up.
  7. Hydrate and rest – If the body is running a fever (which means it is fighting the illness) the best support you can give is to stay well hydrated on water and herbal teas and to rest enough. The body needs several extra hours of rest a day when ill, and often several extra glasses of water as well. If you are running a fever, it is easier to get dehydrated, so drink enough water!

Herbal Remedies to Help Cold and Flu

You may not have these around the house (at least not yet!) but they are great additions to a natural “medicine” cabinet. I’ve written about how herbs support the body when healing from an illness and the ones in this list are my go-to choices. I recommend buying these from a trusted source online (I’ve suggested some I use below) or growing them yourself, though you can find some of them in supplement stores.

  1. Nettle Leaf – Some natural doctors say this is the only herb needed for illness treatment. It contains large amounts of vitamins and trace minerals and helps the body stay hydrated and remove toxins. In a tea with red raspberry leaf, alfalfa, and peppermint herbals, it makes a powerful immune supporting and illness preventing remedy. Here is how to use nettle leaf for better health.
  2. Elderberry – Elderberry is well known for supporting the body, especially during flu. You can find conventionally made elderberry syrups at many stores now, or to save money, make your own. Here is the recipe.
  3. Ginger– In capsule form, ginger can greatly help with nausea and vomiting associated with the flu. It can also help with high fever and headache. Fresh ginger root can be steeped in boiling water to make a tea that is very effective against sinus symptoms and congestion. Read more about its benefits here.
  4. Yarrow – Unsurpassed for flu and fever, and great for children. If used abundantly in tea or tincture at the beginning of an illness, it will usually shorten the illness to less than 24 hours. It is especially good for fevers as it induces perspiration and is great for all childhood type illnesses. Peppermint is naturally bitter, so it is often good to include peppermint and stevia leaf when making a tea. It is great for the liver and kidneys and supports the endocrine system.
  5. Chamomile – An absolute staple, especially for kids. Chamomile calms the nerves, helps children sleep better, and reduces inflammation or fever. Soaking a chamomile tea bag in warm water and placing over an eye for 15 minutes every 2 hours will relieve pink eye in less than 24 hours. Chamomile tastes great and is easy to get kids to take. We use it in tea and tincture formula. It is also great for regulating hormones and for the skin and can be used regularly for good sleep.
  6. Peppermint – Great for all digestive disturbances and for lowering fever. It can be used as a tea or tincture or rubbed on the skin to bring a high fever down. This herb is antimicrobial and antiviral and kids usually love the taste. It can be consumed as a hot tea or cold tea during illness in any amounts. Read more about the benefits of peppermint and how to use it here.

Vitamins for Cold and Flu Treatment

  1. Vitamin D3 – A hormone precursor, this vitamin is finally getting recognition as a necessary nutrient for health. Optimizing vitamin D levels can help prevent illness in the first place, and taking several thousand IUs a day while sick can help speed recovery. Blood tests can help determine any underlying deficiency.
  2. Vitamin C – Perhaps the best vitamin for cold and flu, vitamin C in large amounts can greatly speed recovery. We take a real food form from camu camu and acerola cherry. Read more about the benefits of vitamin C here.
  3. Zinc – Healthy levels of zinc can reduce the severity of a cold or flu virus and can help shorten the duration of illness. Here’s why and what we do to boost immunity with zinc.

Personal Note

It still amazes me that there is no cure or what can be called an effective treatment for the common cold. With pharmaceutical companies making up to five billion dollars on the cold medications sold at your local drug store, imagine the financial loss to these giant companies. There is no cure for the common cold that has been established. Yes, I do admit there are certain medications out there that relieve a stuffy nose, that nasty cough and problems sleeping.

What did those people do a century ago when they got a cold?

I will always believe in the natural herbal alternatives and even in chicken soup. In doing my research I have read that Vitamin C speeds up the recovery in one medical journal while another states the contrary.

Thank you for reading,

Michael.

Comments are welcome.

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