I’m looking forward to an important Healthy by Nature show this week. My guest is the famous cardiologist, Stephen Sinatra, MD. We’ll talk about his new book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?, which is quite groundbreaking. (Pun intended.) His previous books include: The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology as well as Reverse Heart Disease Now: Stop Deadly Cardiovascular Plaque Before It’s Too Late and recently Healing Kitchen.
Next week’s newsletter: Because next week is Thanksgiving, look for this newsletter early, maybe on Tuesday. It will be about health-supporting holiday gift ideas.
REMEDIES FOR COLDS & FLU
Last week’s Health e-Note discussed prevention of colds and flu. [archive] Once in a blue moon I skip some of those steps and get a cold. It is usually after a couple of very stressful weeks or a trip when I became dehydrated and give into the need for comforting junk food. (It’s nature’s way of saying to slow down.) Most people have a cold for 7 days and don’t feel right after the flu for up to 2 weeks. However, with quick action you can nip a problem in the bud…or at least shorten your sick time and just be annoyed rather than miserable.
Too often when we start to feel icky it’s after the health food store is closed. So, be prepared with a well stocked “colds/flu emergency kit”. I keep my supplies in a plastic tote like those used for cleaning supplies, so I’m ready to jump into action if duty calls. Besides the items below, it also contains a box of tissues and a sack to isolate the used ones. (By the way, I didn’t include any items on this list just because they are in my store; on the contrary I put them in my store because they are in my kit.) All are useful, but the most important are listed first:
• Oscillococcinum – Grab this proven homeopathic at the very first sign of trouble (like when you first feel hints of fatigue, nasal stuffiness, funny feeling in your throat, head ache and/or feeling out of sorts.) Don’t wait until you are absolutely positive it’s a cold because the longer the bug has to multiply, the less attractive your odds will be.
• Elderberry extract – This extract has a long folklore reputation for helping with colds or flu and modern science seems to confirm the benefit.1 One mechanism appears to be that it binds to viruses and keeps them from being able to bind to us.2
• Zinc lozenges with Echinacea – Zinc lozenges work more effectively than zinc tablets. A study at the Cleveland Clinic showed that they reduced the duration of a cold significantly.3 (Trust me that you never want to fall asleep with one in your mouth because you will awaken with a metallic taste that lasts for hours. Go easy with them—too many may upset your stomach.) Echinacea usually gets good reviews in studies. Any negative reports seem related to low doses or the wrong type.
• Emergen-C Lite– I use a packet immediately and one more every few hours. It isn’t just Vitamin C and helps assure adequate fluid intake.
• Probiotics – A number of studies have looked at intestinal bacteria in regard to shortening the length of a cold. No conclusive proof yet, but, because of other benefits it should probably be a daily supplement and couldn’t hurt.4 I like this brand because it improves the environment for all our hundreds of strains of beneficial bacteria.
• Homeopathic throat spray – Regular cough syrup has chemicals and lots of sugar that slows immune reaction. You don’t really want to completely stop a cough—that junk needs to get out of your lungs.
• Neti pot – Cleaning out the nose and sinuses helps stop the drainage that irritates your throat. (Regular cleaning of the nasal passage washes away pathogens and is preventive.)
The above items work in different ways, so I use them all. In fact, there is actually even more in my kit because I have to be in good shape by Saturday for the show. (In 13 years I haven’t missed a show for being ill…that noise you hear is me knocking on wood.) My kit also contains Kyolic liquid garlic and 10,000 IU sublingual Vitamin D tabs because expert Dr. John Cannell says he takes up to 20 of them to stop a cold. (Yes, that is a lot and you wouldn’t want to do that often.) Because it is so important for immunity and the mucous membranes, I balance all that D with high intake of Vitamin A for a couple of days.
To be continued…The December 2 edition will cover: Other non-supplement healing steps for colds and flu and What NOT to do. Meanwhile, please stay well. *These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.
My latest book : Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy
Copyright 2010 Martie Whittekin, CCN
1 J Int Med Res. 2004 Mar-Apr;32(2):132-40. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. Zakay-Rones, Z.
2Phytochemistry. 2009 Jul;70(10):1255-61. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Roschek, B.
3Ann Intern Med. 1996 Jul 15;125(2):81-8. Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Mossad, SB.
4Proc Nutr Soc. 2010 Aug;69(3):429-33. Probiotics: beneficial factors of the defence system. Antoine, JM.