Search This Blog

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flying away from a cold

As much as I tried, I could not outrun a cold this year. I woke up in the morning with a scratching throat. That was the first sign. Later I developed chills, fever, and aches all over. I decided to try natural remedies, but in the end surrendered to Tylenol Cold Head Congestion Daytime. Maybe I did not try hard enough, but I feel much better now. Here are natural remedies for a cold. They were found at

Natural remedies for the common cold

a. Cayenne(Capsicum sp):
Chilies, especially Jalapeno, are proven antiviral and most effective against cold. However, your stomach needs to tolerate the chilies to treat your virus infection! So, get into the habit of eating more chilies to develop better tolerance.

b. Echinacea (Echinacea sp):
This is the best herb to take during the early stages of cold. Although, it’s not an antibiotic and doesn’t kill germs, it stimulates the production of white blood cells, which fight off the virus. (This has actually worked for me in the past. I buy the tablets with goldenseal added.)

c. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra):
Elderberry has been used for centuries as a (natural remedy for cold and flu). It de-activates cold and flu viruses by preventing them from replicating. It’s best taken at the first signs of a cold.

d. Garlic (Allium sativum):
This truly natural antibiotic destroys foreign bacteria with the help of a substance called allicin. Garlic is best when fresh.

e. Ginger (Zingiber officinalis):
Ginger, either freshly grated or powdered, taken as a tea induces sweating and elimination. It boosts the immune system and respiration. It provides relief for virtually all cold symptoms, like fever, sinus congestion, sore throat, stomachache and nausea.

f. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis):
Hyssop has some properties that make it valuable in treating colds.

g. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis):
Lemon Balm is often found in cold formulas for feverish conditions. It’s an excellent remedy to take in the wake of a cold to nurture the nervous system and to expel feelings of lethargy. It’s best used when fresh. (I grow this in my herb garden.)

h. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita):
Peppermint is most effective for colds and flu. It should preferably be used fresh. (I grow this in my herb garden, as well.)

i. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium):
Yarrow is one of the best herbs for dealing with fevers. For colds, it is best combined with other herbs, such as peppermint and elderberry. Yarrow is easy to grow and plants are freely available.

Here is some more advice taken from

1. Zinc: The mineral zinc, available in over-the-counter lozenges, nasal sprays, and gels, may work by preventing the formation of proteins needed by a cold virus to reproduce. Despite the hoopla about zinc for treatment of colds, scientific studies are scarce, says Jack M. Gwaltney, MD, professor emeritus of internal medicine at the University of Virginia and a longtime cold researcher. Zinc lozenges, they conclude, have no effect. One well-designed study reported a positive effect on treating a cold with zinc nasal gel. But the study results have not yet been replicated, Gwaltney says.

2. Vitamin C: For decades, believers in vitamin C have said taking this vitamin supplement can nip a cold in the bud. The claim is partially triggered by lab studies that find vitamin C affects resistance to virus in animal studies. But in people? Experts disagree on this slightly, but lean toward the negative. But when it is taken daily as a preventive treatment - not just after that first sniffle - it can very slightly shorten cold duration, by about 8 percent in adults and by about 14 percent in children.

3. Echinacea: The herbal supplement Echinacea, like Vitamin C, sparks controversy among cold experts. Advocates say it's an immune booster with antiviral properties and other benefits, so it's good at preventing colds. However, two recent studies on the natural remedy have yielded conflicting conclusions. In one 2007 study, concluded that Echinacea decreases the odds of developing a cold by 58 percent and reduces its duration by 1.4 days. But a previous study, showed no benefit from the herb in either reducing the severity of a cold infection or preventing a cold.

4. Chicken Soup: Advocates of hot chicken soup, long offered as a cold remedy, say it may help soothe inflammation that can make the symptoms worse. The problem with proving scientifically that chicken soup works, says Gwaltney, is finding a legitimate placebo food to study against it in a scientific way. Checken soup may have an anti-inflammatory effect on easing symptoms of upper respiratory infections. But the report doesn't prove chicken soup does anything for cold symptoms. Although chicken soup may not actively fight a cold, it can help fight dehydration that can occur when you have a cold or the flu.

No comments: