To avoid colds and flu's
you must understand your enemy and know its weaknesses, and how to avoid
its attacks. The other
line of defense is to maintain
a strong immune system and not do anything to undermine it.
Colds and flu's are caused
by viruses. They tend to enter our bodies through our noses and eyes. Usually
we infect ourselves
by placing our own virus
contaminated hands in our eyes or up to our nose. Less frequently, we can
catch them from airborne
sources. We will discuss
how to best avoid both sources.
Infectious disease is currently
one of the top five causes of death in the United States. 80% of all infectious
disease could be
eliminated by more frequent
and proper washing of the hands with soap and water. This is also the first
line of defense against
colds and flu's. The first
rule to avoiding infection is: Never put your hands in your eyes or
to your nose without washing
them first. The eyes
are especially important as we often rub our eyes, or flick out the "sand"
from our tear ducts, without
thinking about it. This
nearly automatic response can get us into real trouble. A good way of avoiding
this is to rub and wash the goop
out of our eyes each time we wash our hands. Out of consideration for others,
you should also wash your hands
immediately after putting
them in your eyes or up to your nose. If everyone did both of these things,
colds and flu's would be
uncommon in our society.
As regards the airborne risks:
you should make a habit of keeping your nasal passages clear and of
breathing through your nostrils.
Your nose is designed to filter out airborne dust and germs. In his book
The Nature Doctor, Dr. H. C. A. Vogel
The nose is designed in such a way that the mucous membranes keep dust
and bacteria from entering the body,
provided, of course, that we breathe in and out through the nose and that
it is not blocked. It is true that we can
also breathe through the mouth rather than the nose, but this will make
us lose the benefit of the built-in screening
device, exposing us to a higher risk of catching colds and infections.
Mouth-breathing poses a definite threat to the
throat, the bronchial passages and the lungs.
You can give your nostrils
a little help by administering garlic nose drops. In his book The Healing
Power of Garlic Paul Bergner
writes: "Garlic nose drops directly kill the viruses that cause cold or
flu." He also writes about a study with mice where some
were inoculated with garlic, and some were not. The flu virus was introduced
to the nasal passages of each mouse. Those mice
that received the garlic remained healthy, where all the others got sick.
To make nose drops, Bergner instructs us to crush some garlic to obtain
juice, and add ten parts water and mix well. In addition to the nose drops,
eating raw garlic is also helpful. Note: deodorized garlic tablets
are not useful in fighting viral or bacterial infections.
It is important to keep
your feet warm. Yes, your mother has told you this time and time again,
but you thought this was just an
old wives' tale. After all, colds and flu's are caused by viruses, right?
Well, most folklore has its basis in fact. Cold feet
a viral infection, but they can undermine your defenses thereby opening
the door to them. Interestingly, there is a connection
between your feet, your nasal passages, and therefore the likelihood of
getting sick. Dr. Vogel, once again in The
The nose walls (conchae) react to cold feet. When the feet are cold
the walls contract, become cold and dry and
cause the glands to stop functioning, so that dust and bacteria are no
longer filtered out. It is easy to see why a
cold will almost inevitably result, followed by catarrh or a runny nose.
You can now understand why it is important
to avoid getting cold feet and inhaling bacteria by breathing through the
mouth. If the mucous membranes are
functioning properly they are able to destroy all cold germs entering through
the nose. It is therefore a necessary
requirement for good health to cultivate the habit of breathing through
the nose at all times.
At first, Dr. Vogel's statements
may appear to contradict the advice of keeping your hands away from your
nose, but it does
not. You are much more likely
to catch a cold from putting virus laden hands to your nose (or eyes) than
from breathing the
same air as a person who
has a cold or flu. This is in part due to the fact that you are likely
to be introducing far more viruses to your
body through your hands. Nonetheless, there is a risk from breathing air
and that risk can be mediated by applying Dr.
Vogel's advice. It is also
valuable to make a habit of breathing deeply most of the time. Very often,
we get into the habit of
shallow breathing. There
are a number of things bad about this, but as far as this discussion is
concerned, it has to do with
expelling old, stale air
completely out of the lungs and replacing it with fresh air. Obviously,
there are times when more shallow
breathing might be in order
(say perhaps while one in a crowded elevator where the air may be sickly).
Most of the time,
however, it is best to more
completely replenish the air in the lungs and not allow stale air to remain
for long periods.
Also, keep an eye on the
humidity of your environment. Artificial heating tends to be very drying,
so you may consider
buying a humidifier for
home to keep your air moist enough that it doesn't dry out or dehydrate
your sinuses. Likewise, an air
filter in an indoors environment,
especially a HEPA type filter, can help remove airborne dust and germs.
Negative ions have a
demonstrated air cleansing
and germicidal effect. Some filters incorporate negative ion generators.
Negative ions also make the air
smell fresh (it's the same smell as after a refreshing thunderstorm). An
unfortunate side effect of negative ion generators is
that they will tend to blacken
a nearby wall. This is because the negative ions attach themselves to airborne
germs (killing them) or
to dust particles in the air, and pull them toward the positively charged
If someone in your household
takes ill, it is wise to put up a second hand towel in the bathroom for
the healthy folks to use.
In theory, after washing, the sick person's hands are just as clean as
the healthy people and sharing a hand towel shouldn't be
a problem, but this extra precaution costs nothing and just may keep a
loved one from getting sick. Remember, sick people aren't
feeling well and might not be as diligent as they should about lathering
up properly. Try to keep them out of the kitchen, and
consider things like door knobs and light switches to be infected.
Be very careful after
handling money. Money passes from hand to hand, person to person, frequently.
You can bet that the money
in your wallet has plenty of germs any time of the year. During cold and
flu season, money is a potential source of
infection. Credit cards
and checks are less of a problem, unless the clerk to whom you hand your
credit card or check cashing ID
is sick. Beware of any pens at the counter -- like money, they've been
in quite a few different hands lately. Get in the habit
of carrying and using your
own pen for signing credit card vouchers and writing checks. ATM keypads
and public telephones
fall into the same category
as pens and money; consider them potential sources of infection.
Clerks at your local grocery
store are another potential source of infection. Since they handle
money during cold and
flu season, they are very
likely to get sick during that time of year (especially if they rub their
eyes without washing their hands after
handling money). Since the clerk handles every item you're buying, your
first line of defense is to try to pick a healthy
cashier. This can be difficult
if the clerk is using medication which suppresses cold or flu symtoms.
Watch and listen for signs of illness
and change lines if necessary.
Avoid hospitals and doctor's
offices. If you can't avoid them, be extra cautious in these environments.
congregate in these places,
so you can expect the air, door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, etc.
to be infested with
infectious agents of all
Avoid flying on commercial
airlines. Several investigations have implicated the air recirculation
systems aboard modern jets with
the spread of infectious diseases. The problem isn't limited to just colds
and flu either. Virtually any airborne disease is a problem,
and drug resistant strains of Tuberculosis have spread this way. When you
do fly, remember to keep your hands
away from your nose and
eyes, breathe through your nostrils not your mouth, and do everything to
enhance your immune
system a few days before
and after the flight, including increasing your vitamin intake (a full
spectrum multi-vitamin), increase
your vitamin C intake, eat
raw garlic, and abstain from alcohol.
Colds and Flu's
Okay, if you couldn't elude
the flu or a cold, what to do? You've heard the drill before: First,
get plenty of rest. Drink lots of
fluids. Don't exert yourself.
Stay home from work or school. You will not be productive there, you'll
prolong your illness, and you'll
unnecessarily expose others. Be considerate to everyone: stay at home,
get plenty of bed rest, read a good book, and wash
your hands frequently to avoid spreading it to others.
Drink lots of water, natural
fruit juices, or vegetable juices. Avoid soft drinks, alcohol, coffee and
caffeine. You should try
to drink at least eight 8oz glasses of non-chlorinated water (at least
64oz of water) daily. Try to drink continuously
throughout the day. Water
is essential to help your body fight illness; your immune system cannot
function properly without
adequate quantities of water.
Many soft drinks act as diuretics which will actually deplete your body
of water. Others contain
caffeine or sugar, which
can undermine your body's immune system. Alcohol will both depress the
immune system and
dehydrate you. It will prolong
your illness. If you are having trouble drinking enough water, perhaps
due to a sore throat, try
adding some lemon juice,
natural fruit juice, warming it a bit, or making a naturally non-caffeinated
herbal tea. You might also
consider making some hot
lemonade from fresh lemons, or hot grapefruit juice. If you feel the need
to sweeten it, use grapefruit juice,
honey, or grape juice -- never refined sugar.
Let your appetite be your
guide. Do not force yourself to eat unless you are hungry. If you are
hungry, soup is often a good
choice. It will help warm
you as well as provide nourishment. If you are not hungry, consider drinking
natural fruit or vegetable
juices for nourishment.
Ice cream is best avoided due to its sugar content and cooling effect.
A fruit sherbert or sorbet, while
not ideal, would be a better
choice. So you have a sore throat and you ate the ice cream, sherbert,
or sorbet anyhow. Follow it
with a hot beverage to warm
you back up.
Increase your intake of
vitamin C. The "Recommended Daily Allowance" (RDA) is far too low.
A healthy person should
consume at least 3000-5000
mg's (3 to 5 grams) of vitamin C daily. For a sick person, the amount increases.
I intend to write a paper
about vitamin C intake, but for now the "bowel intolerance test" is a good
measure: Vitamin C, taken in sufficiently large
doses, loosens the bowels.
Take it up to that amount, then back off slightly (assuming your bowels
aren't loose due to the flu, of course).
Linus Pauling personally took 18 grams of vitamin C daily, and suggested
a minimum of 12 grams for the average
person. In my experience,
that is too much for the average person to take immediately. As with anything,
it's often best to ease into
a regime. I suggest using vitamin C powder or crystals mixed in your daily
drinking water. Do not make it so strong that you
don't like the taste. This ensures that the vitamin C will be easily absorbed
by your body throughout the day, and helps to keep
you from shocking your body with too much all at once.
Keep warm. Do not
neglect your feet; keep them warm too. Put on extra socks, maybe wool socks,
wrap them in a blanket,
whatever it takes. If you
are cold or chilled, drink hot herbal tea or some other hot non-caffeinated
beverage. Nothing is quite
as warming as drinking a
hot beverage. You need to be drinking lots of fluids anyhow.
Take zinc. Zinc lozenges,
dissolved in the back of the mouth and allowed to flow down the back of
your throat has been
known to stop a cold dead
in its tracks in certain individuals. It is thought to shorten the duration
in other individuals. This must be
done at the first signs of a cold!
Eat raw garlic. Garlic
has antiviral properties and boosts the immune system in general. Garlic
tablets are ineffective in this
regard. Cooked garlic is
likely to lose it's antiviral properties.
If you have a sore throat,
gargle with lukewarm salt water.
This will sooth your throat and help promote healing. Make the
water as salty as you can tollerate,
without making it more salty than is comfortable.
Make sure your environment
is not too dry. Adequate moisture in the air is important.
Brush your teeth with
a combination of salt and baking soda -- or use a tooth powder containing
these ingredients. This
will not irritate a sore
throat and will make your mouth feel clean for a while. Also pour a little
hydrogen peroxide on your
toothbrush before you brush
and again as you put it away (actually, disinfecting your toothbrush like
this is good to do from
time to time even when you're
Crushed eucalyptus leaves
or oil and water in a potpourri pot, or eucalyptus oil in a vaporizer,
often makes the sinuses feel better.
Echinacea 500mg 60count - $10.99
Echinacea 80mg (extract) 60count- $12.99
Vitamin C Time Release 1000mg -
Echinacea and Goldenseal 200mg 60count
Zinc and Echinacea Lozenges (cherry
flavor) 60count- $6.99
the shopping menu