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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to Cure a Cold

Well it's that time of year again ( at least in the Pacific Northwest). Yup, it's cold season!

 Seems like every other person I talk to has a cold or knows someone who does.   I'm personally of the opinion that colds are good for you and serve a purpose. Now this is just my opinion and not based on any scientific knowledge that I know of.

To me a cold is natures way of cleaning house. I think it's a way to sweep out all those old cells and debris in the body, a cyclical fast where the body takes a break from a heavy diet and cleans out all the pipes.
It can also be an enforced vacation. I can be work-a-holic sometimes, so for me getting a cold is my excuse to take to my bed for a few days and just enjoy some serious downtime without feeling guilty. I can nap in the afternoon, catch up on my novel reading, stay in fuzzy jammies all day and sip warm drinks by the fireplace. I would never allow myself those luxuries if  I was feeling well.

However, not everyone wants a holiday with chest congestion and sniffles, so for the rest of you, here is the cure for the common cold. Now I have to say in warning, this only seems to work if you catch it on the first day. You know the day, you feel something is not right but the symptoms haven't hit you yet. At most you might have a funny taste in your throat.

 Do the following on that first day:

-Drink a cup or two of peppermint tea then,
-Soak in a very hot bath for 20 minutes (Do not do if you have high blood pressure, your pregnant or have metal pins, joints etc.) You can put a cold facecloth at the base of the neck to prevent headaches from overheating.
-When you are done the bath, DO NOT DRY OFF!!! This is important! When finished the bath, wrap your wet body in a wool blanket. A real wool blanket, not flannel or fleece but the heavy, kinda itchy wool blankets. Go to bed and lie there for a few hours. The dampness and heat of your body swaddled in wool will make you sweat in buckets. This produces a body temperature that resembles a fever. Fevers are  the bodies defense against germs. Most germs can only live at body temperature, once a fever starts, they are killed off and prevented from multiplying. I have stopped colds in their tracks with this treatment, but it has to be done before all the symptoms are there. Once the congestion etc sets in, the body is already overwhelmed by germs and has set up it's own defences to battle them.

By the way, they have proved that taking remedies that stifle the bodies natural processes actually lengthen the time you are sick. As I stated, fevers are to kill off germs, if you take something to bring the fever down as soon as it hits, you are defeating the purpose and will have that many more germs to fight off. Unless the fever is life threatning ( which few are) just go through it. Mucous is another one of the bodies defenses, that is there to slow down the travel of germs. Again taking something to make it all go away , just speeds up the motility of the germs. Coughing and sneezing is how the body moves those clots of germs and mucous out of the body for disposal.

So stay away from the Contact C and all those drugs that dampen your bodies ability to fight the bad guys. Instead try fortifying your body with nutrients to boost your immune system. Take lots of Vitamin C, take it every hour or until you notice loose stools.Its not toxic and will give your body the fortification to fight back.  Zinc lozengers are also helpful, follow the recommended dosage and suck them as they need to be absorbed through the throat.Drink fluids to keep up the flushing process. Cold drinks are refreshing, hot ones will help drain the sinuses. If you really are having trouble breathing, a eucalyptus steam can be helpful. Pour boiling water into a heat proof bowl. Add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil to the water. Lean over the bowl with a towel draped over your head and take long slow deep breaths through the nose until your sinuses feel clear. Repeat as needed.

If your coughing, do us all a favor and cough into your elbow not your hands. Its stops the spread of germs. Wash your hands frequently. Colds are caught by picking up germs and introducing them to your nose, such as touching a germ infested door handle then scratching your nose. You may not be able to avoid coming into contact with cold germs but having a strong immune system to start will help your ability to fight them off before they can overwhelm you. Things that damage an immune system are stress, sugar and lack of nutrients. So eat well, sleep well, manage your stress( and we ALL have stress in one form or another) with exercise, yoga, meditation, journalling etc. And if all else fails and you get a cold anyway, then give yourself permission to take a few days off and pamper yourself, it's your bodies way of saying enough already, take a break!

I am linking to Ciindy's Show and Tell Friday

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