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Treating Colds and viruses


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So, I was wondering what cold remedies you like to use in your home? Do you use OTC cold remedies or do you try the all natural approach? I'd love to see if we can compile a nice list of home remedies that we can share with eachother since cold and flu season is here.

 

Here's what we do at our home:

I increase our Vitamin C to about 1000 mg

I give whomever is sick a supplement called 'Congesteeze' which has oil of oregano, echinacea, elderberry, garlic, and ginger

We take our greens drinks daily

I make a hot tea in a Thermos: fresh grated ginger, lemon juice, and honey steeped in hot water. I strain it out and give it to the sicky a few times a day.

Chicken noodle soup: I make homemade chicken noodle and put lots of pepper in it to open up the sinuses.

 

We use Olbas essential oils to help open up the sinuses.

I make a steam of tea tree oil and put that in the showers or in hot water and have the sick person breathe in the steam.

I use an oil diffuser in the bedrooms and put eucalyptus oil in it, sometimes mixed with peppermint oil or I sprinkle the oils on a tissue and tuck it under the pillow.

 

So, anyone care to add here?

 

Bonnie

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I have tried a billion things for colds and sore throats and nothing seems to do anything to shorten the duration or intensity compared with doing nothing.

 

Things I have tried over the years:

 

- drinking colloidal silver

- gargling colloidal silver (everyone on the internet swears this works within minutes for sore throats but I had no such luck)

- gargling cayenne pepper in water (this relieves a sore throat sensation for maybe 10 seconds after you finish gargling. not worth it)

- gargling apple cider vinegar (gross!)

- a variety of Boiron products for sore throat (some relieve the sore throat temporarily while the pill is in your mouth, but this is because you're swallowing something sugary and not because of the ingredients. it's the same as if you ate a cough drop or Life Saver)

- megadoses of vitamin C

- normal doses of vitamin C

- echineccea

- the other one that you often see with echineccea that I can't remember the name of. it's yellow and sometimes it's mixed together in the same capsule. Something root or something

- zinc

- Airborne (just effervescent vitamins, no magic powers, see the recent scandal and class action lawsuit)

- Cold-Eeze (zinc lozenge with a special type of zinc that supposedly defeats the cold virus and is proven in clinical trials, etc.)

- taking multivitamins (which I usually took even when I wasn't sick as a preventative)

- eating lots of fruit

- taking a shot of vodka (sometimes reduces sore throat pain for a few seconds/minutes after you take the shot)

- ColdFX

- Some herbal vitamin supplement thing a lady at a the health food store recommended for me

- various Elderberry products, including one with "viru-lock technology" or something like that

 

The one thing I will not try is Zicam products due to risk of anosmia (permanent loss of smell) and the lawsuits. I'd rather be sick for a week than permanently lose my sense of smell.

 

I have been trying cold cures every time I get a cold (which always includes a horrible sore throat) for the last 5 years. None of them do any better than doing nothing, with a few exceptions of momentary symptom relief, as stated above.

 

Therefore, I recommend the following for colds (things that treat the symptoms):

 

- chicken soup

- pain killers if your sore throat gets bad (last time mine was so bad I needed vicodin)

- ice cream

- decongestants/cough suppressants (Dayquil, Nyquil)

- staying hydrated

- stay in bed and watch funny movies

 

Good luck. Being sick sucks.

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I agree, Guy, that once you have a cold you are probably going to suffer to some degree. Most of the remedies I posted are to help you get more comfortable at home without taking a ton of OTC cold stuff. I, too, have not seen a reduction in cold symptoms but I see these home methods alleviating the symptoms and just making things nicer for the patient. My ds has a cold right now and he loves smelling the essential oils! Even our naturopath today told us that most colds should just be allowed to run it's course to help the patient's immune system.

 

Also, I forgot to add that you can gargle with apple cider vinegar to help a sore throat. And, putting a little Jack Daniels in that tea that I make will help a patient sleep better! I don't do that personally b/c we don't drink but I know folks who do!

 

Another suggestion that my dh loves for me to make is a steam of chamomile leaves for inhalation, just like the tea tree oil. If you don't have loose chamomile you can use tea bags and just release the contents into a pot of boiling water and let it steep. Make a tent out of a towel and breathe in the steam. Helps loosen those sinues. And, of course, I don't remember if I mentioned the NETI pots! These just help keep the sinuses moist and cleaned out!

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Bonnie,

 

I don't have anything to add, but thank you. I'll be stealing some of your ideas! Where do you get Congesteeze?

 

Tami

We buy it here at Sprouts farmers markets and it's sold under their name. I know they have locations in CO and CA right now. I listed the ingredients so you know what to look for in similar products.

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Guy,

 

I have always avoided ice cream during colds. Thought dairy produced excess mucous. Why do you recommend it? Comfort food?

 

Feels good on my throat when it's sore.

 

Probably best to avoid it if you're super mucusy, tho. But for me, colds are always a hellish sore throat for the first 4 days and then slowly change into the sneezy nasal congestion for the next 5-6 days. When my throat isn't sore anymore I don't care about eating ice cream.

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For a sore throat, and even more so for a tickly, irritated throat, I gargle with with a clear xylitol mouthwash (sorry, don't remember the brand right now). The effect lasts a long time. When my daughter is feeling funny in her throat, and I suspect a little throat tic will develop from it or has just started, she gargles with it too. She is amazed at how her throat feels so much better immediately.

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There is some research that suggest vitamin D might be useful to prevent colds and flu. Personally I started taking a high dose 10,000 IU since I get zero sun light.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18377099

 

Careful not to poison yourself. Vitamin D is fat soluble which means that if you take too much your body will store it in your fat cells. Compare that to vitamin C and the B vitamins which are water soluble and if you take too much you just pee them out (hence the bright yellow pee you get when you take a large dose of B vitamins).

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There is some research that suggest vitamin D might be useful to prevent colds and flu. Personally I started taking a high dose 10,000 IU since I get zero sun light.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18377099

 

Careful not to poison yourself. Vitamin D is fat soluble which means that if you take too much your body will store it in your fat cells. Compare that to vitamin C and the B vitamins which are water soluble and if you take too much you just pee them out (hence the bright yellow pee you get when you take a large dose of B vitamins).

 

Yeah too much D particularly with high calcium intake can result in symptoms of hypercalcemia.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercalcemia

 

But a light skin person not using sun screen could get 25,000 IU of D in 30 minutes on summer day with full body exposure. In that sense 10,000 IU is not a high dose for a person who gets very little sun light.

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My son currently has a cold and, like last year, i always just let it run its course. its seems like natures way. i do give him about 800 mg of whole food based vitamin C and zinc, 30mg. this is on top of his other regulars, multivit, magnesium and probiotic. when he starts having a throat grunt i give him a teaspoon of honey. other than that, unless the fever gets dangerously high or some other complication occurs, i let in run course. it usually only lasts a week.

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