Colds and Flu
Both the common cold and the flu are among the most prevalent health complaints. Each year, approximately half of all Americans experience at least one cold, and 40 percent develop the flu, also known as influenza. Both health conditions exhibit the same symptoms, with the primary difference being that flu symptoms are usually more severe, last longer, and can be potentially fatal.
While conventional, drug-based medicine places emphasis on suppressing cold and flu symptoms with both prescription and over-the-counter medications, practitioners of natural medicine seek to address and correct the underlying reasons people become susceptible to colds and flu, especially focusing on stimulating the immune system. These natural cure approaches also have the additional advantage of being free of harmful side effects, unlike medicinal drugs, including many popular over-the-counter medications that contain the common ingredient phenylpropanolamine (PPA), which has resulted in a number of fatal strokes. In addition, the widespread use of antibiotics to treat colds and flu are not only worthless—since antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, and both colds and flu are caused by viruses—they can also cause secondary infections and impair bowel function, leaving you weaker and more susceptible to other more serious diseases.
Typically, each year at the start of “flu season,” flu warnings appear in the media, along with recommendations that people receive an annual flu vaccine. The value of such vaccines is questionable, however, and many people who receive it come down with the flu anyway. Moreover, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests that the ingredients in flu vaccines may actually be harmful, and capable of causing serious damage to the immune system. For these reasons, practitioners of natural, alternative healing methods advocate a health regimen that can significantly improve your ability to resist colds and flu or, if you do develop them, quickly recover from them.
Types of Colds and Flu:
There are a variety of colds and flu, but all of them are due to respiratory viruses, primarily a class of virus known as rhinoviruses. Colds fall into two main categories, head colds and chest colds. Either class of cold, if left untreated, can lead to more serious respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
There are literally hundreds of different flu strains. Unlike colds, which can strike at any time of year, flu outbreaks are generally seasonal in nature, usually occurring in late autumn and during the winter. For this reason, the time in which flu epidemics occur is often referred to as “flu season.” The flu can also result in bronchitis or pneumonia, as well as other serious diseases, such as croup, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), and Reye’s syndrome, a disease that primarily strikes children and which affects the brain and liver.
The difference between cold and flu symptoms is one of degree. As a general rule, flu symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer, and also tend to develop more quickly, compared to colds. The most common symptoms of both conditions are body aches, cough, fatigue, headache, runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat, as well as dry, sore, and/or stuffy sinuses that can make breathing difficult.
Fever is another common symptom, and is more likely in cases of the flu. Diarrhea and vomiting can also occur.
Ironically, although conventional medicine seeks to suppress coughing, runny nose, and sneezing, these reactions are actually healthy and a part of your body’s attempts to cleanse itself of the infectious viruses and toxins that cause colds and flu to develop. Fever is another effective immune response, and should be allowed to run its course naturally, except in cases of fever that exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Mucus buildup is also part of the immune response as the body tries to prevent the spread of the invading virus. As the virus becomes engulfed by mucus, it is then expelled by the body in the form of phlegm. In general, such immune responses are completely ignored or misunderstood by conventional physicians. As a result, the conventional medications they prescribe interfere with this process and further weaken the immune system, causing both colds and flu to last longer than they might otherwise.
Both colds and flu are primarily caused by viruses. However, being exposed to such viruses does not mean that you will develop a cold or flu. In addition, the severity of the symptoms a person develops if he or she does contract a cold or flu can vary dramatically. For example, three people exposed to the same virus to the same degree can have three completely different reactions to the virus.
One person may not develop any symptoms, the second person might develop a mild cold that only lasts for a day or two, yet the third person might wind up bed-ridden with the flu and go on to develop pneumonia. It is the health of your immune system, not the viruses themselves, that determines if you will develop a cold or flu and, if so, how mild or severe your symptoms will be. This is a principle that is well understood by practitioners of alternative medicine, yet mostly ignored by conventional doctors. Therefore, relying on conventional medical approaches to treat and prevent colds and flu will most often end in failure.
As the late Emanuel Cheraskin, MD, DMD, a pioneering integrative physician, once declared, “It is time to put to rest the notion that germs jump into people and cause diseases.” What matters is not the virus, but the internal health of your body.
Other practitioners of natural medicine point out that colds and flu may actually be one of the methods of detoxification that the body employs to rid itself of toxins in order to bring itself back into a state of health and balance. Based on both of these perspectives, it is easy to see that attention needs to be placed on the various factors that can cause you to have a weak immune system and therefore be more likely to develop a cold or flu. The primary factors that weaken immunity and increase susceptibility to colds and flu are allergies, poor diet, stress, and the use of certain pharmaceutical drugs.
Allergies: The primary allergies associated an increased likelihood of developing a cold or flu are food allergies that increase your body’s production of mucus. The most common offenders are cow’s milk, wheat, and all food products derived from dairy and wheat. Such foods have a high mucus content and trigger allergic responses that further increases mucus production, while simultaneously weakening your immune system and increasing the risk of respiratory infections.
Airborne allergens such as pet dander, dust, mould, and pollen can also increase your risk of colds and flu because of the way they also affect your respiratory tract. As a result of an allergic response to such substances, your nose, sinuses, and throat are more apt to become congested and inflamed, making it easier for cold and flu viruses to gain a foothold in your body.
Poor Diet: In addition to a diet containing foods to which you are allergic or sensitive, regular consumption of unhealthy foods such as commercially processed foods, foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, soda, coffee, alcohol, and foods high in artificial sweeteners, food colouring and dyes, flavourings, and preservatives can also severely compromise immune function. So can foods containing natural sugars, such as honey, dried fruit, and fruit juice, as well as foods high in partially hydrogenated oils, such as most brands of commercial cereal.
Commercial meats and animal products can also weaken your immune system because of the antibiotics, bacteria, hormones, and pesticides they contain.
According to William Wolcott, author of The Metabolic Typing Diet, a diet that is inappropriate for your individual metabolic type can also create havoc in your immune system, causing a state of high acidity in your body’s cells and tissues, leaving you more susceptible to colds and flu, as well as many other disease conditions. Go to pH Test Procedure for more information on your metabolic type. Finally, overeating and improper food combinations can also lead to an accumulation of toxins in the body.
Pharmaceutical Drugs: According to the Physicians’ Desk Reference the following drugs can all increase your risk of developing a cold or flu: Actimmune, AeroBid Inhaler System, Aerobid-M Inhaler System, Alferon N Injection, Asacol Delayed-Release Tablets, CHEMET (succimer) Capsules, Intron A, Lopressor HCT Tablets, Nipent for Injection, Permax Tablets, ProSom Tablets, Rowasa Rectal Suppositories and Rectal Suspension Enema, Videx Tablets, Powder for Oral Solution, and Pediatric Powder for Oral Solution.
To improve your ability to resist colds and flu:
- Emphasize fresh, organic vegetables, such as carrots, leafy greens, onions, and orange squash, that are eaten raw or lightly steamed. You can also make fresh vegetable juices and soups, which will help your body remain in a slightly alkaline state, free of over-acidity.
- Drink plenty of pure water during the day, and avoid mucus-forming foods such as milk and dairy products, wheat, and most grains (millet and brown rice are acceptable exceptions).
- Eliminate all processed foods and commercial poultry and meats, choosing organic whole foods and free-range chicken, turkey, and beef.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day / for up to 4 weeks
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Vitamin C www.livonlabs.com
- Zamu juice www.amazonherb.net
- Allicin C, take 2 – 3 capsules three times a day
- Fivelac – one pack three times a day until symptoms subside
- Green papaya enzyme – 1 pack three times a day
The following nutrients can be extremely helpful for dealing with colds and flu: vitamin A (50,000-100,00 liquid vitamin A 3-4 times a day for no more than five days total; avoid using if you are pregnant), vitamin C (2,000-5,000 mg of a powdered, mineral ascorbate twice a day until all symptoms have subsided), zinc (30-50 mg, once a day), selenium (200 to 800 mcg, once a day), and N-Acetyl-Cysteine, or NAC (600 mg, twice a day). Other useful nutrients include colloidal silver, colostrum, thymus extract, and beta-1,3-glucan.
The late Robert Atkins, MD, founder of the Atkins Diet and an acclaimed holistic physician, recommended the following nutritional formula, which he advised taking every hour for up to ten doses during the first day of cold or flu symptoms:
- Beta carotene: 5,000 IU
- Vitamin A: 3,333 IU
- Quercetin: 80 mg
- Zinc: 25 mg
- Vitamin C: 500 mg
- Calcium pantothenate: 80 mg
- Citrus bioflavonoids: 80 mg
- Selenium: 30 mcg
- Magnesium: 15 mg
- Garlic capsules with allicin: 160 mg
- Folic acid: 400 mcg
- Dimethylglycine HCL: 20 mg
- Pyridoxine HCL: 4 mg
- Riboflavin: 2 mg
- Copper (chelate): 1 mg
- Niacinamide: 15 mg
As a general preventive measure, Dr. Atkins recommended supplementing with this formula once or twice a day, and up to three times a day for people who were very susceptible to colds and flu.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
Stress is estimated to be a primary contributing factor in over 95 percent of all disease conditions, and is especially responsible for increased susceptibility to the common cold and flu. When you are experiencing stress, your body releases hormones that cause your thymus gland to shrink. Since the thymus gland helps to maintain a strong immune system, as it shrinks, your immunity is lessened, thus increasing your risk of cold and flu viral infection. Among the most common causes of stress are anger, anxiety, depression, divorce, the death of a loved one, fear, job loss or a new job, moving to a new location, and nervousness. Lack of or fitful sleep is also a major source of stress. When you fail to get enough healthy sleep, your body’s natural killer (NK) cells, a vital part of your immune system, can be impaired, making it easier for invading viruses and other pathogens to escape being attacked and destroyed. We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis – Find out more by clicking here.
- Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Miller’s Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
Organic nutrition: www.organicnutrition.co.uk/articles/colds.htm
Treating Colds and Flu Naturally: www.sandiegohomeopathy.com/downloads/CoughsColdsFlu.pdf
Food remedies to fight colds and flu: www.naturalnews.com/034255_winter_colds_food_remedies.html
The Five Best Home Remedies for Colds and Flu:www.naturalnews.com/035323_home_remedies_colds_coughs.html
Fighting Colds and Flu the Natural Way: www.jonbarron.org/immunity/natural-health-remedies-immune-system-boosters
Ayurvedic home remedies for the common cold: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVYBn3iVo2U
Yoga to beat the common cold: www.youtube.com/watch?v=el-cmAzrDJE
Easing aches and pains associated with the common cold: www.ehow.com/video_4400081_easing-associated-cold-flu-aromatherapy.html
Acupuncture beats common cold: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajXsOHj-hvs
Colds and Flu Herbal Relief: www.naturalhealthresearch.org/nhri/?p=1697
Echinacea for the Common Cold: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1592/phco.20.7.690.35173/abstract
Zinc lozenges shorten duration of common cold: www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/231810.php
Homeopathic Medicines Help Common Cold: www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/219310.php
Further Information (links and books)
Breathe Free, Daniel Gagnon and Amadea Morningstar; The Common Cold and Commonsense, Dale Alexander; Cold and Flu Remedies – Treatments Without Toxic Side Effects (Health and Wellness Series), Dustin Nicholas; Healing Colds and Flu Naturally, Richard Shulze.
Cold Rescue Nasal Spray
www.peacefulmountain.com (888) 303-3388
www.herbdoc.com (800) 437-2362
Green Papaya Extract
www.ihealthtree.com (888) 225-7778
www.healthmatesauna.com (714) 739-6600
Propolis Bee Hive Botanicals
www.beehivebotanicals.com (800) 233-4483
www.amazonherb.net (800) 835-0850
Digestive enzymes, Ultra InflaZyme Forte
Vitamin C, Emergen-C
www.alacercorp.com (888) 425-2362
Homeopathic Remedy, Flu-Ban
www.eastparkresearch.com (888) 374-2363
BreatheFree, Health Resources
www.healthresources.net (800) 471-4007
Homeopathy for Flu, oscillococcinum
www.oscillo.com (800) 264-7661
Colloidal Silver, Allergy Research
www.allergyresearchgroup.com (800) 545-9960
Steam with Eucalyptus oil
www.therealessentials.com (800) 371-3515
Herbal Tincture, Throat and Tonsil
www.herbdoc.com (800) 437-2362
Cold/Flu Remedy, MycoPhyto Complex
www.advancedbionutritionals.com (800) 613-5721
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.
Cold/Flu Remedy , MycoPhyto Complex – Advance Bionutritionals (800) 728-2288