Steps To Winning This Year’s Cold War
By Rob Pell
OK, cold and flu season is breathing down your neck and may already have a stranglehold on half your co-workers. At school, your kids are being exposed to every cold and flu strain from A to Z . You fear that it’s only a matter of time till you’re number is up and you’ll be sick in bed missing a week of work. What steps can you take to maximize your chances of staying healthy and winning this year’s cold war?
This time of year an once of prevention may be worth far more than a pound of cure. Far and away the best way to beat colds and flues is to avoid them entirely. Getting proper rest and avoiding excess sugar, alcohol and stress during the holidays can pay big health dividends. Almost all cases of colds and flues are caused by viruses. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the mucous membranes of your nose eyes or mouth.
Antibiotics are completely ineffective against viral infections. Despite this, doctors amazingly treat 60% of colds and flues with antibiotics to no avail. So once you have a cold or flu there is not a heckuva lot western medicine can do. The following are some steps you can take to minimize your chances of getting sick and reduce severity if you do.
Frequent hand washing and applying an antibacterial topical gel on your hands and inside your nostrils are two of the best ways to avoid internal exposure to disease causing pathogens.
The daily use of Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) is one of the most effective steps you can take to maintain optimum health. This is especially true after using a doctor prescribed antibiotics. Every culture in history, except the modern American culture, has included raw unpasteurized fermented foods in their daily diet to provide high quality beneficial bacteria and enzymes. The beneficial bacteria tends to crowd out disease causing pathogens. Raw uncooked sauerkraut, kim chee and other pickles along with miso, yogurt and kefir are a few examples of naturally fermented beneficial foods. Good bacteria also available in super-concentrated capsule and liquid forms at health food stores and some pharmacies.
Astragalus has been the number immune enhancing herb used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It is tops on Dr. Andrew Weil’s list of winter wellness herbs as well. Its economical, energizing and slightly warming so its great for winter and can be used every day for months at a time. If there was only one herb to take to increase resistance to colds and flues this would probably it. Available in capsules and liquids.
Elderberry is probably the most effective herb available for reducing the severity and duration of colds and flu symptoms once they’ve begun. During a recent flu outbreak in Israel, elderberry created dramatic improvements in virtually all symptoms. During the the 1st day 20% experienced relief and by day three 90% of the treated group showed improvements compared with only 16% of the untreated group. Available in capsules, liquids and teas.
Traditional Medicinal Tea Company has formulated some highly effective herbal blends for treating cold symptoms. Herbatussin Cough Tea, Throat Coat, Cold Care PM and Breath Easy are 4 of the most effective formulas available. They come in convenient, pre-mixed tea bags and are extremely economical. Available in many health food and some grocery stores.
Stocking your natural medicine chest with these items is a great way to get the strategic advantage toward winning this year’s cold war.
Rob Pell owns and operates Sunshine Natural Foods in Grants Pass, Oregon and has 35 years experience helping people with natural foods, products, exercise and healing