COMMON COLD

Description
* The common cold is an acute viral infection of the upper respiratory system. Colds are caused by one of about 200 viruses, and once a body is infected with a virus, it becomes immune to it. As with all viruses, antibiotics have no effect on cold viruses.
* A cold usually lasts for about ten days, with an incubation period between one and four days. In some cases a cold may progress into bronchitis, influenza or pneumonia.

Causes
* Colds are usually spread via contact with the virus from another person, infected surface, or through airborne particles such as when someone sneezes or coughs.
* You cannot catch a cold by getting wet or cold, however this may weaken your immune system leaving the body unable to fight off a cold virus.
* Children and the elderly are more susceptible to catching a cold as their immune systems are not as strong as healthy adults are. People who have asthma, AIDS or cystic fibrosis are also susceptible to catching colds.

Symptoms
* Symptoms of the common cold include, sneezing, coughing, headache, mild fever, sore throat, congestion, watery eyes and mild body aches.

Lifestyle symptoms
* Get plenty of rest if you have a cold. The body does much of its healing when at rest.
* Drink plenty of fluids including filtered water, vegetable broth, herbal teas and diluted vegetable juices, as these will rehydrate the body and thin the mucous.
* Avoid food with sugar in it and sweet fruit, as the sugar competes with vitamin C uptake.
* Dispose of tissues as soon as they have been used as they can infect other people or you may even reinfect yourself with the virus.
* Wash your hands and any surface you come into contact with as often as possible to avoid spreading the infection.

Treatment:
* There is no cure for a cold. Conventional remedies are based on suppressing the symptoms of a cold, however it is now recognized that many of the symptoms of a cold are the result of the body’s immune system at work, and as such it may be better to support the immune system rather than suppress the symptoms. This type of therapy may appear to increase the discomfort, but it often reduces the overall time span of the illness.
* Home or traditional remedies such as bed rest, dietary, herbal and aromatherapy treatments may be of greater benefit.

SEE:

VITAMIN A – An antioxidant that protects against colds, has antiviral effects, and helps to repair mucous tissue. Natural sources of vitamin A include alfalfa, sage, yellow fruits and vegetables, garlic, silverbeet, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cayenne, fennel seed, hops, parsley, peppermint, watercress, spirulina and red peppers. Short term high doses while infected, such as 15,000 – 20,000 iu daily in divided doses may help. Doses over 10,000 iu per day may cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women. Women of childbearing age are advised not to become pregnant during such a course or within one month after ceasing a course.

VITAMIN C – An antioxidant that has antiviral effects, may reduce the severity and duration of a cold, is used in tissue repair and helps the immune system. Natural sources of vitamin C include mangos, fennel seed, rose hip, radishes, pineapple, berries, persimmons, silverbeet, paprika, seaweed – dulse and kelp, peppermint, parsley, papayas, kale, cantaloupe, avocados, asparagus, turnip greens and tomatoes. 5,000 – 20,000 mg daily in divided doses (every couple of hours) may help. Do not use more than 5,000 mg daily if pregnant. Use esterified vitamin C if you use aspirin. Large doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, may deplete the body of copper and affect the reliability of oral contraceptives.

VITAMIN E – An antioxidant involved in circulation and tissue repair. Natural sources of vitamin E include dark green leafy vegetables, seaweed – dulse and kelp, whole grains, sweet potatoes, soybeans, nuts and seeds, oatmeal, cold pressed vegetable oils, legumes, alfalfa, rose hip, cornmeal, brown rice, whole grains and flaxseed. Use according to label instructions. Take according to label instructions if you suffer from diabetes, overactive thyroid, or are taking anticoagulant medication.

BETA CAROTENE – An antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A. Take according to label instructions.

ZINC – * Zinc – lozenges. An antioxidant that stimulates the immune system and helps with tissue repair. Zinc may reduce the severity and duration of a cold and help with sore a throat. Natural sources of zinc include seaweed – dulse and kelp, soy lecithin, alfalfa, dandelion, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, torula yeast, brewer’s yeast, legumes, fennel seed, chamomile, whole grains, pecans, mushrooms, nettle parsley and wild yam. Use zinc lozenges that do not contain sorbitol, mannitol or citric acid and supply at least 15 mg of zinc. Dissolve in the mouth every two hours during the day as soon as you feel a cold coming on, after two days reduce total dose to less than 80 mg daily. Excess zinc intake may cause copper deficiency. For prolonged periods of zinc intake, copper is recommended ie: 30 mg zinc with 2 mg of copper. Do not use more than 100 mg daily as excess zinc may depress the immune system.

ASTRAGALUS, HUANG QI – Helps to protect the immune system, helps with healing, increases energy levels and is used for colds and the flu. Use according to label instructions. Do not take if you have a fever.

ECHINACEA, PURPLE CONEFLOWER. – Stimulates the immune and lymphatic systems and has anti-inflammatory and anti viral properties. If it is taken when symptoms first come on, echinacea may prevent the flu from taking hold. Use according to label instructions. Do not use echinacea if you are allergic to flowers in the sunflower family. Do not use if you have an autoimmune disease or have a progressive disease such as multiple sclerosis or tuberculosis.

ELDERBERRY, ELDER – Elderflower – an antioxidant that stimulates the immune system, reduces inflammation and fever, soothes the respiratory tract. Use according to label instructions. Do not consume the stems.

EUCALYPTUS – Essential oil or leaves. Used as an inhalant, relieves congestion and helps with coughs. Add six drops of oil or fresh leaves to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily.

GARLIC – Stimulates the immune system, protects against infection, has an antibiotic effect and is used for colds and the flu. 6 capsules in divided doses may help. Consult your physician before taking garlic if you are taking anticoagulant medication.

GINGER – Ginger tea has proven to beneficial in the treatment of the common cold.

GINSENG – Siberian Ginseng – eleuthero. Helps to strengthen the immune system. Use according to label instructions.

GOLDENSEAL – Has antibiotic, anti inflammatory and antibacterial effects, soothes mucous membranes and is used for colds and the flu. Take according to label instructions. Do not use goldenseal for prolonged periods or if pregnant, have cardiovascular disease, glaucoma or diabetes.

GRAPEFRUIT – Essential oil. Used as an inhalation for colds and flu. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily. Grapefruit may be used with rosemary, lime and peppermint as an inhalation blend. Do not using boiling water as the steam may burn your face. Do not use rosemary or peppermint if you are pregnant. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure.

LIME – Essential oil. Used as an inhalation for colds and flu. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily. Lime may be used with rosemary, grapefruit and peppermint as an inhalation blend. Lime may also be used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat. Use 2 – 3 drops in half a glass of warm water, gargle for thirty seconds. Repeat as necessary. Do not using boiling water as the steam may burn your face. Do not use rosemary or peppermint if you are pregnant. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure.

PEPPERMINT – Essential oil. Used as an inhalation for colds, sinus and flu. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily. Peppermint may be used with rosemary, grapefruit and lime as an inhalation blend. Do not using boiling water as the steam may burn your face. Do not use rosemary or peppermint if you are pregnant. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure.

ROSEMARY – Essential oil. Used as an inhalation for colds and sinus. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam, repeat three times daily. Rosemary may be used with peppermint, grapefruit and lime as an inhalation blend. Do not using boiling water as the steam may burn your face. Do not use rosemary or peppermint if you are pregnant. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure.

SLIPPERY ELM, MOOSE ELM, RED ELM – Soothes inflamed mucous membrane, is used for colds, sore throats and the flu. Take according to label instructions. * Tea Tree – May also be used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat. Use 2 – 3 drops in half a glass of warm water, gargle for thirty seconds. Repeat as necessary.

TEA TREE – May also be used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat. Use 2 – 3 drops in half a glass of warm water, gargle for thirty seconds. Repeat as necessary.

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