Nothing takes the wind out of your sails quite like the common cold. The coughing, sneezing, congestion and sleepless nights are the pits.
You don’t have to be a helpless victim of each passing cold virus though. Keep your cold-fighting arsenal ready and launch an attack at the first sign of cold symptoms.
Here are my top five strategies for preventing and shortening your next battle with the common cold.
Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges
Zinc has long been known to be a potent defense against cold viruses. The most effective zinc comes in a very specific type of lozenge — Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Lozenges.
These zinc lozenges are larger than typical lozenges and take up to 30 minutes or more to dissolve. Because this type of lozenge lasts so long in the mouth, it has plenty of time to directly attack any viruses lingering in the sinus passages.
To use, take one lozenge every two waking hours at the first sign of cold symptoms, up to eight daily, for up to three days total. For general cold prevention, one zinc lozenge can be taken on days where virus exposure is likely.
Xlear is a special type of nasal spray that contains xylitol and works better than saline alone at disrupting biofilms to kill pathogens harbored in the sinus passages. Use Xlear, ideally three to four times daily, as a maintenance measure to irrigate the sinuses and disrupt pathogen-containing biofilms. Use more often at the first sign of cold symptoms.
Eating ample amounts of vitamin C probably helps prevent colds, especially if you’re under added stress or regularly doing high-intensity exercise.
Taking vitamin C supplements can be a safe and effective measure, as well, up to 2 grams a day for adults. For children at least 1 year old, you can safely supplement up to 400 mg a day.
Cod Liver Oil
Those who are part of older generations may remember getting a daily spoonful of cod liver oil during their school-age years.
Cod liver oil has long been regarded as an excellent way to boost immunity to a variety of infectious ailments, including the common cold. It is rich in vitamins A and D, which are crucial for a healthy immune system, as well as anti-inflammatory fish oils.
Most days of the week, take a high-quality cod liver oil (preferably cold processed) per the manufacturer’s dosage instructions.
I’d be remiss not to mention the importance of everyday healthy habits. As always, wash your hands frequently, especially after being out and about. Eat a healthy diet that is mostly “real food,” with minimal added sugars, highly processed vegetable oils and processed baked goods. Drink plenty of water and always cover your cough to be courteous to others.
So what are you to do if you do end up catching a cold? Use all the strategies listed above to shorten the duration of a cold and add these extra cold-fighting measures.
Vitamin C in Larger Doses
Vitamin C acts as a potent antioxidant and at high doses, it can act as an antihistamine, as well. During initial onset of cold symptoms, it is safe for most to take larger doses of vitamin C for a few days. Most vitamin C advocates recommend taking an amount up to “bowel tolerance” or the level that softens the stool.
Have a cough or sore throat? Plain raw honey has been shown in studies to be just as effective a cough suppressant as commercial cough medications. Just remember not to give honey to children under the age of 1. Two teaspoons of honey can be used as a cough suppressant for children and adults.
Several promising studies have shown elderberry syrup to be effective at shortening the duration of a cold. Follow the dosage instructions on the label.
Gaia Herbs Throat Spray
Gaia Herbs sells several herb-based throat spray products that are great at helping fight off the germs that contribute to sore throats and can soothe symptoms.
Essential oils can be helpful in soothing cold symptoms and may even help fight off germs that cause the common cold. Try diffusing essential oils to humidify the air and make breathing easier. My favorite essential oil supplier is PlantTherapy.com. They have guidelines for using their wide variety of essential oils safely and effectively.
Keep your cold fighting war chest stocked and ready for your next battle with the common cold. Be prepared and stay well, my friends.
To schedule a consultation with Angela, visit the MediSlim clinic at 3806 S. Medford Drive in Lufkin or call (936) 632-1996 for more information.