Recently appearing on the internet for sale is a patented product­­ "Fast Dry Lozenges: the world's only patented cure for the common cold." George Eby of Austin, Tex., says: "I'm laying claim to being the best common cold research scientist in the world! Texas Brag? No, just the fact!" And what is it he claims will cure the common cold? Zinc. Well, after starting out with such a bold statement, Eby does get a little more realistic later in his ad by suggesting that those that have used his lozenges suffer fewer symptoms and the duration of the cold is lessened.

Zinc lozenges used to alleviate cold symptoms have been a long accepted remedy suggested by traditional as well as holistic medicine. Zinc is an essential trace mineral important in glandular functions, is required for protein synthesis and collagen formation (a type of tissue within the body) and promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. Zinc also allows acuity of taste and smell and protects the liver from chemical damage.

What do some of the experts say? Dr. James Balch and his wife Phyllis­­ a certified nutritional counselor in their easy-to-use guide, "A Prescription For Nutritional Healing" find zinc lozenges important in relieving the symptoms of the common cold. Other peer reviewed literature journals quoted by Eby appear to feel the same way.

So what is the bottom line here? Do we really have a cure on our hands for this scourge of humanity, the common cold? I don't wish to argue with anyone, especially not Eby (he seems very determined, and in actuality deserves credit for all his effort).

I'll give you some more facts and you can decide how you want to deal with your next cold. The common cold is caused by a virus, specifically a rhinovirus (rhino meaning nose). Rhinoviruses are with us all the time; they mutate at an incredibly fast rate; they were on this planet long before man, and will be here long after we have gone. In other words, they are incredibly adaptable. For the most part we live from day to day with thousands of different kinds of viruses and both of us survive very nicely, or symbiotically. Then something comes along to upset our symbiotic relationship and, bingo, we have a cold. But who upset the apple cart? Probably not the virus. These viruses are opportunistic, which means literately "when given the chance."

Of course it is okay to have that occasional cold or whatever, that's normal. We're only human. But what about those of us who have a cold or some form of a cold every time we turn around. These are signs of accumulation within the body­­ too much devitalized chemicalized food and water consumed over a very long period of time. The liver (which has a major role in keeping us healthy) becomes sluggish and is unable to detoxify the body and the blood, opening the door to colds and unfortunately a host of other diseases of accumulation that are much worse.

So what do I say to the use of zinc lozenges for colds? If it works for you, go for it. It's got to be better than downing bottles of cold medicine that only mask symptoms. But on another more important note, if you're suffering a cold every time you turn around the message your body is sending you is pay attention!!: things are not working as well as they should. Try the zinc lozenges and give your body a chance to shed those toxins more naturally; then gently coax your body into better health with more whole live foods, some herbs for detoxification­­ and above all clean air and water.

My favorite cold remedy is echinachea with goldenseal, cayenne and fenugreek in an immune formula. These herbs work together as antiviral and immune stimulating. Fenugreek acts as a natural drying agent. I'll use some fresh carrot juice for the vitamin A and betacarotenes and some extra vitamin C, preferably ester C.

I would love some feedback from anyone with a favorite cold remedy; lets hear it via the Zephyr, or my office, 312 Hill Arcade, 343-5256.

Take a look at George Eby's "Cure for the Common Cold" Web Site.

Last Modified: August 8, 1996

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