According to Anne Marie Colbin, author of Food And Healing, the common cold is one of the most misunderstood adjustment/discharges known. We view it as a threat, rather than a friend come to warn us about and at the same time set aright the misalignments, stresses and dietary errors in our lives. Nature, above all, is persistent; if we don't respond to a tap on the shoulder, we'll eventually get a kick in the behind.
Bernie Siegel, MD, nationally known speaker and writer in holistic health, claims that those of us who suffer the usual colds, flu, etc., and then treat and respect our body with kindness, (you know an occasional sick day, mom's chicken soup) end up living longer with fewer serious illnesses like cancer or arthritis and other chronic degenerative processes. Many of us behave miserably towards ourselves when we are sick yet some sickness is the human condition.
In the meantime what should we then do about all those symptoms?
This time of year cold symptoms are exacerbated by allergy symptoms. The pollen count has seen record highs this year and the corn and soybean dust being discharged into the air during the harvest adds to our allergic load. To help offset this "load" being taken into the body, use foods that are less stressful for the body. Try avoiding dairy, highly processed foods and white sugar. Use smaller amounts of meat, highly salted foods and fatty foods. Increase your intake of vegetables, especially the green leafy kinds, also carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage. Allergy symptoms also respond well to a supplement with quercetin and bromelin. Quercetin is a naturally occurring bioflavonoid. Bioflavonoids are the other part of vitamin C and has the ability to act as a drying agent without all the side effects. Bromelin is an enzyme that helps the body literally digest viruses and bacteria and acts as a natural antiinflammatory agent.
If you end up getting a full blown cold here are some things to remember.
Don't eat unless you're hungry. Digestion is work! When you do eat, eat lightly and use some hot liquids. Ginger tea is excellent and healing for the inflamed membranes of the nose and throat. Chamomile and lemon teas are also very soothing.
For a sore throat, try some slippery elm throat lozenges (available at Cornucopia) this herb is also very soothing to inflamed membranes.
For minor coughs, try some honey mixed with lemon. This will coat the throat and help stop that nagging tickle.
Massage Tea Tree Oil into the front of your throat and carefully swab the inside of the ear canal. It has wonderful antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. I had the shortest cold on record (my record) by doing this. Other useful herbs are echinacea, goldenseal, red clover, dandelion and pau d'arco. Used in a formula they enhance immunity and have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Herbs work gently with the body without side effects. Herbs always work best when put together with a healing diet.
If you have a favorite cold or flu remedy and would like to share it, please write to me via The Zephyr, or my office at 312 Hill Arcade, or give me a call, 343-5256.
Last Modified: October 3, 1996