Holistic Medicine for the Common Cold

When you first feel yourself becoming sick, there are things you can do toavoid becoming ill or to shorten the duration of the illness. These suggestions are especially helpful if you do them as early aspossible. They will help you fend off the flu, colds, or minor infections. All of these suggestions are things that you can do athome.

1. Eat very lightly or not at all. With most illnesses, the appetite is diminished. This is a natural response of the body. Energy is needed to fight off the "bug" and the body doesn't have the energyto process food. Give your digestive tract a rest!

2. Get rest as soon as possible. Many people ignore the early warningsigns of illness and keep working until they "drop." You will take longer to heal if you allow the illness to get a foothold.If you feel a sore throat, headache, congestion, etc., coming on,take it. If possible, take a day off from work. This may prevent youfrom having to take three days off later on.

3. Drink plenty of fluids. This is standard good advice. You can clearthe toxins from a "bug" out of your system with largeamounts of filtered water and herbal teas. Fruit juices are not goodchoices as they have a high concentration of sugars in them. If youdo choose to drink fruit juices, dilute them with more than halffiltered water.

4. Take immunity boosting supplements and homeopathic remedies

• VitaminC: Take 500 mg every 1-2 hours with a small amount of food. Cut backon dosage if stools become loose or you experience gas or cramping.Clinical studies show this alone can shorten illness by 25%.

• VitaminA: Take 10,000 IU 3 times daily. Women who are pregnant should nottake high doses of vitamin A as the fetus can be affected. If youmight be pregnant, consult your physician for recommended dosages andsigns of toxicity.

• Zinc:Take 15-25 mg up to five times per day with small amount of food.This can be continued for 1-2 weeks without depleting copper stores.The best form is zinc gluconate or glycinate.

• Bioflavonoids: Take 1,000 mg per day.

• Oscillococcinum: A homeopathic remedy. Take 6pellets every 6 hours at the first onset of flu or cold symptoms.Take away from food.

Theseare adult dosages. Consult your physician regarding dosages forinfants and children or if you have other conditions affecting yourhealth.

5. Hydrotherapy Treatment — The Hot Foot Bath: Soak feet in hot waterwhile wrapped in a warm wool blanket. Put a cold cloth on your headand relax while you sit in a comfortable position for 10-15 minutes.Take care to avoid getting chilled after this treatment.

6. Throat or Chest Compress: Warm the throat or chest with a warmwashcloth or hot shower. Dry the skin thoroughly and apply a thincotton wrap (to throat) or thin cotton T-shirt (to chest) that hasbeen soaked in cold water and wrung out so that it is not drippingwet. Cover this with a wool scarf (throat) or wool sweater (chest).Go to bed this way. By morning, the scarf or T-shirt will be dry.This treatment increases circulation and increases white blood cellactivity.

Please note: Ninety percent of common colds are due to viral infections.Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. They are usually onlyprescribed when a secondary bacterial infection is likely.

Dr. Mitch Kennedy, a nationally board certified licensed naturopathicphysician, is trained in three separate types of medicine: naturalmedicine, conventional medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Heoffers programs to treat pain, allergies, detoxification, weightloss, memory enhancement and longevity. You may reach his Avon, CT office by calling (860) 673-9954 or visit www.healwithnature.com

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