common cold

The common cold is no match for natural healing therapies: minerals, herbs and foods stave off colds and flus

Monday, October 24, 2005 by: Jessica Smith
Tags: common cold, flu season, colds

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It happens to everyone, sometimes multiple times a year. That's why it's called the common cold, right? But while we're all familiar with the common cold, we may only know of one or two ways to fight it, which usually involve some sort of over-the-counter medication, or the folk remedy, a bowl of chicken soup. But there are much better ways to prevent and treat the common cold, using traditional non-drug remedies and good solid nutrition.

The first step in fighting the common cold is to make sure you have a cold. For some, it can be pretty easy to confuse the common cold with the flu (until symptoms get a lot worse), or to not know when a cold has progressed into bronchitis. "The common cold is a viral infection of the upper-respiratory tract that attacks the nose and nasal passages, and can spread to the chest," writes Earl Mindell in Secret Remedies. "We all know and dread those first symptoms: the scratchy throat, sneezing, headache, aching muscles, and congestion." But when should we know that the cold has gone too far? The authors of Smart Medicine for Healthier Living say that if a cold gives you a persistent fever, a hacking cough or a rash, you might have a more serious viral infection. The common cold itself is a viral infection, so things like antibiotics, which are often mistakenly prescribed for colds, won't help.

The first thing that comes to mind when treating a cold is that taking vitamin C will help, and this instinct is correct. Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling first found the connection between vitamin C and colds. Though doctors still debate the clinical studies that have since repeated Dr. Pauling's original findings, most naturopaths would say this is a good first step in fighting off a cold. Dr. Michael T. Murray, in Natural Alternatives to Drugs, writes, "While the vitamin C studies have consistently demonstrated results superior to over-the-counter cold medications, manufacturers of vitamin C products are prevented from making any claims for their product, while the makers of OTC common-cold medications spend hundreds of millions of dollars brainwashing the American public into believing these products are the answer to the common cold." Zinc is also recommended for those just beginning to come down with a cold. "Zinc is not only seen to be an important regulator of immunity, but has also been found clinically to be an excellent mineral to take in the event of viral illness, such as the common cold," writes the Life Extension Foundation.

Homeopathic medicine also offers a range of treatments to try. A homeopath can recommend treatments like eyebright, monkshood, wild hops and belladonna, among others. Echinacea, cinnamon, elder flower, ginger and licorice are all on the list of what a naturopath might recommend to those fighting off a cold. The great thing about these items is that they help improve your immune system, not just cover up symptoms, so you can decrease the actual duration of your cold. Echinacea in particular has been popularized as a cold treatment, so much so that you can even find it in many regular drug stores. "I have found that echinacea can help prevent the common cold as well as reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration – but results differ. Some people respond almost miraculously, while others get no benefits at all," writes Mark Stengler in Natural Physicians Healing Therapies. "Overall, though, echinacea is more effective than over-the-counter medicines, which only help to reduce some of the symptoms of a cold and do nothing to assist the immune system or battle the infection."

Another good way to prevent colds is to just relax. It's true – that's why colds always seem to appear in times of heavy stress or when you pulled an all-nighter. So if you're trying to get rid of that cold aggressively, try this non-aggressive cold fighter: Go to sleep.

The experts speak on the common cold: p>Symptoms

In fact, infection and allergy may be far more closely related than we now know. If, for example, the lining of the nose is chronically inflamed, sinus drainage can cause irritation all the way down the respiratory tract. That's one reason a common cold can soon flare into serious bronchitis, triggering the kind of asthma attack that ends in hospital-ization. So many more lingering colds and cases of chronic bronchitis are caused by allergies than we realize, and one indi-
Reversing Asthma by Richard N Firshein DO, page 79

The common cold: It's not serious or life-threatening, but it can certainly make your life miserable. The common cold is a viral infection of the upper-respiratory tract that attacks the nose and nasal passages, and can spread to the chest. We all know and dread those first symptoms: the scratchy throat, sneezing, headache, aching muscles, and congestion. There is no magic potion that can spare us the misery of the next four to ten days of runny noses, coughing, sleeplessness—and in severe cases, bronchitis or sinus infection. There are however, several natural treatments that may help relieve symptoms and shorten the duration of the cold.
Secret Remedies by Earl Mindell RPh PhD, page 96

Similarly, if you have a fever that persists, or returns after three days, you may have developed a bacterial infection, such as an ear or sinus infection. By themselves, colds do not ususally cause significant fever. If your cold does not clear up within a week, or if you develop a rash or a honking cough, you may have a different viral illness. The early symptoms of many viral diseases often resemble those of the common cold.
Smart Medicine For Healthier Living by Janet Zand LAc OMD Allan N Spreen MD CNC James B LaValle RPh ND, page 208

Common respiratory complaints such as colds and influenza are maladies that affect virtually everyone at one time or another. The common cold usually stays within the boundaries of the nose and throat, but when the complications of a secondary infection set in, bacterial or viral organisms may spread into the neighboring airways or passages.
Staying healthy In a Risky Environment by Arthur C Upton, page 120

Several studies have now shown that zinc lozenges provide relief of pharyngitis and prevent progression when utilized at the first signs of the pharyngeal discomfort which presages the common cold. A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 100 patients experiencing the early signs of the common cold were provided a lozenge which provided either 13.3 mg of zinc (from zinc gluconate) as long as they had symptoms, or placebo.
Textbook of Natural Medicine Volumes 1-2 by Joseph E Pizzorno and Michael T Murray, page 1589

Garlic is also effective against fungal infections, including athlete's foot, systemic candidiasis, and yeast vaginitis, and there is some evidence that it may also destroy certain viruses, such as those associated with fever blisters, genital herpes, a form of the common cold, smallpox, and a type of influenza. Garlic oil is good for the heart and colon, and is effective in the treatment of arthritis, candidiasis, and circulation problems.
The A-to-Z Guide to Supplements by James F Balch MD, page 141

The common cold, an infection of the upper respiratory tract, is caused by any of 200 different viruses. The viral infection and the immune system's battle against it produce the all-too-familiar symptoms: sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, hacking cough and sometimes fever. Colds are spread directly from person to person by coughing or sneezing or by hand-to-hand contact. The virus gets on one person's hands and can spread to the hands of others. If your virus-contaminated hands touch your nose or eyes, you catch the cold. The virus can also live for several hours on everyday surfaces like counters and doorknobs. Your hands can literally pick it up that way as well. (That's a good reason to wash your hands often during cold and flu season.)
The Green Pharmacy by James A Duke PnD, page 134

To understand how your immune system works, think of it as a national defense system. Imagine your cells as the soldiers gearing up for battle to defend against and attack invading germs and viruses. At all times, your immune system operates as a powerful defense, shielding you from the most common cold and the most deadly cancer.
The Immune Advantage by Ellen Mazo and Keith Berndtson MD, page 10

Most people are all too familiar with the symptoms of the common cold: headache, nasal congestion, watery rhinorrhea (runny nose), sneezing, and a scratchy throat accompanied by general malaise (body aches). Because the common cold is virus-borne, antibiotics that treat bacterial-borne infections are ineffective. The majority of the infections adults have throughout the healthy time of their lives are viral in origin. Having a common cold with congested sinuses is not sinusitis. Patients may even have greenish nasal discharge with sinus congestion due to a common cold. Sinusitis is a bacterial infection of the sinuses that is
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 600

You get sick, your immune system goes to work, and you get better within a week or two. Examples include the common cold or a mild flu. Persistent infections with acute onset are often due to a latent infection, or a virus that persists in the cell host, and may activate or reactivate on more than one occasion, causing episodes of illness. Examples include herpes simplex and cytomegalovirus. In the case of recurring illness, you feel repeatedly sick. Often, just when you start to feel better, you get sick again, as is the case with repetitive colds. Chronic, persistent infections are those in which the viral agent is being continually produced to cause a viral load sufficient to produce ongoing symptoms, such as in some types of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the retroviruses, like HIV.
Viral Immunity by J.E, page 17 Natural Medicine

The common cold. Ever catch a cold after pulling an all-nighter? "A person with a large sleep debt is much more vulnerable to infections and other illnesses," says Peter Hauri, Ph.D., director of the Insomnia Research and Treatment Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and co-author of No More Sleepless Nights. The reason is that without adequate rest, the body cannot fully recover from day-to-day stresses and the immune system cannot fully defend against disease-causing microorganisms. Surveys show that compared with normal sleepers, people who experience chronic insomnia report more illnesses and slower recovery from them.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 341

It is also useful in treating the common cold and flu, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome. Bruce Milliman, N.D., of Seattle, Washington, reports a 70% success rate using hyperthermia to treat chronic fatigue syndrome. Dr. Lewis has also had good results treating chronic fatigue with hyperthermia. For certain cases, Dr. Lewis prescribes hyperthermia as a form of self-care. In one instance, he suggested a patient take hot-tub treatments at home three to four times weekly. "During the following year, her condition improved wonderfully," reports Dr. Lewis. "While not fully recovered, her energy level is substantially higher and she credits this to her hot-tub routine." Over the centuries, physicians
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 293

For thousands of years, oregano has been prized for its powerful antiseptic properties. The ancient Greeks used this herb to treat a wide variety of bacterial and viral infections. Today, oregano oil (available in liquid and capsules) is growing in popularity as an effective treatment for fungal infections, warts, psoriasis, eczema, viruses, and even the common cold.
Earl Mindell's Supplement Bible by Earl Mindell RPh PhD, page 115 Coughing may be due to a simple illness, like upper respiratory infection or the common cold, or may signal a more serious illness, such as cancer. May also be due to irritation from environment (smoke, dust, pollens), mucus dripping in back of the throat, a sign of nervousness, or a symptom of an underlying health disorder.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 1010

Fresh ginger is one of the most versatile spices. For mucus and the first sign of a cold, steep 3 or 4 slices of ginger in 1 cup of boiling water. Add honey to taste. For dysentery with diarrhea, burn dry ginger to charcoal. Take 1 teaspoonful with rice that has been preroasted to a brownish color. For the common cold with chills and fever but no perspiration, drink a tea of ginger and sweet basil. If the cold is a wind heat type and you have high fever, slight chills, sweating, and sore throat, drink cabbage and fresh ginger broth freely.
The Way Of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra LAc OMD, page 102

Menthol and peppermint oils are often employed in the treatment of the common cold as components of topical nasal decongestants, cough and throat lozenges, ointments, salves, and inhalants. Whether the use of these products is of benefit has not been proven in clinical studies. However, their popularity appears to represent their ability to help make breathing easier during the common cold. The best method for using menthol or peppermint oil is by applying commercial preparations to the upper chest during periods of rest so that the vapors can be inhaled continuously. Peppermint tea may also be of benefit during the common cold.
Textbook of Natural Medicine Volumes 1-2 by Joseph E Pizzorno and Michael T Murray, page 830

Some physicians go farther, stating that a cold or flu can actually be one of the ways the body detoxifies itself. "Seen from this viewpoint," says Dr. Hibbs,"you can sav that the virus causing the cold or flu is an accessory to a natural process." He notes that both the common cold and the flu are primarily caused by improper diet and toxicity and represent the body's attempt to rid itself of toxins through fever, coughing, and the discharge of mucus."Nature is very homeostatic," he says."When we run down our immune systems, a cold or flu can arise to detoxify ourselves and bring us back into balance."
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 675

Zinc is not only seen to be an important regulator of immunity but has also been found clinically to be an excellent mineral to take in the event of viral illness, such as the common cold. There have been contradictory studies in this regard, but a double-blind placebo-controlled trial published by Prasad (2000) was positive. It showed a very significant reduction in overall duration of cold symptoms (50%), cough (50%), and nasal discharge (30%) at a dose of 12.8 mg of zinc in
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 921

It can be sweetened with sugar or honey to taste. Loquat fruit can be added if it is available. Loquat has a downward energy. This makes it useful for cough caused by lung heat with yellow phlegm and blood, and for vomiting caused by stomach heat, hiccups, acute gastritis, wind-heat common cold, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and lung abscesses. It is also useful for asthma and emphysema. (For these latter 2 conditions, it is better to substitute loquat flowers for the leaves.) For High Cholesterol and Hyperlipidemia
The Way Of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra LAc OMD, page 415

Willow is nature's aspirin. Its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory fever-reducing action works wonders on the common cold. White willow doesn't contain as much salicin (the active constituent). Other species work better: violet willow, crack willow, and purple osier. But if you need to, take about lh teaspoon of dried herb and make it into a tea. Caution: Do not take this herb if you are allergic to aspirin, and never give it to children with colds. It could lead to the potentially fatal condition known as Reye's syndrome. Dosages may vary, depending on duration and severity of symptoms. Follow package directions, or consult a qualified herbal practitioner.
Doctors Complete Guide Vitamins Minerals by Mary D Eades MD, page 273 Try a homeopathic remedy. Homeopaths most frequently prescribe microdoses of Allium cepa (onion), Euphrasia (eyebright) and Na-trum mur (salt) for the common cold. Other homeopathic medicines sometimes used include Aconite (monkshood), Bryonia (wild hops), Belladonna and Phosphorus. To use these medicines, follow package direc- {pp}85{/pp}
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 85

\ ZINC: A potent fighter of the common cold, it has been shown to enhance the immune system, increasing the level of infection-fighting T cells, particularly in older people. It may also help retard vision loss caused by macular degeneration as well as aid in protecting the prostate from enlargement and even cancer.
Vitamin Bible for the 21st Century by Earl Mindell, page 169

Zinc is a critical nutrient for optimum immune-system function. Like vitamin C, zinc also possesses direct antiviral activity, including against several viruses that can cause the common cold. In a double-blind clinical trial, zinc gluconate lozenges significantly reduced the average duration of common colds.8 The lozenges contained 23 milligrams of elemental zinc, which the patients were instructed to dissolve in their mouths every two waking hours after an initial double dose. After seven days, 86 percent of the thirty-seven zinc-treated subjects were symptom
Natural Alternatives To Drugs by Michael T Murray ND, page 150

Zinc is well-known for wound healing and as a stimulant to the body's immune system, but a recent study that tested zinc against the common cold indicates that although zinc does not kill the nasty viruses responsible for the cold, it seems to prevent the virus from reproducing or duplicating itself. In one study, over seventy Dartmouth students sucked on flavored zinc-glyconate-glycine lozenges within one day of the first sign of a cold. Those who took the lozenges every two hours four times a day got rid of their colds more quickly than those who did not.
Earl Mindells Secret Remedies by Earl Mindell RPh PhD, page 98 Let's Live magazine cited reports that pau d'arco "cured terminal leukemia, arthritis, yeast and fungus infections, arrested pain, stopped athlete's foot and cured the common cold." It added that it "has been found to be an effective analgesic, sedative, decongestant, diuretic and hypotensive" (2/85). Vegetarian Times (7/85) claimed that the bark "is currently being hailed for its effects on cancer and Candida..Traditional herbalists agree that it strengthens and balances the immune system" and is a useful remedy for immune system-related problems such as colds, flu, boils, infections, as well as malaria. It "can combat infection, give great vitality, build up immunity to disease, strengthen cellular structure and help eliminate pain and inflammation.."
Herbs Against Cancer by Ralph W Moss PhD, page 200

Elder flower, immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, anticatarrhal, and diaphoretic, is a good all-purpose herb for the flu and common cold. Dr. Bove notes that these herbs can be easily combined or used singly as teas or tinctures. Dr. Wright also recommends echinacea (primes the immune system to heightened activity), red clover, myrrh, osha (also known as Porter's lovage, the root has been used traditionally for sore throats and lung congestion), and cayenne pepper during times of cold and flu. These can be taken as a tea (3-5 cups per day), tincture (30 drops, four times daily), or capsules (two capsules, four times daily).
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 679

While zinc lozenges have been shown to be effective for reducing the symptoms and duration of the common cold in some controlled studies, it is not clear whether this effect is due to an enhancement of immune function or to the direct effect of zinc on the viruses themselves
The Natural Pharmacy by Schuyler W Lininger, page 97

Most common species is Chinese bo he, which is somewhat different from peppermint and spearmint, but all are used to induce perspiration and aid digestion; used for the common cold, fevers, and nervous disorders; spicy flavor and cool energy Used for fevers, colds, headaches, stiff neck, hypertension, dysentery, and colitis; spicy and sweet with a cool energy
The Way Of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra LAc OMD, page 403

Look into Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine considers the common cold to represent an invasion of the body by the elements wind and heat. An age-old formula known as Yin Chiao Chieh Tu Pien (yin chow chee dew peein) expels wind and heat from the respiratory tract. The formula works, according to Harriet Beinfield, a licensed acupuncturist who practices Chinese medicine in San Francisco and is co-author of Between Heaven and Earth-. A Guide to Chinese Medicine. "It can really impress people who have not tried Chinese herbs," she says.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 84

Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an allergic response to pollen or mold that affects the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, and air passages. Symptoms include itchy, red eyes; watery discharge from the nose and eyes; sneezing; fatigue; and nervous irritability. Many of the symptoms of hay fever are similar to those of the common cold. However, allergies cause a distinctive clear, thin nasal discharge, whereas secretions caused by colds usually become thick and yellow-green as the illness progresses. Also, colds are often associated with mild fever and are usually gone within a week, while allergy sufferers often have a feeling of being "wiped out" for weeks on end.
Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch CNC and James F Balch MD, page 30

This trace mineral is essential for various bodily functions, including proper functioning of the immune system. It has been shown to improve the healing of wounds and speed recovery from injuries and surgery. Zinc can check the spread of viruses such as herpes simplex in the body. Several studies also suggest that high concentrations of elemental zinc in the throat, from sucking on zinc lozenges, can counter the local viruses responsible for the common cold.
Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 81

Nature's cures for the common cold don't just suppress symptoms. Most boost the immune system's effectiveness against it, and some have antiviral action. Natural approaches also have fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals, and most are considerably cheaper. viruses. Finally, few kids relish hand washing, and it's unrealistic to expect them to keep their fingers away from their noses (or other people's).
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 81

A Specific for the common cold The Chinese have long claimed that the leaves of the Ginko contain medicinal properties that can cure the common cold very quickly and that these properties are also effective in relieving sinus congestion, stubborn coughs, and asthma. For any of these purposes, the leaves are infused in boiling water and the vapors from the steam inhaled. Those who may be skeptical of the Chinese claim for the Ginko as a curative remedy for the common cold may want to hesitate in their criticism and ponder the following report.
Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists by Richard Lucas, page 31

Throat lozenges containing zinc became popular in the treatment of the common cold as a result of a double-blind clinical trial in 1984 which demonstrated that zinc-containing lozenges significantly reduced the average duration of common colds by 7 days.
Textbook of Natural Medicine Volumes 1-2 by Joseph E Pizzorno and Michael T Murray, page 484

Licorice Before it was learned that ulcers were caused by a bacterium, licorice was used to treat that condition. It is still considered useful as an expectorant and cough suppressant, and licorice lozenges and candies are used to treat common colds. Elderly persons and those with cardiovascular disease, liver, or kidney problems should be careful, because too much licorice can cause sodium retention, potassium excretion, and high blood pressure. Ma huang (ephedra) Danger! See the box on page 97.
The Alternative Medicine Handbook By Barrie R Cassileth PHD, page 95

common cold congestion. Because caffeine opens up the bronchial passages, it also can help relieve the chest congestion of colds. "If you'd rather not take Sudafed or some other pharmaceutical decongestant, have a cup or two of coffee. It produces a similar effect," says James Duke, Ph.D., a botanist at the USDA Research Station in Beltsville, Maryland.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 166

Vitamin C

Pauling based his opinion on several studies that showed vitamin C was very effective in reducing the severity of symptoms, as well as the duration of the common cold. Since 1970, there have been over twenty double-blind studies designed to test Pauling's assertion.6 However, despite the fact that every study demonstrated that the group receiving the vitamin C had a decrease in either duration or symptom severity, for some reason, the clinical effect is still debated in the medical community. While the vitamin C studies have consistently demonstrated results superior to over-the-counter cold medications, manufacturers of vitamin C products are prevented from making any claims for their product, while the makers of OTC common-cold medications spend hundreds of millions of dollars brainwashing the American public into believing these products are the answer to the common cold.
Natural Alternatives To Drugs by Michael T Murray ND, page 150

The beneficial effects of hyperthermia in the form of hot packs, baths, and saunas have been recognized for thousands of years. In 500 B.C.E., the Greek physician Par-menides stated that if only he had the means to create fever, he could cure all illness. The early Romans built elaborate baths, which included saunas, cold plunge baths, and swimming areas. The sauna has long been a part of Finnish tradition and the Russians use steam baths regularly. Native American cultures use sweat lodges in their cleansing practices. Over the last few centuries, physicians have observed that people suffering from certain illnesses, such as cancer, gonorrhea, and syphilis, often become free of these illnesses following a high fever from another infection. This has led to research into the production of lever by various methods (injection of foreign substances, hot packs, hot baths) to treat a wide variety of health problems, from the common cold to AIDS and cancer.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 292

Although it's important to avoid foods that provoke asthma, you should also know what to eat to help prevent attacks. For years, natives in Mexico and South America have been eating chili peppers to improve sexual performance, decrease lung congestion, and relieve pain. Really hot chilis consumed regularly (a raw pepper contains 110 milligrams of vitamin C and only 18 calories) will reduce the frequency and severity of your asthmatic attacks; so will drinking a glass of water containing ten to twenty drops of Tabasco sauce, a chili concentrate. (The same "drink" also eases the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and the common cold.)
Doctor What Should I Eat by Isadore Rosenfeld MD, page 59

If you do have a tendency to catch colds, make sure to eat plenty of foods rich in calcium, because the body is more susceptible when it lacks calcium; especially during the change of seasons, take a biological calcium preparation (Urticalcin) as well. The veins should not be overlooked either, so that the circulation remains unimpaired. Heed this advice and you will acquire more resistance to the common cold and related afflictions. Vitamin and Calcium Deficiencies
The Nature Doctor by Dr H.C.A, page 83

Dr. Pauling was the first to sing the praises o vitamin C as a treatment for the common cold and, indeed, decade later, he has been proven right. In twenty-one separate studies, vitamir C reduced the length and severity of symptoms of the common cold b) an average of 23 percent. Vitamin C's benefit in fighting the common cold may be due to its antiox idant properties. When an infection strikes, special cells in the immune sys tern release large amounts of oxidizing materials that can be toxic to othe cells. Activation of these cells promotes the consumption of vitamin C ir the body, suggesting that high concentrations of the vitamin may providt protection against the harmful effects of the toxins that are released.
Earl Mindells Secret Remedies by Earl Mindell RPh PhD, page 96

Vitamin C. As a cure for the common cold, vitamin C has been a bust. But this micronutrient, found in citrus fruit, papaya, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and peppers, does seem to play a role in preventing cataracts, cancer, and coronary artery disease.
The Longevity Code By Zorba Paster MD, page 253

Although vitamin C appears to have only a small effect in preventing the common cold (p. 41), it reduces the duration and severity of a cold. Large amounts of vitamin C (for example, 1 to 8 grams daily) taken at the onset of a cold episode shorten the duration of illness by an average of 23%.
The Natural Pharmacy by Schuyler W Lininger, page 343

Many people have made claims about the role of vitamin C in enhancing the immune system, particularly with regard to the prevention and treatment of the common cold. However, despite numerous positive clinical and experimental studies, for some reason this effect is still hotly debated. From a biochemical viewpoint, there is considerable evidence that vitamin C plays a vital role in many immune mechanisms.
Encyclopedia Nutritional Supplements by Michael T Murray ND, page 62

After winning two Nobel prizes, including the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Linus Pauling published his best-known work, Vitamin C and the common cold, at age sixty-nine.
The Memory Solution by Dr Julian Whitaker, page 10

I gradually became aware of the existence of an extraordinary contradiction between the opinions of different people about the value of vitamin C in preventing and ameliorating the common cold. Many people believe that vitamin C helps prevent colds; on the other hand, most physicians deny that this vitamin has much value in treating the common cold (ibid.). Medical men, in general, refused even to consider the possibility that vitamin C had this effect. Pauling proposed two reasons for their refusal.
The Cancer Industry by Ralph W Moss, page 213

We have been led to believe that we "catch" more colds in the winter because of the colder weather. But the common cold was unknown to the Eskimos before the white man went to the Arctic, bringing his refined white flour, sugar and alcohol with him. And why do some people regularly get colds and flus and others seem immune? Maybe it has something to do with lifestyle. When the weather turns cold we tend to overheat our homes, creating dry, low-humidity air.
Prescription Alternatives by Earl Mindell RPh PhD and Virginia Hopkins MA, page 276

Dr. Cathcart recommends and has successfully used large doses of vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. In this form, the vitamin isn't buffered— that is, no chemicals have been added to help the body absorb it The ascorbic acid, he says, can help with many kinds of health conditions, from the common cold to life-threatening viral hepatitis.
Natures Medicines by Gale Maleskey, page 113

While they should not be used as a substitute for a varied, healthy diet, nutritional supplements can help to ensure that you are getting an adequate supply of all the basic nutrients your body needs. They can also be helpful in supporting the body during illness. For example, in many of the entries in Part Two we suggest boosting the body's infection-fighting capability with three specific vitamins. Vitamin C is a well-documented anti-inflammatory that eases the common cold.
Smart Medicine For Healthier Living by Janet Zand LAc OMD Allan N Spreen MD CNC James B LaValle RPh ND, page 59

Recent studies show that he was right. Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid) is necessary for the formation of collagen, which is essential for the growth and repair of all body cells. Vitamin C can lessen severity and duration of the common cold. Vitamin C is an antioxidant—it protects body cells from destruction by free radicals. It also deactivates carcinogens that may promote cancer. In fact, several studies suggest that vitamin C may help protect against many different forms of cancer, including oral cancers, lung cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Vitamin C may also help to ward off heart disease by preventing the oxidation of LDL, or "bad cholesterol," which can lead to the formation of atherosclerotic lesions or plaque. Good food sources of vitamin C include sweet red pepper, broccoli, orange juice, tomatoes, and berries. The RDA for vitamin C is 60 milligrams. I feel that people need to take 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily. (Calcium ascorbate is the best form of vitamin C—it's gentlest on your stomach.) Vitamin D: Let a Little Sunshine into Your Life
Earl Mindells Soy Miracle Earl Mindel RPH PHD, page 116

The New Science of Sensible Supplementation JVlention "vitamins" and "science" in the same breath, and the name that immediately springs to mind is Linus Pauling, Ph.D. The iconoclastic Palo Alto, California, chemist spent more than 20 years before his death in 1994 touting the benefits of enormous.doses of vitamin C for everything from the common cold to cancer. Dr. Pauling may be gone, but his legacy lives on. He was the only person ever to win two unshared Nobel Prizes—for chemistry in 1954 and the Peace Prize in 1962 for work promoting disarmament. The journal New Scientist once included him along with Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton as one of the 20 greatest scientists who ever lived. But in 1970, when Dr. Pauling's book, Vitamin C and the common cold, appeared, his scientific admirers became flabbergasted. At the time, the entire medical profession agreed that given a reasonable
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 407

In some cases, kombucha supports digestion and may help prevent the common cold. It is used for edema, arteriosclerosis, gout, constipation, mental fatigue, kidney stones, and general convalescence. Contrary to popular accounts, kombucha is not recommended for Candida and yeast-type overgrowths.
New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood, page 401

Pineapple works to cleanse the body, aid digestion, purify and thin the blood, prevent blood clots, increase circulation, aid menses, and regulate the glands. It is useful in the treatment of goiter, obesity, cancer, inflammation, influenza, common cold...
Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 68 Health Benefits Historically in Eurasia, pepper was valued to aid digestion, to cause sneezing, and to relieve gas. It stimulates the flow of energy and blood to the body and, because it opens the pores for sweating, it is good at the onset of a common cold.
New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood, page 260

Folk Medicine

Try chicken soup. Chicken soup apparently helps, but so do soups made without chicken. Eight hundred years ago, Egyptian rabbi/physician Moses Maimonides recommended chicken soup for the common cold. It's been a mainstay of folk medicine ever since. Florida researcher Marvin Sackner showed that chicken soup does indeed relieve nasal congestion better than plain hot water. His elderly mother, Goldie, though proud of her son, was reportedly miffed that he'd used chicken soup from a deli near his laboratory instead of her infinitely more therapeutic family recipe. Stephen Rennard, M.D., chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, did not make the same mistake. In a 1993 study, he confirmed chicken soup's benefits using a recipe handed down from his wife's grandmother. His test-tube experiment showed that chicken soup significantly reduced the inflammation-producing action of certain white blood cells. Surprisingly, the soup showed its beneficial effect even before the chicken was added, when it was simply vegetable soup containing onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 84

A number of people have told me that they took proteolytic enzymes (microbial-derived) on an empty stomach to help fight viral infections such as the common cold and flu. Advocates of this type of therapy say that the enzymes help to break down the protein coat (capsid) that surrounds the virus. Though I'm not aware of any studies that validate this use, many popular European pharmaceutical products include a combination of proteolytic enzymes and "cold drugs" together in a formula.
Natural Physicians Healing Therapies by Mark Stengler ND, page 140

stress is another factor that can increase susceptibility to the common cold and flu. During times of stress, hormones are released in the body that cause the thy-mus gland to shrink, reducing immune activity.6 The more stress one is under, the greater the chance of viral infection. PREVENTING COLDS AND FLU
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 676

Common cold I have found that echinacea can help prevent the common cold as well as reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration—but results differ. Some people respond almost miraculously, while others get no benefits at all. Overall, though, echinacea is more effective than over-the-counter medicines, which only help to reduce some of the symptoms of a cold and do nothing to assist the immune system or battle the infection.
Natural Physicians Healing Therapies by Mark Stengler ND, page 132

Influenza, a more serious virus, also strikes Type O and Type B in preference to Type A and Type AB. In its early stages, influenza may have many of the symptoms of a common cold. However, the flu causes dehydration, muscle pains, and serious weakness. The symptoms of a common cold or flu are miserable, but they are actually a sign that your immune system is trying hard to fight off the offending virus. While your immune system is doing its job, there are measures you can take that will make coexistence on the battlefield more comfortable:
Eat Right for Your Type by Dr Peter J D'Adamo, page 285

Uncommonly Strong Remedies for common colds You washed your hands after every handshake. When someone sneezed, you ducked. Somehow, though, you still managed to catch the common cold, and the viruses that are partying in your upper respiratory tract are making you feel uncommonly bad: feverish, headachy, tired, and coughing, with a nose so runny that Kleenex stock has gone up 20 points since you've been sick. Conventional doctors will tell you to take cold medicine and wait it out. Alternative practitioners, however, say that a variety of nutrients, herbs, and other remedies can rev up your virus-fighting immune system, shorten your cold (to as little as 2 to 3 days), and mute the symptoms. Many of these same treatments can help prevent colds as well.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 165

The common cold can be caused by a wide variety of viruses that are capable of infecting the upper respiratory tract. The symptoms of a cold are well known: general malaise, fever, headache, and upper respiratory tract congestion. Initially there is a watery nasal discharge and sneezing, followed by thicker secretions containing mucus, white blood cells, and dead organisms. The throat may be red, sore, and dry. Usually a cold can be easily differentiated from other conditions, like the flu and allergies, that have some similar symptoms. The flu (influenza) is much more severe in its symptoms and usually occurs in epidemics, so contacting the local Public Health Department is all that is needed to rule this out. Allergies may be an underlying factor in decreasing resistance and allowing a virus to infect the upper airways, but usually allergies can be differentiated from the common cold by the fact that no fever occurs with allergies, there is usually a history of seasonal allergic episodes, and there is no other evidence of infection.
Natural Alternatives To Drugs by Michael T Murray ND, page 143

More recently, Stephen Ren-nard, M.D., professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, tested chicken soup that was prepared by his wife from her grandmother's recipe. He found that the soup reduced the action of neutrophils—white blood cells that are attracted to areas of inflammation and that may cause common cold symptoms like irritated airways and mucus production. Researchers also suspect that part of the healing power of chicken soup lies in the bird itself. Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which is chemically similar to a drug called acetylcysteine, says Irwin Ziment, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Doctors use acetylcysteine to treat people with bronchitis and other respiratory infections. "Acetylcysteine was originally derived from chicken feathers and chicken skin," notes Dr. Ziment.
New Foods For Healing by Selene Yeager, page 143

The fatalists believe the old saying that if you ignore a cold, it lasts a week, but if you treat it aggressively, you can get rid of it in just seven days. They are mistaken. There's a great deal you can do to prevent and treat the common cold. Those who favor pharmaceuticals reach for drugstore cold formulas, believing that these products provide fast, fast, fast relief. The drug-takers are sadly misinformed. They spend more than $1 billion a year on products that neither prevent nor treat colds. All those dozens of cold formulas do is suppress cold symptoms, cost you money, cause annoying side effects and possibly even increase your cancer risk.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 69

Contrary to popular belief, the common cold is not caused by wet feet, wet hair or cold weather. Rather, the viruses infect you when your resistance is low ¡ª for example, when you are under some type of emotional or physical stress as a result of poor diet, overwork or lack of sleep. While the cure for the common cold continues to elude doctors and scientists, treatments for its symptoms abound. Sniffle or cough within earshot of friends, and you are certain to be bombarded by a barrage of home remedies ¡ª like those that follow ¡ª to help make your cold more bearable.
Natural Health Secrets by Glenn W Geelhoed MD Jean Barilla MS, page 187

Science/Western Medicine

Although aspirin and acetaminophen reduce fever, in carefully controlled studies both acetaminophen and aspirin actually have been shown to increase nasal congestion and other cold symptoms.3 Aspirin and acetaminophen have been shown to suppress the immune system. This suppression of immune function may lead to a more serious infection, and definitely increases the duration of the common cold.
Natural Alternatives To Drugs by Michael T Murray ND, page 145

For example, if you have a cold and decide to take an over-the-counter preparation to relieve your cough or nasal stuffiness, chances are it will contain two unnecessary ingredients—an antihistamine and caffeine. Most antihistamines make you sleepy, so the caffeine is added to help keep you awake. Antihistamines are great for allergic symptoms, but the common cold is a viral infection, against which they are useless (see page 102). If you determine that caffeine is indeed the cause of your symptoms, don't go cold turkey with it.
Doctor What Should I Eat by Isadore Rosenfeld MD, page 45

Heavily advertised cold and cough remedies contain, in addition to aspirin, an antihistamine to dry up nasal secretions. This ingredient, according to Dr. Sol Katz, head of the pulmonary disease division at Georgetown University Hospital, is "worthless, expensive, and harmful." A leading allergist, Ben Feingold, M.D., states that "antihistamine drugs neither prevent nor cure the 'common cold'. . Antihistamines may in some cases influence the severity of the symptoms of the 'common cold,' but the cause remains unaffected, and the course of the illness is not shortened." FLU
Homeopathic Medicine At Home by Maesimund B Panos MD and Jane Heimlich, page 108

Like the common cold, flu is an upper respiratory viral infection, but the similarity ends there. Colds are minor illnesses that rarely cause fever in otherwise healthy adults. But one of the three flu viruses, influenza A, causes high fever, severe body aches and that awful death-warmed-over feeling that sends many otherwise healthy adults to their beds for several days. Type-A flu may also lead to pneumonia, and the combination kills thousands of Americans every year, mostly the elderly and those with chronic diseases. That's why public health officials urge annual vaccination every fall to prevent this flu.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 75

"I've been using vitamin C for colds ever since I read Linus Pauling's book, Vitamin C the common cold, and the Flu back in the 1970s," says Orphy, 69, a self-professed "health nut" from Yucca Valley, California. "It's always worked for me." She normally takes 300 to 500 milligrams of vitamin C a day. When she feels a cold coming on, however, she increases the dosage to 1,500 milligrams, three times a day, for a total of 4,500 milligrams a day. "I continue that dosage for several days, until my symptoms are gone," she says. "I also make sure I drink plenty of water. I haven't had a real cold for many years."
Home Remedies What Works by Gale Maleskey and Brian Kaufman, page 115

Sugar, dietary fat, and alcohol have been reported to affect the immune system negatively, though no specific information is yet available on how much these foods may actually affect the course of the common cold. For more information, see immune function (p. 94). Nutritional Supplements That May Be Helpful
The Natural Pharmacy by Schuyler W Lininger, page 42

The extent of your social connections can even influence the number of colds you get each year. In one study, each of 276 volunteers had rhinoviruses (the common cold) dripped into their nose. Those with the fewest social connections had four times the chance of actually getting colds. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking:
Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman MD and Mark Liponis MD, page 126

We face many well-known diseases that we still cannot cure. We can cure a few types of cancers, but not many. We can successfully treat many kinds of cancers. We suffer many different viral infections, but our medicines only cure a few. For many illnesses, from pancreatic cancers to the common cold, we need new and effective remedies. According to Dr. Rob McCaleb—a respected authority on medicinal plants—well-researched plant medicines commonly used in western Europe reduce the risk of the four major natural causes of death in the United States: cancer, heart ailments, liver disease, and respiratory disease.
Medicine Quest by Mark J Plotkin PhD, page 30

Giving antibiotics for viral diseases is a distressingly common practice. A 1996 study examined a sample of 1,439 Kentucky patients who went to the doctor with one of the viruses that cause the common cold. It found that 60 percent of the ¦ patients received an inappropriate prescription for antibiotics.33 In a scientific literature not known for humor, the medical study was titled, "Do Some Folks Think There Is a Cure for the common cold?" The conclusion was more somber. "A majority of persons receiving medical care for the common cold are given prescriptions for an unnecessary antibiotic." The authors estimated that about 15 million Americans got an inappropriate antibiotic prescription every year.
Prescription For Disaster by Thomas J Moore, page 182

Western medical doctors are taught that there is no cure for the common cold. The standard recommended treatment includes bed rest, fluids, and waiting. Symptomatic over-the-counter medicines such as cough suppressants, acetaminophen or aspirin for headache, decongestants, and antihistamines to dry up nasal drainage are recommended. Despite wide use by doctors and as over-the-counter remedies, none of these have any proven effectiveness. Patients often have their own favorite way of managing colds and most medical doctors tolerate these ''folk remedies," including old-fashioned chicken soup. It turns out this remedy has been shown by research studies to have value in reducing inflammation and the symptoms attributed to the common cold. A vaporizer or the inhalation of steam is also useful in breaking up chest congestion.
Viral Immunity by J.E, page 36

Antihistamines (see page 85) serve no purpose in treating the common cold because histamine itself does not play a significant role in this condition. Although some studies have shown a very small advantage over a placebo, others have not. In the positive studies, it is highly unlikely the effect was due to anything other than the medication's sedative effect, as studies using nonsedating antihistamines like Seldane (terfenadine) have shown antihistamines to be no more effective than a placebo.
Natural Alternatives To Drugs by Michael T Murray ND, page 145

The lack of benefit resulting from antibiotic treatment of sinusitis and ear infections is not as clear-cut, but there is a good deal of evidence that antibiotics are usually not needed to treat either of these infections. Sinusitis, for example, is most often a complication of the common cold.
Power Healing by Leo Galland MD, page 251

While colds are usually no big deal, persistent symptoms can signal a more serious problem such as bronchitis or a sinus infection. The common cold, however, will usually run its course in 7 to 14 days. The natural remedies in this chapter, used with your doctor's approval, may help prevent a cold or relieve its symptoms, according to some health professionals. See Your Medical Doctor When ..
New Choices In Natural Healing by Prevention Magazine, page 242

For this reason, Kienle and Kiene list natural history as the first important mimic of the placebo response, and cite a study of the common cold which Beecher reviewed in 1955. The study showed that patients taking placebos were 30 percent improved after six days. Kienle and Kiene assert—quite reasonably, in my view—that this was much more likely to represent the spontaneous healing rate of the illness.
The Placebo Response by Howard Brody MD PhD, page 134

There is little or nothing that a doctor can do for the common cold. Antibiotics, including penicillin, cannot cure or alleviate a cold, nor is it wise to take antibiotics in an attempt to prevent later bacterial infection.
The Wellness Encyclopedia by the Editors of the University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter, page 317

Avoid anyone with the flu as much as possible. Flu viruses also spread through the air, but compared with the common cold, flu spreads much more easily. In one case, a passenger with the flu boarded a commercial airliner. After being exposed to this person's exhalations for just three hours, an astonishing 72 percent of the other passengers developed the illness.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 79

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