This week alone I had about 3-4 clients come in for their routine adjustments while they were trying to minimize the effects of their summer cold. Uuugh! That dreaded summer cold! Nothing worse than going to a BBQ or trying to enjoy a nice day on your patio while trying to fight the impact of your cold. It seems more acceptable to stay in bed or eat chicken soup in the wintertime, but during the summer it’s much harder to stay inside while the others are having fun in the sun. While they might feel different because of the time of year you get it, they are both caused by the same virus.
There are natural ways to prevent and treat a summer cold or any viral infection. I’ve got a dozen natural treatments for you.
- Limit your sun/heat stress.
Too much sun and heat will lower your immune system response. Two common problems can then occur: the summer cold and cold sores. Welcome to Wellness recommends getting your Vitamin D with sun exposure with no suntan lotion for 15-45 mins/day depending upon the UV index and how dark your skin is. Sun tan lotion can also cause skin cancer, so take it easy on those. The Smith family uses coconut oil mixed with aloe and tea tree oil for pre and post sun exposure then covering skin with clothing, hats and umbrellas.
- Use soap and water to wash your hands.
Antibacterial soaps are not as good because they kill off your “friendly” bacteria that are on your skin. This friendly bacteria helps keep the pathogenic or “unfriendly” bacteria from infecting you.
- Use hand sanitizer.
Only when you can’t wash your hands because the chemicals kill off your friendly bacteria and you are more likely to get dry skin which could allow invaders (virus/ bacteria) directly into your body through the cracks in your skin.
- Use more moisturizer.
To make up for the extra hand washing and sanitizer lotion.
- Avoid sweets.
Viruses and bacteria love sugar – don’t feed them. Use stevia and xylitol instead.
- Use warm water with sea salt to gargle and to rinse your nostrils.
Did you know that “table” salt has liquid invert sugar in it? My personal favourite is the Neti-Pot. You can get it at health food stores, most department stores and drug stores. My children do not like the Neti-Pot so I have them use “Hydrasense.” It mists salt water up into the nostrils and is gentle for kids. The porcelain neti-pot is great for those health nuts like me. I just add sea salt and baking soda (taste for strength – it should be a mild gargle consistency) to spring or distilled water. Never use tap water (unless boiled to make sterile) especially with warm water sources due to amoebas (parasites) that can migrate from your nose to your brain.
Viruses can invade through any opening in our body.
The mouth and nose are the most common with ears and eyes and reproductive organ openings less common. When you get infected by a virus it imbeds itself in the lining of your throat or nose and it takes a couple of days to multiply before you start suffering and are deemed “infected.” Because salt may kill the virus, you are not going to allow the bugs to multiply or “propogate” in you. Salt water pools are becoming very popular due to their effectiveness at sanitizing or killing bacteria and the need for less chemicals. On the first day of my first job as a dishwasher, I learned about the effectiveness of salt. The chef freaked out as I took soap to his wood board that he had used to cut raw fish. He said “Salt only on my cutting board!” I must admit that I have not seen any scientific studies that say salt kills viruses and bacteria. If you have, send them to me.
Drink plenty of water and eat your fruits and veggies.
- Drink the proper amount of water.
Divide your body weight in pounds by 2. That is the number of ounces that you should drink in a day. Therefore a 160 lb person would need 80 ounces or 10 – 8 oz glasses of water.
- Eat fruits and vegetables
5-10 servings /day.
- Take your vitamins and supplements.
Researchers think that Vitamin D may play a major role in prevention of the colds and flus. Especially for those that have been lathering in sun tan lotion or not getting enough sun exposure which blocks your body’s ability to convert cholesterol to Vitamin D. We have been carrying the active form of Vitamin D at Welcome to Wellness for many years. You should take it with olive or any oil. New research is suggesting anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 iu/day. The only way to know exactly how much is to test (your MD can order the test and your docs at WtW can order the test which is not covered by OHIP). Vitamin C – there is a debate as to how much. However, unlike Vitamin D it is water soluble, and if you have too much you will get diahrea. I recommend 1 gram/day and higher if you have a cold or flu. Vitamin A – like Vitamin D – is fat soluble which means too much can be toxic. Helps the mucus membranes fight off viruses but must be used with extreme caution during pregnancy. Zinc – too much zinc can also be toxic but at appropriate doses zinc’s antiviral effects can help a cold or flu go away faster.
Oil of Oregano, Echinacea and even Cold FX all have been reported to help. However, the CBC show “Marketplace” recently revealed fecal contamination among other contamination from the Cold Fx plant in China. This has spurred WtW to create it’s own formulation that we personally use called “Cold and Flu.” This product like many of our products is made by Signature Supplements in Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Get enough sleep.
Over 7 hrs/night for adults. Exercise, get lots of hugs, meditate, pray and other strategies to reduce stress.
- Don’t Suppress a fever.
By decreasing a fever you slow or stop the production of white blood cells – the killers of viruses and bacteria.
- Finally, saved the best for last! Get Adjusted Regularly.
Did you know that research supports the immune system boost from chiropractic care? Dr. Ron Pero, Chief of Cancer Prevention Research at New York’s Preventative Medicine Institute did a study that revealed that there is a 200% increase in your white blood cell count when you are fighting an infection compared to someone not under regular chiropractic care. Wow!
Remember, you have more control of your health than you think! Your body has an inner wisdom. You were born to be healthy – not sick.