Monday, November 24, 2014

Help for a winter (or any time) cold

Help for the Holidaze. Before I moved back to Colorado, I was in Denver visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday. During my trip I was “exposed” to a family member who had a bad cold. Many of you may be similarly exposed to illnesses during the holiday season—or anytime. The last thing any of us wants is to get sick, especially during the holidays. Following are some remedies to help keep your immune system strong and hopefully help you stay well during the winter in general and the holidays specifically.

Cold-Eeze is a homeopathic cold remedy that’s been around for many years. It comes in different flavored lozenges and is “clinically proven to reduce the duration of the common cold.” How? Zinc. If you don’t have enough zinc in your system, the germs will win the war. Start taking the lozenges every 2-3 hours at the onset of feeling sick. That means when you first start feeling imbalanced. The longer you wait, the less effective anything will be in helping your body get back to a balanced state.

When I started taking Cold-Eeze during this particular Thanksgiving, it make me feel a bit nauseous, so be sure to have food in your stomach before sucking on the lozenges. Also, Cold-Eeze makes anything you eat or drink right afterwards taste pretty bad. But if this cold remedy really does help to keep you from getting sick or help to cut your sick-time in half, then it’s worth it. (I didn’t, by the way, get sick on this trip.)

FYI: taking zinc supplements is not the way to go if youre confronted with germs here and now. Taking zinc supplements throughout the year is fineif youre deficient; zinc deficiency can impair immune system function. But for the purposes of this article, Im speaking about keeping present-company germs from making you sick. Therefore, take the lozenges, which gets the zinc where its needed—your sinuses and throat area if youre around a sick person vs. taking zinc supplements.

My favorite go-to remedy is FutureBiotics garlic, echinacea, and goldenseal supplement. If I have been around someone who is sick or if I feel any inklings of getting sick myself, I’ll take a bunch of this supplement—for at least 24 hours—and I usually won’t get sick. I used to purchase this at a local health food store, but lately I’ve only found it online. Futurebiotics is certainly not the only brand you could take; there are many echinacea-type supplements to choose from. However, this is the one I have found helpful for me.

Vitamin C is well-documented to help fight the common cold. Emergen-C is my favorite way to get this all important vitamin. And now Emergen-C is widely available (even in regular grocery stores). Empty a packet in a glass of water and you’ve just gotten 1000 mg of vitamin C in a delicious tasting drink.

No matter what you end up taking, the most important thing to do is start taking something before you are actually full-blown sick. And if you are around someone who is or thinks they are getting sick, start loading up on immune system helpers. Otherwise the sick train may be going too fast for you to stop the process. Treat symptoms early and frequently and stay well for the holidays!