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7 Quick Home Remedies for Cold And Flu: Say NO to Antibiotics!
- Antibiotics are useless for colds and flu
- Antiviral medications are ineffective and have side effects
- Natural remedies are effective and far safer.
As soon as you feel that sore throat or get the sniffles you wonder how to get rid of a cold fast. Even worse are the body aches. Being sick is miserable and you may want to run to the doctor as soon as possible, but going to the doctor is not always the best thing to do. Despite advancements in medical care and treatment, traditional western medicine has little to offer in the care and treatment of the common cold.
Bacterial infections are the only infections that respond to antibiotics. Colds and flu are caused by viruses so antibiotics do not help you to get rid of them. Though some bacterial infections have flu-like symptoms, 83-97% of the time these symptoms are caused by viruses. So going to the doctor is actually useless when you have a common cold or flu that is not severe.
The worst part is that without proper tests your doctor will prescribe you an antibiotic. Take my advice for the lifetime, never put any antibiotic in your body, until and unless you are sure that it is a bacterial infection.
What Is A Cold
A cold is a viral infection that affects your nose and throat (known jointly as your upper respiratory tract). Your sinuses can also be affected as well which why you end up so stuffy sometimes. Interestingly, there is more than one type of virus that causes a cold, but most of the symptoms end up being the same.
Common Cold Symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Chest congestion
- Sore throat
- Body aches
Flu has similar symptoms but is caused by a different virus (influenza virus) and can often be much worse than a cold. You may need to go to the doctor if your flu symptoms are severe especially with regards to chest congestion as it can lead to something worse if not dealt with.
Why Do We Get Colds In Winter
Why do we get colds more often in winter? It's not the sudden temperature drop that makes these pathogens become aggressive, it's our immune system that is compromised in the absence of Sun. During winter less sun reaches the earth and many stays inside because it's cold. Vitamin D is crucial for a healthy immune system. So now you know how important it is to take vitamin D supplements in winters.
Fever is one of your body's defense mechanisms against infections. At 38.8 to 39.4°C (102 to 103°F) the body releases white blood cells which fights off infections. Viruses and bacteria also can't thrive in heat, so your body temperature rising makes it a hostile environment for those germs. Why are we taking aspirin or other NSAID when we have a fever if they do not help to cure the underlying cause?
The reason is to get rid of symptoms temporarily, but what we do not know is that taking any antifever medicine will lengthen the duration of the illness. The same goes for your kids, read about treating and preventing fever in children. So you can say that fever means that your immune system is now battling with the invaders. Don't take your body´s weapons away by taking the NSAID´s. Take any fever lowering medicine if you are not able to tolerate the symptoms keeping in mind that your recovery will take a little longer.
Why Medication Is Not Always A Good Idea
Often medication is given to bring a fever down but this just stops the body from healing itself. This includes aspirin. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) are some of the most common NSAIDs given to those suffering from fever, but these do more harm than good. If you take ibuprofen very often it can damage the lining of your stomach causing ulcers.
Acetaminophen is also extremely easy to overdose on, so much so that the FDA changed the recommended dosage. It becomes harmful to take if you have been drinking or are taking other medications at the same time. Dr. Mercola has a full article on acetaminophen that you can read.
Antibiotics To Treat Cold And Fever
Antibiotics are also not much better. If you will get better without antibiotics, it's always better to avoid them. They destroy all bacteria, good and bad. A healthy gut is important for good health and without your good bacteria, you won't have a healthy gut. There is also the problem of more and more bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. When antibiotics are over-prescribed more bacteria are exposed to it, and some become resistant. It has been observed that a single course of antibiotics changes our gut flora.
It is becoming a huge problem. You can't be healed when the bacteria causing your illness can't be killed. In the USA it's estimated that 2 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year. Always have your doctor run tests to confirm that it is, in fact, a bacterial infection before taking antibiotics.
When To See Your Doctor
Signs of a Bacterial Infection:
- Ear infection
- Painful eyes
- Green nasal discharge
- Yellow or green phlegm
- Fever that persists more than 2 days
- Fever that rises quickly or above 38.8°C or 102°F
- You do not feel better when your fever has gone down after taking NSAID
- Strep throat
- Stiff neck
- You are sick longer than 2 weeks
You should see the doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms. There are also natural antibiotics like garlic, oregano essential oil and some of the home remedies listed below that are beneficial.
Do Antiviral Medications Work
The Cochrane Collaboration did 46 different studies on antivirals and found that they were not very effective at all. In fact, they only reduced the length of flu by just one day. Not just that, but oseltamivir (known as Tamiflu) even caused nausea, kidney problems, and psychiatric problems. These are serious problems that are not worth the risk when it means being sick only one day less and there are more effective home remedies for flu.
The Truth About Flu Vaccinations
The whole internet is full of advice that if you want less colds take a flu vaccination. Reality is that the flu vaccine is only 40-60% effective depending on the type you get. Not only that but getting a flu vaccine every year actually lowers your immunity instead of helping to increase your immunity against flu.
Another concern that has been raised is that there were reports of pregnant women having miscarriages after getting the flu shot (H1N1 virus) and the fact that certain medications like statins (which lower cholesterol) rendered the vaccine ineffective. Getting the flu vaccine is not worth it. Rather boost your immune system naturally. You may even prevent yourself from getting flu ever again.
Home Remedies For Cold And Flu
The beauty of the products listed below is that they have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
1. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver has been used for centuries as a remedy for all kinds of health problems. It has antiviral effects which are important for getting rid of the viruses that cause colds and flu. It also works as an antibiotic by killing bacteria. You do need to use it as directed, however, and be careful because taking too much is harmful. The product also needs to be of the highest quality which means only using true colloidal silver, not ionic silver or silver protein which are often sold as colloidal silver. Here is a good guide to the quality of colloidal silver.
2. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey, in particular, is beneficial because of its antimicrobial properties. It gets rid of viruses and is a natural antibiotic. It also helps to soothe coughs and sore throats. You can add it to teas or make cough mixture using lemon juice. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is also great for colds but not everyone likes the taste, so adding the honey to warm water and ACV makes it go down easier.
Raw honey can also be used, but manuka honey is better because manuka honey's quality and medicinal properties are guaranteed. When choosing a manuka honey, look for the rating UMF 16 and up. This is the highest quality. Below UMF 10 is all lower grade and it won't be as beneficial as the better quality honey. Read more about the powerful benefits of honey here.
Propolis is a substance produced when bees collect tree sap and other resins from plants and also contains beeswax. Propolis has anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe irritated throats, sinuses, and lungs during colds and flu fight off the viruses and has an antibiotic effect as well. It can taste very strange so you may need to find it in a form that suits you best. You find it as liquids, sprays, lozenges, powder or capsules. Be sure to avoid the products containing sugar as sugar will only make your congestion worse or cause congestion if you do not have it yet.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil helps your body to fight colds and flu by making the viruses more vulnerable to attack by the body. It also has antibacterial properties and can be used in so many ways. You can use it to cook with, you can add it to your tea or coffee, you can even use it to make a natural vapor rub which really helps for congestion. Though it's less appealing, you can also eat a spoon of it. Organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil is best since none of the benefits have lost through the refining process.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda helps to alkalize your body which enables it to fight off colds and flu better. This is because when your body is acidic there is more inflammation and it has been observed that these microbes makes body more acidic. Take this remedy by Dr. V. Cheney for three days: (1 dose is 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in water.)
- Day 1: 6 doses every 2 hours
- Day 2: 4 doses every 2 hours
- Day 3: 2 doses once in the morning and again in the evening.
This remedy should not be used long term. But 1 dose a day can be drunk after the initial 3 days until your symptoms are gone.
6. White Willow ( Help With Symptoms )
While white willow won't help you to get rid of your cold quicker, it does relieve some of the painful symptoms that come along with it. It works very similarly to aspirin in that it relieves pain and can help when you have a fever too. You can brew it as a tea or there are even white willow sprays that you can use for headaches and sore throat, and even for body aches during flu.
7. Herbal Teas
Herbs have been used in various cultures for centuries to fight illnesses. Here are a few of the best for colds and flu:
- Elderberry: Elderberry is great for colds and flu. It fights the viruses and shortens the duration of your cold and flu.
- Licorice: Proper licorice root, not the sweets, helps your body to fight off viruses. It also helps to loosen phlegm to ease congestion and it helps with fevers as well. Just be aware that it can interact with medication so mention that you are taking it if you need to visit your doctor or be careful if you are already on medications like blood pressure medicine.
- Peppermint: Peppermint tea fights inflammation and eases the pain. It's also very refreshing.
- Echinacea: This herb also helps to strengthen your body's natural defenses against colds and flu. If you are on certain medications, for example, heart medication, avoid this one.
- Lemon balm: Lemon balm tea is very soothing and has antiviral properties.
What Not To Do During Colds And Flu
- Exercise: Exercise is strenuous and during colds and flu your body needs to concentrate on fighting the illness. You may be able to get away with very light exercise if it's only a head cold but you will be prolonging your illness. You should definitely not be exercising if you have flu or chest congestion.
- Eat rubbish: Your body needs whole foods, preferably broth-based soups like chicken or vegetable soup for nutrients. Keep your meals light since your body doesn't digest food as well during this time especially if you have a fever. Stay away from sugars, grains, and starches which worsen or increase the risk of congestion.
- Keep busy: You need rest, same concept as with exercise.
How To Prevent Colds and Flu
- Keep your hands clean: Viruses are can be spread through the air and through contact.
- Take a vitamin C and zinc supplement: These two nutrients boost your immune system. You can also eat broccoli, bell peppers and lemon for vitamin C and for zinc eat Grass-fed lamb and beef, and cocoa powder.
- Get adequate sleep: If you are sleep deprived it's not only bad for your problem-solving abilities and energy levels, it's bad for your immune system too.
Vitamin C and zinc are also good for reducing the duration of your colds and flu if you start taking them at the first sign of a cold or flu. 500 mg of vitamin C is recommended and 10 mg of zinc. Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning your body will excrete the excess, so if your supplement contains more, you do not need to worry. Read more about supplements for overall health and immunity here.
- Fever helps the body fight off infections. Don't try to lower it
- Go to the doctor if your symptoms are very severe, you have diarrhea, have a fever over 38.8°C or 102°F or your fever is rising quickly.
- Colloidal silver, manuka honey, and propolis are natural antibiotics and antivirals.
- Baking soda and herbal teas like elderberry and lemon balm fight off viruses.
- White willow is helpful for relieving the symptoms of colds and flu.
So your strategy for the cold should be to take colloidal silver, drink tea with manuka honey, add baking soda to your water and take while willow to relief the symptoms.