Best Treatment for a Cold
| Murray Grossan, MD.
About the author: Dr. Grossan is an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon with the Tower Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and the founder of the Web based Grossan Sinus & Health Institute (http://www.grossaninstitute.com). He is author of Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy Problems Permanently.
You are sniffling, sneezing, dripping. Is it allergy or a cold?
In Winter the temperature goes down. The cold temperature slows your nasal/bronchial cilia. When the cilia slow down, this allows bacteria and virus to multiply and is why you get sick in the winter.
If it’s Spring, you probably have an allergy.
Your best prevention is to remain on your yacht and avoid contact with sniffers, sneezers, coughers and blowers. See if your insurance covers the yacht.
Smiling helps prevent a cold. Studies show that there are fewer colds among persons who smile. Smiling activates immune factors. On the other hand, depression reduces immune factors and you are more liable to get sick.
Hot tea, lemon and honey help reduce allergy symptoms. That is because with allergy-and a cold-you don’t do well with temperature changes. Best therapy is breakfast in bed. If you take hot tea before you get out of bed you avoid the AM sneezing that may last all day.
Undoubtedly you have seen these ads for zinc products for relief from colds. The Cochrane Library recently studied the effects of zinc products to reduce cold symptoms. There is evidence that taking zinc tablets within 24 hours of getting a cold may reduce some of the symptoms and shorten the duration..
Vitamins: Vitamins do not prevent a cold and do not cure a cold. Yes, I know, your aunt Sadie swears that she takes HUGE doses of Vitamin C and never gets a cold. Please tell your aunt to look up the latest information that taking vitamins when you don’t need them can be harmful.
Grandma’s chicken soup? There actually are chemicals in chicken soup and in tea, lemon and honey that do reduce the cold and flu symptoms. Dr Jordan Josephson devotes pages in his sinus book to his grandmother’s chicken soup. In addition, taking the tea lemon and honey as soon as you feel a cold coming on, and going right to bed, is the best preventer and remedy. Hot green tea is best, with or without caffeine. This also provides immune factors that reduce allergy. Note: We are speaking of EIGHT GLASSES of hot tea lemon and honey. Try to drink enough fluids so that the urine turns light. Watch a comedy from Netflix.
For my patients who get very sick when they do get a cold, I have them use irrigation to wash the ICAM-1 from the nose. ICAM-1 is the natural product in your nose that is the portal of entry for the cold virus. When everyone in the office is sneezing and hacking, daily use of pulsatile nasal irrigation to remove the entry of the virus into your nose helps prevent a cold. This is particularly beneficial to persons with a history of frequent winter colds that result in absence from school or work.
Flying during the cold season is difficult. Sometimes you get to sit next to persons unfamiliar with simple hygiene. My patients benefit by carrying tea bags on the plane so they can get lots of tea to drink in order to keep the good nasal cilia moving to paddle the bacteria or virus out of the nose. I also recommend using nasal gel. This gel will coat the nasal membranes in order to prevent contact with the nasal membranes by the virus. For example, Breathe Ease XL nasal gel can be applied into the nose the morning of the flight and then used every 3 hours during the flight. This combination of tea to keep cilia moving and nasal gel to cover the membranes is effective in preventing illness while flying.
Do your best to get good sleep during the cold/flu season, as well as during the spring allergy seasons.
Most important, be sure you know how to make Grandma’s Chicken Soup.
Which is better? Soup or Tea? Frankly, both are good so you can use both.
If you get bad colds or get quite ill with colds, consider:
- Pulsatile irrigation to remove the entryway for the virus.
- Tea/chicken soup to keep cilia moving
- Smiling to improve your immune factors
- Nasal Gel to prevent viral contact and entry
- Good sleep for better disease fighting
Unfortunately, both your allergy and common cold can lead to a sinus infection. This happens when you blow the nose too hard, or when the nasal cilia are exhausted and no longer sweep the bacteria out of the nose and sinuses. Prevent this by using pulsatile irrigation to restore the nasal cilia.
If you are getting many colds that end up as a sinus infection, often this is due to an underlying allergy and needs an allergy workup.
Never blow your nose too hard. Be gentle, otherwise you may end up as a patient!