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The School of Modern Herbal Medicine
My "Cure" for the Common Cold (and Flu)
- Categorized in: Specific Health Problems
Let's start by understanding that the symptoms of a cold or a flu are simply a flushing of toxins from the system. The body grows toxic and weak and becomes a home for microbes (yeast, viruses, bacteria). The microbes release additional toxins as they reproduce. These toxins damage surrounding tissue creating more breeding grounds for microbes. That's how the infection spreads.
The symptoms of fever, runny nose, etc. are created by the body's immune response to both inhibit the growth and spread of the microbes to flush the toxins from the system and clean up the environment so there is no more breeding ground. So, the goal is to help the body detoxify and flush the irritation. The faster this happens, the sooner you will be well.
Here are the basic things I do for colds and other acute ailments.
First, when you feel a cold or any acute ailment coming on, stop eating! This is usually easy to do because we tend to lose our appetite when we're acutely ill. If you are hungry,, limit your intake of foods to liquids—preferably fresh fruit or vegetable juices or soup broths.
Second, if this is the early stage of a cold, where there is watery, clear or white mucus, use aromatics such as capsicum, ginger, garlic, horseradish, mustard, etc. My favorite remedies here are Herbal Composition Powder (sold by Nature's Sunshine Products under the trade name HCP-X) and Herbal Crisis (a modified form of composition powder). For children I use Children's Composition. Recipes for all of these formulas are found in the Fundamentals of Natural Healing course.
Take these stimulating remedies in small, frequently repeated doses. (They work faster when taken in liquid form, but if you're swallowing capsules use warm or room temperature water. Do not take them with cold liquids.) In liquid form I sip the stuff constantly until I'm feeling better. If using capsules, I would take two every hour.
Third, drink plenty of liquids. This helps flush toxins from your body.
Fourth, do something to open your bowels. If you are comfortable doing so, take an enema. I actually use the Herbal Crisis formula or Herbal Composition tea with a little lobelia in it. A good alternative I've discovered is to take 2 Proactazyme every hour until the colon evacuates.
Fifth, get yourself to perspire. Do a sweat bath. Drink some Herbal Composition or Herbal Crisis tea with warm water, then get in a hot bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. You can add your favorite essential oils to the bath or 10 capsules of ginger if you like. After the bath, go to bed, pile on some blankets, drink lots of liquids and “sweat” the cold out.
Sixth, do not use antihistamines, cough suppressants, etc. Instead, use an expectorant and decongestant like ALJ (Nature's Sunshine Products) to break up mucus and help the body get rid of it. Take 2-4 capsules every two to four hours. If you've got fluid in your lungs, add 1 clove of raw garlic or one High Potency Garlic with each dose of ALJ.
If the mucus gets yellowish and thick, then add Goldenseal/Echinacea. If you get diarrhea, take some activated charcoal to bind toxins in the gut.
Seventh, if you have swollen lymph nodes, mix 1 teaspoon Kidney Drainage and 1 teaspoon Lymphatic Drainage into a quart of water and sip frequently. Rub Tei Fu Lotion or oil into the swollen lymph nodes. (All of these products are available from Nature's Sunshine.)
I've gotten over colds in as little as a couple of hours following these procedures. Sometimes it takes a day or two, but it always shortens the duration and severity of the illness.
Finally, it is true that herbs have some direct antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral actions, but more importantly, herbs have the capacity to help rebalance the terrain in the body so that it is no longer a host environment for the microbes. So, you select remedies based on looking at the host terrain and not the organism that's inhabiting it.
For example, garlic and goldenseal are both antibacterial. But garlic is pungent, stimulating (warming) and dispersing, while goldenseal is bitter, cooling and astringent (consolidating). Knowing when different remedies are appropriate will help you get better results. For more detailed information, consult our Fundamentals of Natural Healing course.