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© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

Photo by iStockPhoto.com

Photo by iStockPhoto.com

Fifty years ago, it was believed there was little you could do for colds.  You could try aspirin or decongestants for fever and stuffiness.  Some claimed chicken soup was beneficial, but no one had a scientific reason.  Mainly, people with colds had to rest, suffer, and wait for the symptoms to go away.  By the 1970’s,  Tylenol was being widely used, and the benefits of chicken soup had been proven and published.  Today, much more is known about helping the body with colds.  Try these 4 steps to reduce your symptoms and strengthen your system out of illness.

Step One, if you have severe muscle aches, you probably have influenza, “the flu”, and not a cold.  Call your doctor.  There are some new antiviral prescriptions that may help you.  If you are sure you have the flu, and you prefer a homeopathic remedy, you may want to try Oscillococcinum from your health food store.  Dissolved under the tongue, this is very effective for many.  Also, if you have special medical conditions and should call your doctor in case of cold symptoms, do that immediately.  Every doctor’s office has 24-hour paging or emergency numbers.

Step Two, make yourself comfortable and get extra rest.  Do you normally get enough rest?  Drink lots of water and nutritional fluids.  Alcohol is generally not helpful for a cold.  Take a hot bath, at the “ahhhhh” temperature for you, which may be about 103 degrees F.  Add 2 cups, or a one-pound box, of Epsom salts and set a timer so you stay in for at least 20 minutes.  If you are concerned about your tub’s jets being hurt by the Epsom salts, dissolve them before adding to the tub, or buy your Epsom salts in liquid form.  Most drug stores and grocery stores have both forms.  If your throat hurts, mix salt and baking soda in equal proportions in a small storage jar; use a teaspoon of mix in a glass of pleasantly hot water, and gargle thoroughly.  Making deep tones while you gargle will give you better coverage at the back of the throat.

Step Three, bolster yourself with nutritional helps.  These will help strengthen your immune system so it can fight and dispose of the cold virus quickly.  These are generally inexpensive and will help you feel better fast! Drink black, or preferably green, tea, with minimally processed honey in it; the tea contains heart-healthy compounds and the honey contains many helpful enzymes and other energizing nutritional components.  In Chinese medicine, a cold is a “yin” condition, so adding “yang” foods to your body will make you feel much better.  Drink your tea or soup warm.  Stir a little ginger powder into that tea or chicken soup. You probably have ginger powder in your spice rack.  Or use ginger extract drops from your health food store.  Try Vitamin C with bioflavonoids.  One highly absorbable form is the widely available “Emergen-C”, available in most grocery stores and drugstores in many flavors; the small packets contain ascorbate compounds of Vitamin C, B complex, and minerals.  A similar preparation is “Airborne”.  Soluble B-12 with folic acid and B-6 is also widely available now. Eat fresh fruit, not frozen or canned if possible, due to the loss of nutrition in processing; the colors represent the natural bioflavonoids.  Additional herbal drops are widely available for strengthening the immune functions.  Separately or in combined drops, these may include:  astragalus, Echinacea, Shitake Mushroom, Fresh Red Root, Licorice Root, and Suma Root.  A popular combination product is  Zand echinacea drops with goldenseal.

Step Four, get yourself some energy therapy–Jin Shin Jyutsu(R), Healing Touch(R), or Reiki(R).  You’ll feel stronger right away.  Then you’ll finish this cold and come out on a higher vitality level than you went into it with.  And let me know what worked best for you!


● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, and the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core.  She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.

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● Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com .