|Animal-based|| Urine Therapy
| ||The frequency of colds and flu may be reduced by the use of urine therapy.|
| ||Drawing upon hundreds of years of using garlic to treat illnesses, many contemporary herbalists prescribe it to help prevent colds and flu, stimulate circulation, lower high blood pressure, aid digestion, and heal superficial wounds. Modern research has substantiated many of these therapeutic uses.|
Garlic is sometimes referred to as a truly natural antibiotic because it can destroy foreign bacteria and viruses while being one of the few herbs that can be taken in large quantities, usually without dangerous side effects. However, eating more than five cloves a day risks heartburn and flatulence and may also slow blood clotting, so people taking anticoagulants should consult with their health-care provider before consuming large quantities of garlic. In addition, there have been rare reports of allergic reactions to this popular herb.
Garlic's antibiotic properties stem from the substance allicin, a potent antibacterial agent, that is released when garlic cloves are cut or bruised. Because garlic's therapeutic effectiveness depends on the presence of allicin, dried garlic preparations, such as capsules or tablets, should have an enteric coating to protect the garlic from stomach acids, which can inactivate allicin. Scientific reports confirm the antibiotic effects of freshly pressed garlic juice, and steam-distilled garlic oil has been shown to be an effective fighter of mucous membrane infections. The effectiveness of other types of garlic extracts depends upon preparation methods, details of which often are unavailable to consumers.
Dose: 4 grams of fresh garlic (about one medium-sized clove) or 8mg of volatile oil daily is recommended; if you prefer capsules, make sure that they are enteric-coated.
Peter Josling published results of a double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial of Allicidin in 2001. Seventy active treatment patients and 72 placebo patients took one capsule daily of Allicillin or placebo for 12 weeks. The results were impressive. The placebo group had 65 colds during the study compared to the Allicillin group which had only 24 colds. The average duration of symptoms was 5.01 days for the placebo group, 1.52 days for the Allicillin group. The placebo group required an average of 5.63 days to recover, the Allicillin group 4.63 days. The total for days of infection was 366 for the placebo group, 111 for the Allicillin group. During the trial, 16 placebo group members had more than one cold, while only two of the Allicillin group had more than one cold. The "accelerated relief, reduction in the severity of troublesome symptoms ...and recovery to full fitness" as well as "reduced likelihood of becoming reinfected with other viral strains" clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of Allicillin against the common cold.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
| ||Teas of elderberry fruits or flowers have been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat the symptoms of colds and flu; in Europe, elderberry flowers are commonly used as a diuretic. Recent research from Israel indicates that elderberry fruit extract may deactivate flu viruses by preventing them from replicating (flu viruses must reproduce or they cannot infect the body). Although this finding is exciting, it has yet to be confirmed.|
By increasing inflammatory cytokine production, black elderberry extract may be beneficial to immune system activation and in the inflammatory process in healthy individuals or in patients with various diseases. [Eur Cytokine Netw 2001 Apr-Jun; 12(2): pp.290-6]
Dosage: Take 40 drops of the liquid fruit extract daily or 2 to 4 grams of the dried flowers in an infusion once a day during the first signs of a cold. Elderberry is available in powders, capsules, and other forms. So far, no side effects or contraindications have been reported.
Astragalus Root (Astragalus membrinaceus)
| ||Astragalus extract at 300mg per day can boost immune function and produce antiviral effects.|
Coneflower (Echinacea purpura)
| ||In a study of nearly 150 university students with the common cold, using Echinacea purpurea herb and root (50%) and E. angustifolia root (50%) had no effect on the severity and duration of self-reported symptoms. The dosage used was 1gm, six times on the first day of illness and three times daily thereafter for up to 10 days. [ Ann Intern Med 2002;137(12): pp.939-46]|
However, a review concluded that echinacea has modest benefit for treating, but not preventing, upper respiratory tract infections. [Am Fam Physician 2003;67(1): pp.77-80, 83]
This indicates that the use of echinacea to treat URIs is of limited use.
Sugars Avoidance / Reduction
| ||Sugar consumption is a known weakener of the immune system. Regular use of rapidly absorbed sugars slows down your immune systems ability to dispose of invading organisms.|
| ||It is generally best not to eat for at least a day when sick with a cold or flu. Not eating will help your immune system to concentrate on the battle taking place. Fasting is more likely to make a difference with the flu than with a simple cold.|
| ||Marvin Sackner, M.D., a pulmonary specialist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, published a study in 1978 finding that drinking hot chicken soup aided in clearing nasal passages better than plain hot or cold water. Sackner felt even consuming chicken soup cold aided in clearing a "stuffy" nose. But, a hot, steaming cup of chicken soup was the most efficient remedy.|
Dr. Irwin Ziment, M.D., pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA School of Medicine feels chicken soup contains ingredients similar to those in modern cold medicines. It has been demonstrated that chicken soup has a very mild anti-inflammatory action and this potentially could contribute to some of the so-called medicinal activities that people have attributed to chicken soup. Adding pepper to chicken soup also can help to clear a stuffy nose, doctors say.
Increased Water Consumption
| ||During times of illness it is especially important to maintain fluid intake. Water is best, but If any juice is used during this time, fresh vegetable juice is better than sweet fruit juice.|
Dairy Products Avoidance
| ||Dairy products tend to be mucous forming, making the mucous thicker. This makes it more difficult for natural processes to remove it, increasing the susceptibility to infections.|
| ||Cleansing the bowel with an enema or colonic using several quarts of warm soda water at 100-105°F (37.8-40.5°C), followed by a small cool soda enema at about 80°F (26.7°C) is a time honored way of hastening recovery. Do not give the warm enema without the cool enema following it.|
Most of the mucous from the respiratory tract is swallowed and waste to be expelled from this mucous makes its way to the colon. During an illness like a cold, viral particles remain in quantity in the colon. The gentle washing away of the bulk of this material allows the immune system to focus on the respiratory tract rather than maintain a second larger front in the colon. This is one reason why almost all doctors in the preantibiotic era recommended enemas, or at the least laxatives with colds. The use of enemas gives immediate relief of symptoms and helps to concentrate the immune response where it is needed.
Personal Hygiene Changes
| ||The best way to reduce the likelihood of infection is regular hand washing, along with not touching the nose, eyes or mouth. The flu is highly contagious disease, spreading mostly by direct person-to-person contact. With the flu, coughing - even more than sneezing - is the most effective method of transmission.|
| ||There has been controversy over whether oral zinc is useful in reducing the incidence and duration of colds. A zinc nasal gel spray did reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms in a study of 80 volunteers who presented within 48 hours of the start of illness. This study was placebo controlled. [ Q J Med 2003;96(1): pp.35-43]|
Use of zinc gluconate glycine lozenges, once daily during the cold season for prevention and one lozenge QID for treatment, reduced the number and duration of colds in an open-label study of 178 children. 134 successfully completed the trial. [Am J Ther 2003;10(5): pp.324-9]
2011. Depending on the total dosage of zinc and the composition of lozenges, zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of common cold episodes by up to 40%.
Harri Hemila, from University of Helsinki (Finland), completed a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials that have examined the effect of zinc lozenges on natural common cold infections. Of the 13 trial comparisons identified, five used a total daily zinc dose of less than 75 mg and uniformly those five comparisons found no effect of zinc. Three trials used zinc acetate in daily doses of over 75 mg, with the average indicating a 42% reduction in the duration of colds. Five trials used zinc salts other than acetate in daily doses of over 75 mg, with the average indicating a 20% decrease in the duration of colds.
“This study shows strong evidence that the zinc lozenge effect on common cold duration is heterogeneous so that benefit is observed with high doses of zinc but not with low doses,” the study author urges that: “The effects of zinc lozenges should be further studied to determine the optimal lozenge compositions and treatment strategies.” [Harri Hemila. “Zinc Lozenges May Shorten the Duration of Colds: A Systematic Review.” Open Respiratory Medicine Journal, Volume 5 2011, pp 51-58, 23 June 2011.]
Lithium (low dose)
| ||One research group reported that lithium inhibits the reproduction of several viruses, including herpes simplex viruses (HSV 1, HSV 2), adenovirus (the "common cold" virus), cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (associated with mononucleosis and many cases of chronic fatigue), and the measles virus.|
Oxygen / Oxidative Therapies
Ozone / Oxidative Therapy
| ||Dr. Charles Farr, MD popularized oxidative therapy with intravenous hydrogen peroxide claiming that it was helpful in fighting viral infections. Blood irradiation with ultraviolet light and ozone purification may also be helpful.|
Some have claimed results in curing the flu and cold within hours by administering a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into each infected ear. Here, prevention is better than cure, and the drops should be used at the first indication of illness. The H2O2 causes some bubbling and in some cases mild stinging or cold sensation occurs. Wait until the bubbling subsides (usually 5 to 10 minutes) then drain onto tissue and repeat with the other ear. Hydrogen Peroxide in 3% solution is available at any drug store. Although this method is safe for the infant or child to use, the loud bubbling and stinging may frighten them, and require comforting contact with a parent. Avoid contact with the eyes, flushing with water if contacted.
| ||Resting in bed and keeping warm are still recognized as an important part in recovering from the cold or flu.|
| ||Another way of enhancing the immune system is by using different forms of heat. A common way of avoiding colds is to take a good hot soak periodically during cold weather followed by a quick cooling rinse. Another method is to take a sauna followed by a cold shower. This sauna-cold cycle is usually repeated at least twice and works best if done at the very first indication of a viral infection.|
| ||(Europe)—A recent report by News24.com cited a new study that found children with colds may recover faster with a saltwater or saline treatment. |
European researchers found that a nasal spray made from Atlantic Ocean seawater "eased wintertime cold symptoms faster and slowed cough and cold symptoms from returning among children ages 6 to 10."
The study, done by Dr Ivo Slapak and colleagues at the Teaching Hospital of Brno in the Czech Republic, was announced after a warning just last week, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that standard cough and cold treatments could be risky in young children, and were mostly ineffective anyway.
The Czech research, which involved 390 children having "uncomplicated cold or flu symptoms," lasted for a period of 12 weeks.
According to the report, the children all received the same medications, but some received the saline nasal wash in addition. Those who did were found to have less stuffy or runny noses, and "eight weeks after the study began, those in the saline group had significantly fewer severe sore throats, coughs, nasal obstructions and secretions than those given standard treatments."
Steam / Spray Treatments
| ||Interference with the constant passage of mucus raises the chances for penetration of the virus. Therefore drinking liquids and maintaining a humid environment with a vaporizer may lower susceptibility.|
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
| ||Some complementary doctors give patients with the flu or a bad colds 50gm of intravenous vitamin C every other day for 3 treatments. At this time, only clinical experience suggests that this is helpful.|| |