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Cold Hard Facts

With cold and flu season upon us I thought today we might break through some of the myths surrounding the common cold – and take a look at a few of Mother Nature’s sure fire cold killers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 22 million school days are missed every year in the US due to the pesky common cold
By some estimates Americans suffer about 1 billion colds a year, with young children receiving the brunt end of it – usually contracting about 6-10 colds a year.

But most of these could be easily avoided with just a few quick and easy preventative measures. First though, I think we need to get to know our enemy (or enemies) a little better.

Bad Bugs:

There are more than 200 different viruses known to cause the symptoms of the common cold. More than anything else, the symptoms, severity and length of your cold will depend mostly on the type of virus you’ve contracted and the strength of your immune system.

Typical symptoms include headache, fever, sneezing, congestion and an overall feeling of melancholy.

In the US, most people catch colds in the winter time, but what they don’t know is it has nothing to do with the cold weather.

Your First Line of Defense:

The reason people get more colds in the winter time is due to the low humidity caused by the heating of the air indoors – not because of the cold air outside.

Our first and best defense against air born viruses is the mucus that lines our upper respiratory tract.

Typically the mucus traps the viruses as we breathe them in – the germs are then swept into the stomach before they have a chance to invade our blood stream, and are quickly destroyed by our stomach acids.

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This system is very effective at killing most viruses and uses very little energy. But when this system fails due to a lack of moisture in the air, the germs have to be dealt with by our immune system.

Unfortunately though, this process uses a lot of energy and is what leaves you with that slow dragging your butt feeling you associate with being sick.

But winter comes at least once a year, and there’s nothing we can do about that. And I definitely don’t want you trying to tough out a cold December without turning on your heat. But don’t worry, there’s always plan B.


While cold viruses can be transmitted through the air via coughing and sneezing, you’re more likely to catch a cold from direct contact. Basically, your hands come into contact with the virus, then you touch your eyes, nose or mouth and bang – you’re sick!

But simply washing your hands with plain old soap and water after coming into contact with the virus will stop most colds dead in their tracks.

These resilient cold viruses can also live for up to 3 hours on objects like doorknobs and telephone receivers. So if you’re around anyone you think might be sick, cleaning these surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner should stop them dead in their tracks.

The only problem is, if you’re reading this right now and you already feel a sniffle coming on – it’s already too late for all that. In that case your best defense, is a good offense.

Cold Killers:

By now everyone and there mother knows that Vitamin C is a proven cold fighter. But the next time you’re sick try trading in your orange juice for a glass of fresh pineapple juice.

Not only does pineapple juice contain more Vitamin C than orange juice, it’s less acidic in the stomach and it won’t leave you with that burning feeling that come with drinking too much OJ.

Another great cold crusher is grapefruit. Grapefruit are rich in vitamin C and contain special enzymes that help detoxify your liver. And your liver just happens to be the point man for your entire immune system.

Old School is Back:

Once the most popular cold remedy in the US, Echinacea is starting to make a comeback once again. The Native Americans used Echinacea to cure colds and other respiratory infections for hundreds of years with amazing success.

Just making its way back on the scene here in the US, it’s already one of the most popular cold and flu fighters prescribed in Germany, where herbal medicine is part of the main stream.

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The Unknown Soldier:

Here’s one I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard of, but it’s starting to turn some heads none the less. Andrographis has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for over 1,000 years.

Commonly known as Indian Echinacea because of its impressive reputation as a cold and flu fighter, Andrographis is taking the main stream medical community by storm.

Although they’re still in their infancy, studies conducted on Andrographis have had amazing results and have shown no negative side effects.

A – Zinc:

Last, but certainly not least on my list of natural cold remedies are zinc lozenges. Zinc is an essential nutrient in our bodies, and plays a key role in helping maintain a strong immune system and in repairing damaged cells.

Research has shown that using zinc lozenges alone can cut the length of your cold in half.

Truth be told, there’s nothing we can do to ensure we’ll never get sick. Unless you’re willing to shut yourself inside an airtight room for the remainder of your days, you will catch a cold at some point.

But what we can control in the length and severity of our suffering. So let’s stay vigilant, eat right, exercise regularly – make your body a harsh environment for germs to live in.

And when you do feel a sniffle coming on, now you know how to fight back with maximum effectiveness and zero mercy!

Stay Healthy!

Louis Hart
Best Life Herbals

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