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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recover From the Common Cold with a Rather Uncommon Set of Cures

The last time that I had a bad cold, it was a horrendous one. I woke up one day & felt pretty bad. The next day when I woke up- not awoken by choice, but by the powerful force of sheer misery- at around four a.m., I couldn't breathe. My sinuses & lungs were more clogged than the pipes in those old Drano commercials. I sounded like I'd smoked cigarettes for sixty years straight. I begged God to let me die immediately. I felt so weak & exhausted that a truck might as well have run over me. My temperature was going up by the hour. But, thankfully, I'd learned a thing or two about the benefits of combining Western medicine & germ-fighting AND the remedies more associated with the East.

I immediately alternated taking aspirin & DayQuil- each every four hours- plus took NyQuil at night. I used Lysol wipes, Lysol Disinfectant Spray & Purell hand sanitizer about every two minutes. It worked- my mother, whom I live with, didn't get my cold at all, which is almost unheard of (neither one of us had terrific immune systems, typically). I smeared Vicks VapoRub on my chest & sat unhappily as I alternated between sweating out my illness on aspirin & freezing under the chill of my fever.

But I also did things this time that I had never tried before. I completely believe that these things are what kept what was likely going to be a seven- or ten-day cold down to a five-day cold. I went from a typical three- or four-day run of utter misery (based on prior cold duration) to one terrible day only. I also recovered without lingering effects, such as fatigue, which had previously dogged me for weeks after the actual illness occurred before.

I took a long, hot shower to sweat out & clean off as many germs as possible. I also indulged in multiple mini-steam baths, holding my head over a sink full of hot water, a towel draped over me, attempting to breathe in the heat as much as I could, for as long as I could. Whatever I could do to get myself to sweat out the illness, I did. I drank multiple mugs of hot green tea w/ a ton of powdered ginger & freshly-squeezed lemon juice, alternated with loads of ice cold spring water. I figured the more I cleared out my bladder, the faster I could get this cold moving out of my system, period! The large amount of fluids also helped loosened up phlegm. I imbibed a boatload of Vitamin D, since I knew it wouldn't hurt. I took a double-dose of my multi-vitamin/mineral supplement that day. I had a glass of orange juice, and later a glass of grapefruit juice- both organic, both unpasteurized, both possessing plenty of pulp. It was a little tough on my sore throat, but I knew I needed the Vitamin C. I fixed a can of Progresso chicken noodle soup (the good stuff, with vegetables & all) up w/ a potent mixture of a heaping tsp. of minced fresh garlic, a heaping tsp. of curry powder, a little cayenne pepper powder, black pepper, onion powder & some more ginger. Yes, it sounds weird. Yes, I reeked afterwards. Yes, it tasted strong- but it wasn't inedible. And it was antibacterial, cleansing, purifying, sinus-clearing- all that good stuff. Though I couldn't sleep because I couldn't lay down comfortably, I took the time off of work those days- rest from that place alone probably helped me feel better faster. And I'm a big believer in keeping one's germs to oneself, if at all possible...

By the next day, I wasn't at 100% yet, but I was so much better that I was astounded. I could breathe again- not completely, but far better than one would expect in only one day's time. I slept better, and could even nap some. I wasn't as wiped out. My fever had vanished. The day after that, I actually went back to work for the whole day- and only two days after I couldn't breathe, which was a miraculously short recovery period for me. I have chronic bronchitis due to a couple of bouts w/ childhood pneumonia & perpetually-bad sinuses. Because of my concoctions, the cold quickly moved from my chest back to my head (a sign that it's ending- the reverse means just the opposite), finally disappearing for good on Sunday. It had started on a Tuesday. I'm not a medical doctor, and I can't automatically advise you that doing what I did will yield the same results. But be prepared, have the items in the house on hand, to at least do some of what I did, especially if you're a frequent sufferer of upper-respiratory infections. I know how miserable that is- I've always been incredibly prone to them. Maintaining a regimen of including this type of activity- drinking the green tea, taking the ginger, sipping the fresh juices, plus enjoying all of the healthy goodies the Western world has given me- has helped keep these infections to a minimum for me. In any event, for virtually anyone & everyone, it cannot hurt to adopt some of these steps for your lifestyle, and for emergency situations.

-Liz

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