Conquering the Common Cold

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uering the Common Cold

By: Mari Peckham

What do we know about the Common Cold?

  • No Cure. Antibiotics, designed to knock out bacterial infections, do nothing when it comes to treating a cold.

  • None of us are safe! No matter how strong and healthy we are, an occasional cold will reduce us to whimpering, sneezing, coughing versions of our former selves.

So, what do we do? Lay back with a box of tissue, pop a couple of cold tabs and wait it out? Not necessarily! Doctors who specialize in self-care medicine say that there is a lot more that we can do to get through a cold comfortably, and possibly more quickly! Here is some of the best advice that experts have to offer on the subject.

  • Vitamin C - "Vitamin C works in the body as a scavenger, picking up all sorts of trash - including virus trash," Says Keith W. Sehnert, M.D., a physician with Trinity Health Care in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "It can shorten the length of a cold from seven days to maybe two or three."

    Studies conducted at the University of Wisconsin found that cold sufferers taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C four times a day suffered from about half as many symptoms (coughing, sneezing. etc) as those not taking the vitamin.

    Best way to get it? Drink it! Orange, grapefruit, and cranberry juices are excellent sources of vitamin C.

  • Zinc - Suck on zinc lozenges and cut your cold short, to an average of just 4 days! It also can help reduce symptoms such as dry, irritated throat. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for everyone, but when it works, it works!

  • R and R - Take a day or two off of work, or at least slow down! Extra rest enables your body to focus it's energy on getting you well.

  • Stay Warm - Keep your immune system cozy by bundling up against the cold. This way your body can use energy to fight your cold instead of protecting you from the cold.

  • Eat Lightly - Eat, but steer clear of foods that put a strain on your body's metabolism. Eat fewer fatty foods, meat and milk products, and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Chicken Soup - A silly folk remedy? No! Researchers at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach have found that hot chicken soup, either because of its aroma or its taste, "appears to possess an additional substance for increasing the flow of nasal mucus." Researchers say that this mucus serves as a first line of defense in removing germs from your system, so eat up!

  • Liquids - Drink six to eight glasses of water, juice, tea, and other mostly clear liquids daily to keep the body hydrated and to flush out impurities.

  • NO Smoking! - Smoking aggravates the throat and interferes with the infection-fighting activity of the cilia, the microscopic "fingers" that sweep bacteria out of your lungs and throat. Even if you don't quit for good, at least stop for the duration of your cold.

  • Salty Gargle - Dr. Van Ert of San Francisco advises mixing 1 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and gargling away whenever your throat hurts.

  • Hot Toddy - Get a good night's sleep and clear a stuffed-up nose by sipping a "hot toddy" or a half a glass of wine before bedtime, suggests Dr. Caughron, a family practitioner specializing in preventive medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia. But don't go overboard! More alcohol than that can stress out your system and make recovery more difficult.

  • Get Steamed - Clear congestion and relieve a dry cough by taking a hot steamy shower. Or make a steam tent by draping a towel over your head above a bowl of boiling water.

  • Keep Your Germs to Yourself - Cough and blow away, but do it into a disposable tissue instead of sharing them! Then promptly throw the tissue away and wash your hands.

  • Medicate - If you decide to take over the counter medication, follow the instructions carefully and only take medication that addresses the symptoms that you are suffering from.

Looking for alternatives to drugs? Try these herbs and teas that contain special properties that are natural antagonists against colds!

  • Goldenseal and Echinacea - "I recommend herb capsules such as goldenseal and echinacea at the early onset of a cold," says Elson Haas, M.D. He says that goldenseal stimulates your liver, which helps to clear up infections. Echinacia clean your blood and lymph glands, helping circulate infection-fighting antibodies and removing toxic substances from the body. Try one or two capsules twice a day for up to two weeks.

  • Garlic - Garlic is known for its antibiotic effect and "can actually kill germs and clear up your cold symptoms more rapidly," says Dr. Haas. He recommends two or three oil-free garlic capsules three times a day.

  • Licorice Root Tea - Dr Van Ert recommends this teas for it's anesthetizing effects for soothing irritated throats and relieving coughs.

  • Other Teas - Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea, or tea brewed with hops or valarian her, have natural tranquilizing effects that will help you rest. Add a teaspoon of honey, a simple carbohydrate that has a sedative effect.

  • Monolaurian - Dr. Van Ert also recommends this fatty acid (available in capsule form) for it's antiviral effect. He recommends taking two capsules three times a day with some food, for helping the immune system stay fit to battle the cold virus.

A cold may be something that we have to live with, and through, but finding ways to make the best of it will help you get back on your feet in record time.

About The Author

Copyright Mari Peckham

Mari Peckham is the President of Peckham Enterprises and webmistress of PowerPromoPlus, your online advertising solution at:

To subscribe to her online advertising tips, tools and techniques ezine, Advertise_Online, send any Email to: or visit:


rawrxletsxdance 04.10.2009. 23:25

How long does the common cold usually last for? I've had the common cold since tuesday, and i've been treating it pretty good. I've been getting a lot of rest, drinking A LOT of organic ginger & honey tea, and juice boxes (that have 100% vitamin c.) Im also blowing my nose often, and I've been taking Tylenol for cold. My sinus has also cleared quite a bit too. How much longer to do you think it will be till my cold is gone? Do you think it'll be gone by tommorow? Do you have any tips to treat it?


Admin 04.10.2009. 23:25

The average length of the common cold is 9 days. Of course that all depends on the individual could be longer or shorter. You've been treating it well but if you have any questions or want some more help on treatment you can visit: or contact your doctor.


Chad F 09.02.2012. 01:16

What were the American and Soviet agendas that led to the Cold War? After the end of WWII, I know it basically came down to capitalism vs communism. Could someone please compare and contrast the American agenda and the Soviet agenda that led to the Cold War?


Chad F

Admin 09.02.2012. 01:16

Ha! I think you are in my class if I am not mistaken. But anyway:

1. 1.Compare and contrast the American agenda and the Soviet agenda that led to the Cold War.

Aftermath of WWII, the Allies were trying to work out the peace terms to be ?fair? but in the end it was them working things out in their best interest. The Soviet Union was almost the whipping boy of the Allies and was given the short straw. Stalin had used the war to help make territorial gains for the USSR and at the end of the war, part of their focus was to keep those territories they had conquered. The USSR was also quite focused on raising themselves up and joining the other great superpowers that the country?s supposed ?allies?. The USSR was also dealing with the fact that not many supported them becoming a country, due to the fact that they were communists, and their alliance with the US and other allies during the war was really only out of necessity against their common enemy, Hitler. The US provided aid to them, but not nearly as much as they did their other allies and this caused for enmity between the two nations to brew beneath the surface. They USSR felt as if they were an afterthought to the rest of Europe.

The US had just bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki after this point and Japan had surrendered. They were showing their guns and their power, using physical displays of weapons strength to show the rest of the world that the US was a force to be reckoned with. The US was a definite front-runner in the negotiations of the peace terms and worked them out in the favor of themselves and their allies, the USSR could have what was left. The US was really emerging as a dominant global super power at this time and was pretty much calling the shots. It didn?t hurt for the US either, that they had like minded, capitalist, allies with whom to confer and it was those capitalist, like minded allies who benefited.

The contrast between the two really I think just comes down to capitalism vs. communism. While both were working in their own best interests for their countries, their ideologies we?re complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Just due to the fact that the Soviet?s were a bit of an upstart nation and the fact that they were communists was enough for the US to distrust them and try to subtly keep them in check. The Soviets were in kind of the same boat, just from a different perspective. They were against capitalism, being communist, but also the growing enmity they had for the US was also due a bit to Stalin?s envy of the US?s influence in the world, but also because the USSR, as stated, was almost an afterthought to them, which probably left the USSR feeling used and betrayed by their already untrusted allies.

It's kind of disorganized, but I did my best to help. Hope it does :)


R B 29.12.2010. 15:23

Why did so many Native Americans die of the common cold? When I get a cold, I get sick because it is a virus my body does not recognize. My body produces much more white blood cells to combat those germs in order to conquer that cold bug. Why is it, when people of europe got a cold at the time of the North American conquest, only so many died, and when Native Americans contracted a cold virus during that time, so many more of them died? I would think a new cold virus would be equal in strength to both groups due to it being a new cold virus.


Admin 29.12.2010. 15:23

we didn't die of the common cold. we did die from many other diseases brought over by europeans, even some that were relatively mild to them. it has to do with the immune system and what it has been exposed to. we did not have diseases here like they had in europe so we had no immunities to them.


Ryan James McCulloch 20.06.2008. 19:12

If the cold is such a basic virus, then why does it take the immune system so long to fight it off? Just as the question says, if the cold is such a basic human-virus, why does it take so long to get rid of it.

Ryan James McCulloch

Admin 20.06.2008. 19:12

The reason being that there is a multitude of different viruses which cause the common cold so each time you get a cold it is caused by a different virus and your body has to fight a new strain each time

We had a common cold research unit here in Salisbury which tried for years to conquer the common cold.

In 1946 the CCU was involved in discovering basic facts about the virus which causes colds, not testing cold cures or vaccines. But, as viruses causing colds could not be cultivated and detected in the laboratory, volunteers were needed for all direct experiments on the common cold.
People used to go there for free holidays--ideal for honeymoons-10 days-they were kept isolated from everyone else and they would be infected with different cold viruses

By 1959 many of the viruses which caused colds could be cultivated and recognised in tissue cultures, and the problem of common colds was being studied in many laboratories without using human volunteers. However, the CCU continued to use large numbers of volunteers in various studies:

1)The study of common cold viruses that could not yet be cultivated in the laboratory
2)Investigation of the process of infection in humans and the spread of the virus from person to person
3)Development and testing of methods of vaccination
4)Assessment of effectiveness of antiviral substances

They were very close to a cure at one time but they closed
without having found one.
Cold Wars--is the name of the book mentioned in Dr Tyrrells obituary
Tyrrell, David A. J./ Fielder, Michael
Published: Sun, Dec 01 2002


Angelo 14.08.2012. 19:28

How can a country change its national language? How can this happen whether it is independent or not? This includes changing its alphabet.
Would everyone need to speak to the invaders in their language to communicate with them for goods etc and it would then become common to speak....?

But try not to restrict yourself to just the questions here in this detail box, write freely :D Thank you :)


Admin 14.08.2012. 19:28

The USSR tried to force Rumania to speak Russian during the cold war (not sure about the other Eastern block countries). It didn't work. When countries try to force another language over their mother tongue it is met with much resistance and resentment. I have been reading a great book on the history of languages called "A Short History of Languages (Oxford, 2002)".

I am trying to find the page but it did state that even if a country intentially and willingly changed its national language it would take several decades. I can't find the exact section but included some extracts below. I highly recommend the read, I wasn't even interested in languages before I a had a quick browse and it really caught my interest and could put it down.

"...But what is really remarkable is that a large population kept talking the same language for thousands of years, and that it did not split up into dialects, which in turn developed into separate languages. This tells strongly against what is said above about languages being liable to change and split. The Egyptian language did change over time, as all languages do, but it did not
break up into several languages; it remained a unit. Why was this so?

The answer is obvious enough.The political homogeneity and the need for communication throughout the country were the forces that prevented the language from falling apart..."

"..In this way, the role of the English language in society was drastically altered. Before the Conquest, the recently united state had been remarkably homogeneous in language usage.
The Celtic languages were spoken mainly outside the state. The Danes and other Scandinavians who had moved into the country from the ninth century and onwards were no doubt largely on their way towards linguistic assimilation. So the great majority of the inhabitants of the state of England
did indeed speak English. Further, as we have just seen, a written standard language was being created. But within a generation or two, the upper class spoke French, and the use of English in writing almost disappeared. English was demoted from its privileged position and became the language of the powerless.

Similar things have happened many times, and some instances have been noted above. The Romans conquered Gaul and imposed their rule, and eventually their language, on the Celts. Later on, the Germanic invaders reduced the speakers of Latin to their subjects in the same country.

As is seen by the two examples, the outcome of such a situation is not predetermined. The Romans made Latin the dominant language in most of their empire. But Latin never became a
native language of Britain, and the Franks, the Burgundians, and the other Germanic invaders in Gaul lost their own language, just as the descendants of the French-speaking Normans did in
England. In some cases, both languages survive in the same country. The Swedes occupied Finnish-speaking Finland in the twelfth century, and held it for about 600 years..."


softwareentwickler 23.02.2007. 13:23

Whith the tribes angels and saxons - Do the british and the germans have the same anchestors? What do they have in common?
Where do they differ?

Please help me I am from the continent.
I like you . you are my cousins


Admin 23.02.2007. 13:23

First it's ANGLOS and Saxons - angels are good beings with wings and the British are just not good enough to be descended from angels.
The British language and the British people are a mixed lot.
1st true Brits ( like me) were the Celts - who became the Welsh and Irish. Celts were sniveling little short pople who sang well and fought badly and were very passionate.
So the Scandanavian people who lived in what is now Norway, Sweden and Finland were feeling depressed . It was too cold to have a wee wee (urinate/go to toilet) without it freezing. So they got in their long boats ( which were only a few metres long so now they would be called short boats).
Some really angry ones,went down to Germany had a great time pillaging ( means stealing) and raping ( meant in those days having sex with some-one you were not related to) and over the centuries the Germans arose to be fairly angry, have blonde hair etc like the original Anglo Saxons.
Some went to what is now Britain. conquered the Celts; had wild passionate sex with the natives ( we Welsh/Irish are a wild passionate lot) and gave rise to new people who had weddings ( an old Anglo Saxon word)
(Please note - to come means to arrive but to rude Australians it also means to finish the sex act - so I've used the word in it's correct and its rude ways)
Now down in sunny Italy the ancient Romans, who spoke Latin, wanted to conquer the world ( or what they knew of the world - poor things didn't know about sunny Australia and fortunately, for native American Indians, had not discovered the U.S.A.) A famous man called Julius Caesar, went to England. It was too cold. He said "Veni, Vidi, Vici." which means "I came, I saw , I conquered." Then he went back to sunny Rome. He obviously came with one of those passionate Celt, and Anglo Saxon girls - so a new group were made.
But it wasn't finished. The French decided they didn't like French letters (an old slang name for condoms) and crossed the Channel. They now used their romantic ways, added lots of French words, like marriage ( so now the English can go to a wedding or a marriage) married lots of the Celtic/Anglo Saxon/ Roman girls so they could get the valuble English land, then went back to France. The new women/people were called English. They now got bored so went back to the original passionate Celts ( original Welsh/ Irish ) and came because they were from Rome, they also fornicated a Latin (ancient Roman) word WORD HISTORY: from Wikapedia dictionary
"The word fornication had a lowly beginning suitable to what has long been the low moral status of the act to which it refers. The Latin word fornix, from which fornicti, the ancestor of fornication, is derived, meant "a vault, an arch." The term also referred to a vaulted cellar or similar place where prostitutes plied their trade. This sense of fornix in Late Latin yielded the verb fornicr, "to commit fornication," from which is derived fornicti, "whoredom, fornication." first recorded in Middle English about 1303."

Because these new English had French blood they generally had a romantic (comes from French word 'romantique') good time also.
Now this mixed lot were British - a mixture of -
passionate Celts,
firey good fighting but cold - the Anglo Saxons;
the ancient Romans who gave their sytem of law, democracy plus some other great things
and French who were romantic etc.
The Germans had mostly come from Anglo Saxons so there is some relationship but very distant.
The British went off again and created Americans, Australians and others.
So it's not a simple answer and all relies on what Julius Caesar said "Veni" I came and came and came and the result a very mixed group who proudly call themselves, English/British etc.


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