I have been healthy most of my life, thank God. However, when I am around people who are sick, mostly having a cold, I sometimes catch a cold too. It doesn’t happen often because I am not with little children, who seem to get sick more often than adults, and I don’t hang out with large crowds of people. That is an advantage in being retired. You don’t have to be around lots of people, and some of them may not be well.
When I do get sick, it’s almost always a cold. Sometimes a cough shows up with the cold, and that makes it more miserable. Over the years, I have treated a cold aggressively with three items that almost always work, so I thought I would share them with you. However, I am not a doctor. I do not have convincing scientific evidence that I can share with you outside of my own results, so I do not know if what I am telling you is definitive proof, but it works for me.
The first line of defense against a cold is lots of sleep. I tend to stay up late at night, but when I have a cold, I go to bed much earlier, and try to sleep much later. Sleep is critical to keeping my body rested and warm and allowing it to do its job to get rid of the cold.
The second line of defense is hot tea. Any kind of tea is okay, but I have gravitated to green tea, especially jasmine green tea. I like the taste of the tea, but it’s not the taste that matters; it’s whatever is in the green tea. Over the years, I have read about the positive benefits of green tea, and while I cannot say what it does in the body, I have concluded that it works on my colds, and it generally has helped to keep me healthy.
I will not bore you with the large variety of teas that are available. I can say, however, that I drink caffeinated teas, and I buy the more expensive kind because I like them, and they have unadulterated teas leaves. Whatever the value of the tea leaves themselves, I don’t want to mess with mother nature when it comes to staying healthy.
Finally, I am a believer in large quantities of vitamin C as my third line of defense based on the work of Linus Pauling, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on medical research. Pauling published a book in 1971 called “Vitamin C and the Common Cold,” marshaling the then-available research data. It became a sensation, kicked off a public controversy in the press, and helped convince millions of people to take more vitamin C. While the medical community roundly attacked both the findings and Pauling’s credibility, in more recent years, re-evaluations of Pauling’s work have shown that vitamin C can have significant beneficial effects on health.
Once I have a cold coming on, I take up to 5,000 mg (milligrams) of vitamin C every day until the cold is gone. I prefer pills with 1,000 mg so I only need to swallow five of them and move on. Vitamin C is an antitoxin and the medical world seems to say that is a good thing.
I know that other people have other remedies, like over-the-counter medicine, echinacea, zinc, honey and chicken soup. My mother used to put Vicks VapoRub on my chest when I was a child, but I gave it up years ago. To each his own. I like my remedy, and it has worked for me for many, many decades.
I wrote this to my cousin, who is a doctor and knows a great deal about alternative medical treatments. She wrote me the following: “May I suggest that you load up on some immune support right now as it makes a BIG difference on the outcome of viral infection contraction and severity! I suggest vitamin A (100,000 IU once, and then around 20,000 IU daily), vitamin D (5000 daily), vitamin C (around 3 to 5 grams divided daily), zinc (40 mg daily) mushroom caps (2 daily) and eat lots of garlic, ginger, onions and stay away from sweets and dairy.”
The bottom line: No one wants a cold or the flu, and there’s no cure for it, but sleep, tea and vitamin C have worked for me. P.S. Given the new virus, I am following my cousin’s recommendations.