The Cure for the Common Cold
Cold and flu season is coming soon. There are several theories of health that try to explain why we get the common cold and flu. This article covers a few of them and discusses several natural cure for the common cold.
The germ theory states that there is a germ, typically an influenza virus, that we catch from other people, which causes the common cold. Linked with this is the concept of susceptibility. The germs seem to have a better chance of infecting us when we forget to wear a coat on a cold day, or when we have been working too hard and not getting enough sleep. It is well known that stress depresses the immune system, which is the bodies defense against disease.
Vitamin C is probably the most well known natural cure for the common cold and flu. Vitamin C increases macrophage activity (one of the cells of immune system), and has an anti-histamine effect which helps reduce the runny nose. Under stress most animals (except humans) make significant amounts of vitamin C from glucose. Therefore vitamin C is considered the stress vitamin.
Echinacea is the most well known herbal cure for the common cold. It supports the immune system and increases the production and activity of white blood cells, lymphocytes and macrophages (cells of the immune system). Echinacea can be taken both to prevent a cold and to treat one. Many companies make echinacea glycerites which are suitable for children.
Garlic is another cure for the common cold that has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Louis Pasteur confirmed its anti-bacterial action in 1858. Many people eat a raw clove of garlic a day to help support their cardiovascular system. Due to its heavy odor, many people prefer taking garlic capsules. The active part of garlic is allicin, which unfortunately is destroyed by cooking.
The story, however, doesn't end with the germ theory of disease. The important questions are: Why do some people not get colds? Why do some people catch a lot of colds? And, why do some people catch colds that last for months? According to the germ theory it is because some people have better immune systems, or because some people catch stronger germs. But suppose the problem isn't germs at all? What if the germs were a symptom of some deeper cause?
Opponents of the germ theory of disease argued that the internal milieu was more important than the germ. In other words, one should concentrate on keeping the body clean and in proper working order. They emphasized the importance of detoxification, and believed that mucous and runny noses were the bodies way of ridding itself of toxins. As this was a healing effort of the body, they believed it should not be suppressed with drugs like anti-histamines.
In today's post-industrial world there are hundreds of thousands of toxic chemicals commonly used. These include heavy metals such as lead found in lead pipes, mercury found in fillings and cadmium in smoke, as well as chemicals used to preserve foods, plastics for food containers, chemical fertilizers, herbicides for the lawns, and pesticides for ants and other household pests. The list is almost endless.
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