Gathered and refined through years of experience with healers and nutritionists, I offer, below, a terrific protocol that’s effective for most any species of cold or flu. I encourage you to keep this info for future reference because it is most effective when you start it the minute you notice the first sniffle or scratchy throat. There are specific ingredients required, and you’ll need to have them on hand at the first sign of illness. It may sound like a lot of prep, but it really works—and what’s it worth to have a two week cold abbreviated to just one or two days? NOTE: Even if you’re in the very bleary middle of a cold, these measures will begin to turn the tide right away.
The following suggestions are listed in order of importance to me (your body will tell you what’s best for you), and you don’t have to do them all, but, generally, the more the better. How well do you want to be…and how soon?
1— Take 100,000 IU of FISH OIL VITAMIN A [NOT omega 3s] at the first sign of symptoms. Take for 3 days only, then 50,000 IU/day until fully well. This is a big dose of Vitamin A, NOT to be taken on a regular basis, but definitely acceptable — and salubrious — for up to a week during a cold. You can do 50,000 IU per day as long as you are having intense symptoms. If I feel the first hint of a scratchy sore throat at 3AM, I will get out of bed and pop my first dose of Vitamin A. This alone is often able to stop a cold in its tracks. Vitamin A has strong anti-viral properties across the board; it’s even been used to treat measles.
2—Also at the first sign of symptoms, start taking OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT, a powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial. 2-3 tablets, 2-3 times a day for as long as you’re having symptoms. I have found the Planetary Herbals (825mg/tablet) brand to provide the most effective formulation. This product is also extremely helpful for diarrhea caused by gut bugs.
Alternative: Source Naturals brand Wellness Formula: it’s an excellent herbal combo formula also available at most health food stores. Take two to three tablets a few times per day for the first day or two, and then gradually taper off over the next few days.
3—Vitamin C in the form of PURE ASCORBIC ACID POWDER (NOT the kind with extra bioflavinoids—too hard to dissolve). This is different than gobbling Vitamin C tablets which pass through the body and are urinated out quickly. Put a small amount of the powder in a quart jar of good quality water. Start with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon. Stir and dissolve. The taste should be ever-so-slightly tart but not so much so that you pucker. Add more C or dilute with water as necessary to find the balance that’s right for you. Amount needed will change over the course of your cold. The beauty of this mode of delivery is that your body will tell you how much ascorbic acid you need. In other words, if you were perfectly healthy, just the tiniest sprinkle of C would taste like too much. But when you’re in the middle of a raging cold, you need quite a bit to taste it at all. The body is very wise. So the idea is to sip on this water (Sippy-C) frequently throughout the day: Drink at least a quart per day. This keeps the tissues saturated in a way that gulping tablets cannot. Generally, the more Sippy-C the better — to a point. Too much Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, so if your stool becomes loose just back off on the Sippy-C. It’s smart to have a glass of it at your bedside during the night as well — SO soothing for those middle of the night phlegmy cough situations.
Be sure to use GMO-free ascorbic acid. I recommend Nutribiotics because it is certified free of GMOs (90% of Vitamin C sold in the US is made from — mostly GMO — corn grown in China, a country with an abysmal record when it comes to food safety).
4—SALTWATER GARGLE: This is an old home remedy but it really helps, especially with sore throats: gargle twice a day with hot salt water — preferably organic hand-harvested Celtic Sea Salt , (Flower of the Ocean is my favorite) or any good quality unrefined sea salt. (Commercial table salt has the goodness refined out of it and usually contains dextrose—to make you consume more, of course.) If you’re really brave, try a warm saltwater nasal douche. It feels strange at first — snorting up a spoonful of salt water, letting it run through (cleanse) your nasal passages and then spitting it out — but once you get the hang of it you’ll want to make it part of your daily regimen, as do millions of people benefiting from this part of the Ayurvedic tradition, using a neti pot. Plus, it reminds me of body surfing…
5—ZINC LOZENGES: Suck — don’t chew or swallow — one every two hours for a day or two. If you start to have a funny/metallic taste in your mouth, stop, you’ve had enough. And do check the labels, both of your Zinc and of any Multivitamins you take to make sure that you NEVER take more than 90 mg Zinc in a day. My favorite brand of zinc lozenges is “Now”. Inexpensive and they taste the best!
6—Take a nice HOT BATH every night, adding one to two quarts of HYDROGEN PEROXIDE per bath. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide kills virus through the permeable membrane that is your skin, and has no untoward effects on the skin or anything else (e.g., it’s not going to bleach your hair). Plus the heat of the bath in and of itself will have you sweating out toxins.
7—To relieve congestion prepare a GINGER STEAM: Peel and chop a few tablespoons of fresh organic ginger root. Add ginger to a few cups of good quality water and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Place the pot of water on a table before you. Arrange yourself into a relaxed and comfortable position. VERY CAREFULLY place head down over the steam and drape a towel over your head and inhale deeply and slowly, alternating through your nose and though your mouth for 10 minutes twice a day. Keep the towel snug around your head to maintain heat; you want the steam to be as hot as you can stand without hurting yourself. This feels very satisfying, cleansing and relaxing. The heat serves to kill bacteria and virus.
Alternative: A few drops of organic tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil in the steamy water works very well, too. And if you have no ginger or oils, just plain steaming water will help you decongest as it kills virus.
8—In cases of laryngitis, a drug store product called Glyco-Thymoline is helpful in restoring one’s voice ASAP. It’s the gargle of choice for opera singers — and slam poets — for whom the show must go on no matter what.
As I said, it sounds like a lot, but once you have these ingredients on hand it’s no big deal. I’ve shared it with family, friends and clients, most of whom find the protocol nothing short of miraculous.
Supplements in Context
All these supplements and protocols should be used within the context of taking especially good care of yourself while you are sick.
1—If you possibly can, take a day or two off work. Stay home both to rest your body and to spare others from your infectious self.
2—Drink even more water than usual. Flush the toxins from your system. Water, Sippy-C and herb teas are best. Don’t do soda; sugar is so depleting, fake sugar even more so.
3—Eat foods that are easy to digest. Digestion is the most energy intensive function of the body, and you need your energy to heal. So, eat light, easy-to-digest foods, like soups and broths. Chicken soup is an excellent choice — warmth, liquid, protein and electrolytes, mmmm-mmmm. If you avoid meat, try egg-flower soup: an easy-to-make miso broth with vegetables into which, at the last minute, you stir a beaten egg. Don’t scrimp on protein during a cold; you need it to heal. DO avoid milk and other dairy products as they tend to be phlegm-producing.
4—Unless you are incapacitated with flu, get some fresh air. Bundle up and walk around the block. Movement and mild circulatory stimulation stimulate the immune and lymphatic systems; you’ll heal faster and feel better. If you have a summer cold, sit out in the sunshine.
To your health!
You can find most of the supplements on amazon, but I prefer to get them elsewhere when I can, doing my part to deny the beast its goal of world domination. In any case, the supplements have a long shelf life and are remarkably inexpensive. Links below:
Disclaimer: Suggestions on this site are for informational purposes only. Always consult your doctor or health care provider before making any changes to your self-care practices, including supplements.