A cold isn’t a Tylenol deficiency.

I was once the girl who knew exactly when the pharmacy went on sale, so I would go straight to the Cough and Cold aisle and bought as many items as the discount would apply. It was so pathetically like “I’m gonna get sick and use all of these up anyways, might as well just stock up.” I caught 1 – 2 colds a month and each time it lasted anywhere from 2 – 4 weeks.

First of all, if you get sick all the time like I did, it ain’t normal. Read this post on how to have a superhero immune system.

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If you have a cold right now, I know you just want to get rid off it and just get on with your life. Believe it or not, your body does, too. That’s why you are having the symptoms of snotty nose, headache, fatigue, fever, cough etc. Those symptoms show that your your body is fighting off the germs. Contrary to popular beliefs, cold medications do not kill the cold viruses. Rather, the medications suppress the symptoms to make them a little more bearable. In other words, if you are taking over the counter cold medications, you are making it harder for your body to fight off the germs. It is way better to support rather than impede your body in fighting the germs.

Here are how you may support your body in killing off the germs:

1. Get plenty of rest: your body heals best when you are sleeping.

2. Cut down in sugar and refined carbohydrates (white bread and pasta included): High blood sugar and poor blood sugar regulations compromise the immune system

3. Food is medicine – Eat a diet high in antioxidants i.e. colorful fruits and vegetables

Germ fighting nutrients: Zinc and Vitamin C are needed at much higher doses when you are fighting off germs. High doses of Vitamin A and D  are also anti-viral. Eat more of foods containing these nutrients such as ghee, cod liver oil, pumpkin seeds. It is a good idea to supplement high doses of Zinc (30 – 100 mg/day) and vitamin C (1 – 5 grams/day or more) just high enough that it doesn’t send you to the washroom. And, oh, juices are not good sources of vitamin C – get a source that doesn’t come with loads of sugar.

Foods that may make it worse: dairy (except for Ghee), citrus and bananas may make your mucus, phlegm or congestion worse.

Kitchen staples that can help with your cold
Garlic is a potent antiviral. It’s a good idea to eat raw crushed garlic, but you don’t have to eat just garlic, especially not on empty stomach. (Admittedly, I have done that and it doesn’t feel very good in my stomach.) Maybe you can have some very garlic-y salsa, avocadoes, salad dressing, soups, any dishes you can think of.
Ginger is always the thing that makes me feel better right away. Boil 1 – 2 inches of ginger in a pot of water and drink it, maybe sweetened with small amounts of raw honey as needed.
Onions and honey. Cut up onions and sandwich in between them with raw honey in a glass container. (The honey must be unpasteurized.) Leave the container in the fridge for several hours, and take the liquids that came out at the bottom as cough syrup.

4. Gently improve circulation help with improving circulation, clearing congestion, reducing pain
- Warming socks help improving circulation, help with fever and head congestion. Put on a pair of wet but wrung out cotton socks, then top that off with wool socks, then go to sleep. It’s actually pretty nice.

5. Be careful with harmful additives that come in medications or supplements. It is better to purchase quality vitamins from health food stores than from the pharmacy. For example, FD&C colors, hydrogenated oils, titanium dioxide are ingredients that you should definitely avoid.

6. If you can tolerate the symptoms, don’t take over the counter medications. If it gets worse, rest more. This post is not intended to be medical advice, but I’ve sought medical advice countless times when I got a cold, and they always sent me home and told me to rest (hence being unhelpful in most cases).

Let me know if you find this post helpful or if you have other tips for combatting a cold in the comments below. And please feel free to forward this to your friends and family who are combatting a cold.

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