Experts tell us that there is still no cure for the common cold. But we, the women of the North Shore, beg to differ …
There are many ways to protect our family from catching a cold or at least to lessen its severity or duration once we feel it coming on….
So, I decided to poll smart moms up and down the North Shore, and here’s what I came up with.
From Joan Vesselinovitch:
1. Garlic. I love garlic. It is always a staple in our house but during cold season I increase the amount I serve. I take out my garlic press and add it to salads and sauces. I will even roast 4 or 5 heads of garlic at a time, spread it on French bread, and serve it with dinner.
Experts say: Garlic contains high levels of allicin. A new clinical study found that taking a daily garlic supplement containing allicin reduced the risk of catching a cold by more than half.
From Sonia Glaser:
2. Chicken soup. I make a big pot of chicken soup and feed it to my whole family. I also encourage them to drink lots of water and hot tea.
Experts say: Chicken soup does act as an anti-inflammatory and it also speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose, helping lessen congestion and the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining.
Does it matter if it is homemade or canned? Homemade is the safer bet but in a pinch canned will do. Researchers at the University of Nebraska compared the two and found that many—though not all—canned chicken soups work as well as homemade.
Drinking plenty of liquids in general can help. Water, juice, broth or hot tea with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration.
From Martha Warner:
3. I load up on vitamin C. I usually take supplements of 500 mg twice a day.
Experts say: Linus Pauling, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, wrote that taking 1 gram (1,000 mg) of vitamin C daily would reduce the incidence of colds by 45% for most people.
Research also shows that taking Airborne may help to reduce the duration and severity of colds. Airborne contains several vitamins and herbal extracts, but the two ingredients with the highest number of milligrams are vitamin C and echinacea. Both echinacea and vitamin C supplements are common and effective non-medicinal treatments for colds.
From Mindy Fauntleroy:
4. I swear by Emergen-C drink mix packets. I like the Emergen-C powdered packets which can be easily added to bottles of water. Each packet is 1,000 mg; I take 10 of those a day. The vitamin C is in ascorbate form, supposedly more absorbable than citric acid, which is more commonly used in vitamin C supplements.
Experts say The most abundant vitamins in each packet are vitamin C at 1000 mg and potassium at 200 mg. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends 200 to 500 mg (divided into two doses), suggesting that this amount of vitamin C more than saturates the body’s tissues and is sufficient to protect against cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
From Heather Blackwell:
5. When I have a cold my acupuncturist will give me a Chinese formula gan mao ling from kan herb in addition to acupuncture treatment to help expel the pathogens.
He also recommends foods to eat (i.e., ginger honey) to maintain and strengthen my digestive and immune system.
Adi Barad of All Nature’s Way, 847-446-8911
Experts say: Studies have shown that acupuncture can accelerate the healing process by boosting the body’s natural defenses (immune system). It also can alleviate symptoms almost immediately. Herbal and dietary supplements also have been shown to help to destroy both viruses and bacteria, and alleviate symptoms. They push the pathogen out of the body while strengthening our immune system.
From Susan Noyes:
6. I take Juice Plus Capsules.
Experts say: Experts tell us that a Juice Plus capsule is equivalent to having 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Many doctors who take and recommend Juice Plus to their patients get very good results.
From Pat Stone:
7. I try to eat healthier, and load up on echinacea.
Experts say: Echinacea has traditionally been used for both prevention and treatment of colds but recent studies suggest that it may be more effective as a treatment. One trial combined echinacea with vitamin C, and that reduced colds by 86%.
From Gail Russell:
8. I like zinc products. Cold-EEZE and Zicam work well for us.
Experts say: Cold-EEZE had been shown in clinical studies to reduce the duration of the common cold by up to 42%. 80% of colds are due to the rhinovirus. Zinc ions keep the rhinovirus from effectively reproducing. Studies have shown that the use of Zicam can also reduce the duration and the severity of the cold.
From Julie Hosfield:
9. I try to get more sleep.
Experts say: Studies show that people who get less then seven hours of sleep a night are three times more likely to catch a cold then those who sleep at least eight hours a night.
From Diane Field:
10. I use my neti pot two or three times a day. A neti pot is a nasal irrigation device used to flush out the nasal and sinus cavities.
Experts say: This process appears to be beneficial in treating the common cold, and various other nasal or sinus conditions. The device works by flushing out the nasal passages with a water solution to clear out mucus and allergens or irritants. The water may also reduce swelling of the lining of the nasal and sinus cavities.