Fighting Colds the Natural Way

Major illness = serious medical advice. For minor illnesses though...

UPDATE 1/09/14 : As you'd expect, something like diet is constantly being fine-tuned. Although much of it's the same, I now have a 'modified Paleo' approach and avoid things such as dairy, pasta & crackers entirely.



Since I stopped relying on medication for relatively minor illnesses (such as colds) I have noticed that they are of a greater intensity, over a shorter period of time. I would much prefer to suffer for a couple of days than feel less-than-perfect for a week or more.

The phases are the same, with the only difference being the way in which I respond to the symptoms.

The phases are :

# Name Major symptoms Duration
1 Initial signs Partial loss of voice / sore throat 12 hrs
2 Beginning slight weakness / partial loss of voice / sore throat 12 hrs
3 Major signs slight weakness / sore throat / sneezing / occasional coughing 24 hrs
4 Fighting strong weakness / sore throat / running nose / high temperature 24 hrs
5 Survival strong weakness / running nose / wheezing 24 hrs
6 Clearing slight weakness / drying nose 12 hrs
7 Recovery slight weakness 12 hrs

Throughout these phases, I respond by :

I particularly avoid the use of medications of any kind (during this period specifically - not all the time), and generally do not seek additional medical advice. I tend to eat less - although more frequently. This generally takes the form of fresh fruit, soups, rice crackers and simple pasta meals.

Notes for next time :

As much as I would like to think that staying healthy will prevent the dreaded cold from ever making a comeback, that's somewhat unlikely. My aim now is to reduce the frequency, severity and duration (by at least 24 hours) of attacks.

A major part of this is to strengthen the immune system immediately following the most severe phases of the illness; the time when you feel well enough to return to life-as-usual but are not yet back to full strength.

During this period I still avoid anything mucus-forming (notably dairy products), and eat mainly hot (yang) foods such as chili, garlic, ginger, honey, onions and a small amount of red meat. Soups such as the tasty, light and cleansing Chicken and Ginseng Soup (a personal favorite, whether ill or not) are also good.

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Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

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