Saturday, January 26, 2008

A few tips on getting rid of that cold.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed, that I don’t catch a cold this winter. So far, so good!! While reading my ladies magazines, First and Women’s Day, I came across a few tips for getting rid of that cold.

For Congestion and Coughs - Chicken soup with a twist:
Family physician Cathleen London, M.D., fights chest congestion with homemade chicken soup. But to make it extra effective, she adds a whole head of unpeeled garlic (sliced in half crosswise) and two to four unpeeled onions to the broth before cooking. “Quercetin, an antiviral compound concentrated in the skins of garlic and onions, fights the rhinovirus that’s causing the cold”, she explains. (Skins can be strained out before eating since the broth will have been infused with quercetin.) Another perk: Chicken soup (homemake and canned alike) blocks the activity of neutrophils, inflammatory cells that trigger coughs and congestion.

For sore throats and stuffiness – A salt rinse:
To sooth a sore or scratchy throat, Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., gargles a solution of ½ tsp. of kosher salt and 1 cup of lukewarm water. The mix also works as a nasal rinse to clear stuffiness. “Each rinsing washes away 90 percent of germs causing the infection,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. To treat nasal passages: Pour a bit of saltwater into your palm, block one nostril with the other hand and gently sniff the liquid into the open nostril. Repeat on the opposite side.

For Sneezing and Water Eyes – This kind of Echinacea:
A daily dose of Echinacea can shorten a cold by up to four days, say University of Connecticut researchers. But not just any Echinacea will do. “Look for a product containing the active species purpurea and pallida,” suggests Dr. Holly Lucille. A brand she likes: Esberitox ($12.00 for 100 talblets, at, made by Enzymatic Therapy, for which Dr. Lucille serves as an adviser. “These natural immune boosters ensure much milder symptoms,” she says.

Here are a few tips to help keep your family cold and flu-free this season.

Talk a walk: “Moderate exercise like walking for 30 minutes a day can help prevent colds”, says Cornelia Ulrich, Ph.D. Researchers think exercise boosts your immune system by flushing bacteria out of your lungs and sending antibodies through your system more quickly.

Give your toothbrush a smart rinse: Soak it for a minute in Listerine or another antiseptic mouthwash daily. It’ll kill any germs left on your brush from sitting out or cleaning your mouth. No mouthwash? Rinse brushes in hydrogen peroxide, another proven germ-killer.

Skip the hot water: You may think it gives you more germ-killing power when you wash your hands, but hot water dries out hands – leaving them cracked so more viruses can enter through the skin. Instead, use lukewarm water, and soap up twice to remove germs.

Watch for this germ spreader: Doorknobs, especially in public places, where lots of germy hands touch them. To be safe, open doors with a paper towel, or use a hand sanitizer immediately after contact. At home, you can sanitize doorknobs and any other shared items.

Eat the proven germ-fighting foods: “Antioxidant-rich foods boost your immune system and help improve lung function, so you’re less susceptible to germs,” says Dr. Norman H. Edelman, of The American Lung Association. Try Vitamin-C-rich citrus fruits like oranges, or salad greens like arugula, which have anti-viral properties…

Go easy on yourself: Studies show that folks who put too much pressure on themselves get more colds than those who don’t! The reason: Stress can lower your immune system, making you an easy target for germs.

Tip: Reach for zinc at the first sign of sniffles. Studies show that it can shorten the duration of a cold by almost 50%.

Stay well everyone, have a great week!


At 10:06 PM, Blogger Cliff said...

You're a little late with this one but the good news is that after thinking otherwise, I'm going to survive my current cold.
If it's like everyone else around here I'm now going to cough for the next 3 weeks.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Diane J. said...

Whatever I've got I'm still fighting it. I'm a bit better now, and I'm taking 500 mg of Vitamin C in addition to my multivitamin daily.

Thanks for this, and I'm looking for a neti pot, which you use to rinse your nasal passages with saline as your post suggests.

Hope your Sunday is blessed, Lucy. ;o)

Love and hugs,


At 9:52 AM, Blogger Granny said...

Onions and garlic are good. In anything (except possibly ice cream) and some people (in Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world) even do that.

Chicken soup cures most woes. I usually add just a little Tapatia sauce - clears the sinuses nicely.

Oh, the ham and white beans (with homemade corn bread) turned out nicely. Lots of leftovers so no cooking (and no football) for me today.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Cliff - you can start any time. Get some of that chicken soup made and sip away.

Diane - I hear that you can buy one of those neti pots at the drug stores. I really need to get one.

granny - I love cooking with garlic and onions. I also love eating some good chicken soup. I am going to try the garlic and onions, with the skins on, next time I make it. I usually make ham and pinto beans and always with cornbread. They seem to get better after a day or two in the frig.....Enjoy your football, I'm watching HGTV.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Granny said...

P. S. I should have looked at the hot sauce bottle. It's Tapatio (I just made an aunt out of an uncle).

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

"Studies show that folks who put too much pressure on themselves get more colds than those who don't."

Interesting. Now I know why my boss gets a lot of colds and I don't get any. Heh, heh.

My boss did tell me that he drinks orange juice when he feels a cold lurking within. It'll head that cold off at the pass. I've tried it and it seems to work.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Great tips for preventing colds. I just got over mine last week.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Jim said...

My mother always said to keep my feet dry.

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous paul martin said...

Another tip: to avoid the common cold, you can become housebound and mostly bedridden from a rare progressive illness.

I have to laugh, no kidding Lucy... the last fifteen years of my life, as I developed first muscle problems, then gradual weight loss/deterioration of connective tissue, severe peripheral neuropathy and osteoporosis, have, in all other ways, been the "healthiest" of my life!

In particular, and to me, really weird, is that in the last four years, when I've gone downhill fast, I haven't had so much as a sniffle.

This is number one on my life's list of "Go Figure..."

Seeking the ridiculous in tragedy -

(My sense of humor has darkened over the years, but better than depression. Seriously, I do see humor as a spiritual thing, a way of transcendence.)

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Oh great One said...

Those are great tips. I can't help but think that drinking that chicken soup would help prevent a cold because people wouldn't want to get TOO close to you with your garlic and onion breath! *wink*

At 12:14 AM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I avoid doorknobs like the plague. My family will attest to this. They make fun of me for pulling my sleeve down before I open public doors.
I hope your family avoids all colds and flus, and I hope the same for my family.
So far, so good for us too!!
My daughter has chronic sinus infections and has had to have two sinus surgeries. She is due for another, poor thing. She has a nasal irrigator with saline solution to help soothe and alleviate her chronic problems. I wish it was a cure-all, but for her it's not enough. I would highly recommend it though for anyone who suffers from allergies or sinus problems.
Thanks for sharing all these tips. This is the season we most need them!!

At 12:19 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Going along with what Jamie Dawn said.....THE NETTIE POT is a great think for the cleansing out of the sinuses, even when you don't have a cold or Flu or a Sinus Infection. I know of some people who use it every day just as a precaurionary measure.
There is also a GREAT Product that is made by BIO-CHEM, called CITRICIDAL....(There are other Citricidals made by other company's, but this is the one I know and it is a GREAT Product...).
It contains Extract of Grapefruit and Echinnacea abguttifolia root plus one other ingredient....
It is like a natural Anti-Biotic without the bad parts of Anti-Piotics....And it is a precautionary measure, too...

This a very helpful post, Lucy, with good advice...! Thanks very much for this!

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

These are some great tips. I had heard of some but not all of them. I have a kettle of soup simmering right now but it has a beef base with lots of veggies, onions and garlic as well as parsley which is a great diuretic. I wish I had the energy to make some bread to go with it. Maybe tomorrow...

At 7:01 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Big Dave - orange juice is a good source of Vit. C and it will help.

Susie - now you know how to prevent the next one.

Jim - that is a good one. There is nothing worse than cold, wet feet to get a cold started.

Paul - I wonder if some of the medicatioin you are on helps. Hummm.

Oh Great One - you can't smell the garlic or the onions once you have eaten it. It does smell good while it is cooking....

jamie dawn - Sorry to hear that your daughter gets such bad sinus infections. We all have our battles in the health care arena and some of us fight bigger ones than others. I'm glad that the nasal irrigator helps her.

Naomi - I like the idea that the Citricidal is made from natural products.

mountain mama - Yummmmm, homemade bread. I was talking recipes just last night. Have you ever made bread in a bread machine. It doesn't take much energy and it's just as good. I ususally do it just before going to bed and it only takes about five minutes. I set the timer and in the morning we wake up of freshly cooked homemade bread. Thanks for the tip on the parsley.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thanks for your visit, Lucy...I was really thrilled to find these pictures...And it sure did jog the memories!

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Just hello...

Have a nice day.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

Well with my house full of sickos I decided to make some chicken and rice soup for them. I did indeed add garlic and onions to the brew and it smelled amazing! Unfortunately everyone felt so poorly that they were unable to eat more than a few bites. So it didn't do them any good. I ate a bowl and found it to be tasty.

At 5:01 PM, Blogger Susie Q said...

These are some of the ideas that my family always used! My Dad's family was from the South, lived on a farm and had very little money. AND they got over illnesses fast! These are great suggestions!
And I LOVED that spinach dip from the last post! I think it will be used this weekend! Yum!


At 6:08 PM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

Thanks soooo much for leaving me a comment on my blogoversary post today. I'm always delighted to meet new people. As to doing the review of the book.....I would love to be able to do that but oh my, I haven't done a bookreport since I got out of highschool at 16.....54 years ago!!!! So I wouldn't know how to begin. Sorry but hope you'll come back again.

At 4:14 AM, Blogger Zoey said...

Hi Lucy,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I must admit that I use a paper towel all the time at work to open door knobs. I also keep hand sanitizer in my desk. So far (knock on wood) it's worked this year.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Hi Lucy -- I made some chicken potato & vegetable soup yesterday for my son-in-law. He has a 'sinus infection.' It acts like a cold but the doc said 'sinus infection.'
I have soup pictures for blogging if I can find time for a longer blog.
We took Billy some cough medicine too. He and Karen live in Katy. (They are co-authors in my blog but don't write anything.)

That flood was not good. The Granada was insured but our furniture and two other cars--T-bird and Pinto--weren't.
We survived, God was good to us.
The house was insured.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger NoSurfGirl said...

whoo hoo! let's combine our illness-fighting superpowers, Lucy.

I feel another cold coming on. Yikes. So I'll be taking that echinacea, now that I'm no longer carrying Sam inside mine own self.

Thanks for the reminder about zinc, too!

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Thanks, Lucy, for the heads up on "Bonfire."
She has a nice blog. It sure would have been nice to go with those guys to NASA. Did they take you?
I left NASA in 1980 to teach business at San Jac. I left her a note saying that and a little more.
Oh yes, our first house was rented on Bronson Street, off Edgebrook. We moved to Friendswood in 1976.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Jim, I was a student at San Jac from Jan. 1969 till December 1970, then I moved on to Sam Houston State. My sister lives off of Fuqua behind Almeda Mall. She works at Macy's (old Foley's). When I was a young girl I used to love listening to the airplanes take off and land at Hobby. Sometimes we would go to the Airport and go on top of the old terminal and watch the planes. I was there the day before JFK died to see him when he came into Houston. My mom took us there to see him. What memories.

At 3:16 AM, Blogger Leslie said...

I've heard of garlic and onion fighting off germs.

You always have great tips that are easy to try at home.


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