Your immune system is your body’s armor when it comes to harmful germs and bacteria. The best way to prevent catching a cold is to have a healthy immune system. Here’s a few easy ways to do that:

Get regular exercise, followed by good rest.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
Wash your hands regularly.
Get as much fresh air as you can steal.
Minimize your stress. Yoga and Tai Chi are two great forms of relaxation on an ongoing basis.

Once you’ve got a cold, there’s not much you can do but fortify your immunities to fight it off. Here’s some advice on that:

Ever heard the saying “Feed a fever and starve a cold”? old wives’ tale, right? Well, research by Dutch scientists suggests that eating boosts the type of immune response needed to fight off the common cold virus, while fasting from food promotes a different type of immune reaction necessary to overcome the bacterial infections that trigger most fevers. So it seems like they just had it backwards. You should feed a cold, and starve a fever. No matter what you do, the key is WHAT you eat and drink.

When you’re sick, drink plenty of liquids (especially those high in Vitamin C) and eat fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the colorful ones that are high in Vitamins A and C.

If you want to starve that fever by only having soup, I recommend a spicy, garlicky vegetable broth over chicken and noodles. Unless the soup is full of garlic, ginger, hot pepper, and vegetables the chicken and noodles isn’t what’s helping anyway!

Take some herbs, like those listed below (see Herbs = Medicine by Supreme Understanding). Garlic, ginger, and cayenne make a very effective tea.

At the supermarket, you can also find a natural cold and flu remedy known as Airborne. You drop it in some water and it makes an orangey drink that helps quickly boost your immune system.

If you can’t make it to the health food store or even the supermarket, here’s a ghetto remedy: A 99 cent bag of Lay’s Flaming Hot chips (the hot pepper opens up the sinuses) and a 20 oz. bottle of 100% orange juice (boosts the immune system). I can’t promise you any results, but it works for me.

Herbs that Help Fight Colds and Flu Symptoms

Celery seed
German Chamomile
Licorice root
Siberian Ginseng
Wild yam

Colds generally go away in about 7 to 10 days. Many holistic practitioners see the symptoms of a cold as the body’s natural way of eliminating a virus. However, if you have an underlying lung condition, like asthma or emphysema, and you see your conditions going from bad to worse…it’s time to see a doctor. (See “Healing and Treatment.”)
Take the above measures to eliminate or prevent a cold. If your coughing and sneezing everywhere, get some fresh air and sun.

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