The Cure for the Common Cold?
Cold and flu season is here. Add a pandemic into the mix, and the slightest cough or sniffle can result in someone spending several days at home. As this blog has repeatedly pointed out, building resilience in the form of immunity is the ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure in missing work or school.
Yet the coronavirus known as the common cold has eluded a cure for as long as we have been suffering with it. Or has it?
The oldest book of Chinese herbalism actually lists scores of formulas dedicated to treating a pathogenic influence that proceeds from the exterior to the interior of the body. Depending on the duration of the illness and the constellation of symptoms, there is thought to be an herbal remedy to nullify the course of the disease and result in a rapid recovery.
Few Western practitioners of Chinese herbalism have this level of sophistication at prescribing remedies for acute illness. Furthermore, the average patient may be unable to get to a clinic during the early stages of a cold. This is especially true in the era of COVID-19, when allied health professionals are discouraged from treating patients with upper respiratory symptoms in person.
The ancient Chinese are not the only ones with effective treatments for the common cold. Western herbalists, naturopathic physicians, and chiropractors all have strategies to boost innate immunity. I recently learned about a new holistic treatment when Dr. Joseph Mercola interviewed Dr. David Brownstein about his experience treating COVID-19 patients in his office.
The interview detailed oxidative therapies, such as administering intravenous ozone, but the home remedy recommended for patients experiencing extreme respiratory distress was use of a nebulizer to aerosolize a dilute solution of food-grade hydrogen peroxide. It was a fascinating discussion worth a listen, but the gist is that a 0.1% solution of food-grade peroxide can be combined with a liquid form of iodine/iodide and inhaled via a nebulizer. While the discussion focused on case studies of COVID-19 illness, the mechanism of this therapy would apply to any upper respiratory infection.
Some people take food security seriously and stock several weeks’ worth of food in case of a shortage. This is a wise practice. I’m also a proponent of having alternative forms of medicine on hand in case conventional healthcare becomes overwhelmed.
After watching that interview, I decided to keep a nebulizer in my house for future respiratory needs. I soon had the opportunity to try it out, not because of COVID-19 but because our daughter started showing signs of a head cold.
When she has had colds, her pattern is fairly consistent: two or three days of a sore throat, followed by two or three days of sinus drainage, and finally two or three days of a cough to complete the catharsis. The important point here is that what most people think of as being sick, the miserable alternating stuffiness and drainage, is the body overcoming the illness that began as a sore throat. Thus, when our daughter reported to us one evening that she had a scratchy throat, we quickly set up the nebulizer.
She slept soundly that night and woke to a mild sore throat. We had her use the nebulizer again, and her sore throat resolved within the hour. This is a dramatic turnaround compared to the usual course of a common cold for her. Drainage followed, and she went through an entire box of tissues, but even that period was truncated to one day with barely any cough to speak of.
Did we just treat a head cold in record time? We know our daughter and appreciate how quickly she recovered and returned to normal activities later that week.
The nebulization of a hydrogen peroxide and iodine/iodide solution wasn’t the only treatment we used. The full protocol included holistic remedies such as colloidal silver, liposomal vitamin C, and elderberry extract. We used those remedies to treat previous colds, but the addition of the nebulizer was a game changer. This is only one case, but as parents we felt it was a very compelling one. Just imagine if every household had these therapies on hand.
Note: the webpage with Dr. Mercola’s instructions has been taken down. According to my notes, he recommended the Pari Trek S nebulizer. I was happy with the results I obtained from the PulmoNeb LT nebulizer.