Fall is upon us. All of a sudden the nights and mornings have become cooler. The days are shorter and the seasonal produce is changing. Our bodies try to adjust but very commonly we still succumb to the common cold, with its characteristic sniffles, nasal congestions, headaches, and mild cough. This and many other upper respiratory infections involving the throat or sinuses start trickling into the doctor’s offices. Many folks are looking for a quick fix and many are outright demanding the prescriptions for antibiotics.
I strongly oppose frivolous use of antibiotics and think that many readers of Natural Awakenings will agree with me. Most of common upper respiratory infections and colds are viral in nature and can be prevented by clever wellness lifestyles and cured by natural remedies.
Prevention starts with sleeping 7-8 hours daily, exercising regularly, drinking adequate fluids, and eating 3 healthy balanced meals and 2 snacks during the day. Wash your hands with liquid soap and water. I do not recommend using all these hand sanitizers out there. The use of these hand gels, lotions, and foams is yet another propaganda, another billion dollar contract with someone who manufactures these foams. Watch these thingies pop up in every school, bank, hospital, etc. People wind up with sticky hands, which are bound to collect more germs. People also get a false feeling that they don’t really need to wash their hands that often- now that they have smeared them with “magic gel”. Who conducted the research studying the bactericidal and viricidal properties of these commercial foams and gels? I’d be guessing: the sponsors of the studies were manufacturers themselves.
Unfortunately, if you are a nervous person, the disease will get you even if you appear to be in best shape physically. This happens due to the deleterious effects of prolonged exposure to cortisol on our immune system. So, yoga, mediation, prayer or any other emotionally cleansing exercise should be part of your daily wellness mantra.
At this time of the year it would also help to check your vitamin and mineral levels. Replenishing what you are deficient in will help to boost your immune system for the entire season.
Intravenous vitamin drips are very popular in our office this time of the year as they provide a quick and sure way to deliver the vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract.
But should you still get afflicted with the bug, here are a couple of my favorite natural remedies:
Footbath for common cold: this is great for any viral cold presenting with runny nose, sniffles and nasal congestion. Fill up a medium to large foot bassinet with hot water. How hot? Well, make sure not to burn yourself, but make it sufficiently hot but still comfortable. Dissolve one heaping tablespoon of dry mustard powder in the water; dip your feet, making sure your ankles are fully covered with water. Close your eyes and relax for 15 minutes. Dry your feet thoroughly. Put warm cotton or wool socks on and get a good night sleep. You are sure to wake up feeling 95% better.
Gogol-Mogol: a soothing cough remedy, used for centuries by all eastern Europeans, from the Polish to the Ukrainians. Every ethnic culture adds its own twist to the recipe but I will describe what I have been using throughout my whole life and with my patients who suffer from intractable cough. Bring 8 oz. of whole organic milk to a boil in a ceramic or glass container. Stir in one egg yolk. Add 1/3 teaspoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of honey. Stir vigorously. Drink one teaspoon at a time, slowly over several hours. This concoction coats the back of the throat, calms the cough, improves the hoarseness of the laryngitis. It may not good for your cholesterol, but it is only for a moment address the cough.
Tea for unremitting influenza fevers: regular Lipton tea (decaf is fine) with one teaspoon of raspberry preserves. This infusion creates an antipyretic that has a fever-lowering effect, which is extremely effective, especially when you have maxed out on all the allowed Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
Milk with baking soda: for a cough or a scratchy throat. Pre-boil an 8oz glass of whole organic milk in a glass or ceramic container and stir in 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drink slowly, over 15 minutes. Works wonders for adults and kids, even though it doesn’t have the best taste.
I hope you all have a healthful and productive Autumn!
For more information, please contact Dr. Kogan, founder of The Doctors at Trump Place MedSpa at 212-580-0900 or visit www.DTPdoctors.com
Doctors at Trump Place Longevity Institute and MediSpa
Where Traditional Medicine Meets Holistic Healing
Taking Care of New Yorkers since 2001
194 Riverside Boulevard
New York, NY 10069