by Agatha Thrash, M.D.
The viruses of colds are always present in the nose and throat of most of the population, and the body’s condition makes one more easily infected at certain times. These viruses don’t strongly stimulate the body’s immune mechanism, nor do they produce a high fever or increased levels of white blood cells and antibodies. Since these defense mechanisms help rid the body of invading organisms, our focus will be on vigorously stimulating them into action.
“Hungry” White Cells
Vigorous exercise can increase the count by one or two thousand white blood cells per cubic millimeter. These extra cells come from the spleen, bone marrow, and various tissues where they’ve been kept in reserve.
Ordinarily, a white blood cell can “eat” 14 germs of certain kinds in 30 minutes, so it’s important to avoid anything that will cause them to be less “hungry.”
As sugar levels rise in the blood, the number of germs a white blood cell can eat goes down promptly. Foods rich in oil will act in the same way, and since milk is high in fat and tends to promote mucus production, it should be avoided.
Since both licit and illicit drugs affect the white blood cells’ ability to fight off the viruses, they should be avoided. Antibiotics don’t touch cold viruses. Nose drops and antihistamines tend to cause rebound congestion and over-secretion. Aspirin irritates the stomach and causes viruses to be shed more abundantly in the nasal secretion and mouth droplets, making the patient more infectious to those around him. Cough medicines tend to upset the gastrointestinal tract and cause retention of secretions. Drinking alcohol makes one more susceptible to infectious illnesses, and smoking causes the phagocytic index (the “eating” ability) of the cell to decrease, especially in the lungs.
Simple is Best
Simple remedies should be used for a cold, and treatment should ideally begin within 15 minutes of the very first symptom.
A deep breathing exercise often stops a cold dead in its tracks! Take the deepest breath you can, slowly exhale over 10 to 20 seconds, and push out the breath as far as possible. After 40 to 50 breaths of this kind, the tissues of the nose, throat, and chest will be refreshed; new blood will have been brought in, and toxic materials and viruses will be washed away.
If you are able to walk four to six miles or more at the onset of symptoms, you have the best chance of throwing off the cold.
Decrease all food intake and use no sugar or oil. It is better not to have a complete food fast, but keep meals ultra-simple. Eat on a regular schedule and use no juices—even orange juice—since they are high in sugars.
Body temperature should be carefully regulated, allowing no patch of skin to become chilled anywhere on the body—especially the feet, hands, and back of the neck. This point is very important since viruses can more readily attack the nose and throat if any part of the body is chilled.
Instead of cough syrup, use a large drink of water every time you cough. The extra water loosens up the secretions, lubricates the surfaces, and dilutes toxins. Adults can take a little honey into which has been stirred a small drop of eucalyptus oil or mint leaves to combat a cough. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water between meals.
Alternating hot and cold baths will stimulate the white blood cells in the bloodstream. A healthy person can sit in a hot tub for 15 to 20 minutes, followed by a 30-second cold shower and a brisk rubdown with a coarse towel. Keep a cold washcloth wrung from ice water on the forehead during the last half of the treatment, and be sure to lie in bed 30 minutes to allow the treatment to “react.” Repeat daily until well. This treatment can keep you on your feet and keep you from spreading the viruses.