Sending Away the Sniffles

by Tom Swift

I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on the Internet. I do not know what works for anyone else but here are my keys to dealing with the icks:

– Drink lots of water. Duh. You have to flush out the bad stuff.

– Put a splash of apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”) in your water 2-3 times per day. Helps you flush out the bad stuff.

– Drink warm, sugar-free beverages. The throat and chest especially appreciate hot tea. Green and ginger are my favorites. Chamomile would fit the bill here for its calming effects but, turns out, I don’t much like chamomile. Or anything else that tastes like a liquid flower.

– Consume Vitamin C in food form. Even some lemon or lime in your water helps. Cooked broccoli is another favorite way.

– Fast. Go at least 16 hours without eating — without consuming calories at all (black coffee or straight herbal tea are fine). Confine your calories into shorter windows than usual. In other words, I am definitely in the “starve the cold” rather than the “feed the cold” camp. When the body is in a fasted state it can more efficiently rid you of the icky. There is a school of thought that you should go further — 24-hour-plus fasts. That may be wise but it’s not my way. I feel like I do need some fuel. But eating all day? That is a good recipe only if your goal is to increase mucous production.

– Exercise. A little. In short bursts. This is not the time to start that marathon training that you added to your list of goals for 2020 but haven’t acted on yet, of course, but even moderate movement — I like resistance bands and the little buddy still needs his walks — helps create the kind of blood cells that make you feel better. Rest is essential, no doubt about it, but you gotta move, too. You don’t want to lie in bed all day even when you want to lie in bed all day.

– Stay warm. Wear a hat — to bed, if necessary.

– Take an extra warm shower before bed. Feel the Ahh.

– Avoid all refined sugar as though it were pure evil in granulated form.

– Use medication as a last resort. If I take anything, it’s some ibuprofen, to keep inflammation down. But if I can avoid it, really, I want to. The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself. That is, I stay out of its way.