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The common cold is a viral upper respiratory tract infection.It is contagious A person whose immune system is weakened (for example due to immune system diseases, stress, insomnia or certain drugs), may have difficulty fighting off the infection. The virus remains infectious for around five days after developing symptoms and the infection itself typically lasts between 7 and 14 days.

It may be just a cold but it is nothing to sneeze at...herbs, chicken soup, zinc and even your hairdryer can be part of the healing arsenal.

Nip it in the bud
At the first hint of a cold drink ELDERFLOWER tea at least 3 times a day.
Sniff vitamin C powder – targeting the vitamin directly at the nasal mucosa can stop the virus in its tracks (be warned – it can sting a bit).

Head off a cold
As soon as the cold or flu symptoms start – take 200 mg of vitamin C five times a day with added BIOFLAVONOIDS, which enhance the effectiveness by 35%. Vitamin C is water soluble and an excess will be excreted by the kidneys. If the dose is too high, then the vitamin C will then be excreted by the bowel – so if you develop diarrhoea, cut down on the dose.

, ASHWAGANDA or ECHINACEA tincture or capsules, four times a day for around five days.

Bring on the flu fighters
At the first sign of flu, take ELDERBERRY JUICE OR TINCTURE. Research has shown it can reduce the duration and severity of flu from 6 days to 48 hours.

Soothe sore throat.
Liquorice and Thyme syrup
is wonderfully soothing. Liquorice has a natural anti-inflammatory action whilst thyme is strongly anti-bacterial. It can be taken freely for old and young alike, unless the person is diabetic. Too much liquorice can loosen the bowels.

A reeking remedy
A dose of neat garlic will fight those viruses. Garlic juice or capsules, in addition ,will help the breakdown of thick sticky mucous.

Blow the virus away
A UK study found that people who breathed in heated air had half of the symptoms of those that breathed in air at room temperature – set your hairdryer on warm and hold it at arms length and breathe in the air through your nose – at least 2/3 minutes and ideally 20 minutes.

Clear out congestion
Drink a cup of ginger tea. Ginger tincture contains gingerol which are natural cough suppressants and also help to block bronchial congestion.

Make a steam tent
Add boiling water into a large bowel and drape a towel over your head. Breathe in through the nose and out of the mouth for at 5-10 minutes. Adding eucalytpus oil will help to clear the nasal passages but don't forget to close your eyes!

The best treatment for a cold is rest and sufficient food and water. This allows your body time to focus on fighting the viral infection. Anti-biotics play no role in the cure of the cold as anti-biotics fight bacteria, while the common cold is caused by a virus. Secondary bacterial infections may however develop as bacteria may take advantage of a person's lowered immune system strength while fighting the viral infection. Secondary bacterial infections include infections of the nasal cavity, sinusitis and lung infections such as pneumonia. Please consult your healthcare practitioner if your cold persists for longer than one week.