How can I treat a Head Cold?

Q: I have this head cold that has been around all winter. What should I do? Do I need antibiotics?

A: As a general rule of thumb, if your secretions (snot, and that stuff you cough up in the morning) are yellowish or greenish that means you have a BACTERIAL infection. Bacteria cannot penetrate our cell walls, and do their damage at the edges of the cells, where our white blood cells can come to the rescue to try to gobble up the invading microbes. Pus, snot and all that nasty slimy stuff is actually your own dead white blood cells which have done battle and now must be discarded into the Kleenex. If this has been going on for a long time AND you think you’re eating right, getting plenty of sleep and pushing pure fluids (that means at least 8 big glasses of fresh water daily; tea and fruit juice is additional), you MAY need antibiotics. Before going to antibiotics for a bacterial infection be advised to try a 10 day course of Echinacea in tincture or capsule form, supplemented with Lomatium, extra Vitamin C, lots of garlicky soup and rest. If you decide to go with antibiotics for a problem that is chronic (on-going) PLEASE get your doctor to order a “culture and sensitivity” so you get an antibiotic that is specific to the bug. If possible avoid broad-spectrum antibiotics like Amoxicillin or Bactrim.If your secretions are clear or colorless you probably have a VIRAL infection, in which case antibiotics won’t do any good at all; in fact they’ll harm you by destroying the “friendly” micro-organisms in you gut which help you digest food properly thereby bringing raw energy to your blood and tissues. Most viruses “run their course” and then the body adjusts to having them around. They live on in us indefinitely, since they take up residence INSIDE our cells, where the principle components of our immune system – the white blood cells – can’t touch them. Under periods of stress, these viral parasites will flare up and create symptoms of disease. The best approach in general to viral infections is upgrading your constitutional health on all fronts and making the commitment to minimizing undue stress.