How to treat the common cold

If you have a non-productive cough, your body is having a hard time coughing up whatever is in your lungs that is irritating — an infection, an inhaled irritant, or a food

to which your body is “sensitive”, thus causing a response with increased mucus production — but maybe the mucus isn’t thin enough or copious enough to help carry the irritant out on the cough. Two favorite approached to non-productive cough are:

1) N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC. You can get this at Rainbow Foods or Ron’s or probably even Fred’s or Superbear. Take at least 600 mg at bedtime — 1200 would be better, to loosen the mucus and help you both have productive coughs.

2) A wonderful pediatric remedy for cough (works for adults too) is 1 cup hot water with the juice of 1 lemon, and 1 T honey. 2-3 times daily.

If you have sinus congestion make sure it’s bacterial (usually with yellowish or greenish secretions, which can be cultured to confirm) before taking antibiotics. If it’s viral antibiotics will just be an expensive way to upset your intestines. Try a neti pot, or a newer method called “Nasopure” available at Rainbow Foods and online at If your congeston is already too impacted to flush out with a neti pot then try a steam inhalation: put about 1/2 tsp of Vicks VapoRub in the bottom of a large bowl, fill with HOT water and lean over the bowl with a big towel over your head, shoulders and the bowl. Don’t burn your face! Do this several times daily until the steam dissipates. The menthol is anti-viral but also, mostly, will help loosen mucus topically.

Also, for any cold/flu LOTS of Vit C -3-5 grams daily – and plenty of hot fluids are proven methods to shorten the course of the illness.

Echinacea is an effective anti-viral for blood types A, B and AB. Not so useful for type O. O’s should choose Astragalus, Eleutherococcus or Larch arabinogalactan as anti-microbials. All of these gentle but powerful herbal remedies are widely available.


Lastly, if you can treat your “crud” right at the very beginning of the illness, the popular homeopathic remedy “Oscillococcinum” can certainly help shorten the illness. If you are pretty sure it’s viral (secretions are clear, body/muscle aches, feverish) do NOT suppress the fever with aspirin or other anti-pyretics (unless treating someone under age 6 or going on more than 3 days with a fever) because HEAT is a potent anti-viral. Mounting a fever is the appropriate immune response to a viral infection. Go with it!