The Common Cold: Natural Treatment and Prevention


Dr. Stephanie Peltz, ND

With the changing of the weather, the season for the common cold is here.  We have been witness to many of you suffering from the cold virus symptoms of nasal congestion, sore throat, headaches and fatigue.  We can help when you have a cold…please don’t cancel your appointment!   If you have a cold, come on in.  Your naturopath can prescribe natural remedies that support your immune system so you can beat that cold more efficiently.

We can also help with prevention.  The common cold is here so lets get your lifestyle and supplement routine ready.

Hygiene: back to basics…

Frequent hand washing with soap and water is the simplest way to prevent getting sick.  But don’t hold back:  get in there between those fingers and under those nails.  30 seconds is required to get your hands thoroughly clean.

Nutrition: what you are putting in your body? 

Fluids are essential.  Staying hydrated keeps the membranes of the respiratory tract healthy which is one of our most basic defenses against viruses and bacteria.  Water, herb teas, and broths are ideal.

Cut out the sweets.  As little as a teaspoon of sugar can decrease your immune function for 6 hrs.  Remember you can satisfy a sweet tooth with naturally sweet whole foods like beets, peaches, or berries.

Got Colour? Foods rich in antioxidants are protective to the immune system.  They inactivate harmful molecules that are produced during an infection.  Brightly coloured foods are high in antioxidants (like berries, carrots, and leafy greens).

Lifestyle, do you live in balance?

Relax:  Elevations of the stress hormone cortisol lead to depressed immune response.  Allowing yourself to become overworked and emotionally / physically stressed will only lead to increased susceptibility to colds and flus.  So take a break, doctor’s orders!

Go to bed:  Lack of sleep can increase your likelihood of getting sick and make it more difficult to recover from illness.  Listen to your body!  Rest whenever possible to prevent (and treat) illness.

For those of you feeling the wrath…

Don’t suffer in silence!  There are a plethora of natural remedies to suit your needs.  Supplements such as Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, omega 3’s, B vitamins;  herbs such as Echinacea, garlic, thyme, ginger and various homeopathic preparations can all be of great benefit.  See your naturopathic doctor to get a personalized treatment protocol that fits your exact needs.

If your cold progresses to a chest or sinus infection…

This is most certainly the time to see you naturopath.  A cold is an acute condition that makes us miserable, flexes our immune muscle, we recover and we are stronger for it.  If your cold progresses to a deeper infection which means that bacteria have invaded the mucous congested areas due to the original viral infection, your body’s immune system may be compromised for a host of different reasons.  Finding the root cause of that imbalance is the work of your naturopath who can support you in full recovery as well as help prevent deeper infections from becoming your new normal during cold season.

Whether for prevention or treatment, let’s take on this fall cold season well prepared!