natural cures for the cold

  1. Probiotics can cure the common cold

    How a belly full of good bacteria can beat the common cold

    If you've ever been to my clinic in the San Diego area, then you've probably heard my speech about the importance of a quality probiotic supplement.

    I believe that just about everyone needs to be taking one, and I take one myself.

    Now, new research confirms just one of the many benefits I've spoken to my patients about: Probiotics can help beat the common cold.

    Probiotic supplements with strains of Lactobacillus and/or Bifidobacterium bacteria, taken when sick, lead to fewer days ill per year and fewer missed days of school or work.

    Overall, probiotics will shorten the duration of the average cold by about a day when compared to a placebo, according to the review of 12 studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

    But other studies have found an even bigger benefit -- with one showing how probiotics can actually lop two days off the average six-day cold, reducing the time spent sniffling and sneezing by a third.

    The only thing better than reducing the duration of your cold by a day or two is not getting sick in the first place -- and probiotics can help there, too, because studies have shown they can help boost your immune system so you're better able to fight off both bacterial and viral illnesses.

    And that includes common respiratory infections.

    Fact is, I rarely get sick despite being exposed to viruses all the time at work -- and I believe my daily probiotic plays a big role in that.

    But don't stop with a probiotic.

    For more natural ways to prevent or cure the common cold -- including a common mineral proven to stop the reproduction of the virus that causes the cold -- check out this free report from my House Calls archives.

  2. Natural cold remedies

    Make it through cold season without a sniffle

    Spring may be just around the corner, but it's hard to tell in a lot of places.

    For many, we're still smack in the middle of cold season -- and I don't just mean the temperature. It's that time of year when everyone, even in some warm weather places, seems to be coughing, wheezing, sniffling and sneezing.

    Maybe you've heard that there's no cure for the common cold, but that's not exactly true.

    While there's no drug that can cure the cold, completely natural cold remedies can help you in two major ways.

    First, they can stop you from getting sick, even as everyone around you is stocking up on tissues and cough drops.

    And second, if you do get sick, they can shorten the duration and ease the severity of the symptoms. Fewer cough drops, fewer tissues, and fewer days where you just can't get out of bed.

    You can get started with natural cold remedies right now with a back-to-basics approach: wash your hands.

    Simple, yes, but a new study confirms that a little soap and water -- and even an alcohol-based hand sanitizer -- are quite possibly the most effective weapons against the cold, killing the virus and preventing it from spreading. (Just don't make the mistake of picking up a hand sanitizer with toxic triclosan in it. Read this to learn more.)

    But don't stop with good hygiene, though it is essential for good health along with other natural cold remedies.

    The mineral zinc can also play a key role in keeping you healthy during cold season. The new analysis of hundreds of studies finds zinc's best role may be in preventing the cold, but I've seen plenty of other evidence to show that zinc can also help if you get sick.

    One study found that even very low doses of zinc can shorten your cold by an average of 1.6 days, while higher doses of 75 mg per day are twice as effective -- taking nearly three days off the average cold.

    If turning a weeklong battle with cold misery into a couple of days of sniffling and sneezing isn't a cure for the cold, I don't know what is.

    Zinc works because it can stop the rhinovirus that causes the cold from reproducing. When the virus stops reproducing, you stop feeling sick.

    The best way to get zinc (at least for fighting colds) is from a lozenge, some of which also contain other helpful ingredients such as Echinacea and homeopathic remedies.

    Two words of advice here: First, don't bite or chew the lozenge. Let it dissolve slowly in your mouth instead.

    And second, don't eat one after another like candy -- because too much zinc can give you a stomachache, nausea, gas and even diarrhea. If you're aiming for the full 75 mg per day I mentioned earlier, it's best the spread it out and take one lozenge every few hours.

    While you're at it, don't forget a quality probiotic supplement. A bellyful of good bacteria is essential to a strong immune system. One study even found that probiotic supplements can shorten the duration of the cold and ease symptoms at the same time.

    Just be sure to get the right stuff: a quality probiotic blend with high amounts of human-tested strains.

    For more on the benefits of probiotics and how to choose one that's right for you, be sure to see the May 2012 edition of my subscription newsletter, Health Revelations.

    Current subscribers, use the password in your current issue to read it for free in my online archives. Not a subscriber? Get started here.

  3. Probiotics can help beat the cold

    A probiotic blend can help reduce the severity of the common cold and shorten the duration, according to the latest research.

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