Out Cold

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Everywhere in town, cold season beckons with sneezing and coughing disturbing our body’s equilibrium.

Tissue held tightly in hand, we pounce on our nose to catch any particulates that might be dangling from the effects of the ineffable sneeze. Our body pronounces c-o-l-d with loud hoarse hacking to work up the mucus that gathers in an irritated throat.

The misery dealing with a cold virus certainly shakes up the body. We soon realize that this virus has proliferated at an alarming rate, totally slamming the body into a state of high alert. More sneezes issue out of the lung’s deep recesses, expelling tiny microbes out into the world to circulate grandiose plans of sickness.

As inconvenient as it is, cold symptoms serve a very good purpose toward building the body back into shape.

First and foremost an aching tired body says, “Slow down.” We all push ourselves too much to meet demands such as family, friends and work. We go, go, go, and the body willingly goes along, cranking more coal onto the fire, spinning those wheels faster down the track. But soon the coal is used up, you run out of steam and invariably your engine stops. Opportunity arises and before you can say “acute viral rhinopharyngitis,” a cold has stepped on board your train of health.

Sneezing during a cold is annoying but a good ploy on the body to expel germs. The irritated lining of the nose fills with mucus that is normally clear but when bombarded with white blood cells to fight infection, it creates a yellow-green color indicating the immune system is at work and the virus is loosing the battle.

The dripping, nose stuff can be handled with a decongestant so we can continue on with our plans. But sitting down to rest, sipping a cup of hot tea with lemon, might be a better choice, allowing the body the energy to take up its own defenses. Mucus-forming foods such as milk, cheese, eggs and wheat might not be a good idea for the body at this time, and especially not a double bacon burger from Junk-in-the-Box. There is something to say about the warmth and coziness found in chicken soup, with its anti-inflammatory effects that ease mucus production and help with achy muscles.

The body is an incredible multi-tasking machine, pumping the heart, working the lungs, walking, and talking all at the same time. It reminds us we are a mind boggling example of extreme efficiency and workmanship.

Tackling a cold virus is another duty the body must engage its resources for, so – once again – give it a break. Get some rest. No, get lots of rest. Take a day off and relax and give the body the time and energy it needs to bring back health to its optimum level. Here’s the thing.

By not treating your body properly with rest and instead cramming it full of decongestants that can knock out a rhino or cough syrups that rival any bedtime snack, the cold just goes underground yet continues to roam around inside the body waiting for the right moment.

It won’t have to wait long, the body now preoccupied with eliminating the chemicals from the cold medicines stewing in the body.  If medicines are a must, reach for herbal ones instead. It’s a much better idea to use elderberry with its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, or garlic as a natural antibiotic and goldenseal with its ability to activate white blood cells. Peppermint has its menthol and eucalyptus its eucalyptol and both are both wonderful decongestants for unclogging a stuffed nose and congested chest.

Drink lots of water. Fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies and aid in the production of mucus. So during a cold the body requires good quality water to help combat the infection and keep the body from becoming dehydrated.

Having a cold is not a fun deal but remember it’s the body’s signal to flip the switch to off and simply get some long overdue rest.

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