It’s sunny and warm today; hard to believe the cold season is upon us. I think most people only worry about colds in the fall and winter but I am always on guard during spring. I used to get a real nasty cold each spring until I learned how to survive the cold and flu season’s nasty little sister.
First, I stay well-dressed in the spring. I am unafraid to wear a stocking cap when women have already transitioned to sandals and flip-flops. I was told long ago that weather had nothing to do with the either a cold or flu however that was recently disproved. I can’t remember the journal but it was reported that the cold virus survives better in a host that has a lower body temperature. Most virus obtains entry to the body through your nose or mouth. If you keep your nose covered, your head warm and your neck scarved you will present an environment that is hostile to the cold virus.
I wear a neck gaiter all winter long-so often that I have several so that I can rotate them through the laundry. I wear a stocking cap from late harvest through muddy road season and cover my nose during the worst of winter.
I also have a regular practice of purging bacteria or virus from my head. I purchase generic Listerine two bottles at a time and use them morning and night. If you think about it, gargling is the nuclear option in a battle against cold. I mean, you wholesale slaughter millions or germs as you gargle plus your throat and sinus reacts to the oils in Listerine by opening. All of these passages in your head collect the bacteria that causes infection in your bodily fluids. When you open these passages up, all of that trapped stuff gets flushed from your head and down the sink.
I have long advocated flushing your sinus with water or salt water. This is a simple mechanical process that uses warm water and salt to loosen up all the nastiness inside your sinuses and remove it. It is a more-aggressive form of my Listerine treatment that goes beyond the soft palate and into the area behind your nose. There are neti-pots and other electrical devices to achieve this however I always use a large cattle syringe (without the needle-duh), fill it with warm water and seal it against one nostril. I then gently flush the water into one nostril until it comes out the other. If I am too aggressive it comes down at the back of my throat which is a little gross but is also effective. This is an act that should not be performed in front one who has given you their love as seeing you in this state may make them question their decision.
I also use Zicam if I even think I am close to getting a cold. The nearest I can discover is that Zicam uses zinc to encapsulate cold virus and isolate the virus as it passes harmlessly through the body-perhaps during my Listerine or sinus flushing exercise at the bathroom sink. It may upset your stomach though, so use a little common sense and read the directions.
I wrote this column for a couple of friends who came down with a cold this week. I hope the information helps them remain healthy like their buddy who writes for the paper. Katie and Chris, I hope the techniques I shared will help you in your very human vulnerability to cold and flu. Alas, it is unfortunate that I am unable to share my true trump card when it comes cold resistance-superior genetics.