These are four words I’ve been living my life by these past couple days. New Year’s did me in like maggots to meat, like termites to wood, like Miley Cyrus to my ears (of all things that are sexy and holy these are not them). As I type this, I have two pieces of tissue sticking out of my nose, a cup of green tea in front of me, and a sense that this may indeed be the end my beautiful friends.
Back to the tea. I decided to fight off this monster buzz kill using remedies of the au naturel variety opposed to my usual pill-popping / cough syrup slurping routine. I have some friends who guided me in an alternative direction for feeling better with medicines such as Echinacea , Vitamin C, Green Tea (duh), Vitamin D, and a surplus of Whiskey (this one I added in myself). I decided to take a look at the facts behind these remedies to see what scientifically works and what does not.
Here’s what’s up:
Green Tea – Green tea is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids. Both of which have antioxidant and immune-system protection properties. In addition, green tea components also directly kill viruses and bacteria. This is not to say that drinking green tea is the cure all for the common cold, but rather that it has been known to shorten the length of the cold as well as soften the symptoms. More at: http://woman.thenest.com/can-green-tea-cure-cold-3034.html
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a very important vitamin to keep your body in top notch condition. Full of antioxidants, the vitamin helps keep bones, blood vessels, and muscles strong and healthy. However, there is no substantial evidence that says Vitamin C is beneficial in fighting the common cold while the cold has already taken over the body. Looks like I’ll have to add more of this to my daily non-sick routine! More information at: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/vitamin-c-for-common-cold
$$ – 12.99CAN from Jamieson.com
Echinacea – Although used for centuries as a cold fighter-offer, there is no substantial evidence that this flower actually does much for colds at all. Some reports agree that it has mild immune system support properties that help shorten the length of suffering as well as turn down the severity but other reports agree that it does nothing more for fighting a cold than a placebo. Jury’s out, folks. More information at: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/echinacea-common-cold
$$ – Echinacea supplements can price out upwards from $5.00/350 mg depending on brand and quality
Vitamin D – Vitamin D is, again, very important in keeping the immune system healthy on a day to day basis – meaning that it fights the common cold as well as the flu if proper levels of it are constantly in the body. However, there is no substantial evidence to indicate that it will do much for a cold while the cold is in session. Lesson learned, I must get out in the sun more (my pale skin agrees). More information at: http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Vitamin-D-s-immune-benefits-Cold-flu-and-beyond
$$ – $7.99CAN from Jamieson.com
Whiskey – Out with one buzz in with another? Not quite. Unfortunately alcohol does little to stave off a cold as even though the virus is in your bloodstream and alcohol raises your blood alcohol level, it does not raise it enough to purify those cells of yours. What a horrible idea drinking more would be for that reason anyway. The other argument is that alcohol helps soothe a sore throat. Well, I wish this were true as much as the next gal, but unless you swish and then choke on it as it goes down it probably won’t stay on the hurting area long enough to actually kill them buggies. However, let’s not forget that it WILL get you drunk – a pirate’s life for me! More information at: http://gizmodo.com/5987823/can-drinking-cure-your-cold
$$ – All according to your favorite brand/ liquor store!
So, in summary, I’m just going to drink a lot of spiked green tea and sleep to get rid of this dastardly virus. Adios!
Echinacea plant photo courtesy of www.herbalbiosolutions.us