How to nail that killer cold!

Posted by on 20 May, 2009


Cold and flu season definitely hit us all up early this year! It seems that all I see is ghastly coughs, gruesome headaches and razor blade throats!

The prompt for the trip to the GP is generally the throbbing need for an instant cure. “I’ve got so much on at work…” or “She has exams tomorrow” or “It’s my sister’s 21st on the weekend” are the reasons why an antibiotic is seen as the silver bullet

OK so you might have heard this before but I am gonna say it again; Antibiotics are not a panacea for all viral ills. They are effective for getting rid of bacterial infections, a lack of thrush and healthy bowels but their effect on viruses is ZIP. ZERO.

The fact that you feel so disgusting from your cold is because a. you have a cold and b. you are looking at me for the silver bullet instead of you!

Sound a little harsh? Not at all!

Your immune system is the best tool you have for nuking a virus. Give it the right conditions and your course through the river of viral horror will be swift and relatively calm. Abuse your body and you will be going through the giant rapids of viral Hades; bumping from cold to flu to gastro and back again until you cannot remember the last time you felt entirely well.

After a couple of back to back viruses, things like exercise, eating well and laughing seem like dim memories. And hey presto the round about continues.

So I am going to do you all a big favour and tell you how you can get off the viral superhighway;

Step 1;


This is an incredibly ironic thing to say as until last year I had NEVER, EVER taken a sick day. It was actually a bit of a point of pride really that there were days where I saw absolutely not one person sicker than me. I’ve turned up for work with a fever, vomiting and a full on flu that I’m sure was planning my demise from this Earth.

A  bout of Strep throat last year saw Raymond bodily oust me off the premises telling me I was recklessly endangering my patients by being there. Which was a fair point, too. 

But I have seen the error of my wicked ways. Your work colleagues DO NOT WANT what you have. Keep it to yourself.

And perhaps more importantly, if you want to recover and stop going down with every little bug that crosses your path, you have to look after yourself. At home. Not at work.

Step 2;


You know how you feel exhausted? Tired? Finished? That means….. wait for this… that you are exhausted, tired and finished. Sleep is the most powerful immune booster known to mankind. It beats any supplement available. Listen to your body! If you feel like you need to go to sleep, do it! (AT home-NOT at work!)

Step 3;

Chicken soup. Studies have now backed up what my Nana has told be for 40 years; everything is better with chicken soup. Well not everything but colds and flus certainly seem to respond well. There appears to be a positive immune enhancing effect of the soup that has now been proven in a laboratory.

You could try;

1.       Vitamin C; studies are fairly conclusive now that taking regular vitamin C will shorten the length of your cold by a maximum of half a day at best.

2.       Echinacea and zinc; Lots of studies showing a mixed bag of results. There’s no real, hard data that they do much for a cold, but I won’t put my head on a block and say they don’t work either.

 Now here’s a quick run through of what won’t work;

3.       Antibiotics.

4.       Eye of toad root or any other weird, whacky (and usually expensive) concoctions from your health food store.


Here’s to your health!