Cure for the 'common cold'?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Wintertime always brings not only cold temperatures, but also plenty of colds and flu. What's a mother to do? Well, when you or your little ones come down with a runny nose, scratchy throat, cough, and maybe fever don't count on getting an antibiotic. These illnesses are almost always caused by viruses, which do not respond to any antibiotic. When these medications are inappropriately prescribed they are actually harmful to you and the community. How?

Anytime you take an antibiotic many of your normal flora (healthy bacteria) are killed. Since those along your GI tract are important for immunity, you may actually be lowering your immune capabilities. In addition, you are increasing the chances that you will make common bacteria more resistant to antibiotics, and these will be more difficult to treat in the future.

There are times, of course, when you need an antibiotic, such as when you have strep throat. This condition causes a markedly sore throat, often with headache and maybe some fever, along with tender enlarged glands in the neck and pus on the tonsils. If you have a cough and runny nose with your sore throat, it is likely viral and not caused by strep. If there is any question, get a quick strep test. If this is negative, a culture will tell for sure. If you have strep, the gold standard for treatment is plain old penicillin. It's dirt-cheap and so far there has not been any resistance to it by the Group A streptococcus. Sure, a "Z-pak" is convenient, but being a more broad-spectrum antibiotic its use will foster the development of resistant bacteria. When you do take an antibiotic, also take a "pro-biotic" such as yogurt or pro-biotic pills or capsules to help restore healthy bacteria to your intestinal tract. Kefir is another tasty source.

We currently have lots of colds and bronchitis in the area, sporadic cases of croup (causes a "barking" cough in young children) and bronchiolitis (causes wheezing, cough, labored breathing in infants), but not much influenza so far. For coughs it helps to take some honey (1/2 to 1 tsp) right out of the jar, and Vicks on the chest and soles of the feet (!) helps. You may also wish to run a vaporizer or humidifier. Sometimes nebulized albuterol will help with wheezing, especially if there is a family history of asthma.

Since the "common cold" is actually caused by a variety of viruses, there is no vaccination to prevent it, and no antibiotic helps. Keep your immunity up by getting plenty of sleep at night, drinking plenty of water, and by supplementing with vitamin D3 (along with K2) in the wintertime. (Get sunshine exposure for this in the summer -- it's just been shown that lack of sunshine is just as dangerous to your health as smoking)

There may actually be a "silver bullet" for these nasty viruses, though. And that bullet is, in fact, silver! It has been known for a long time that silver kills viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Our ancestors used to place a silver coin [none produced after 1964] in milk to prevent its spoilage. That white cream used on burns (Silvadene) contains silver that kills bacteria, and urinary catheters these days are lined with silver to prevent infection. Silver-infused bandages help prevent scarring of wounds.

How does silver work? Silver ions carry a positive electrostatic charge and thus can steal vital electrons within pathogenic material -- they are oxidizers. Nano-sized silver particles penetrate pathogens (germs) and disrupt an oxygen-metabolizing enzyme within. Healthy cells lack this enzyme, thus silver is not toxic to healthy cells and bacteria! Silver catalyzes the body's ability to fight off germs.

How else can silver be used, and specifically how can it be used to prevent and treat viral illnesses? Silver comes in solutions that can be atomized or nebulized and sprayed into the nose, throat, and lungs. Ionized silver is destroyed by sunlight, so it must be kept in tinted bottles. Colloidal silver is more stable as it is not UV sensitive. Either can be placed in a little atomizer bottle and kept on hand for use at the first sign of a runny nose or sore throat (remember, silver kills bad bacteria, too). Silver solution can be purchased online or at health food stores in Joplin, or at Nature's Station on the north side of the Square in Nevada.

How is it used? At the first sign of a respiratory illness, spray both nostrils and the throat several times, and repeat frequently throughout the day for a few days. Failures are likely due to not using it often enough or long enough. But, you can stop a cold in its tracks if you hit it right away. Personally, I do not get flu shots, but rely on this much more effective preventative and treatment.

For even more protection you can put a small amount (a tsp or less) in a nebulizer and breathe it in. I use a tiny nebulizer made by Veridian and a treatment lasts about 5 minutes. Inhaled silver ions actually get into the blood stream and attack infection-causing germs everywhere that blood goes. Silver is not harmful to healthful bacteria in the body or to body cells, and is non-toxic as long as you avoid products made with protein or added salts. These lead to the formation of silver chloride particles, which if swallowed in large amounts can cause the condition argyria with a blue-gray coloration of the skin. Avoid silver suspensions, use solutions instead. I manufacture my own silver solutions using electrolysis with pure silver rods in distilled water.

Widespread use of silver to prevent and treat infections may prove unpopular among some, including hospitals and clinics due to reduction in the number of visits for infections. It would be especially opposed by pharmaceutical manufacturers, who take in billions of dollars spent on "cold remedies" and cough medicines. (Have you noticed how new names for cold medications appear each year with the same old ingredients?)

I suspect that one day we will see illnesses such as bronchiolitis and even pertussis (whooping cough) treated in the ED with nebulized silver instead of just treating the symptoms. Remember that silver kills pathogenic bacteria as well, and thus may even prove to be a cure for strep throat with no side effects! Studies to prove the efficacy of silver are lacking, due in large part to the fact that drug companies that would provide most of the funding cannot patent silver! (And don't wait for the government to do the funding, as they are linked tightly to the pharmaceutical companies) We all want to stay as healthy as possible and we want our children to get over colds quickly. When you are surrounded by coughing and sniffing on these cold, cloudy days, perhaps there is a silver lining.