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 Naturopathic Medicine : Colds & Flu, That Fun Time of the Year! 
The cold and flu season is upon us or rather a part of us, if we are unfortunate enough to become
one of the millions of Americans affected each year. When a cold or flu begins its assault certain people
seem to have problems while others do not. An understanding of just what a cold or influenza is will help
to minimize the effects and in many cases eliminate the condition before it begins its assault on the body.
It is commonly thought that a cold or flu is caused by a bacteria or a virus, but it is not. This
belief is due in part to advertising which identifies viruses or bacteria as the causative agents. A strain or
type of virus is usually identified by the public health service and manufacturers rush to develop a
vaccine to prevent further infection. By the time this has been accomplished, the flu virus has changed its
form and has headed somewhere else in the world to cause problems. That the virus changes form while
infecting the human population is the natural course for a disease such as influenza. This makes vaccines
only marginally affective because they are already obsolete.
The signs and symptoms of a cold or flu are fatigue, weakness, runny nose and eyes, sneezing,
sore throat, headache, aching bones and muscles and may have nausea, constipation or diarrhea
associated with it. These are similar to the signs and symptoms of the detoxification process the body
goes through when eliminating toxic wastes (see Fall Cleaning for Your Interior). A cold or flu, in its
beginning stages, is actually a detoxification reaction by the body. It is only after the process has become
overwhelming for the body that the viruses or bacteria have the proper environment with which to set up
house keeping and proliferate. When the immune system is over worked and the cellular defenses are
down, viruses and bacteria which are always around us are able to invade the body.
At this point, the condition becomes much worse and symptoms become pronounced.
According to recent studies use of over-the-counter cold and flu medicines at any stage of the illness only
act to make it worse by prolonging the disease. This is because they act to decrease the body's healing
response which we experience as a detoxification reaction. It is the body's way of eliminating toxins and
keeping viruses and bacteria from setting up house keeping in the body.
So how does one keep from becoming a cold or flu casualty and how can we minimize the
effects once affected? I'm glad you asked because I am going to give you Dr Kruzel's sure fire cold & flu

1. At the first sign of a cold or flu decrease your food intake or eliminate it entirely for the first
24 hours. Your appetite level will be your guide here. If you are hungry, eat sparingly and maintain a diet
of fruits, vegetables, soups and salads. These are alkaline foods which act to neutralize the acidic internal
environment in which bacteria and viruses love to play
2. Bed rest ! Yes, this means you ! Take a day or two off work, enjoy a good book or catch up on
your video's or sleep. Doing this now will allow you to get back to the job sooner and eliminate the
possibility of infecting your fellow workers.
3. Take Oscillococcinum or Flu Solution, which are homeopathic influenza medicines. This will
often stop the cold or flu right in its tracks. If the condition has advanced to the infection stage, these will
also be useful. For an illness which has taken hold, an individual homeopathic prescription may be
4. Garlic at 1 to 3 cloves per day, chopped and swallowed with a little water or in soup has
proven to be very effective against viruses and bacteria. Raw garlic works better than encapsulated garlic
as less is needed.
5. Increasing vitamin C at the beginning of the cold and flu season will help detoxify the body,
thus eliminating the type of environment bacteria and viruses enjoy. Beta carotene also helps in this
regard as both vitamins enhance immune system function and cellular defense mechanisms.
6. Hydrotherapy techniques such as the wet t-shirt or sock treatment or constitutional
hydrotherapy are also beneficial. These treatments can be done at home or at RNA. For more information
on how to perform them, contact the clinic.
7. Consult your doctor if symptoms persist or become worse. A cold or flu can turn into
something else such as bronchitis or pneumonia so prolonged illnesses need to be evaluated by your
Last years cold and flu season was particularly severe, and it is expected that this one will be as
well. Many of our patients who followed this protocol experienced a shorter course of the illness and
fewer down days. We hope that this will be beneficial again this season.

Dr. Tom Kruzel practices in Portland, Oregon and can be reached at (503) 667-1961

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 About The Author
Thomas A. Kruzel N.D. is a Naturopathic Physician in private practice in Portland, Oregon with an emphasis on family practice, geriatric medicine and diseases of the urogenital tract. He is an Associate Professor of......more
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