A Repost of my Cold Cocktail

I hope all of our Living Large community had Happy Holidays. I took a much needed rest, but I’m glad to be back and glad you’ve checked in on the blog.

I heard on the local news recently that there are so many cases of colds and the flu in one Arkansas hospital, they are not allowing visitors unless they wear masks. Everyday I sign on to Facebook and see another friend posting about being sick. Yesterday, my friend who cuts my hair said she was sick.

I originally posted this last year. I have still only been sick once since we moved here 5 1/2 years ago, and I attribute it to my cold cocktail:

I didn’t think much about it for most of the day.

I sneeze often and have sinus issues and at my age, regulating my body temperature is a regular struggle.

By afternoon on Halloween, though, I felt that familiar tickle in the back of my throat;  that one that signals impending fever, chills, runny nose and a few days on the sofa.

Not long afterward, a chill ran through my body, the kind that comes with fever.

My one pet peeve in life: Being sick. I don’t like being miserable and I don’t like wasting precious time when I could be living.

I practically ran from The Belle Writer’s Studio back to Our Little House and started my “cold cocktail,” the one that has guaranteed me 99 percent of the time, if I start it right away, I can kick a cold before it ever takes hold.

In the past four years since we moved here, I’ve been sick once and that was due to Dale bringing home a bronchial infection of some sort that was going around town last year. By the time he acknowledged he was sick, nearly 10 days later, he had walking pneumonia. One more day and the doctor told me he would have put him in the hospital.

When I felt those symptoms start last year, I knew my cold cocktail wouldn’t be enough to knock it out, and I did go to the doctor right away for antibiotics. Still, I was only sick a couple of days, compared to his nearly 3 weeks.

This is a major turn around from my child into young adulthood. I’m familiar with that tickle as I spent about 6 weeks each year down with a cold that later typically turned into bronchitis.

For years before I was diagnosed, I had allergies, one of the main ones being to cigarette smoke and my family was literally unknowingly contributing to a chronic bronchial condition.

Before that diagnosis, though, I developed the cold cocktail before Dale and I married. We had plans one weekend, but by Friday, I was feeling very sick. My mother, I believe, told me that she had just read that massive amounts of Vitamin C would sometimes knock a cold on its butt so I decided to give it a try.

After work, I drove to the local pharmacy and bought a big bottle of Cranapple juice and Vitamin C, took it back to my apartment, wrapped myself in a quilt and drank the whole bottle and downed quite a bit of the Vitamin C.

By the next morning, I was fine and Dale and I were on our way with whatever we had planned.

I perfected and modified my cocktail throughout the years. For example, I no longer drink cranapple juice due to the high sugar content and I’ve added the daily-recommended doses of Echinacea and Zinc. I also take an herbal mix from the health food store that boosts the immune system. I eat the chewable Vitamin C to help coat my throat.

I also learned I have to start the cocktail immediately upon the first symptoms or it will not work. Even just a few hours delay and I could be down anyway.

I caught it in time on Monday, though. By the time I went home that evening to bake the corn bread that would accompany the chili, I was sweating, a sure sign that the small fever I had developed was breaking.

Here’s my cold cocktail:

2,500 mgs. Chewable (pure) Vitamin C

Recommended daily dose of Echinacea and Zinc

Two hours later, 1,000 mgs. of Vitamin C, repeating about every 4 hours, or 2,000 mgs. before bed. Don’t swallow anything else after chewing the vitamins, allowing them to coat the throat all night.

We also take the flu shot annually and an herbal immune system booster each day in the winter. Other precautions include trying not to touch our faces when we’re in public, especially the nose, eyes or mouth. I don’t use antibacterial gel at home, but we do use it when we’re going to be out on errands all day, especially if we eat while out.

Do you have a sure remedy for the common cold?

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10 Responses

  1. Elaine says:

    Leaving a cut onion out to absorb viruses is an urban legend-doesn’t do anything. You’re much better off eating it! Anti-bacterials are good for occasional use but kill good germs too so you don’t want to use them too often-better off with hot water and soap. I don’t get flu shots either because the only time I ever get the flu is when I get the shot. I know it’s a dead virus and that doesn’t make sense but it’s happened to me twice and I’ve never gotten it without the shot. Also, they are now doing research to see if there is a link between the flu shot and alzheimers so I think I’ll sit it out a while longer. My memory is bad enough as it is!

    • Kerri says:

      Everyone has to make up their own mind on the flu vaccine, Elaine. I do know that I’ve written stories on the vaccine, interviewing scientists involved in formulating it and you’re right, it is scientifically impossible to get the flu from a dead virus. You’re either a). Allergic to something in the shot or b). Had already been exposed to the live virus (which is typically the case as many people wait until the height of flu season to get the vaccine). I’ve yet to see any reputable studies that say the flu vaccine is unsafe. What I do know is that our German daughter will not vaccinate against the flu. Like a majority of the German people, she is highly skeptical of its’ safety. This year, she got the flu so badly that she dehydrated and ended up passing out in the bathroom, nearly breaking her nose when she hit the floor. When our granddaughter got it, she was almost put into the hospital with pneumonia. 18 children have died from the flu so far in the U.S. this year; over 800 since 2004. The flu vaccine was developed in the 1930s, with wide use coming during World War II. Personally, I’ll trust a vaccine in use for over 60 years over bashing my face on the bathroom floor any day. 😉

  2. Mary says:

    I do chicken soup-mostly broth-with lots of onion and carrot in it. It doesn’t seem to matter what else is or isn’t in it, if the broth is made with the chicken-skin, bone, fat and all, and onion, it helps. Adding garlic also helps some. The oil in the broth soothes the throat and the vitamin C in the veggies adds that needed nutrient. To coat the throat better, I generally add some bread or crackers. Then I turn up the heat, wrap up well, and sleep.

    • Kerri says:

      Have you ever tried putting a half onion out in your house to ward off the viruses? I eat a lot of onion and have wondered about this.

  3. Kim says:

    Timely repost! My hospital is one of those requesting that visitors wear masks. I kept my preschooler home from his first day back at preschool today… hoping that the flu/germ situation will be better by Tuesday, which is his next scheduled day. I am on the fence about flu immunizations… this year my daughter has had one but my son, who is too young to get them at Walgreens, has not, and I haven’t either. Bought hand sanitizer yesterday for the first time in ages… I generally resist the antibacterial thing, preferring to build immunities via exposure, but for January in a heavy flu season, I’ll make an exception.

    I can usually stop a virus in its tracks with a combo of essential oils, used in various ways. You’re right, though… you have to start early if you want natural remedies to work. Waiting until you’re flat on your back is too late. The trick with my kids is noticing that they’re sick in time… they don’t often tell me at the first tickle in the throat!

    • Kerri says:

      When you have little kids, it’s hard to keep those germs at bay. Essential oils are good to use, which ones help with the cold virus?

  4. I also take zinc when I feel a cold coming in addition to your cocktail! And liquid elderberry for flu. I do not get the flu shot since it actually gives me the flu every time. I’m better off taking my chances!

    • Kerri says:

      I’ve been told by every doctor and nurse I’ve interviewed about the flu shot that it cannot spread the virus, but if you have it already, it will make you sick. I wonder if you have some type of a reaction to it?

  5. My husband and I have been lucky as neither of us has been seriously ill from flu or cold in a number of years. We used to ignore advice to get a flu shot, feeling it was something for “old” people or small children, but we got knocked on our butts by a flu bug about five years ago. Since then, we have regularly gotten our flu shots and have been flu free! I am also a disciplined hand washer- especially after being in public places like malls, movie theaters and restaurants. And of course, I believe the best prevention for any kind of illness, is a healthy diet and staying fit. But, I will keep your cold remedy recipe just in case!

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, yes, I’m almost obsessive about hand washing too, very important. As healthy as we both are, we can be exposed at any time, and this cocktail really works if it is caught early.