Dr. John Phelts has been helping his patients who have the common cold at our New York City office in Murray Hill for 13 years. Alleviating the symptoms of the common cold is simply a matter of reducing inflammation and mucus while boosting your immune system. Sinus mucus is normally thin and readily drains into the throat through small holes in the skull called foramina. When you are infected by the rhinovirus, aka the common cold, sinuses get inflamed and mucus becomes more viscous. As a result, sinus drainage becomes difficult, allowing mucus and inflammation to slowly accumulate in the sinuses. This is experienced as sinus pain, congestion, and runny nose. The stagnant mucus also provides a breeding ground for bacteria and increases your risk of a bacterial infection as well. This thickened mucus drains as slow drip and irritates your throat causing you to develop a cough.
If you do come down with a cold, try these remedies to reduce the symptoms and shorten its duration and intensity.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)- is an amino acid that has mucolytic (breaks down mucus) properties. NAC thins mucus, relieving the congestion and allowing it to drain into the digestive tract where stomach acid kills any bacteria. As a bonus, the liver uses NAC to make glutathione, a very powerful antioxidant.
Natural Anti-inflammatories- Turmeric root, ginger, boswellia, bromelain, papain, and pancreatin, are powerful natural anti-inflammatories. Bromelain, papain, and pancreatin are also proteolytic (breakdown proteins) enzymes which can also help break down mucus. All of these ingredients can be found in one convenient shake: X-Flame Blend
Vitamin C and Zinc- Whole food sources of vitamin C such as acerola cherries and rose hips boost the immune system during viral infections. Zinc has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. These nutrients are found in Flavonoid Vita-C
Lemon Water- Squeeze the juice of one lemon into 12 ounces of water. Gargle and then swallow. The acid from the lemon will kill bacteria while gargling. The lemon water also alkalizes your blood to strengthen your immune system.
Grapefruit- Eat 2-4 grapefruit a day. Eat is high in Vitamin C and helps to reduce fever. When peeling, leave the “white” on. This is where most of the healing compounds are.
Eucalyptus oil- opens the nasal passageways so you can breathe. Rub this oil onto your upper chest. Also, rub into the soles of your feet and cover with socks before bed- this will reduce coughing through the night.
Warm beverages such as tea. This will help to moisten your sinuses and warm the mucus to facilitate drainage.
Humidifier- Use a humidifier, especially during the winter when the air is drier. This can provide great relieve to your sinuses.
Sleep- Get plenty of sleep. Most healing occurs while of sleeping.
If you are ever in near the 10016 and 10017 zip codes area and want to find out how Dr. John Phelts helps his patient who suffer from the common cold give us a call at our New York office (212) 286-2012.