Common Cold Facts

Advertising tells us that there is no cure for a cold, but there are ways to ease the problem using a variety of medications that will suppress symptoms. Is it really worth the whopping $175 million that is spent each year on “cold medicine”?

Colds are caused by viruses. Let us go back to Health 101. Each of the body’s cells are “parent cells” and these cells divide into daughter cells, and the daughter cells then become a parent and continue to divide into more daughter cells, on and on it goes.

Viruses can’t duplicate themselves that way but are just bits of genetic material coated with a layer of protein. The only way they can live is by using our cells to produce copies of themselves. The virus sneaks into your cell and uses it to replicate itself until it breaks open and the new cell virus each leaves in search of one of our cells to call its own. That process kills our cells. Or the virus gets into the DNA of our cells and allows itself to be passed on to each daughter cell and then uses the same process.
The viruses pick the weakest cells which are already filled with waste products. A cold or flu virus thus really aid the body to purge itself of old and damaged cells and it does it faster than it would normally happen. The result is that awful stuff we hate….mucus by the ounce (of sometimes feels like a quart) that you blow out your nose, cough up from your lungs and bronchial tree.

All in all, a cold is kind of a natural process of life. The best cure is to get enough rest, stay hydrated and nourished. All of the symptoms are just normal cleansing of dead cells. It’s best to avoid medications that aim to suppress the process, the fever, coughing and runny nose. If it’s about getting some rest, a little aspirin or acetaminophen is OK. And most importantly of all, antibiotics do not work! They are designed to kill bacteria and a virus is not a bacteria. Using antibiotics also kills all your good bacteria which takes weeks or months to replace. Not to mention, it is one of the main reasons that the overuse of antibiotics has made them dangerously resistant to real bacterial invaders.