January 20, 2017

Stopping A Cold In Its Tracks

By Amanda Box, N.D.

Fall is upon us. With this change in season, cooler weather comes and nature transitions with beautiful color. However, with the beauty of autumn comes the dreaded cold season! I’m not talking about cooler temperatures, but that annoying virus that results in a stuffy nose, sore throat and coughing.

Nobody likes catching a cold. Some are lucky enough to avoid them. Those few who never catch a cold typically have incredible immune systems and manage their stress levels well. But for the rest of us, knowing how to treat a cold and prevent the common cold is knowledge worth its weight in gold!

Cold viruses are easy to stop at the onset of symptoms. Once the cold virus has set in and multiplied, you can shorten the duration of the cold with natural remedies. Before your sniffles morph into a nasty sinus, chest, or ear infection, here’s how to fight back.

The Cold Stopping Trifecta

Adults average two to four colds a year, and the typical upper respiratory infection takes up to 10 days to get over. But we all manifest the first signs of a cold in different ways.

  • Some feel a decrease in their energy level.
  • Others start with a post nasal drip or a scratchy throat.
  • Some feel a tightness in their head.

Even though our body is trying to tell us something, most people just push through those first signs. Life is busy! Many times we don’t slow down until we feel flat out miserable! That’s when we run to the pharmacy looking for something to remedy our sickness.

But that first sniffle, throat tickle, or cough doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. What if you could stop a cold before its full blown misery? Well, I’m here to tell you that you can!

The first thing I want to address is that you have to be diligent about stopping your cold. You must work hard and fast to stop the virus in its tracks at the first sign of trouble. It all begins within 10 to 12 hours after infection starts. You should take action the minute you feel the first symptoms of a cold — the scratchy throat, runny nose, and sneezing. Being sporadic or inconsistent with these recommendations will not do the job! You can reduce a cold’s severity, duration, and the number of days it knocks you horizontal with natural remedies.

I use these remedies each cold season and have experienced healing results. You don’t have to surrender to a cold. Here’s how to stop a cold before it takes hold — and feel better soon. Stock up on the essentials now, as waiting to purchase them can be too late!

Vitamin C

Long before vitamins and supplements gained the popularity they have today, one vitamin stood alone as the most popular for treating a cold.

Vitamin C is the by far the most famous immune boosting vitamin. This fame is result of chemist Linus Pauling. He promoted vitamins C’s benefits back in the 1970s. He was the very first to advocate large doses of vitamin C for the common cold. Since then, millions have used vitamin C and have seen great results to lower the incidence of a full blown cold.

I personally take vitamin C on a daily basis. Not only is it great for the immune system, but it has many other benefits as well. Some of those include:

  • Vitamin C
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    Collagen formation (this makes it great for your skin)
  • Promotes detoxification
  • Neutralizes free radicals
  • Promotes good intestinal bacteria
  • Prevents hardening of the arteries
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Prevents and treats cancer
  • Promotes healthy gums

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. This means that the vitamin is not stored in the body and the excess is excreted in the urine. This helps prevent a vitamin overdose, making it much safer to consume in larger dosages. However, in order to be therapeutic, you need to divide your dosages throughout the day.

As I mentioned earlier, Linus Pauling was the first to recommend large dose vitamin C supplementation to cure the common cold. Later, something called the “Vitamin C Flush” became popular.

This flush takes the concept of large dosage vitamin C and goes a step further. This is the ultimate “hit it fast and hard” scenario in tackling a cold. The vitamin C Flush is a short term, mega-dosing of vitamin C which kickstarts the immune system into high gear. It also flushes out excess toxins and free radicals. This flush is also commonly used for heavy metals and chemical poisoning detoxification.

The Vitamin C Flush

The vitamin C flush is designed to be completed over a couple of days. You will want to begin your flush at the first signs of sickness.  Although, its immune boosting and cleansing effects can benefit you at any stage of your cold. However, if you want to stop a cold, rather than shorten its duration, you’ll want to begin earlier rather than later.

The first step is to have a quality vitamin C already on hand. I highly recommend a buffered or calcium ascorbate version of vitamin C. Read the label before buying your vitamin C. Ester C is the common name that calcium ascorbate is marketed under. So, look for the label stating Ester C. Also, if the vitamin C is buffered, it will state “buffered” on the label. These two forms are much easier on the stomach as the acid level is extremely lower. I would recommend purchasing one that contains 1000 mg per capsule.

1. Start by taking 1000 mg of vitamin C, once an hour. Do not skip an hour!

2. Once you begin to have loose stools, you have reached your bowel tolerance limit. This means you have saturated your body with the vitamin C.  At this point your immune system should be ramped up and fighting that nasty cold virus.

3. Keep track of how many milligrams it took to get you to the point where your stools were loose. You’ll subtract 1000 mg from this total and take this amount every 4 hours for the next 1 to 2 days.

(For example, if it took you 8,000 mg of vitamin C to reach saturation, take 8000 – 1000 = 7000. You would then take 7000 mg of C in a single dosage, every four hours for the next day or two.)


Zinc is a mineral for colds that has worked so well that an entire brand of products were created based on it’s effectiveness. The ability of zinc to stop a cold or shorten its duration has been proven in several studies. Therefore, the makers of Zicam saw a great opportunity to make a profit off this cold busting mineral. Zicam, a zinc based supplement line, can be purchased at nearly every pharmacy.

However, I have an issue with Zicam – and it’s not the zinc. It’s the other ingredients in their cold products. Many of Zicam’s products contain lots of sugar and unnecessary artificial ingredients. Zicam’s lozenges contain artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. As if nasty cold symptoms were enough, these lab-made ingredients have been linked to:

  • Behavioral problems in children
  • Concentration issues
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer

Also, their nasal swabs have a history of complaints from customers who say they disrupted their sense of smell!

This is not to say that zinc itself isn’t an excellent natural remedy for colds. However, there are a few things I want to make clear when supplementing with zinc.

  1. The research points to taking zinc within the first 24 hours of symptoms for it to be truly effective.
  2. Don’t take more than 60 mg of zinc a day. Exceeding the daily limit of zinc can interrupt the absorption of other important minerals like copper, iron and calcium.
  3. Divide your 60 mg dosage by sucking on lozenges throughout the day.
  4. Don’t take extra zinc as part of your daily supplement plan for the same reasons as I addressed above. You’re multivitamin should contain an adequate daily amount of zinc.
  5. Make sure your lozenges are low in sugar and preferably sweetened with a natural source like stevia. I recommend Nature’s Way Zinc Lozenges.

Zinc can cause some mild nausea, so be sure to have food in your stomach when using zinc. The results are worth the possible mild discomfort. Supplementing with zinc in the correct way is a proven remedy in both stopping and shortening the duration of a cold.


Iodine has become one of my newest obsessions for effectively treating colds. Though it’s a new discovery for me, it’s actually one of the oldest medicines dating back 150 years ago!  It can easily be said that it was the most prescribed medicine in the early 1900s.  Doctors often recommended iodine for:

  • Goiters
  • Cough
  • Cold
  • Flu
  • Syphilis
  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Disinfecting wounds
  • And more

Iodine is nothing short of incredible. It is capable of killing all classes of pathogens. This includes:

  • Bacteria
  • Micro bacteria
  • Yeast
  • Protozoa
  • Fungi
  • And many viruses

Applied topically, iodine kills bacteria, viruses, and fungus within 90 seconds! Iodine has a broad range of action against germs. It has few, if any, side effects and develops no resistance to bacteria. Iodine quickly passes through the cell wall and right into the cell to kill pathogens. Even a broad spectrum antibiotic doesn’t have the abilities to kill viruses or different forms of fungus as iodine does! This makes iodine one of the most versatile and comprehensive medicines ever!

Iodine is the only classified “medicine” that is composed of a substance our body needs! Iodine is necessary for thyroid hormones, which control the body’s metabolism and development of both skeleton and brain, among other things. Lack of iodine may severely affect your child’s brain function and IQ. This “medicine” that is necessary for health and brain function  lacks the toxic side-effects that most prescription and even over-the-counter medications can have.

I have stopped many potential colds with iodine. I recommend using the Lugol’s iodine solution. I use the 5%, but you can also purchase it in 2%.

  • I recommend taking 8 drops of the 5% solution, 3-4 times during the day when you feel the cold symptoms coming on.
  • If you have the 2% solution, then use 18 drops, 3-4 times a day.

Iodine can also be taken on a regular basis to prevent colds — or any other ailment for that matter. A couple drops a day is a typical dosage.   I have experienced an increase in energy when supplementing iodine. This is due to its thyroid boosting abilities. However, if you have Hashimoto’s Disease, then do not take iodine because it can worsen your condition.

Iodine may be considered an old medicine, but its abilities are more numerous and effective than the newest drugs!

Have the Upper Hand this Cold Season!

Don’t let another cold season get you down. Stop that cold before you’re in full-blown snot blowing, throat throbbing misery! Stock your cabinet with vitamin C, zinc, and iodine so you can attack that cold head on! Don’t let the common cold have the upper hand any more!   Enhance your body’s natural healing process with the cold-busting trifecta and you’re sure to see it surrender!

Have you tried the Vitamin C flush and how did it help your cold?


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Amanda Box
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Amanda Box is a Doctor of Naturopathy and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 10 years and currently has a Naturopathic consulting practice in Sioux Falls, SD.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic doctor to turn to for your personal needs, Dr. Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.





  1. Hi, i just thought I would share with you my own experiences with Lugol’s iodine and also a warning. You can definitely take too much iodine internally, so caution is warranted. However, it is readily absorbed through the skin, and can not reach toxic levels via this method because of osmosis.

    I have had a lot of success, even miraculous success, putting lugol iodine 5% directly on my chest when congested. The next morning, I always feel tremendously better. if I feel like the glands in my throat are swelling or I have that tell-tale tickle, painting my throat in time seems to prevent further development of symptoms.

    Thanks for writing about iodine! I think it is a lost “go to” natural remedy. Also, for the skin absorbtion it must be Lugols. The provisions iodine sold in drug stores has detergents in it to specifically prevent absorbtion through the skin.

  2. Thank you so much for your story, Jeremy! What a great idea to put Lugol iodine on the chest for congestion! We love hearing from people like you who are putting natural remedies to the test and living their own success story.

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