The night before Christmas Eve, my wife came home with a sore throat. Colds are very bad news in our house, because often we both catch them and when I get a cold, it tends to go to my lungs. This of course was the worst timing, so I decided that if I got this thing, I was gonna kick it in the teeth. And Christmas night, my sore throat began. It was time to spring into action.
I went after this cold with nearly everything I could. After doing some online research, there seems to be some consensus that vitamin C is helpful after all, and so is garlic, and zinc I already knew about. I’ve been out of my preferred zinc lozenges for some time, that have echinacea as well as vitamin C, but I decided to forge ahead using my wife’s Cold-EEZE. Online it was said that rather than take these every four hours as I’ve always done, it should be every two—so I did just that, that night and on the following day.
When Monday rolled around my sore throat was of course worse, but it was time to go beyond lozenges and really get tough with it. I took a 1500 mg vitamin C pill early in the day, along with 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 that also is known for boosting the immune system and other goodness. (It’s not like I was going to go out that day, so sunshine would not have gotten the job done.) I gargled with salt water right away to help my throat. Then I opened up a squeeze container of minced garlic, poured off the excess liquid, squeezed out a couple of cloves’ worth onto a spoon, and swallowed it down. Then, a zinc lozenge.
Throughout the day I repeated the garlic and zinc every two hours, and the salt water gargling a few times whenever my throat got very bad. I had another 1500 mg of vitamin C and a multivitamin later. By the end of the day I didn’t feel as horrible as I thought I ought to, and I slept incredibly well that night (with the help of generic NyQuil of course). And the next day most of my symptoms were practically gone. Sometime on Tuesday my nose did start running, but not for very long, and while I did eventually develop a bit of a cough it was mostly a dry one with hardly anything in my chest. I lapsed on the zinc and garlic around midday that Tuesday, because I felt they’d done their job. I did however make sure I kept up with vitamin C and D3.
I kicked my cold in the teeth. By that Friday, just before New Year’s Eve, all I had was the dry cough and that was fairly easy to control. It never set up shop in my chest in any serious way, which is a rarity. And I think for the most part, the accelerated zinc schedule and especially the fresh minced garlic did the trick.
What I read online about garlic is that fresh is better, so I figured the stuff in the squeeze bottle was close enough. The ingredient you want from it is called allicin. If you have a fresh clove, you want to crush it to get the allicin production started and then eat it after a few minutes. Cooked garlic loses some of this, but it’s better than nothing.
The next time I get sick, this is what I plan to do:
- Immediately start taking zinc lozenges every two hours.
- Immediately start eating about 2-3 cloves of fresh minced garlic every two hours.
- Take about 3,000 mg of vitamin C a day.
- Take about 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day for the first 2-3 days.
It’s all about getting aggressive with the virus right off the start. It worked wonders for me this time.
As an interesting footnote, not only did my wife’s symptoms persist for longer (she took zinc less often, and no garlic), but she had a bit of a relapse around New Year’s Eve. She’s better now, and as colds go this one wasn’t the worst we’ve ever encountered, but I think this proof of concept worked out marvelously.
Correction: The actual vitamin C pills I took were 1,000 mg, not 1,500 after all. They include rose hips, for whatever that’s worth. I’m still giving the garlic most of the credit.