The Witches Magick for Nov. 9th: Key to the Heart Spell

Key to the Heart Spell

It is considered very lucky to find a key. Any sort of key is lucky, but an antique one is especially so.
As with the finding of something red, there are words to say at the time of finding it:
The key to your heart lies on the ground.
The key to your heart has now been found.
I lock up your love with the heart of my own,
I’ll guard it forever with the love I have shown.
As you say these words, think of the one you love and of the two of you being together forever.
Sleep with the key under your pillow for nine nights, carrying it with you during the day.
It may then be put in a place of safety.

Definitions of Medical Action

Definitions of Medical Action

 

 

Alterative  produces a healthful change without perception 
Anodyne  pain reliever 
Anthelmintic  expels worms 
Aperient  gentle laxative 
Aromatic  stimulant; spicy 
Astringent  Causes contractions; stops discharges 
Antibiliouse  relieves bile 
Antimetic  Stops vomiting 
Antileptic  relieves fits 
antiperiodic  arrests morbid periodic movements 
Anthilic  prevents forming of stones in the urinary organs 
Antirheumatic  cures rheumatism 
Antiscorbutic  cures and prevents scurvy 
Antiseptic  stops purification. 
Antispasmodic  relieves and prevents spasms 
Antisyphilitic  cures venereal diseases 
Carminative  expels gas 
Cathartic  expels from the bowels 
Cephalic  remedies used in diseases of the head 
Cholagogue  Increases the flow of bile 
Condiment  improves the flavor of food 
Demulcent  soothing, relieves inflammation 
Deobstruent  removes obstructions 
Depurative  blood purifier 
Detergent  Cleanses boils, ulcers, wounds, etc. 
Diaphoretic  produces perspiration 
Discutiend  heals tumors 
Diuretic  Increases secretion and flow of urine 
Emetic  promotes vomiting 
Emmenagogue  promotes menstruation 
Emollient  softens and soothes inflammation 
Esculent  edible as food 
Exanthematous  remedy for skin eruptions and diseases 
Expectorant  causes expectoration (coughing) 
Febrifuge  ends and reduces fevers. 
Hepatic  for liver diseases 
Herpatic  for skin diseases of all types 
Laxative  Promotes bowel action 
Lithontryptic  Dissolves calculi in the urinary organs. 
Naturating  ripens and brings boils to a head 
Mucilaginous  Soothing to inflammation 
Nauseant  produces vomiting 
Nervine  acts on the nervous system; stops nervous excitement 
Opthalmicum  for eye diseases. 
Parturient  induces and promotes labor at childbirth 
Pectoral  for chest affections 
Refrigerant  cooling 
Resolvent  destroys tumors and boils 
Rubifacient  increases circulation and produces red skin 
Sedative  a nerve tonic; promotes sleep 
Sialogogue  Increases secretion of saliva 
Stomatic  Strengthens the stomach. Relieves indigestion. 
Styptic  stops bleeding 
Sudorific  produces profuse perspiration 
Tonic  invigorating and strengthening. 
Vermifuge  expels worms from the system 

Laugh-A-Day: Memo To Hospital Staff

Memo To Hospital Staff


It has come to our attention from several emergency rooms that many EMS narratives have taken a decidedly creative direction lately. Effective immediately, all members are to refrain from using slang and abbreviations to describe patients, such as the following:

  • Cardiac patients should not be referred to with MUH (messed up heart), PBS (pretty bad shape), PCL (pre-code looking) or HIBGIA (had it before, got it again).
  • Stroke patients are not “Charlie Carrots,” nor are rescuers to use CCFCCP (Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs) to describe their mental state.
  • Trauma patients are not CATS (cut all to shit), FDGB (fall down, go boom), TBC (total body crunch) or “hamburger helper.” Similarly, descriptions of a car crash do not have to include phrases like “negative vehicle to vehicle interface” or “terminal deceleration syndrome.”
  • HAZMAT teams are highly trained professionals, not “glow worms.”
  • Persons with altered mental states as a result of drug use are not considered “pharmaceutically gifted.”
  • Gunshot wounds to the head are not “trans-occipital implants.”
  • The homeless are not “urban outdoorsmen”, nor is endotracheal intubation referred to as a “PVC Challenge”.
  • And finally, do not refer to recently deceased persons as being “paws up,” ART (assuming room temperature), CC (Cancel Christmas), CTD (circling the drain), NLPR (no long playing records), or TSTL (Too Stupid To Live).

    Turok’s Cabana

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for October 25th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

To so many, getting up in the morning is the worst way to begin a day. To them every morning is the morning after, a time to feel nervous anxiety and regret in the deepest sense, while to others morning is a new world. Yesterday ceased to be with sleep last night.

How much better off we’d be if only for a few hours we could put out of our minds every painful thought and every unpleasant person until the mind and body could find enough new life to begin again.

“The early morning hath gold in its mouth,” wrote Franklin. But it has things more precious than gold. It has life as fresh and sweet as the shimmering, clinging dewdrops in the first rays of golden sunlight. It has the grace of mimosa leaves rippling in the gentlest breeze. It has the songs of the birds and the love of a new awakening.

And in this breathless creation is something more. A new opportunity, another chance, a challenge to walk on, more strong, more forgiving, more loving.

Sleep deep and rest sweet, but rise glad. Don’t let one joyful second be lost in dead oblivion. This is a vision of newness awaiting even the least to arise and accept the best – a new beginning.

Morning need not be a jury trial for oneself. Dawn and sleep can be a miraculous cleansing to set us out on our feet ready to begin again and in a friendlier atmosphere. We must feel friendly toward ourselves before we can possibly find morning good to anyone else.

An unknown writer once wrote, “Every morning lean thine arms awhile upon the window sill of heaven, and gaze upon thy Lord, then, with the vision in thy heart, turn strong to meet thy day.”

We need to be strong to meet the day with self control, to find out reason and purpose, but, more important, to leave behind us the heavy and darkened thoughts that kept us from seeing the breathtaking beauty of the most important time – this morning.

*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*

Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:

 

http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

How To Stay Healthy Even If You Eat Junk, Smoke Ciggies, Skip Exercise & Booze It Up

How To Stay Healthy Even If You Eat Junk, Smoke Ciggies, Skip Exercise & Booze It Up

By Lissa Rankin

Ever since we docs started teaching people the importance of smoking  cessation, moderation in alcohol intake, a nutritious, mostly plant-based diet,  daily exercise, and weight control, millions of people have been beating  themselves up for unhealthy lifestyle habits.  Yet the guilt and shame so  many feel hasn’t led to significant improvements in the health of the general  public. Even though people know how to live a “healthy” lifestyle, most choose  not to. Instead, rates of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease,  and other largely preventable diseases are on the rise.

Bummer.

While lots of people rattle off about the importance of healthy lifestyle  modifications – and as a green-juicing, exercising, non-smoking, health food  junkie, I agree with them – what shocks me is how few are talking about the  other critical factors that contribute to health and longevity – the factors  that are arguably even more important than diet, cigarette use, alcohol intake,  weight, and exercise.

Some Diseases Are Preventable

Before I share with you these factors that may shock you, let me start with a  hat tip to conventional medical wisdom. Yes, some diseases are largely  preventable. If you’re a 3 pack-a-day smoker who winds up with lung cancer,  you’re probably feeling pretty crappy about your cancer because you know that if  you had never smoked, you probably wouldn’t have been saddled with that disease.  If you’ve been eating at McDonalds every day, it won’t surprise you if a heart  attack knocks you flat and you have to get bypass surgery. If you’ve been  boozing it up for three decades and you wind up with cirrhosis of the liver,  well… not to be harsh, but you knew that might happen, right? If you’re four  hundred pounds and you get diabetes, um… need I say more?

Yes, if we aim to lead optimally healthy lives, diet, exercise, weight  control, alcohol intake, and cigarette use matter.

Some Unhealthy People Live To Be 100

But let’s face it. Some smoking, boozing, overweight, junk food binging couch  potatoes stay healthy and die of old age. As a physician, these people have  always blown me away. How are their bodies so resilient to such poisons? Is it  genetic? Is it just dumb luck? These people left me scratching my head, until I  was doing the research for my book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You  Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013).

Clearly, there are many factors contributing to why one person winds up sick  when another stays healthy, in spite of poor health habits. The same is true for  the health nut who is doing everything “right” but still winds up sick.

So what are these factors that your doctor probably isn’t discussing with  you?

Loving Community Equals Health

Let me start by telling you a story.

Once upon a time, a tribe of Italian immigrants crossed the Atlantic and  settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, where they didn’t exactly live the most  “healthy” lifestyle. They ate meatballs fried in lard, smoked like chimneys,  boozed it up every night, and pigged out on pasta and pizza. Yet, shockingly,  they had half the rate of heart disease and much lower rates of many other  illnesses than the national average. It wasn’t the water they drank, the  hospital they went to, or their DNA. And clearly, it wasn’t their stellar diet.  So what was it that made the people of Roseto so resistant to heart disease?

One physician, baffled by their low rates of heart disease, studied the  townspeople to determine why they were so protected.

The Effects of Loneliness On The Body

What his researchers found is that the tight knit community living in  multi-generational homes and enjoying communal dinners and frequent festivities  provided solace from the loneliness so many people feel. The love and support of  others in the close knit community alleviated the stress and overwhelm many  lonely people feel. Researchers posit that the stress lonely people feel, which  increases cortisol levels and activates the sympathetic nervous system, raising  heart rate, elevating blood pressure, incapacitating the immune system, and  increasing the risk of heart disease, is responsible for much of the illness  lonely people experience.

Because the people of Roseto never felt alone, they rarely died of heart  disease – most died of “old age”- even though they smoked, ate poorly, and  drank.  As it turns out, alleviation of loneliness is preventative  medicine, and the scientific data suggests that loneliness is a stronger risk  factor for illness than smoking or failure to exercise.

Why One Person Gets Sick & Another Stays Healthy

It’s not just loneliness that contributes to whether you get sick or stay  healthy. As I discussed in my TEDx  talk, it’s not just your relationships that affect your health – it’s work  stress, financial stress, mental health issues like depression and anxiety,  whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic, and whether or not you’re actively  engaging in potentially stress reducing activities like creative expression,  sex, and spiritual activities like prayer, attending religious services, or  meditation.

For example, let’s take one person who eats poorly, smokes, and never  exercises, but who enjoys an incredible marriage, a great family, fabulous  friends, a rewarding and financially lucrative job, a sense of life purpose, a  healthy spiritual life, a blossoming creative life, and a kickin’ sex  life.  Aside from the cloud of smoke infusing the lungs with toxins and the  poisons this person’s body is ingesting, this kind of lifestyle has been  scientifically proven to result in better health than the lonely individual in  an emotionally abusive marriage, with a soul-sucking job, no sex life, an absent  spiritual life, and no creative outlets. The scientific data suggests that the  “unhealthy” individual with an otherwise healthy, balanced life is more likely  to live a long, healthy life than a nonsmoking, abstaining vegan with a personal  trainer who is unhealthy and miserable in all other facets of life.

Make sense?

How Healthy Is Your Life?

In my upcoming book, I go into great detail, proving how each of these  factors of a healthy life affect the physiology of the body, but until then, let  me just assure you that what I’m suggesting is true. I’m not recommending that  you pick up smoking, drinking, or overeating. But  I am suggesting that you start thinking about your health beyond the traditional  confines of how most people define health.

Are you lonely? Are you stressed at work?  Are you depressed? What would  it take to alleviate your loneliness, cut back on your job stress, and get  happier?

Expanding how I think about health,

Lissa

Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities LissaRankin.com and OwningPink.com, author of Mind Over Medicine:  Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join  her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out  on Twitter and Facebook.

Dietary Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

Dietary Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

Inflammation has recently emerged as an important player in the development  of age-related disability and many of our major chronic diseases including heart  disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Now that laboratory tests  such as C-reactive protein have been developed, we can measure the effects  different foods and diets have on inflammatory markers.

Most plant-based foods decrease inflammation. Processing destroys the  anti-inflammatory effects of some (garlic decreases inflammation but garlic  powder does not), but improves these effects in others (tomato juice decreases  inflammation but whole tomatoes do not).

Do these anti-inflammatory plant foods actually have an impact on  inflammatory disease mortality though?  I profile a new study  out of Australia, which followed about 2,500 older adults and their diets for 15  years. In that time, about 200 participants died of inflammatory diseases,  allowing the scientists to calculate the specific aspect of the survivors’ diets  that seemed to help the most. It was nuts! The equivalent of half a walnut a day  appeared to cut the risk of dying from inflammatory disease in nearly half. Fish  consumption, to their surprise, didn’t seem to help, which may be due to pro-inflammatory  industrial pollutants that build up the food chain. This may help explain  why most studies done to date on those eating vegetarian or vegan have found  lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers in their bodies.

However, just because plant-based diets decrease markers of  inflammation doesn’t necessarily mean that plant-based diets can successfully be  used to fight inflammatory disease. To find that out, you’ve got to put it to  the test. The gold standard for evidence in nutritional science is an  interventional trial. You split people into two groups and ask half to go on one  diet, half to go on another, and then stand back and see what happens. That’s  just what researchers recently did for the autoimmune inflammatory bowel  condition known as Crohn’s disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease risk has been tied to arachidonic acid, which may partially explain the  animal protein connection given the levels in chicken and eggs. The anti-inflammatory nature of  plant foods may explain why those eating plant-based diets have less diabetes, fewer allergies, less heart disease, better moods, and fewer chronic diseases in chronic diseases in general.

In health, Michael Greger, M.D.

Good Monday Morning To You, My Dear Friends!

Good Morning Images, Quotes, Comments, Graphics
Good Monday Morning, my dear friends! I wish you a very happy and blessed week to come. I hope your day is off to a great start. Well, mine, oh, brother! My son is still here keeping me company. He informed me the other day that he will probably be here for a while. Oh, boy! Don’t get me wrong, I love him to death. There is nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for him and he knows it. But it is just so different after having the kids all grown and moved away. Then they move back home. Last night, I started once to just sit down and write about how different and strange it is to have one move back home. Then I went outside and looked at the stars and cleared my mind. I have no privacy. I just looked out of the corner of my eye and my son is up. He will be in here in a minute wanting to know what I am doing. He use to know I did my group daily. I thought I told him I now did a blog? My mind must be going. He is on his phone continuously, texting. He will come in here, lay down on the bed, talk and text the whole time. I am use to talking to a person by looking them in the eye. Not him! He has started going out. I told him, he is grown, go do what you want to, you don’t answer to me anymore. He comes in anywhere from 2 to 4 in the morning. The first thing he does is come to the door and holler, “You awake?” Why hell yes I am! I always stay up to all hours of the night :S. Once I go to sleep then get woke up, I can never go back to sleep. Then I take my medicine, I pass out and I sleep late. This runs me late doing the blog. Then last week, he hated his wife, now this week, they might be getting back together. It is enough to make your head swim. I keep thinking have patience. Patience is a virtue. One which I haven’t acquired yet!

Now on to a much lighter note…..

Prayer for Monday – One for Compassion

Dearest parents, please grant me the gift

of compassion. For the green earth; your

woods, forest, waters, air, animals, and

all people. Help me to become an example

of compassion, so I may plant the seed of

compassion for the betterment of all

creation.

So Mote It Be.

Blessings To You & Yours On This Fantastic Saturday!

Weekend Pictures, Images, Comments, Graphics
I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. I must apologize for running so late. I got up early this morning, believe it or not! Then I took my medication for my back and it knocks me out. So back to sleep I went. I finally got up at 10:30. Then I had to rush around and pick the house up real quick. We have the cable company coming out AGAIN! This is the sixth trip to our house they have made. I am about ready to pull my hair out at them. No, that’s not a good idea! Instead, I am going to pull their hair out. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Anyway they are supposed to be here between 1 and 3. So if I suddenly go POOF! during post, you know what happened.

I have rambled enough. Time to get down to business, lol!

Have a great weekend, my luvs,

Lady A

16 Ways to Stop a Cold

16 Ways to Stop a Cold

  • Caring.com, supporting caregivers

 

Sometimes it seems like winter is just one long case of the sneezes; we all know what it’s like to go around for weeks with a cold we just can’t shake. Yet some lucky folks seem to get through the cold and flu season with nary a sniffle. How do they do it?

As it turns out, it’s not really luck. Although it’s true that some immune systems are more robust than others, just about anyone attacked by a cold virus is going to get a cold. The secret: Prevent the cold virus from breaching your defenses. And at the first sign of exposure or symptoms, mount a full-bore offense to stop it in its tracks.

How to stop a cold before it starts
The germs that cause colds have a preferred route of travel. Unlike various strains of influenza virus, which tend to travel in airborne droplets, cold viruses prefer a physical transmission route: from your hands to your nose or eyes, and then to the nasopharynx — where the nose meets the mouth at the back of the throat (and where most colds begin). Studies have shown that most cold viruses can survive for up to three hours on nonporous surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and coffee cups. They can also survive on people’s hands for several hours if they don’t wash them.

That’s why hand washing — after you shake hands, after you open a door, after you push a shopping cart — is item number one in your anticold defense manual. If you kill cold germs on your hands before you transfer them to your nose or eyes, you stop a cold before it can start.

Few of us can wash our hands as often as needed, though, so be sure to follow these other strategies as well:

1. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and nose. There are hundreds of viruses that cause the common cold, and most of them are rhinoviruses, which need to get into the mucous membranes lining the nose or into the tear ducts in order to cause infection. That means touching your face — specifically your nose and eyes — is the primary way people give themselves cold germs. The nasopharynx, where the nose meets the mouth, is the “sweet spot” for cold viruses. If they can reach this spot, it’s very likely you’ll get sick; if you prevent them from getting there, you won’t. And a virus deposited at the base of the nose can easily be inhaled higher up into the nose.

So your mother was right: Don’t pick or touch your nose. The tear ducts provide another pathway; rub your eyes and the cold virus can easily drain through the tear ducts into the nasopharynx. Don’t rub them, and you avoid another possible cold.

2. Try not to touch public surfaces. Studies show that teaching children to sneeze into their elbow, rather than cover their mouths with their hands, has been very effective at reducing the incidence of colds in schools. Why? Because then the virus isn’t on their hands, where it can be passed to others via shared surfaces such as doorknobs, chair backs, books, and toys.

Here’s the surprising-but-true example doctors use: Did you know you’re far more likely to catch a cold from touching an infected person’s water glass and then wiping your eye or picking your nose than you are from drinking a sip of the sick person’s water?
Knowing this, medical personnel recommend being as ingenious as possible in your efforts not to touch surfaces that many other people have also touched. One internist reported that she trained himself to push elevator buttons with her knuckles; a nurse mentioned he’s learned to open doors by pushing them with his elbow or forearm.

 

3. Be finicky about sanitation. Dispose of dirty tissues promptly; the cold virus can live on them for several hours. Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands right away; a recent study found there was less spread of colds in families using alcohol-based hand gels frequently.

4. Don’t skimp on sleep. The studies are clear: Those who sleep less are much more susceptible to the cold virus once they’re exposed. In one study published in the January 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine, people who slept fewer than seven hours a night were three times more likely to develop a cold when exposed to a rhinovirus compared to those who slept eight or more hours a night.

How to get over a cold fast

Even when you try your hardest, you might still get an occasional cold. Fortunately, most colds begin to fade on their own after about a week, but sometimes it takes two weeks before you feel better. If more than two weeks has passed and you’re still coughing, it may be that tissues in the lungs have become irritated. These “rhinovirus-induced changes” can last up to four weeks.

Is there anything you can do to shorten the downtime? In a word, yes. Here’s what helps:

5. Go to bed. Rather than getting in the car and heading to the drugstore, get into bed and go to sleep. While you sleep, your body recharges your immune system, which is what fights off a cold. Studies show that people who get eight or more hours of sleep increase their resistance to cold viruses — and get better faster if they do catch a cold.

6. Drink a lot of water. And tea, and juice, and clear broth. Fluids help your body heal from a cold by loosening congestion and preventing dehydration. Water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water with honey are the best fluids to rely on; alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated sodas only make dehydration worse.

7. Cheer up with chicken soup. Recent studies that tested the effectiveness of chicken soup discovered that it does seem to relieve cold and flu symptoms. Scientists believe chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils, the cells of the immune system that mount the body’s inflammatory response. Hot chicken soup also temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose, helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the lining of the nasal passages.

And no, it doesn’t need to be homemade. Researchers at the University of Nebraska compared homemade chicken soup with canned versions and found that many, though not all, canned chicken soups worked just as well as soups made from scratch.

8. Gargle a sore throat. Dissolve a half teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gargle with it to temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat. The reason this time-honored home remedy works is that a sore throat occurs when the throat tissues become inflamed by bacteria and germs. This inflammation takes the form of tiny fluid-filled bumps called edemas. The dehydrating action of salt draws out the edema fluid, killing the bacteria, which require a warm, moist environment to survive.

9. “Irrigate” your nose with saline. Studies show that over-the-counter saline nasal sprays work to combat stuffiness and congestion and also reduce the amount of time that virus particles are in the nasal passages. And unlike nasal decongestants, saline sprays don’t lead to a rebound effect — a worsening of symptoms when the medication is used for too long. A neti pot, an alternative therapy gaining in popularity, is basically another nasal irrigation technique that puts the saline solution directly into the nasal passages.

10. Moisten the air with a humidifier. Cold viruses are happiest in dry conditions, which is one reason colds are more common in winter. Dry air also dries out the mucous membranes, which can both contribute to a stuffy nose and scratchy throat and lessen the body’s ability’s to fend off cold viruses in the first place. Run a humidifier to add moisture to indoor air. It doesn’t matter if it’s cool or warm mist; both are effective. But be careful: Running a humidifier can also add mold, fungi, and bacteria to your environment, especially if the humidifier hasn’t been cleaned properly. Change the water in your humidifier daily, clean the humidifier with soap and water once every three days, and air out the rooms in which you’ve been running the humidifier once you’re over your cold.

11. Don’t overuse over-the-counter cold remedies. Nonprescription decongestants and pain relievers are useful for relieving symptoms when you just can’t stand them anymore, but they won’t make your cold go away any faster. And they can have side effects. Decongestants, for example, can have a “rebound effect” — they can actually make a runny nose come back worse than ever if you use them for more than a few days.

The most effective decongestants are the ones that contain pseudoephedrine (brand name: Sudafed), but nowadays they’re kept behind the counter and you have to ask for them. That’s because pharmacies are restricting the availability of pseudoephedrine, which can be used to manufacture methamphetamine. But do take the trouble to ask, because the decongestants that contain phenylephrine instead don’t work nearly as well. And antihistamines, such as Benadryl, not only don’t work as well but can be dangerous because they cause drowsiness. In fact, older adults shouldn’t take Benadryl at all, since it can cause dizziness and falls.

Be sure, too, not to double-dose on acetaminophen (Tylenol). Most combination cold remedies contain acetaminophen, so if you take a combination remedy when you’ve already taken acetaminophen for fever or pain, you’ll inadvertently take too much. Read the labels of any cold medication carefully to make sure you’re not overdosing.

12. Use alternative remedies cautiously. At the first sneeze, cough, or sniffle, many of us reach for the vitamin bottle or rush to the drug store for an herbal remedy. Unfortunately, there’s little evidence to show that these work. Although some studies of vitamin C, garlic, echinacea, zinc, and the herbal combination in Airborne have suggested promising results, most have shown little or no effect. In most cases they can’t hurt, either.

However, sometimes a natural remedy that’s powerful enough to affect your health can have serious side effects. Recently, for example, a zinc nasal solution (brand name Zicam), which is sold at health food stores and some pharmacies, has been reported to cause permanent changes to some people’s sense of smell. Some researchers think that zinc lozenges could have the same effect. In June 2009, the FDA issued an advisory regarding some zinc products, so be careful about using them.

What to do when a cold won’t go away
Most cases of the common cold will go away on their own in one to two weeks, though sometimes symptoms such as a cough can linger longer. But if you’ve been sick for ten days or more and aren’t getting better, or are feeling worse, it’s time to rethink your approach.

13. Go over the checklist — have you really been following doctor’s orders? Typically, when people complain that a cold won’t go away, it turns out they’ve been trying to “power through” it and haven’t given their bodies a chance to heal, experts say. Go over the list of treatment options listed above and ask yourself if you’ve been doing all you can. Rest and fluids are the most important – – have you been getting at least eight hours of sleep a night and drinking plenty of water, juice, or tea with honey?

14. Take steps to relieve a cough. The symptom most likely to persist for weeks is a cough. And any time the lungs are involved, it’s important to take steps to avoid bronchitis or pneumonia.

The best way to get a cough to clear up: Take care of it. Gargle with salt water and drink lots of herb tea or hot water with honey, which has an antibacterial and soothing effect. (One study found honey to be more effective than cough syrup.) If a cough is preventing you from sleeping, try using over-the-counter cough syrup, though experts are divided over whether they work. Read labels and choose one with dextromethorphan, which at least some studies have found effective. Dextromethorphan actually works in the brain, rather than having a physical effect on the lungs or throat. It raises the threshold at which you feel like coughing, breaking the cycle of repeated coughing fits to give your lungs and throat a break. And that gives you a chance to sleep, so your body can heal itself.

15. Watch for a sinus infection. If a stuffy nose and congestion persists, you could be getting a sinus infection. That happens when mucus gets trapped in your nasal passages and is unable to drain for a period of time, becoming a safe harbor for bacteria. Sinus infections can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in the early stages before a full-blown infection develops. Be sure, then, to keep your nasal passages well irrigated with saline spray to help avoid an infection in the first place. And keep a lookout for these telltale signs of infection:

  • Facial pain, particularly behind the forehead, cheeks, nose, or between the eyes
  • Headache
  • Persistent fever
  • Nasal discharge that’s green or dark yellow in color

If you suspect a sinus infection, call your doctor. This is one of the rare instances in which you’ll probably need antibiotics.

 

16. Be on alert for breathing problems. In a small minority of cases, a cold or flu may lead to pneumonia. And if you suffer from asthma, a cold can trigger an asthma attack when the air passages in your lungs overreact to infection by the cold virus. Asthma can be treated with an inhaler or other medication. Pneumonia can be viral or bacterial, so antibiotics may or may not be the treatment of choice.

But if you suspect pneumonia, be sure to see a doctor to get it checked out. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Fast, shallow breathing — the feeling of not being able to draw a deep breath
  • Difficulty breathing, as though you can’t get enough air
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing or wheezing that won’t stop
  • Mental confusion
  • Severe vomiting
  • Signs of dehydration, such as dizziness when standing or decreased urination (or decreased tears, in an infant)
  • Blue or purple discoloration around the mouth
  • Mental confusion that wasn’t present before the illness
  • Convulsions or seizures

It’s best to take seriously any illness that won’t go away. If you’re getting worse instead of better, or are still concerned about symptoms after two weeks, call your doctor.