Questionable things to prevent a cold

Since getting sick for the third time this year really made me feel angry, I decided to start researching some things I could do while traveling to prevent myself from catching yet another cold. I really don’t know what has happened to me this year; in 2018, I didn’t get even a single cold. In 2017, I had some sort of virus and then a resulting silent reflux diagnosis, and in 2015 was my ever-memorable year of getting pertussis. The general theme seems to be that I get sick usually after coming back from a long-haul flight. And that really, really needs to stop.

I read more about vitamin C intake; the jury is still out on it, but it never hurts to eat an orange or any other fruit or vegetable with a high level of vitamin C. I realized the reason that people take Emergen-C and vitamin C supplements over just relying on eating fruit and vegetables is because Emergen-C actually has 1,000 mg of vitamin C, or 1667% of your daily value of the vitamin, so it’s almost like you are inundating your body with vitamin C, vs. eating an orange, which is only about 60% of your daily value of it. I guess it can’t hurt to pack this while traveling on top of eating the loads of fruit I normally eat when we’re traveling.

The other thing I decided I’d start taking during and between flights is echinacea, which is a herb that is native to the U.S. It’s said to have active substances that are antimicrobial that can help with fending off diseases and colds. Echinacea has phenols, which are supposed to control the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors; It also contains alkylamides, which have an effect on the immune system. Since herbs like this aren’t regulated by the FDA, the only way I know I am eating the real thing is if I buy the organic version of this tea. Similar to vitamin C, the studies done on this are on the fence about whether there is truly a benefit, but I rather just be safe than sorry. And, since buying it this week, it actually tastes pretty good, especially with a little honey. It’s also caffeine free in the event that I want to have a tea that doesn’t give me any buzz.

I also got these homeopathic Sambucol black elderberry zinc tablets. Honestly, they taste like candy, but they get such good reviews and weren’t that expensive, so I figured… why not?

The one thing I read about that I am absolutely not going to try is oscillococcinum, which is a homeopathic preparation made from an ingredient extracted from the heart and liver of a specific breed of duck. I read that some French physician discovered it in the early 1900s while doing some investigative work on the Spanish flu. But, just listen to how that sounds: a key ingredient that is “extracted from the heart and liver of a specific breed of duck.” Doesn’t that just sound… wrong? Why would something as random as that be able to prevent someone from catching a cold…? That’s just taking the term “homeopathic” to the next level, and a level that I do not want to go.

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