Search This Blog

Flu and Cold Season is Here: How to Combat the Crud Part 1

By  Dr. Jon Thomas D.C PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.

Courtesty Wikimedia
The weather has been cooling off in Northeast Florida. Lately, there’s been a chill in the air in the mornings. Most people like this seasonal change. However, for some, the change in the weather can bring on colds or the flu. At Vibrant Life, we refer to these ailments as “the crud.” It has already started going around. The crud can manifest itself through a wide range of symptoms. They include sniffling, sneezing, coughing, headache, body aches, fever, and a general sense of malaise.
When people experience the crud, many are inclined to ingest some vitamin C in whatever form they can get. Vitamin C does strengthen the immune system before a person gets a cold or the flu. However, mega-doses of vitamin C are not the ultimate weapons against colds after the onset of symptoms. Research shows that taking vitamin C after catching a cold will not affect the duration or severity of the cold. Also, since colds are caused by viruses - not bacteria - antibiotics won’t help either.
Since laughter is reputed to be the best medicine, here are three of the Weirdest Cold Remedies known to man, according to an article on Buzzfeed.

  • The ancient Greeks believed that an aching head could be cured with a shock from an electric eel.
  • In Canada and the US, some believe that placing onions on a child’s feet will draw a fever out of the body.
  • Some North Americans believe that cold sores can be cured by applying your own ear wax to them.

There’s no conclusive evidence that any of those remedies work, but we hope that reading about them will elicit a chuckle. While handling eels, onions, and earwax sounds like a lot of fun, we at Vibrant Life don’t recommend any of the above remedies. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to combat the crud. In a recent article for WEBMD, Andrea Billups made the following suggestions:
Get Some Rest and Reduce Your Stress. Most people know what it feels like when a cold is coming on. It’s important to listen to your body. Get as much rest as you can and eliminate stress as much as possible.
Courtesy Wikimedia
Drink Up. When you have a cold, fluids are your friend. Keep a full glass of water nearby. Most fluids, with the exception of alcohol, will help to keep you hydrated.
Sip hot tea with honey. Drinking warm liquids can help to open up a stuffy nose and soothe a sore throat.
Act quickly to combat the crud.  If you can’t hold off a cold, it may take as much as five to seven days for symptoms to improve. Getting an early jump on those symptoms is one of the keys to recovery.
Most in the medical community would agree with these helpful suggestions. I also recommend the following, which I use with my own family and recommend to my patients to shorten the length or reduce the severity of colds and flu.
Nucleo-Immune Dietary Supplement
Nucleotides are tiny building blocks of RNA and DNA. They are the blueprints for all the cells in your body. Trauma, surgery, infection, and other stresses, can rapidly deplete a body of its supply of nucleotides. When depleted, rebuilding the supply of nucleotides to meet the body’s demands can take days, or possibly weeks.
Nucleotides can help the body to rapidly overcome colds or flu, heal wounds, improve circulation, strengthen the immune system, promote new cell growth, neutralize toxins (especially in the intestines), and enhance the body’s ability to fight infection and disease. They may even help to slow the aging process.
Nucleo-Immune is a dietary supplement which promotes rapid cellular rejuvenation and healing of wounds. It also increases vitality and strength. Nucleo-Immune supports the thymus, the intestinal and immune systems, and is especially effective as a preventative booster during the cold and winter season.
Nucleo-Immune is available through the Vibrant Life Health Center. Give yourself a boost for the season and get some today!
Zinc, an Essential Mineral
Zinc plays an important role in immunity. The recommended daily intake is 15 mg/day. Research shows that adequate zinc consumption, or supplementation, not only prevents the onset of colds and flu, but also decreases their duration by a day or more. Zinc is regarded by many as the most effective remedy against the common cold. Adding the following foods to your daily intake will increase your zinc levels: oysters, crab, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, cashews, black beans, and shiitake mushrooms.
Elderberry Extract
Elderberries, Courtesy of Wikimedia
Black elderberry juice inhibits the growth of influenza viruses and shortens the duration of symptoms. It also increases antibody levels against the virus. In addition, it helps reduce swelling in the sinuses and congestion. Elderberry is commonly available as a lozenge and in capsules. It’s also available as a liquid syrup in the UMCKA Cold Products line made by Nature’s Way.  UMCKA Cold Products can be purchased at Native Sun, Whole Foods, and Grass Roots stores.
Mucilage of Oats: My family’s personal favorite
For anyone who has caught a bug that’s going around and who has a lingering cough or sore throat, here’s an easy-to-make beverage that can help. Take 1 tbsp. oats and add it to 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, and then let it steep for five minutes. Strain out the oats and drink. This process takes the mucilage off of the oats, and it’s very soothing for the throat. If you’d like to sweeten it up a bit, you can add a little honey. When I make this, I add 1 tbsp elderberries or rose hips. This gives the mixture some extra flavor and also some vitamin C.
In this article, I have discussed some of the things people can do to reduce their chances of getting the flu or catching a cold. I’ve also made several suggestions on what to do after you have symptoms. Zinc, elderberry extract, and mucilage of oats can all be very helpful. Nucleo-Immune, a dietary supplement which helps in the production of nucleotides, can also be very helpful.
If you liked this article, please click the Google Plus button. If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please pass it along to him or her or. If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section.
At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment. If you’d like to try Nucleo-Immune to prevent or treat the flu or a cold, please contact us.  
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weight Lifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.


  1. Another herb that helps combat the crud is echinacea. It's been proven to boost the white cell count.

  2. I have a very productive grapefruit tree and once the fruit is ready, I have a steady supply of juice for about five months - November through March. Maybe that vitamin C is one of the reasons I haven't had much of a problem with cold and flu.

  3. Great advice.I know when I stick with preventative proactive care, I never get a cold or the flu. However if I don't engage in the preventative behavior of taking the above remedies I usually get a cold.

  4. I'll definitely be trying the mucilage of oats!

  5. Super interesting read!! Great advice too! Will definitely bookmark this to use in the future!

  6. I love reading about different ways to prevent the crud and getting through the crud! Great information!