• Dr. Erica Oberg

Help for a Winter Cold

We all know Cold & Flu season is upon us. Here are some great ideas for coping while you wait for a virus to pass. Of course, give us a call if you feel it may be something more serious as indicated by persistent symptoms such as prolonged fever, difficulty breathing, inability to eat or drink or keep food and water down.


Honey Ginger Hot Lemonade

1 lemon 1” ginger, grated 1 T honey (yes, Tablespoon) ½ tsp cayenne/red pepper (optional)

Boiling water

Either throw it all in a high-power blender or juice/grate ginger by hand. Drink 3 cups/day. Gargle with it if your throat is sore. Buying a jar of Knudsen’s or TJ’s Honey-Ginger-Echinacea lemonade works equally well!


Wet Sock Treatment

It sounds crazy but I promise, it really drains congestion overnight!

Materials needed: Hot, steamy shower

1 pair of thin cotton socks – wet, ring out well, and put in freezer

1 pair of dry thick wool socks

Procedure: Take a hot steamy shower – you want to come out pink! Dry off, especially your hair.

Get ready for bed with lots of blankets, water/tea by the bed

Get icy cotton socks out of the freezer and put on feet.

Pull dry wool socks over the top of the cotton socks.

Go to bed with socks on.

Rationale: This is known as a "heating compress" meaning that it's up to the body to heat the cold wet socks. The body does this by dramatically increasing blood circulation which also activates the immune system. This is the best treatment for early onset of a cold or flu.


Immune Boosters

Emergen-C packets (or other vitamin C): 3-5000mg/day (3 packets/day)

Probiotics: best results with lactobacillus & bifidus species at doses of 5-10 billion organisms/day

Vitamin D: 10,000 IU/day or have your blood levels checked

N-Acetyl Cysteine: 600mg 2X/day. Immune booster plus thins mucus to clear out stuffed sinuses

10,000 IU Vitamin A 3X/day. Do not use if pregnant or use for longer than 2 weeks without ND supervision

Zinc 15-30mg/day. Do not use for longer than 2 weeks without ND supervision

Umcka (pelargonium): many flavors, many forms – your choice!

Diet Recommendations

No sugar! Unless it’s in the form of a whole fruit. Sugar inhibits the immune system.

Eat lightly: choose simple high nutrient density foods. Mung beans and rice, vegetable soup, quinoa porridge

Watch your electrolytes: stay well hydrated with herbal teas, lemonade, and mineral water


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© 2020 by Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH