About the Illness

Colds and the flu are common virus infections. Symptoms begin between 1 and 4 days after being infected by a cold virus and typically last for about 3 days. During the time you have symptoms, you are contagious.

Common Symptoms

Runny nose; cough; sneezing; sore throat; fever; painful joints.

Children's Issues

Colds can make small babies seriously ill, so it is especially important to take precautions against passing on colds. Let children stay in bed if they want to. If children become very ill, with high fever and shallow rapid breathing, they may be getting pneumonia. This is very serious in HIV+ children who should be taken for professional treatment immediately. When a newborn (2 months or younger) has cold symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

Important Information


Herbal Therapy

In addition to drinking liquids, try using one of the following steam inhalations 2x daily to help clean and disinfect your airways:
Eucalyptus globulus Inhalation Place a handful of fresh leaves in a saucepan of boiling water. Inhale the steam OR use eucalyptus oil extract in boiling water and inhale the steam.     
Clematis hirsuta Inhalation Prepare as above.                     
Zanthoxylum chalybeum Inhalation Prepare as above.         

Steam Inhalation
  • Boil the medicinal herbs in a pot, or add a few drops of medicinal oil to a pot of boiling water.  
  • Sit the patient on a chair or at the edge of the bed and place the pot at their feet.  
  • Cover the entire head and body with a sheet or blanket with the pot inside it.  
  • Let the patient take deep slow breaths to inhale the medicinal steam.  
  • Reheat or add more medicine as needed.  
  • Babies and small children should be placed under the sheet with the care giver and allowed to breathe just a few breaths. Then take them out and let them breathe fresh air for a minute or so before putting them back under the sheet for another few breaths.

[Steam Inhalation]
Good for:All

Food and Nutrition Advice

Take plenty of liquids to aid your body in flushing out the infection, which the following drinks will help you fight:

  • Ginger, Lemon & Garlic Tea 2 pieces ginger, 2 lemons, 3 garlic cloves. Bring to the boil in a covered pan and keep covered until cool. Drink 1 glass 3x daily (10-16 yrs: 1/2 glass 3x daily).
  • Lemon Juice Dissolve 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice in hot water. Drink as often as you like.
  • Eat vitamin C-rich foods.

Body Work and General Advice

  • Boost your body's natural resistance to infections by getting enough sleep, eating well, drinking plenty of liquids every day and taking physical exercise.
  • When you are sick, eat and sleep apart from others so you do not pass your cold on to them. Take special care to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • To prevent a cold leading to earache, try not to blow your nose - just wipe it. Teach children to do the same.