I'll admit – it's been awhile since I gave you an update on my latest favorite tactics to “unleash a nuclear bomb” on colds and flus. And since the season of sickness is upon us, I figured there would be no better time than today to do it.
In today's article, I'm not going to focus too much on “preventive” measures I've talked about before, such as the use of wild oil of oregano or high dose Vitamin D/Vitamin K blends, but instead I am going to fill you in on aggressive actions you can and should take upon the first signs and symptoms of a viral respiratory infection. In other words, what you're about to read is the stuff you should do when you know you've been exposed, your throat is already starting to hurt, you're coming down with the sniffles, etc.
This protocol of “nuclear bombing” your cold or flu should ideally be something you initiate within 24-48 hours of the first manifestation of serious cold and flu symptoms. If you can pull out all the stops, you're going to be blown away at how simple it can be to banish a debilitating illness, even when your friends or family members may be “dropping like flies”.
Finally, I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of healthcare whatsoever.
The Official Nuclear Bomb Protocol For Colds & Flus
Natural Remedy #1: Cimetidine
OK, let's begin with a fringe one – ~800 mg of something called “cimetidine”. This is actually a drug that is sold over the counter in most pharmacies as a heartburn remedy, but a little-known side effect it possesses is that it can boost immune function by drastically reducing your number of T-suppressor cells, which keeps your immune system highly active. This can prove to be particularly effective against certain viruses.
Technically cimetidine (usually sold under the brand name Tagamet) is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist that inhibits stomach acid production, is mainly used in the treatment of heartburn and peptic ulcers. As I've written about before, I am not a fan of killing off your stomach acid, as it really isn't the reason for most heartburn
Should you decide you want to boost your T-Cell count using as many other methods as possible, I'd highly recommend you listen to my podcast entitled: “Harnessing the Power of Natural Killer Cell For Enhanced Immunity, Longevity, Performance & Beyond.”
Natural Remedy #2: High Dose Garlic
Yes, when taking high-dose garlic you won't be that kissable, but if you think you have the cold and flu, you shouldn't be throwing around too many kisses anyways. So how much garlic should you take? Brace yourself: about 9,000 mg of high-allicin garlic once and, if you can stomach it, up to twice daily. For this, I'm a huge fan of “Allimax“, one of the few highly absorbable forms of high-dose garlic that exists.
A word of warning: this potent form of high-dose garlic can often cause stomach and esophagus burning if you consume on an empty stomach or don't eat food afterwards, and you will reek of a pretty strong sulfur odor soon after taking it, but it will absolutely saturate your body with garlic's well-researched virus-killing effects.
If you are brave enough, you can also include at a separate time of day about 3,600 mg a day of aged garlic extract – which is different than high-allicin garlic. There are unique immune-boosting compounds in aged garlic that work a bit differently than the compounds found in high-allicin garlic. For aged garlic, I am a fan of the brand “Kyolic“.
Natural Remedy #3: Colostrum
Colostrum is a concentrated source of lactoferrin, which is a natural constituent of mother’s milk that can boost natural killer-cell ability and can even kill certain viruses. Colostrum is also made up of an enormous variety of macro and microconstituents such as cytokines, immunoglobulins, growth factors, proline rich polypeptides (PRPs) and growth-promoting hormones. These components play important biological roles that are vital to proper immune function, including:
-Cytokines: Part of your systemic immune system. These hormones keep communication between immune cells active (no communication means low immunity, frequent sickness, and susceptibility to illness!)
-Growth Factors: (IGF-I, IGF-II, EGF) As the name implies, growth factors assist with maintenance and growth of certain body tissues, including muscle and the gastrointestinal lining.
-Growth Hormone: Growth Hormone (GH) works individually as well as together with the other growth factors in colostrum to aid in growth and function of gastrointestinal tissues, muscle and more.
-Immunoglobulins: (IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, IgM) Immunoglobulins are small proteins that are used by your immune system to seek out and destroy foreign antigens (invaders).
-Proline Rich Polypeptides: PRPs are important immune system regulators that encourage the growth of white blood cells and may restore the balance of cellular immune functions. PRPs may defend against oxidative stress and support brain health.
I recommend this all natural colostrum derived from grass-fed goats as a clean and particularly effective source, at a dosage of 8-12 capsules at the first onset of signs and symptoms (in lower doses, at about 2-4 capsules per day, it's also an excellent preventive measure).
Natural Remedy #4: DHEA.
Yes, you do need to be careful with this one if you're competing in any doping sanctioned sports, such as Ironman triathlon or Spartan Racing or MMA, since DHEA is technically a banned substance (you can read about the recent Spartan DHEA doping fiasco here), but a relatively high dose (~200mg) of DHEA has been shown to have some relatively unique benefits in terms of its ability to allow you to mount a stronger immune response and to also protect you against some of the potentially dangerous high inflammatory cytokine response that can occur in response to a viral infection.
There are a variety of sources out there for DHEA, but I'm a fan of the Life Extension version (and yes, at 25mg per capsule, you're looking at needing to pop 8 of these bad boys).
Natural Remedy #5: Zinc Acetate
I first discovered the zinc acetate tactic from my friend and podcast guest Chris Masterjohn, a pretty smart cookie who reported on this strategy in his video “How to Kill a Cold With Zinc“. Zinc can work by inhibiting cold viruses from latching onto your cells, but you must dissolve it in your mouth for it to be effective. As Chris says in the video…
“…the zinc has to be a lozenge that slowly dissolves in your mouth. Over the course of the slow dissolving of the zinc in your mouth, zinc releases into the nasal cavity and into the throat and prevents cold viruses from attaching to your cells and infecting them. Now because it works on the initial infection stage, that stage is the first two or three days of your cold, that means that you need to start using the lozenges as soon as possible or it’s not going to be effective.”
The approximate dosage you'll want to use is one 18.5-mg zinc acetate lozenge taken every two waking hours. This is the exact Life Extension zinc lozenge brand both Chris and I use. This is not something I recommend as a daily regimen because it is actually a very high dose of zinc and can be somewhat toxic if taken long term at this high of a dosage. So you should only do this three days maximum in my opinion, but you should also do it at the first sign or symptom, because once a virus infects too many cells, it can replicate out of control and this strategy will no longer be effective.
Natural Remedy #6: Melatonin
You're no doubt familiar with melatonin as something you'd normally consume at levels of 0.3mg-3mg to enhance sleep prior to bedtime, but it's less well known that 10-50 mg of melatonin taken at bedtime can induce a significantly high immune system response, in addition to facilitating the deep sleep one often needs to fend off an infection.
And yes, with this high a dose of melatonin, you will get very sleepy and you should definitely not drive or operate any machinery after ingestion. You'll wake up a bit groggy too, but it's better than waking up in a pile of green gooey snot from your nasal passages. One of the more potent forms of melatonin that I personally use when traveling internationally or across multiple time zones is the Natrol time-release formula.
Natural Remedy #7: Tamiflu
OK, OK, I lied. This one is not something I would classify as natural, but in a pinch, when you're really getting knocked down hard by the cold or flu, the prescription drug Tamiflu – consumed at a dose of 75 mg twice a day – can be started within 24 hours of flu symptoms, and can block entry of many viruses into cells (where they would normally multiply). This meta-analysis found that Tamiflu (also known as “oseltamivir”) is significantly effective for prevention of influenza at the individual and household levels.
And let's put it this way: if I had to choose between Tamiflu and the ravaging effects of the seasonal flu shot, which includes mercury toxicity, neurological disorders, increased risk of Alzheimers and a host of other risks that I consider to be worse than the experience of the flu itself, I'd definitely choose the former.
Want more tips to battle the cold and flu and to boost your immune system? Then check out the other resources I've created on natural cold and flu remedies, including:
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback about natural remedies for the cold and flu season, or your own tips to add? Leave your comments below and I will reply!