By Dr. Ben Kim on March 09, 2008
Natural Health Solutions
Before I share a great little tip on how to stop a sore throat from progressing into a week-long cold, please know that periodically experiencing a cold or the flu can actually be helpful to your health. If you have no idea why this is, please view the following popular article that I wrote on this topic:
What Most Doctors Won't Tell You About Colds and Flus
You just won't get this information on why colds and flus can help you stay healthy over the long run from medical textbooks and mainstream media - please consider sharing it with family and friends.
Although experiencing a cold or the flu once in a while can help rid your body of your weakest cells, I'm willing to bet that there are times when you would really prefer to delay such a period of cleansing and malaise.
Here's how you can stand a good chance of preventing a cold from developing:
As soon as you experience that sore, tickly feeling in your throat that precedes a full-blown cold, gargle with warm salt water.
And when I say gargle, I mean really gargle; take in a mouthful of warm salt water, look up at the ceiling, and gargle aggressively. You may want to tap at your throat (the Adam's apple region) with your fingers while you gargle to encourage the warm salt water to trickle deeply into your throat.
Gargle like this several times with a glass of warm salt water, and repeat as often as possible throughout the day.
Warm salt water can remove viruses from the tonsils and adenoids that line the back of your throat region. Viruses that cause colds and flus typically get caught by your tonsils and adenoids before they spread through your body. Your tonsils and adenoids are important parts of your immune system because they are located near the entrance of your breathing passages, and they serve as a first line of defense against undesirable airborne microorganisms and substances.
This, by the way, is why it is best not to remove tonsils and adenoids from your throat region. Chronic swelling of tonsils and adenoids is best addressed by reducing sugar intake, adopting a minimally processed diet that is rich in fresh plant foods, and supporting immune system health by getting plenty of rest, exercise, and exposure to sunlight and fresh air.
Cold salt water may also help to remove viruses from your tonsils and adenoids, but warm salt water tends to be more effective. Warm water may help to melt the fatty coating that protects viruses that cause the cold and flu.
What if you gargle for all you're worth but still end up developing a full-blown cold?
Get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take comfort in knowing that countless viruses are at work destroying your weakest cells. And don't forget to blow your nose as often as it runs; help your body get rid of what it wants to get rid of.