Common Cold – Friend or Foe?
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Its that time of year again when the weathers cold one day and warm (ish) the next and for some that all too familiar tickle at the back of your throat and runny nose starts up again.But before you reach for the col d remedies, I thought I’d talk to you a little about the alternative view on coughs, sneeze and diseases from a naturopathic/osteopathic perspective. 


Healing Crisis?


I’ve talked at length with most of my patients about your body’s own inherent quest for health, it’s natural healing capacity achieved through homeostasis (regulated body temperature, ph, toxicity etc (see full explanation here

So is your “cold” working for you or against you?


In naturopathic terms, any event that the body uses to steer itself back to a homeostatic balance, is termed a “healing crisis”, i.e. its purpose is a positive move towards health not away from it, no matter how unappealing the actions taken by the body might be.

By way of an example, if you were to eat a poisonous food, naturally the body would want to expel this from you, otherwise severe illness might follow.  So a quick bout of diarrhoea and or vomiting will ensue as the body rushes to detoxify itself and rebalance – could this be seen as the cure rather than the illness?
So, when a cold happens, we consider this the same as the poison detoxification, its your body’s innate way of detoxifying by clearing the mucous membranes using catarrh and mucus etc.  If this is the case, that its a cure not an illness, do you really want to rush to medications that effectively stop this clear out happening thereby pushing the toxins ever deeper and into more of a chronic state?

How does the body become toxic in the first place?


Your body is working round the clock with tiny but very important cellular activities (metabolism) and the acidic waste products of this are lactic acid, carbonic acid and urea.  


In a healthy body, we would neutralise these acids by buffering them, turning them into alkali salts in the blood stream and then getting t hem out of the body via the organs of elimination, namely the kidneys, skin, lungs, and bowel.


Are you still with me??


So this detoxification program works brilliantly, but if it all becomes too much, as the body has only fine tolerances to changes in blood chemistry, then the body will use adrenaline to push the toxins into deeper tissues of the cell walls until such time as it can deal with them.

Why does it happen at this time of year more than others?


Your lungs, skin (largest organ in your body) and bowel all have the same function, that is to either assimilate nutrients (absorb into the body) or to eliminate toxins from your body (interesting observation that eczema and asthma are pretty much always interrelated).


As winter approaches and the temperature drops, simply your skin contracts effectively loosing its capacity to assimilate/eliminate, putting a greater burden on your lungs and bowels as we wrap up to keep warm.

If the toxic load on the body increases, or the organs of elimination become compromised then this state of toxicity rises until such a time that the body NEEDS to get rid and starts a detoxification……or as we know it a cold, flu, D&V etc!”I’ve caught a cold but not from a random bug but from within” 

Yes its horrible and yes its always inconvenient, but the truth is your body needs to do it for the health and betterment of you.  If you suppress it, then you have denied a vital process, one that has health in mind.

The way to get rid of a cold is to make it unnecessary in the first place and to help your body eliminate toxicity:



  • Watch what you put into your body, its not a dustbin – anything that is overly toxic, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed foods and medications etc all have to be dealt with by your liver and eliminatory organs, so if they’re busy dealing with that, you’ve guessed it, they can’t do there day to day work and toxicity builds.


  • Give your body some help – Epsom salts baths draw toxins through the skin, exfoliating will enhance this process.


  • Skip a meal – fasting has long been used to create “physiological rest”, simply giving your body space to “deal” with itself and steer closer to homeostatic balance.


  • Loo time – constipation adds to toxicity, give your body a chance and give it some time to eliminate properly.


  • Drink water – helps buffer acids and aids in elimination.


  • Watch your stress levels – the more adrenaline in your system, the less able your body is to detoxify (its on short term survival mode not long term health and well being).


  • Exercise – gets everything moving; stagnant water breeds disease.


  • Sleep – parasympathetic nervous system is in control (this is the side of your nervous system thats responsible for your longterm health and wellbeing, fertility, digestion, growth, healing & repair).


  • Alkalise – green veggie juices are top here but if thats too much for you, then basically think green and raw and try to add this into your diet.


  • Vitamins – Vit C and D3 are great especially in the winter months (if you want some then this is where I buy mine from ( quote CB20 and get 20% discount)


  • Smile – news makes you miserable, the less you consume it the happier you will be…I think Eastenders might count too!
I hope this has helped and been informative for you, of course I’m here to answer any questions or queries you might have so please pick up the phone or drop me an email and I’ll answer what I can.Please though, have fun and enjoy the information, it should lighten the load not burden you.

………and of course the legal bit – “Please remember, the article is not intended to be used as an instruction for action, and that any change in your health or approaches to it, should always be checked off by your GP or other related healthcare professional first”

Wishing you a very happy Autumn & Winter, 
The Family Osteopath
PS. Your continued recommendations to friends and family members to seek help for their pains & ills is always very much appreciated – THANK YOU!