When a person with a strong, vital immune system gets sick they get really sick including copious discharges (i.e. snot), a fever of 101-102, and they usually feel awful for about 48-72 hours. Then when it's over, it's over, and their immune system is actually stronger for it.

Why do some colds last longer than two or three days?

One of the main reasons colds last longer is taking over the counter cold medicine. OTC cold medicines do not fight the infection, only reduce symptoms. The symptoms of a cold, runny nose, fever, cough, sneezing, and sore throat, are actually the body's way of curing the cold.  Mucus coats bacteria and viruses making them unable to reproduce.  Fevers increase the temperature making your body inhospitable (a cold is called "a cold" because the virus prefers temperatures just below body temperature).  Taking cold meds may make you feel better but it's at the expense of the immune system being able to effectively fight the infection.

What you can do to support your immune system:

1. Warming Socks

This form of hydrotherapy helps drain congestion, increase white blood cells, and mount a gentle fever all of which help your body fight the infection faster and more easily. Click here<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=x5vefcdab&et=1103770262104&s=388&e=001MO5OYCCx8nrPXyXqvUERYZZxIuX-L3h8DtRMNjSqDs3BtPOMgcXsyh9gNg8vXnophCEvIXy18ilBD0J0DHi1n59Q2v7KI53M0KaFvKxKL2pFZlFvxhC81JTktxv3zJ4rLCt9ciOsVPA=> to go to our resources page for complete instructions.

2. Bone Broth/Chicken Broth

Science now validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Homemade stock is a perfect, easy to digest food to consume while sick.  Many of us loose our appetites while sick for a reason; our body needs to focus its attention on fighting the infection over digesting food.  Bone broth is full of immune boosting nutrients, like minerals and broken down protein, that give us the building blocks we need to get healthy.


This is often the toughest one for many of us, but if you want to get over a cold quickly, it is imperative that you stay home from work, slow down, get plenty of sleep and allow your body to conserve energy.

If you are struggling to get back on your feet in more than 3-4 days consult your local Naturopathic Physician to give your immune system the boost it needs.

Back to Basics: Bone Broth

Bone broth, or stock, is one of the simplest super-foods you can have on hand in your kitchen.  Make it ahead of time when you get bones from the butcher or roast poultry or lamb.  It can be store it in your freezer in glass jars.

Use bone broth in soups, gravy, sauces, in place of water when cooking grains, or as a drink with a little sea salt.

Recipe: Simple Chicken broth


2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings* gizzards from one chicken (optional)

4 quarts cold filtered water

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 bunch parsley(optional)

*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results.

Place chicken bones in a large stainless steel pot with water and vinegar.  Bring to a boil and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 – 12 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be and the more minerals you extract (chicken bones will completely dissolve in about 72 hours of cooking adding 1 Tbs vinegar every 12 hours). About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.

Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.

To freeze pour into glass jars filling ¾ full (to prevent breaking the glass when the liquid freezes).


Tanda Leigh Cook, ND

Clearwater Healthcare Bozeman, MT