Getting a virus: Clearing it up faster
I’ve recently discussed what I do to help prevent the cold and flu virus, that one is the longer of these two articles. So, this one will be much shorter. If you do get a cold, the flu or even a throat infection, you can help reduce the symptoms by using a simple remedy: Zinc. But, not just any zinc. I personally use Zicam. The reason I use Zicam is the formulations available. While the zinc tablets work, they taste nasty and only coat your throat. This can work, but I find that the other Zicam formulations work much better.
The Zicam gel swabs are my favorite to use. The way this works is to swab the inside if your nostrils and then close the nostrils just briefly after swabbing. Apparently, as I understand how this works, the zinc in Zicam kills viruses on contact and, at the same time, prevents new viruses from taking hold. Since the viruses apparently start and multiply in the nasal cavity, the application of zinc coats your nasal passages and prevents the virus from taking hold and building full colonies. So, the theory goes, the symptoms are reduced and the length of infection shortened. For me, this works.
Reduction in symptoms
Whenever I get sick with a virus, I find that using zinc (Zicam variety) reduces sore throats from 5-7 days to about 2-3 days. So, without zinc, the cold may last 2 weeks. With Zicam, I find that my colds are over in about 7-9 days. For me, the symptoms of the cold are greatly reduced as well.
Other zinc formulations
You may get similar results with the lozenges, but I prefer the Zicam formulations. If another company begins making a similar formulation to the gel swabs, I may try those out. Right now it appears that Zicam is the only brand with this formulation. I will say that I have also tried Zicam’s nasal spray and throat spray. For the same reason that I don’t like the lozenges, I don’t like the throat spray (it tastes nasty). As far as the nasal spray formulation, I don’t like spraying this up inside my nose due to irritation. So, I stick with the swabs which simply coats the opening to your nose and doesn’t have taste or irritation problems. Apparently, though, the gel does move up into the nose through breathing, but I don’t seem to feel it like I do with the spray.
So, for prevention, follow my previous article. But, once you get sick, try using the Zicam gel swabs (or a knock off if you can find one) and see how well they work for you. If they do nothing, don’t buy them again. But, if they reduce the severity of the symptoms, as I expect they will, then I find that it’s well worth the $12 for a box.