My "good idea" batting average over the past 60-odd years
is well under .500, but I want to take this opportunity to
share one of my brainstorms. I've found a cure for colds
and flu, and it works so well that I haven't had
either of those illnesses since 1963.
However, let me qualify that somewhat shocking statement
with an explanation: I've caught my share of cold and
influenza infections in the past 16 years, but I've always
been able to stop the attacks at the first-day stage and be
back on my feet the following day.
I suppose I should also—at this point—add a disclaimer
to get me off any lurking legal hooks. Therefore:
What follows is an account of what I have done
and continue to do, in the belief that it stops my colds
and flu, but my story is not to be taken as
medical advice. OK?
The Battle Begins
What happens when you're invaded by those viral organisms
that cause colds and flu? First, you become aware that all
is not right with your body. Perhaps your joints begin to
ache a bit, and you may sneeze and feel chilly. (My own
"cold test" is to roll my eyes far to one side. If it
hurts a little, I know the aches and other symptoms will
In earlier times you might have been given lemon juice and
honey or any number of other remedies, most of which
did no good whatever.
Nowadays, you're like most folks you ingest enough
aspirin to keep your temperature down (and the drug
companies' profits up).
Finally, If you become sick enough or run out of aspirin,
you'll develop a fever. And, after that, you'll probably
gradually improve to a semblance of your normal state of
health, ready to battle the next attack when it comes.
The Light Dawns
Sometime during 1963 I read a magazine article describing
the life cycle of the viruses which cause colds and flu. I
learned that a virus attaches itself to a red blood cell,
squirts itself inside, and uses the cell's "machinery" to
make about 200 duplicates of itself, which
then sally forth in search of another cell to
repeat the cycle. This reproductive process only takes
about 30 minutes.
It's the speed of this viral duplication that gives us
symptoms so quickly, because—despite the rapid rate
at which our marrow and liver constantly pour new red cells
into the blood—the virus destroys cells faster than
our bodies can produce them. With the lowering of the
number of red cells, oxygen transport is impaired, and we
begin to notice the muscular aches and pains that typically
accompany the flu.
The magazine article went on to
mention—offhandedly—that when blood
temperature is elevated a few degrees, the viruses cease
"That sounds like a fever to me!" I exclaimed ... and I
remembered that many of the bouts with colds and flu that
I'd had did seem to "cure themselves" soon after a
fever. It seemed to follow that, if I gave myself a fever
before becoming sick enough to get one naturally,
I could stop the destruction of my red cells and,
therefore, cure the illness!
A Hot Practice
I don't remember how long I had to wait before a cold
caught up with me so I could test my idea, but when I
tried the "heat treatment" out it worked ... and
it's worked for me every time since then.
In the evening of any day when the first hint of "the bug"
shows up, I inch my way into as hot a tub of water as I can
stand and stay there until my temperature gets up to
102°F. [EDITOR'S NOTE: For safety's sake, the bath
water should be no hotter than 105°F, and one should
not remain in it for longer than 20 minutes.]
It's very difficult to force myself to stay in the hot
water, but I've learned that a drink (That's when lemonade
and honey come in handy. Try taking the beverage hot,
too, if you can stand it) is a great help. Sip and steam,
steam and sip.
Oh, yes! While I'm bathing, my wife piles an extra
blanket or two on the bed. Once I'm "up to temperature", I
dry off, slide into the sack, and sweat.
My wife stays well to her side of the bed, while I doze,
sweat, and keep my temperature high for about four hours.
Gradually, through the night, I reduce the number of
blankets so that, by morning, I'm dry and—behold!
—I feel great. Of course, I don't go out to climb
mountains right away, and I make sure to keep warm for a
day or so, but I have no sickness.
So there you have it. The "cure" makes sense to me,
and—with hand over heart—I assure you that I
haven't had more than first-day symptoms since I
started taking my hot bath treatments.
One last word about safety: when a person is
immersed in hot water, less blood is available to bring
oxygen to the brain and dizziness can occur. Therefore I always ask
my wife to give me a hand as I step out of the tub. And, of
course, such "tender loving care" does its share to ease
the symptoms of the cold, too!