Cold summer

Posted in Society at 10:34 by RjZ

It just doesn’t seem right to me. Summer is just getting started and I am excited for a weekend of hiking, climbing and just getting outside. By Thursday, though, I am feeling a little bit more exhausted than usual and by Friday I wake up with a sore throat. Crap. Who wants a cold at the beginning of summer?!

I’ve heard about Cold Snap, an immune system booster based on ancient Chinese medicine. I went online to learn more about the preparation and to the health food store to see if I could find it. Cold Snap combines a variety of herbs which have, traditionally, been individually prescribed, based on a consultation with the patient. It’s meant to be taken three times a day to ward off “uninvited guests” but:

If you have not been able to forestall the unwanted guest, frequent use (as often as every 20 minutes) may be required to change the momentum of the invasion. With more experience in taking Cold Snap and some anticipation, you won’t need to consume a large quantity of herbs. Continuing with the Basic Way for a couple of days after feeling better will ensure restoration of righteous chi.

On Saturday and Sunday my sore throat was gone but I was weak and my nose was running constantly. The nights were poor and punctuated by coughing. By Monday, though, I was feeling better and while my nose was still running, my cough was becoming productive. It’s Wednesday now and, while I am still coughing up some phlegm that my body produced to trap all these “unwanted guests,” I appear to be on the road to recovery, just exactly as the makers of Cold Snap, OHCO, predicted.

Except I didn’t take any.

It’s not that Cold Snap does or doesn’t work; I really don’t know that. I couldn’t find any clinical tests for it online nor an assay that describes what exactly is in it. Many homeopathic medicines contain ultra-low quantities of the “active” ingredients. The claim is that the liquids, now indiscernible from ordinary water, contain “molecular memory” and can contribute to cures. I doubt the effectiveness of these preparations, but I don’t know if Cold Snap is one of these or not. After following the link, scroll down to the “Challenging Homeopathy” header for a bit more information.

It’s not the whether or not Cold Snap works though, it’s that the claims made on the manufacturer’s own website aren’t really claims at all. Essentially, they say that you should take Cold Snap all the time, but if you feel yourself getting a cold, you should start consuming rather high amounts and your cold will go away in a few days and you’ll be stronger for it. If you don’t take Cold Snap, your cold will still be gone in a few days and your wallet will be stronger for it.

So next time you start to feel symptoms of a cold, try the following remedy. Don’t do anything at all. Get some rest, blow your nose often, suffer a little, maybe have an extra glass of orange juice (vitamin C, in reasonable doses, is clinically proven to strengthen your immune system). If your cold goes a away in a few days, let me know.

And, feel free to send me a few dollars for my miracle cure.


  1. tim r said,

    June 28, 2006 at 15:06

    As the doctor said about colds: you can take this medicine and it will be gone in seven days. Or do nothing and it will be gone in a week.

    I don’t think Ron’s blog entry reveals a problem with only homeopathic cold medicine.

  2. RjZ said,

    June 28, 2006 at 17:30

    Tim’s point is accurate: it’s not only homeopathic medicine. My miracle cure doesn’t suggest any medicine, homeopathic or otherwise.

    However, mainstream medicine, is usually more verifiable in its claims, and those claims usually say something: like clears up a runny nose, and that’s the point I am making. I am not commenting on the effectiveness of Cold Snap per se (if it works for you, great), rather I don’t think feeling better in four days is much of a testament to how well it works.

  3. elena said,

    June 28, 2006 at 20:15

    Out of subjects?..

  4. Amy said,

    June 30, 2006 at 7:19

    First… I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better!

    Secondly… THANK YOU for writing something that is not in praise of Cold Snap! Every time I get a cold, someone (typically at work) tries to get me to take it, but I won’t / haven’t. I just wait it out and it either goes away, or, turns into bronchitis.

  5. sniffly said,

    June 30, 2006 at 8:40

    yeah…… EXCEPT, I don’t have those “recovery” symptoms when I take Cold Snap. The cold and its associated symptoms just go away. I didn’t believe that it would work the first time I took it, being quite skeptical of echinacea (NEVER worked for me!) and that ilk.

    I dunno. I think that it works. Anecdotally, my experiences have been positive, and my feeling is that it works far better than doing nothing.

  6. Cold-less Believer said,

    July 1, 2006 at 3:16

    I’ve had a good experience with this stuff, and I swear by homeopathic cures when I’m starting to ail. I do laugh at their labeling though, as it’s hard to take seriously. Maybe it provides a psychological boost more than anything. But if I get better, I don’t care how. When I start to feel a cold coming on, I take Cold Snap 2-3x a day, along with liquid Phytocillin. And I haven’t had a cold fully set in for about two years. For me, it works! However, echinacea never worked for me. Perhaps some immune systems react to hokey herbs better than others.

  7. erin said,

    July 5, 2006 at 19:20

    I’ve never tried cold snap, but i’m a huge believer in colostrum [link added by rjz]. i take colostrum as soon as i feel something coming on and by the next morning i feel better. placebo? probably, but whatever works.

    i’m with everyone else though, echinacea never did a thing for me.

    maybe i’ll try that herb that makes your boobs bigger. that can be the test. have any guys out there tried the amazing herbs to make your member bigger? come on, you can tell us.

  8. RjZ said,

    July 6, 2006 at 9:22

    Please send before and after pictures of the your boobs for everyone to judge. We want a scientific opinion here.

    I haven’t tried herbs to make my member bigger, or my erections last longer. It’s not that I shouldn’t, but I’d hate create expectations that I can’t maintain. You can’t always get your chosen additiction, after all…

  9. erin said,

    August 7, 2006 at 11:12

    not that anyone cares anymore, but zinc is scientifically proven to reduce the duration of a cold. i’m not sure why i forgot that earlier, but that is the one thing that is proven to work for colds only.

    so, next time take a few nasty zinc lozenges (eat something first to prevent hurling) and watch those symptoms disappear. it worked for me last week.

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