Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Common Cold is an Abomination Unto Nuggan

So I'm sick. It's not that bad. It's mostly a very sore throat (complete with lymphatic hyperplasia in the back of my throat) with some minor chest congestion and some sinus drainage. So why bother writing about it?

Well, in case the 2 people who might actually read what I write don't know, I'm a recent...convert. I pretty much poopoo all "herbal" remedies. However, just before Christmas, my MD recommended trying some Sambucol. Sambucol is elderberry extract. Some very, very (did I mention very?) limited studies suggest that Sambucol is effective in reducing the duration and severity of influenza when taken within 24-48 hours of the onset of symptoms, comparable to tamiflu. That's no small claim, and hasn't been backed up or disproven by any good studies yet. In addition, it has been reported that it also helps with colds. Notice the passive voice, a common tactic when trying to pass one over on people. I don't know who reported it, or in what study, or was it just anecdotal.... However, being 4 days before Christmas, I decided to give it a shot, even though my skepticism protested mightily when I shelled out $13 for something like 2 oz of syrup.

I wouldn't be writing this if it didn't seem to work. I started getting symptoms on Thursday night. I took it, and I was symptom-free by Wednesday. No big deal? Actually, it is. I'm the type of person that gets over a "7-10 day" cold in something like 3 weeks. I don't know why, but I've always been like that. Every time I've read about how you get over colds in 7-10 days, my first thought is, "7-10 days my ass..."

There have been a couple of colds going around the office since then. I've gotten a minor sore throat during their spread, started the Sambucol, and I never really got sick. Minor throat irritation is as far as it went.

So this time, I ignored the sore throat. I didn't think it was a virus. Everything is yellow because of pollen, and I do react mildly to it, though I don't suffer like most people. I just blamed that for the slight scratchiness in my throat. I started to notice something was irritating me late Saturday. When I got up Sunday, it wasn't gone, and by Sunday night, I decided to start the Sambucol. Monday, still a sore throat, and I noticed the bumps in my throat when I got home from work. Today I went to the doctor and tested negative for strep.

I kept saying that I was going to start keeping track of my Sambucol use and results, making it a little less anecdotal, though admittedly the sample size is still only one. So here we are. I am sick. Like I said, it's still just mostly a sore throat, but I'm keeping track of the duration of the symptoms this time, good results or bad. I have no agenda except for my intense dislike of sickness, though I wonder if I should buy some stock....

1 comment:

Egaeus said...

This time, I have to say that the Sambucol had no noticeable effect. I am still waking up hoarse, but otherwise feel okay two weeks later.